First let me say that touring is not easy. The gigs are the motivation to tour they are the reason for being away from home and family for travelling and hanging around the limbo of hotels and airports and this is what you must accept to make the tour happen. Unlike a holiday when the travel experience is its own reward.
For this tour we all flew from Adelaide to Zurich. I arrived on the Thursday morning after a Hong Kong meeting/ stopover and Stuart and Renee arrived later that day. We went for a huge dinner of roesti which is something like a Swiss heart attack on a plate, the roesti plus a few beers ensures we all sleep the sleep of the sated and weary traveller who wakes at an unknown time in an unfamiliar place. Herbert the driver arrives the next day to take us to Germany and the first run of gigs. He also informs us that there had been some cancelations in the second week of the tour which means if no late bookings can be found we will have some days off. I hate days off on the tour. Days off are for a holiday not a tour. I am also pissed off because he is telling me this now we are on the ground when is probably too late to fix. There will be a lot of phone calls to make. Grrrrrr.
We drive just across the German border and straight to the Wodan Halle venue in Frieburg which to my surprise is named after the god Wodan and not made of wood like I thought. That evening we play to a small but appreciative crowd. It’s a full production show with a big stage, full mic up, pa and lighting rig. My impression is the band feels a little disconnected like its heart is still in transit. May be its because we are still on Australian time and for us the 8.30pm start feels like 4.30 am. Saturday we play in a small restaurant in Kenzingen only a short drive away. This time we play completely acoustically and really connect with the once again small crowd. Sunday is back in Switzerland at Grasswil, this is what I would call a lounge room concert except instead if a lounge room its in a pig barn that has been converted to a concert room. The farmer Christof says he loves music and he likes to see concerts at his place with his friends and neighbours rather than travel. This guy runs several businesses plus the farm and he is also a fireman I think he is a very busy man. The atmosphere is fantastic. Once again The Beggars go pretty much acoustic; the crowd love it and buy lots of CDs. The band is playing well but I think we still have another higher level and another higher gear that we can attain. But this was a really great show and these shows and the feeling of playing them is why I go on tour.
Tonight is Monday and the show is a private concert at a winery near Neuchatel in the French speaking part of Switzerland. We met Natalie the organiser and winery owner over breakfast at the hotel and she invites us for a tour and lunch at the winery before the sound check. We look at the venue, a 17th century wine, it is fantastic and once again we decide to play an acoustic concert.