Greetings from a rainy drive to Leipzig, Germany!
The last few days have shown us some of the real ups and down of life on the road. Our bodies and minds have been put to the test, but we’ve met some amazing people along the way and received too many warm receptions to count.
Our first show outside of Belgium was in the city of Helmond, in The Netherlands. We were greeted by another warm welcome - this time by the owners Lydia and Jurr. The venue Lokaal 42 was another shotgun style bar - narrow and deep, with old wood, brick and low lighting. To our surprise, there were quite a few people patronizing the venue and the number multiplied when we played our two sets. The energy in the room was wild, especially considering we went on at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon! The sound engineer, Renée gave us a warm hearted ass kicking at foosball after the show. We slept in a spacious apartment upstairs after, but not before a raucous night on the town. A few of us called it an ‘early’ night at 2am.
Next up was a Monday night in Herenthout at a bar called The Titanic; per usual, we didn’t know what to expect. Jannik, the bar owner there, told us they specifically host music on Monday nights because most other bars won’t do it - which meant there was actually a really good sized crowd waiting for us by the time we started playing. We continue to be surprised and immensely grateful for our new fans and friends. We were also treated to what may have been the best pasta dish any of us have ever had, thanks to Jannik’s aunt Tilley. Sign up to our newsletter and we just might send you the recipe ;)
After Herenthout, we stayed at Hans’ place (our home away from home) for one last night of bumper pool before heading to French-speaking Liège, to play an outdoor event during the town’s mid-August festival. Liége is a medieval yet modern city in central/eastern Belgium, with magnificent views, old streets, a citadel nestled up high in the hillside, cathedrals, world famous waffle shops and wild nightlife. Our show, part of the first night of festivities for the 15 De Aout festival, was in the courtyard of the hostel we stayed at and the stage was HUGE! It is damn fun to have some room to run around. Crazy light show, crazy energy, and crazy fun. The MC/harmonica player, Fa (short for Fabian) joined us on Willie the Weeper and added some unbelieveable harp (harmonica) playing.
Next was Essen in the north, for one last Flemish show before leaving Belgium. They had a very tasty BBQ for everyone who came out. A bluegrass band, also on tour from the US, started the night off before we hit the stage. Once we started playing, Deet, the bar owner started twirling ladies around and some serious swing dancing broke out all over the bar. Another rowdy weeknight show to say the least!
After the show, we loaded the van and our intrepid tour manager Kurt took us through a nine hour night drive to Denmark. We checked into our hotels at 10am and took some much needed naps. Tour life really does take a toll. We’ve found that small things like hotel beds, salads, and an hour or two of free time are luxuries.
Odense, another town with deep history, was wet and rainy most of the day and night. Our show was on another huge outdoor stage with a tall built-in roof covering (most) of us and some of the audience. All of the staff did a super job making sure our gear didn’t get wet and no one got electrocuted! Whew. Despite the rain, a small but mighty crowd formed around the stage. We’ve been trying out a few new things during our sets and to our delight, the crowd was clapping along during a new interlude. People’s willingness to engage with us in every new town continues to be one of the best parts of our journey.
That’s all for now. Leipzig, Viechtach, Livigno, and Tübingen are up next.