..last show & goodbyes!

Day 11 – Last gig of the Tour, Shamrocks

The last gig of the We Steal Flyers winter tour was back at Shamrocks Irish Bar in Lucerne. A five minute walk around the corner from the great Hotel Schweizerhof we were staying in. Derek and I didn’t really make it up in time and missed out on an amazing feast for breakfast at the Hotel Schweizerhof. I woke up at 10am ish and Derek messaged me not long after. Unfortunately the breakfast finished at 10am so without a time machine and a flux capacitor we weren’t going to make it. Sad times!

We had to meet Mark at 1pm at Shamrocks to load in and get set-up as there was a few rugby games on through out the day and the bar was going to be jam packed. We landed and got the gear and and marked our territory in the corner of the pub with speakers, mic stands and chairs, hoping that no one would cross the sacred musicians line.

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Shamrocks Irish Bar , Lucerne

As I said, sadly we missed out on the breakfast, so we ordered some food to keep us alive at the Irish bar. Derek had a mahoosive plate full of chilli, chips and chicken nuggets on the side and I went for a full Irish breakfast. We then headed back to the rooms to jump in our muckle massive baths again (not together) and then relax until gig time. I pretty much played guitar all afternoon, working on a new original song and playing around with a few covers too. I also managed to give my new little blogging camera a try again and recorded some footage while I was playing around with Tom Petty s ‘Free Fallin’. I used to play this alongside Mike Slaughter at the Open Mic and add some harmony’s with him and lately my little daughter Macey has been singing it a lot with me too. So here is a little video of me playing around with it unplugged in the Keb’ Mo’ room of the Hotel Schweizerhof.

We left for the gig around 9:00pm and had a little wander along the front of the lake outside the hotel and took some photos. The swans were floating around in the darkness with the Railway Station all lit up behind them in the distance on the other side of the lake. I could of stayed out there a lot longer but we had to get to Shamrocks for the last gig of the tour.

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The Railway Station and KKL Music venue, Lucerne Lake

When we turned up the place was already full and we managed to squeeze over into our corner near the bar. Shamrocks is a pretty small bar and when its full it can be quite wild. Most of our friends and fans through-out the tour had turned back out for our last show and we had a brilliant night. A good way to end the tour with lots of people enjoying the music together and me enjoying my lovely Guinness without even having to move to order one. Hahahah

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The view from our musical corner before we started the gig!

We finished up at 12:50am with our last song and I headed out for a few more sneaky beers in Lucerne before heading home to my hotel room. I had my alarm set and I wasn’t missing breakfast this time around.

Day 12 – Time to head for home!

We madeeeeeeeeeeee it!! Derek and I both got up and managed to get down stairs in time for breakfast and it was definitely worth waiting for. The Hotel Schweizerhof pretty much had everything you could think of , laid out for breakfast. It was all amazing too! We both had a bellyful of all sorts and then headed back to our rooms to pack up and get ready to meet Mark and Stefi downstairs to say our Goodbyes. We had a quick coffee and before we knew it, we were heading to the airport in Stefis car. She was driving this time after my little speeding incident although I think she was a little rough from the night before and I probably would have been a safer bet. Hahha.

We got stuck in traffic from an accident on the motorway ahead of us on the way and weren’t sure we were going to make our flight for a little while but Stefi managed to get us there safely and in good time to check in our bags. We said our little goodbyes again to Switzerland and Stefi and took a quick photo before we headed back to the UK. The mission was well and truly accomplished again. We nailed another tour and made a whole new We Steal Flyers story to leave behind with the help of great people in a great country. Thank you for reading Amazing Adventures Always, taking part in our winter tour through Switzerland and of course for supporting us in what we love to do!

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Our final photo with Stefi in the airport before we set off for the UK

Jason, Amazing Adventures Always

www.westealflyers.co.uk

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…The Blaydon races

Day 10 – Schweizerhoff, Lucerne

It was time to get out of my little cosy Pickwicks , Lucerne hotel room and head off to another hotel which was about 10mins walk. I headed to the Hotel Schweizerhoff which is right on the main drag of Lucerne. Its a 5 star beautiful hotel and the Schweizerhof is backed by five generations of family tradition and has been standing in the centre of Lucerne for over 170 years. Each of their amazing new award-winning rooms tells a story featuring some of the musical guests which have performed or stayed there and We Steal Flyers were performing and staying for the last two nights of the tour here.

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Hotel Schweizerhoff in Lucerne

Its always exciting when we arrive at the hotel and I’m always excited to see what my room theme is too. This time I arrived in the Keb’ Mo’ room. On the glass writing desk there is a book which has all the descriptions of each artist and then there is a small glass case lit up with some items the artist left behind! Keb’ Mo’s cool spirally hat, some photos of himself and a signed piece of paper saying he enjoyed his stay. He also signed the bathroom wall. Hahahha….

The first thing I did when I got to my room was throw my stuff in, got out my laptop and put on some of Keb’ Mo’ on spotify while I slipped into the huge bath tub to relax with some lurrverly blues guitar and vocals. The muckle bath-tub is definitely one of my favourite ‘looking forward to moments’ of the Switzerland tours and I was in there for a good couple of hours pretending to be a dolphin and drinking coffee.

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The Keb’ Mo’ Room

The gig tonight was in the hotel bar area. We have played here many times before on previous tours and its always nice to be looked after before, during and after the show. The room has a big kind of ballroom feel too it with a big grand piano standing in the corner and we have lots of room to move about and shake our little legs about.

We headed down for a brilliant feast in the restaurant with Mark before gig time and I still have no idea what I was eating. We had some kind of soup for starter, then some kind of meat that seemed to be wrapped in omelette and weird floury, potato little things with herbs and some amazing apple pie for pudding. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and the date went well! Aha.

Mark was doing his Whisky tasting alongside the show and we were doing three sets tonight. There was lots of our buddy’s and fans turned up again for the gig and we had a bunch of English people sitting right in front of us who at one point was shouting out “singggg the Blaydon Races” and before we knew it Mr. Bill Wier was up and took over the sing along for us while we fumbled our way through it. Bill was right up for it and the lads out front loved the little on the spot rendition.

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Bill joining us for his rendition of The Blaydon Races

The rest of the gig was finished off and I sneaked another quick whisky in! As you doooo! A few of us headed out for a couple of cheeky beers after the gig and ended up in down-town. A great little rock venue hidden around the cobbled streets of the old town. After that it was back to my lovely 5 star bed to sleep like a log and get up for an amazing full on breakfast from the restaurant in the morning and one more gig to go.

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

www.westealflyers.co.uk

..cliff hanging Schumacker

Day 5 – Lucerne to Grindelwald in 50 seconds, Switzerland

It was time to head up to one of our regular Switzerland gigs. Espresso Bar up in the Grindelwald, a village in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, popular for its Jungfrau region skiing in winter and hiking in summer. Climbers also use it as a home base for ascents up the iconic and stunning Eiger mountain. We have stayed up at Grindelwald in the Switzerland in winter and summer in past tours and both times of the year the views and surroundings are an amazing thing to behold.

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Our stop off on the way up the mountain pass

This time we had Formula 1 driver and Mr. Rock n Roll himself Patrick Archer from San Francisco taking us up in the tour bus as Mark was at home watching ‘Transylvania 2’ with the family. Somehow the Mercedes Van turned into some kind of magical rocket ship when Patrick is in the driver seat. Travelling over the mountain passes can be scary enough but when your zooming around corners and have someone else in control its a little bit of an uneasy feeling to say the least. We managed to stop off for a few quick photos from a look out point on the way up one of the passes and then before we knew it, we were off in warp speed mode again with Patrick’s ‘Beatles – Number ones’ CD playing away in the background of the race.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have been up to Grindelwald, it’s like my noodle has always forgotten how astounding it is as you drive up and you see the views of the Eiger and mountains surrounding this beautiful little place in Switzerland.

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Grindelwald main street with a view of the Eiger

We turned up to Espresso Bar and loaded in what we needed for the gig. We all grabbed a coffee then Patrick Schumacher dissapeared off into the distance and was coming back to pick us up the next day. We quickly set up our gear and sound checked nice and early. The PA system is an in-house system again and you just link into they’re system with your mixer then we pretty much cant move a millimetre with no space to move once we start playing which restricts your playing and being able to interact easily. It’s not so bad when you know what to expect though as we have played here lots of times before. The Espresso Bar gig was originally going to be a week later but there was a mix up of dates somewhere and we were flying back on that original date so they managed to swap our dates around. This also meant that the hotel rooms weren’t available and we ended up in two single staff rooms. I thought mine was tiny but when I saw Derek sitting on his bed behind the door it reminded me of Bilbo Baggins sitting in a hobbit hole. Hahahahha.

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Dereks Hobbit Hole in Grindelwald

Tonight was three full sets, starting at 10pm and as usual there was plenty of friends and fans from past gigs that turned up to see us play, even with the late date change. It’s always a bit of a loud and wild crowd in Espresso and they’re always up for a good sing-along when we start to get to that point of the sets. Jens was working behind the bar tonight and kept the Apenseller coming through out the gig to keep me alive and kicking.

‘No Secret’ from our first We Steal Flyers album is one the crowds favourite songs here in Grindelwald and everyone sings along with us. The highlight of the show had to be the last song. Jens asked us to play “One of Us” by Joan Osbourne to finish off and I asked him to come and sing it with Derek. This meant I pretty much had to stand in the middle of the bar, playing guitar, so that Jens could replace my spot on the microphone. It went from Derek singing and then both of them together, then Jens seemed to be singing some in German or Swiss-German and then to Derek singing and Jens beat-boxing! Hahahhahaha. It was hilarious and the whole bar was singing along with them.

We got packed up and Jens asked us if we could sing an unplugged versions of Hallelujah while there was just a few people in the bar. Derek flipped up the lyrics on his phone and I fumbled through some chords and the next thing was Jens is crying at the bar. Its his favourite song of all and he ended up a little emotional by it all, so … he had another drink and then got some pizzas out for us all on the bar to nom-nom up before we headed off to bed in our tinchy Hobbit holes.

We then headed back to Lucerne in the morning and have two days off to catch up and rejuvenate our body’s and voices ready for the next four gigs. I will continue with the diary after our time off and hopefully you are all still enjoying the stories of our tour. See you after the break.

Jason. Amazing Adventures Always

Here is the next half of the tour dates.

24th Shamrock Pub Luzern,
25th Spreu & Weizen Immensee

26th Schweizerhof Luzern
27th Shamrock Pub Luzern

28th BACK TO UK!

…Have guitar, will travel

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Have guitar, will travel!

Day 1 of the Swiss Winter Tour 2016

Today the Switzerland ‘We Steal Flyers Winter 2016 Tour has arrived and before I knew it, its the end of the day and I am parked up in my hotel room over looking Lake Lucerne and its just turned midnight. Here is a little run through of how things panned out today!

I woke up around 10am and was feeling a little spaced out and little rough as it was my big brother Andy’s Birthday yesterday. Curly and I popped down with a present and card around 5pm. Andy was in his little workshop out back and came in to make us some cups of coffee before we headed off. Somehow the coffee magically turned into a glass of red wine for Curly and some of Andy’s home made Sloe Gin for me. We had a good bit crack in the Vares Kitchen and I finished off one of his bottles of Sloe Gin and moved onto the next one. After Andy had tried out his desktop drum kit and had some giggles with a head massager from Momma Vare I headed home and took the last of the sloe gin with me.

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Happy Birthday to the Big Bro’ in the Vare Kitchen!

Anyhow after a bit catch up with a friend at the house and couch time with the Curly and more of gin I woke up in the morning still feeling a bit potent after Andy’s secret weapon sloe gin. I still had a few things to sort out and Mel was heading to get me to head off to Manchester Airport around 12.30pm.

Mel, Derek and the kids tipped up and I was pretty much sorted thanks to the awesome help of the Curly machine who packed up my case and got pretty much everything ready to go for me, while I stumbled around looking hazily for guitar cables, strings and chargers.

We headed south in the car with me driving, Derek in the passenger seat and Mel and the kids having a party in the back seats. It took just over 3 hours to get down to Manchester airport with the constant roadworks that seem to be on every main road in the UK for the last 4 or 5 years. We had one little wee stop at Wetherby services and had time for a quick Greggs beef & veg pastie then headed straight off again.

We made it to Manchester airport just twenty minutes before the bag drop closed and dashed through the customs to arrive at Gate 9 as it was closing, jumped on the end of the queue and before we new it we were up in the air and heading off to Basel, Switzerland. I got the window seat and deg sat in the middle talking to his new buddy and giving her a We Steal Flyers sticker from his bottomless pocket of sticky circle pictures of me and him sharing a bathroom. Hahaha!

We were planning on jumping on a train to Lucerne but the amazing Swiss Steffi turned up in her little Clio to pick us up and take us to the Hotel Pickwick. As usual I jumped in the drivers seat and headed off on the wrong side of the road. Its a strange thing driving on the wrong side of the road and the roads are pretty strict in Switzerland and before I knew it we were heading along a motorway in a 120kmh stretch and a speed camera lit up the road behind me. I think it may have sneakily changed to a 100kmh and confuddled other side driving Shaggy didn’t see it. Oooops!! either that or it was just some fireworks for the Flyers arriving in Switzerland.

We had a quick stop off on the motorway at a co-op which for some reason had a Sex toy shop in the entrance? So the first place we stopped off on tour in Switzerland was the MEGA SEX STORE! Hahahha… After Steffi checked out all the ‘toys’ and Derek and me grabbed a few goodies to nibble on we hit the road again to Lucerne trying not to set off any more speed cameras.

I’m not sure how many tours exactly we have done in Switzerland but its always a nostalgic feeling driving in as you come over the bridge over Lucerne Lake and you remember some of the times had in this beautiful part of the world.

“Have guitar, will travel” was an album by Bo Diddley and when I first started getting into the acoustic guitar as a young laddie, I remember it popping up in different places and my musical buddy Paul Bainbridge used to be always singing and playing Billy Bragg songs. He would teach me his songs and he gave me a book with his music in with ‘Have guitar, will travel’ on a silhouette drawing of Billy Bragg. Its always stuck with me and I even have a old Tattoo with the words on a scroll on my left arm as I sit here in Lucerne in a hotel writing this Blog with the Lake Lucerne in front of me and my guitar sitting by me in its case.

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Blog time at the Hotel Pickwick over looking the Lake Lucerne

We met up with Mark our tour manager here in Switzerland and Mr. Bill Weir and the five of us had a catch up and I sank a few Guinness as we sat in the corner of the Hotel Pickwick bar on the lake of Lucerne. Then it was up to our rooms to get some well needed sleep after I made a little start on the blog.

Before I knew it I’m waking up by an amazing lake in Switzerland and ready for another step into more Amazing Adventures Always. We are here with a great tour ahead of us!!

Here is our tour dates for the adventure ahead!

  • 19th Gallus Pub, St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • 20th Pickwick Pub, Baden, Switzerland
  • 21st Expresso Bar Grindelwald, Switzerland
  • 24th Shamrock Pub, Luzern, Switzerland
  • 25th Spreu & Weizen, Immensee, Switzerland
  • 26th Schweizerhof Hotel, Luzern, Switzerland
  • 27th Shamrock Pub, Luzern, Switzerland

You can keep up to date with the tour with photos and updates along the way on our Facebook page. If you can and it’s your thing please share away anything you can regarding the tour and our dates. It all helps with making our shows awesome!

I’m off to do some adventuring and I hope you have an awesome day ahead of you!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always