Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pokey LaFarge Tour Diary, Part One: Conquering the U.K., One Town at a Time

Posted By on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Page 2 of 2

Fri. 8/13 West Ashling, England. West Ashling Village Hall The last thing I expected was a sold out show in this small of town near Chicester. People seemed a little scared at first, which is common over here, but they usually come around.

Highlight: The mid-'60s Morris Minor nicknamed 'Moggie' (a precursor to the BMW Mini that you see more prevalently these days) in the parking lot. I desperately wanted the car but atleast have a picture to remember it by.

Sat. 8/14 Nottingham, England. The Maze A place our friends the Wiyos said was one their favorite shows. I'd have to agree. Nottingham a town with some heart and soul in Robin Hood County (seriously that's what it is), but don't mention Robin Hood. People are apparently not to fond of Robin Hood comments. Great promoters there. I cant wait to come back.

Highlight: We got onto the floor for our encore, which we sometimes do, and whipped the folks into a frenzy. Also, thanks are in order for the b-day girl Alice for aiding in us getting the crowd going. I wish we could have a 'lit up' b-day gal/guy at every show. They're always looking to get down and raise a ruckus.

Sun. 8/15 Leicester,England. Summer Sundae Festival This may be my favorite festival gig ever, besides Newport. We were getting ready for the show backstage when we started to hear more and more of a rumble of folks gathering in front of the stage, till I decided finally to sneak a peak through the backstage curtains to see what the fuss was all about. It appeared there was a 1,000 people there to see our set. Soon it was our time. They announced our name and away we went onto the stage. By gawd it was an insane reception. It took my breath away.

Had to get a hold of myself. The fellas were all on point delivering ear smashing solos. Something was in the air while we delivered what I feel was a strong performance. Sold out of our CDs too! I look forward to coming back to the Leicester area next year if not the festival.

Highlight: A good number of folks were singing my tunes. Next time we come back I hope to see more folks singing along.

Pokey LaFarge in Brighton, "Staggerlee"

8/17-8/19: Edinburgh, Scotland. Fringe Festival. Acoustic Music Centre @ St Bride's The capital city of Scotland. Edinburgh Fringe. One of the longest-running and biggest festivals in the world. Beautiful, talented, eccentric, creative types gathered from all over the world. Tis mostly a thespian oriented festival. We were however at St. Bride's acoustic music centre. Was purty fun. Not the best crowds. A lot fun was had though. The Edinburgh castle in the middle of town. The Grassmarket. People watching. We met some wonderful peope there. Go to Edinburgh at least once in your lifetime. You'll want to see it.

Highlight: Going on the underground ghost tour to play a tourist. Being tempted to step into a cursed Wiccan circle that was said to cast a spell on you that uses your greatest weaknesses against you. Didn't do it. I already practically live in a van with a bunch of hygienic deficient men.

We Conquer the Scottish Highlands!!!!!! (Perhaps the 3 most best shows of the tour.)

Fri. 8/20-Findhorn, Scotland. Universal Hall This was truly one of the more original locations for a performance. A commune -- yes a commune! The room we played in was shaped into a huge pentagon with a large glass pentagon on the ceiling that allowed you to see the sky. I swore it was a way for the aliens to beam you to space. The operations on the property were all sustainable. They apparently work to assist the UN in sustainable energy and organic forming for 3 world nations. So as I said an interesting place to be asked to play. But hey, communes need music too. Almost sold this one out as well.

Highlight: The food.

Sat. 8/21-Stornoway, Scotland. An Lanntair After the show in Findhorn we drove to Ullapool. There we were to catch the ferry across open Atlantic Ocean to the Isle of Lewis to play the town of Stornoway. All started out beautifully as we were floating along through the Loch. Conditions at sea were said to be rough but in the Loch it was nice and smooth so I decided to have some fish and chips on the boat. Bad idea cause once I finished my meal we were dumped out into the roller coaster that was the stormy Atlantic Ocean. The only thing in the water was the propeller. I tried to lie down for to go to sleep thinking that I could avoid the seasickness. But it was no use. I lost my lunch.

Still nauseous when we got to the venue I toughed my way through a sound check. I needed to sit down and get some food and water into my body. Thankfully my dreams come true. We had a wonderful meal from the venue's restaurant. I couldn't believe it. They had american soul food. Ribs, fried chicken, mac n' cheese, greens and everything. And man did I have everything along with local mussels. I could taste the sea man. I love it. It was just what I needed.

The show that night was sold out. Everyone was all smiles. Great conversations ensued and a bevy of drink was consumed after the show in the lounge while we sold CDs. I even tried a new gin and fell in love. A British gin called Miller's.

Highlight: Running around with locals after the show from pub to pub in the pouring rain.

Sun. 8/22 Inverness, Scotland. Eden Court Theatre This could have been the best show we've played so far on this trip. The crew who ran this place were very accomodating. We were late coming back to the mainland due to rain and traffic. But they had everything set up once we got there. They were ready in position. The sound check went by very smoothly and soon we were in our dressing room to finally take a breath and get ready for the show in 20 minutes. Was a sold out theatre. The crowd was amazing. Some folks can be quite reserved over here. Not these folks. Dancing, clapping and sweet banter to boot. It included a crowd from young to old. The best kind of crowd. The kids seemed to love it which is always nice.

Highlight: Call back for 3 encores with 3 standng ovations. Can't wait to return to the highlands.

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