Spiderman & T-rex

March 11th – The Crown , Scissett, Yorkshire

I woke up on the 11th of March, early doors to get my clothes and equipment packed for the little Yorkshire tour ahead. We were only away for two We Steal Flyers gigs so I didn’t need much for the trip. Mel (Derek’s wife) was picking me up around 11.30am to drive back up to her house and then we could leave from there. One of the gigs was in Scissett, Yorkshire and the other in Birstall, Yorkshire and are both repeat venues.

Mel grabbed me and my gear from Bedlington after a pit-stop to the yummy ‘Seahorse Chip shop’ and we headed back to her house and Derek and I had our lovely chip buttys before heading off on our drive. The chippy is an awesome way to set you up for the day!

We got the car packed up with the PA system and guitars and then we set off on our sunny drive from Broomhill, down the A1 to Yorkshire, with the ‘Hollywood Vampires’ album keeping us company for most of the journey.

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Derek watching TV after his furniture move about!

We turned up to our hotel for the night after two and a half hours drive, The Fairway in Barnsley which we have stayed in many times before on our musical travels around the country. A great little hotel with a nice bar and food downstairs and Derek’s favourite little mini beds in the family rooms. Hahah. We pulled up outside and parked right outside the doors of the reception and there was a huge man mountain of a guy walking in holding his clothes in one hand and on the back of his neck a huge tattoo of some darts with the name Kong above it. Derek loves his darts on Sky and with a quick google we found he was a professional Darts player with a bit of a crazy history thanks to the Wikipedia World telling on him. We tried to catch up with him for a photo opportunity but he was offski to his room and nowhere to be found anywhere.So we headed up to our room and Derek shoved his bed into the corner near the window so I couldn’t tickle his feet while he was sleeping.

After we had a hotel room yucky coffee I headed downstairs to feed my greed while Derek chilled in his room with a peanut butter sandwich. Before we left Mel had been talking about a Fajitas party she was having while we were away and I think I had been secretly fantasizing about them ever since she said the words. So…… ‘Spicy Cajun Chicken Fajitas’ in the bar was my choice and they was lurverly…. and spicy!

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Setting up the Pa for the gig!

The Crown in Scissett was twenty minutes drive from the hotel and we have played here many times before. It’s always a regular gig on our tours and always a fun gig with lots of friends and fans turning out for us what ever day of the week it is. I like the gig as the first half of the show everyone is quite quiet and we get to play more chilled and original songs and then when we play the second half of the show after the break they are all up for a good sing song and have some fun with the set. We had a star tambourine player this time who decided to join us on stage for a song and sat between Derek and I banging away looking at the floor. I think he may have been a little intoxicated. We finished up the second set and after seven encores later the land lady was still asking for us to play more but you have to stop somewhere and sometimes the show needs to stop in a certain place to leave the bar when its right. The gig was great fun as always though and we headed back to our hotel room with some lovely cheese and pickle sarnies, courtesy of the bar,  for an early morning snack before sleep time.

March 12th – The Black Bull, Birstall , Yorkshire

I woke up pretty early in the hotel and had a quick spoach around in the online world before rising completely. I needed a proper coffee so I headed downstairs for a quick chat with the Curly one and ordered myself a full English breakfast and coffee, I couldn’t help myself once I walked into the restaurant and smelt the yummy coffee and bacon aromas floating around my nostrils. Derek got packed up and joined me for a coffee a little while after and we sat and chilled in the bar for a couple of hours as we were officially homeless without a hotel room from midday.

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After chilling and chatting we headed to Barnsley to see if we could find any second hand shops around the town with goodies in. Its part of our little tour routine now when we are away to go wandering around towns and villages and find some decent second hand CD’s for the car or great books lying around in the charity shops without a home.

We managed to find lots of outdoor market stalls going on in the town centre and stumbled on an awesome comic stall with lots of great books, comics and DVDs. Derek got some great Spiderman comics as a little present for his little daughter Rebecca as she loves her comics and I managed to find an awesome score ‘The Black Crowes – Shake your money maker’ CD for the car journey to the gig. A great little wander around buying other bits and pieces and then we headed back to the car and drove thirty minutes to Birstall to the Black Bull which was the next gig.

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The awesome Comic book stall at Barnsley Market

We were there by 4:30pm so it was a long time before our gig at 9:00pm. We got the equipment in and I had a cheeky half of Doombar then we headed upstairs to the old courtroom above the pub where they hold a few different music nights. It still has the old judge boxes in and we thought we would quickly make a little video whilst we had the place to ourselves. Here it is!

We had a little back room area near where we played in the bar and when we came out to start at 9:00pm, all the tables and chairs in front of us were full of familiar faces and the lights were turned out. I loved the first set and the quietness while we performed but then we came out for the second set and plugged in and there was no guitar coming through the PA system and after a few channel changes, some crazy noises and lead changes it wasn’t going to happen. Its a nightmare sometimes when things go wrong and you can’t find a solution or a fault anywhere. After I tried everything I could think of we asked the crowd if they would mind us doing the second set unplugged and told them what was happening. They were all fine with it and we left the vocal mics on pushed back a little, gathering some of the acoustic sound for the PA. It worked out great as the crowd were well behaved and there to see us live. It was a totally different gig to our usual second set but the challenge is always accepted and everyone loved it! We nailed it and had a great time with everyone and its always another experience of playing unplugged incase anything happens in the future!.

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An hour after the gig finished and people were still hanging around!

At the end of the show, we were nearly packed up and a lovely lady asked us to play a complete unplugged song for the bar before we left and she would stick a contribution in our little merchandise funds before we headed off. We played ‘My Girl’ unplugged and the bar was completely silent for us and it was a great little few minutes in the Black Bull.

We hit the road around midnight with ‘Tenacious D’ in the CD player for most of the journey home and landed at Derek’s house around 2:30am where Curly was waiting to pick me up and take me back to Bedlington for sleepy time after our little mini tour of two days!

I hope your still enjoying the reading and stories of my journeys through out the year! Thanks for all the continued support and taking a little time from your busy lives to delve into mine a little. See you somewhere soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

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…a snowy swan lake!

Day 9 – Lucerne to Immensee and back

I woke up to day nine of the tour and opened my little red hotel room curtains to the view of Lucerne lake being scattered in heavy snow. The lake looks stunning no matter what time or what is happening outside with the weather and this tour it has went from a dark gloomy lake to sparkling in the sunshine, heavy rain bouncing off the water and now snow. It was perfect. The swans outside were acting like they had never seen snow before and they we’re doing crazy fast circles round and round as the snow landed on them by the bridge. It was like watching children playing and they looked like they were having lots of fun together in their tight little groups of paddling buddys.

We were travelling to Immensee in Zug for tonight’s gig at the Sprue & Weisen Bar. Mark was driving us and Steffi had been messaging already saying she was cooking chilli for us at the bar and had been a little generous with a bottle of red wine. Not to the chilli but to herself as she cooked us up our meal. We have played at this venue on quite a few other tours and this place had connections with Steffi’s family. Its a great, moody, low lit bar and its also a smoking bar. I’ve been off the cigarettes for 15 months now but when I see people smoking , I still miss it! I doubt that will ever go away though when I spend such a lot of my time in bars, clubs and venues.

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There is always time for a quick selfie before the gig!

We loaded in and set up the PA system and had a quick sound check, then it was time for our food. Steffi sat us down in the bar and came out with her amazing feast for us all. A great big pan of yummy chilli and fresh roasted potatoes to fill us up. She did an amazing job on the food and we pretty much demolished all of it. Lots of her friends and family had turned up to the bar and Christoph the owner of the place. We got caught up with everyone and met some newbies and before we knew it, it was time to get started even though I think we all felt like we needed a lie down after all the great food.

The first set flew by and was nice and chilled , in the break Steffi asked if she could get up and play a song before we started again and if I would join her. Christoph joined us too and Steffi got through her first time on a microphone playing and singing a song to an audience. We had a great laugh and Steffi could hardly get up off the chair at the end of her song. I’m not sure if that was the nerves or the red wine from the cooking or a mix of both. Hahaha.

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Steffi, Christoph singing Wagon Wheel @ Spreu & Weisen

We finished off the second set and after the gig we said our goodbyes and headed back to Lucerne. Mark and I headed to Shamrocks for a couple of cheeky Guinness where we met a lovely Swiss guy who was so full of beans. He had a big guitar badge on his jacket and we got talking about a few things at the bar while his wife and friends sat behind us chatting away.

He asked us if we would head to Wonderbar with them for a drink. Mark had to head back but I’m not one to pass up on a beer and a bit banter so I headed to Tschuppis Wonderbar with three complete strangers to the other side of town. The music is always great in Wonderbar and there was a rock DJ on in the corner playing all sorts of great stuff. We had a few beers, giggles and danced around the bar with beer mats stuck everywhere. When it was time to head back we said our goodbyes and I headed back to the hotel ready for some shut eye! On day 10 we have to move hotels to the wonderful Schweizerhof for our last two days. Two more gigs to go!

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My new buddy & partner in crime for the night!

Jason , Amazing Adventures Always

www.facebook.com/westealflyers

..the lady’s of the night!

Day 8 – Lucerne, Switzerland

We were over half way of the We Steal Flyers swiss tour! We had two days off to relax and get ourselves ready for the next four gigs. We made it back safely the day after Grindelwald in Patrick Shumakers rocket ship, and somehow lived to tell the tale. The two days flew by pretty quickly and after eating chicken, lots of YouTube songs, Noblesse coffe and some more writing, before I knew it, it was time to meet Mark at Shamrocks Irish Bar in Lucerne to get set up for our Wednesday gig.

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Time off with half a chicken and some Rivella!

Shamrocks was 5 minutes walk from our hotel in central Lucerne and we met Mark there to load in the equipment at 4.30pm. We quickly stuffed our gear and guitars into our little corner of the Irish Bar and I grabbed a little early beer and Derek had a lovely fresh glass of Orange Juice as he does!

Its unusual to be playing the Irish Bar on a Wednesday for us and usually its on a Saturday or Sunday at the end of the tour and it can get a bit wild for sure. I started setting up and I had half a PA system to set-up for the room then linking into another in-house system as well. Leads and cables everywhere and no electric points anywhere near us to be seen. I changed three mic cables on my pedal as they weren’t working whilst trying to disco step around our little corner. I doubt my buddy back in the UK Mr. Rob Saddler doesn’t have these problems. He has just won an award for “FOH Engineer of the year” and has been on tour with James Bay for quite a while now. Its great to see a lovely local lad and buddy doing so well at something they love.

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Great plateful at Shamrocks Irish Bar in Lucerne

We managed to get set up and sound checked by 5.30pm and I ordered myself a lovely plate of nachos, chilli and cheese, with guacamole and salsa! OOOOOOOshhhh!!! It was a hell of a portion and went down lovely with my beer on the side! Derek headed back to the hotel while I hung around in the bar feeding my greed and chin-wagging and he returned 20 mins before gig time at 8pm ready for our show.

We had some lovely buddy’s turn up to listen again which I hadn’t seen since the October tour and Legend Bill came in with a Cahjon drum for Mike Marshall. He said he would join us for a few songs later on in the sets. Unfortunately Bill was feeling a little under the weather and could only stay for a short time. It was also Mike Marshall’s 50th birthday at midnight so he was in celebrating mode and was passing birthday cake around the bar.

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Birthday cake time for Mike

We played through our three sets and it was a pretty relaxed gig in the bar for most of it. Mike got up and played four songs with us on the cahjon and we finished off on a spur of the moment take on “Show me the wayyyyyyyyyy to go homeeeeeeeeeee” with a bit of a sing along. We finished up and had a bit crack with everyone in the bar and I sang Mike ‘Happy Birthday’ unplugged while he sat on his drum with a beer looking a little drunk. Hahha. Derek spotted a picture on the wall of an old bearded fella and said it was me, so we took our photo with it too. haha

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After the show I decided to head out with Mike and a few others as he was going for that world famous ‘one last drink’ and the Irish bar had stopped serving by this time and was ready to close. We attempted to get in three other bars but they were all closing and the staff at Downtown suggested going next door. We headed into the bar which was open till late but they didn’t only sell alcohol. You could still have a normal drink in there while the ‘lady’s of the night’ did they’re thing though! We had a couple of beers and tried not to stare too much at what was going on. Hahah.I always find myself somewhere I shouldn’t be on tour for some reason .Haha. I got back to the hotel and Derek was still up who had took my backpack of stuff to his room for me. I managed to grab it and had a bit crack and giggle about the night in the corridor of the hotel before heading off to peeps.

The next gig coming up is The Sprue & Wiesen in Immensee, Zug. See you there.

Jason. Amazing Adventures Always

www.facebook.com/westealfyers

..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!

….chandelier swingers!

Day 4 – Pickwicks Bar – Baden, Switzerland

I woke up on day four of the tour to my usual routine of this trip. I checked my phone for anything of importance,  messages or new ladsbible videos, made a cup of coffee and opened up the curtains and shutters of room 101 to the view of Lucerne lake. It looked very different this morning however. There was millions of little circles forming all over the surface from the heavy rain pour that was happening. The promenade outside where people are usually sitting drinking coffee and beers was completely empty and there was no one around, just the swans and ducks bobbing up and down on the lake with the odd character all wrapped up, wandering across the wooden bridge.

There was no point in heading out anywhere in the crazy weather outside, but it was still a nice view to watch rom inside. Even as a kid I’ve always enjoyed being indoors when the weather is bad and you can see outdoors or hear the wind howling away. I used to love sleeping over at my grandmas when she lived onto the back of Dr. Pit Park in Bedlington. The back bedroom window looked over the park and you could see it all light up when we had lightning storms, then sitting looking out the window and counting between the thunder and lightning so we could try and work out how close it was to us.

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Mark having a laugh with the Sat-Nav

I got caught up on the tour diary and before I knew it, it was time to meet Mark at 3.30pm to head to Baden for tonight’s show. Derek and I headed off with backpacks once again to the meet up point in the rain where we found Steffi. The four of us were heading to Pickwicks in Baden tonight. It was dark when we arrived there and Steffi saved the day being Navigator as Marks Sat-Nav was having none of it. I’m sure sometimes they just have bad days and think “that’s it!! I’m gonna take you everywhere but where you want to be today” but luckily we had Super Steffi-Nav and she got us into Baden and found our way to the back of Pickwicks ready to load in for the gig.

After we got set up and said our hello to some of our buddy’s we aint seen since October it was time for a little drink and some food! I had myself an awesome ‘Pickwicks Special bacon Salad’ but no… I aint trying to get rid of the churb! I can’t really eat much before a gig and sometimes I feel like not eating anything at all as it really can effect how I sing,  play and perform when I’m full to the beans! Hahah. The salad was awesome though and it was covered in yummy balsamic vinegar!

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Unrotunately these were Steffis and Marks Platefulls!

Tonight’s gig was two , one hour sets and Derek was still struggling with his ear since the flight. He battled on though through the sets like a champ as always. We really do go through lots of illness through out our gigs and shows. Pretty much everything can cause some kind of troubles when you are singing 3 or 4 times a week and a simple cold or sore throat can really make a gig a lot more hard work for us. That said, it has to be pretty bad for us to not play a show and of course we still enjoy it. It is just one of the challenges of a being a full time musician. The first set flew over and we always have a great crowd of nice people when we land at Pickwicks, Baden twice per year. Just before the end of the set we got a lovely Australian guy Ryan up to help us sing out the last song of the first set and got everyone singing along to finish up for our break.

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Before we went back on Ryan asked if he could play a song with me before the start of the next set. He had a great big warm voice on him, and was looking to head down a musical solo career. We jumped into Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons which I’d never played before but I love the challenge of having to jump in, watch and listen to everything and add something to songs I’ve never performed live before. He went down brilliantly with everyone in the bar and I hope he really does give his music a go, it’s nice to see nice people do well with something they love.

Derek and I jumped straight in and raced through an hour long second set with a couple of encores for all the happy music loving folk that were wanting to hear more. The gig went down great and Steffi even ended up swinging off the chandeliers after a few beers because she loved it that much!

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Super Steffi-Nav hanging around after the gig!

After the gig I had another sneaky whisky and Mark did an awesome job of making the equipment dissapear into the van. We hit the road back to Lucerne with an awesome Burger King treat on the way back to make up for my salad earlier. We sat around a table talking about comics, marvel, DC comics and aqua-man for a good half an hour while Steffi just sat there drunk and yawning, confused at three grown men talking about cartoons, comics and movies.

We headed back to the hotel across our little wooden bridge once again and it was time to hit the snoozy pit for a kip. Tomorrow’s gig is up in Grindelwald, home of the 13,020 ft Eiger Mountain.

Thanks for reading! Jason

Amazing Adventures Always

Follow more of the tour at www.facebook.com/westealflyers

Travelling Hobo Shaggy!

Ive just came back from my spell of gigs in Luzern in Switzerland..   What a time I had away and what an amazing place with the best people..

Me , The Legend...Bill and the Flintmiester

I didnt really know what to expect at all as this was my first time away gigging in another country but I have to say..  this definately wont be my last..

The whole experience was great and I managed to make some great contacts from it all so il definately be back over there soon.

Heres a video of me playing in Legends bar which has to be the best bar in Luzern..its a bit dark as its from a little handycam but youll get the idea and theres a few clips from the train ride home in there too!! ..  A massive thanks to Bill for helping to make this possible..  I couldnt have done this without his help and also Flinty for helping to arrange it all.


And a few photos too ..

Bloody cold it was!

Top UK guitar vocalist.. hehehhehhe!!

Where to next??  we shall see..   but until the next adventure..  Toodleeeeeeeooooo!!

LEGENDS... Best bar in Luzern!!

Signing out! Shagmeister!