Winter in Austria

The Road Comes To An End

Two days left. Two shows - and then the "Christmas In July" Tour 2011 is over.
The world has moved on while I am suspended in tour bubble land. Catastrophes have happened, world leaders have died. Who knows what the future - or even tomorrow - brings. I do not have power over the big things, at least not in an imminent way.

All I can do is take note of the world, be compassionate and involved (mentally, spiritually, possibly monetarily - budget allowing), take a breath and prepare for my next gig. It's what I do.

So tonight we'll play a place called "Herzblut" in Bocholt. The name translates to "blood of the heart", and apparently the owner has already bought 50 santa hats to enhance the audience's Christmas cheer. Yodwy! Maybe I'll put one on as well, if the fancy strikes me.

And tomorrow - ah, tomorrow! We'll end the tour in Berlin at B-Flat, after a long drive through the forecast rain (thankfully - it could have been snow!!!). I'm looking forward to seeing friends I don't get to hang with nearly often enough, to playing this fun fun program one more time with this really excellent band, and to a glass of prosecco with my friend and vocalist colleague Alexa Rodrian.

A shout-out to the touring band is in order here:
A (slightly pre-mature) thank-you to Axel Fischbacher and Walter Fischbacher, my two partners in this particularly devious recording/touring scheme.
To Nico Brandenburg on bass, and to Ulf Stricker on drums!
Let's make the last two shows as fun and musically fulfilling as the 10 that went before.

Happy holidays! Peace, love and good fortune in the upcoming year!

The Tour Bubble

It's a strange mental state, being on tour. Although social media are everywhere these days, and you can pretty much find a cafe in any town that has the coveted free wifi, my mind can't take in what happens outside the daily touring routine. I'm not sure if other musicians feel the same way, but for me, every minute of every day rotates around the current and next gig. Scheduling prep time, gargling, steaming, when to drink my last coffee, driving, setting up, warming up, make-up. When to eat - a difficult decision for a vocalist. As a band leader I also need to make sure that my band members are fed, have a place to sleep and are generally taken care of.

This tour is somewhat different, as I am not the sole leader of the band. There's actually three of us, and luckily we complement each other quite nicely. This takes quite a lot of weight off my shoulders. Still - there's really no room in my head for socializing. I can only imagine what the outside perception of a person would be who is trying to have a conversation with me during this time. Can't be fulfilling. I'm generally sporting a vague smile, while mentally and physically either recovering from the last or prepping for the upcoming show.

So please forgive me if I'm not my usual, fluffy self, when I'm on the road. I'm really not present. I'm in the tour bubble. Until the last gig is done and I finally get my well deserved drink. You can talk to me then, and I swear, I'll actually listen.

Hotel Stadtpark

It's cold and damp outside. We arrived in Duesseldorf at 6am to a city that, to all intents and purposes, was still asleep. Except for all the pesky early birds flapping around at the airport. How do they manage to look THAT crisp and chirpy at THAT hour? No surliness, no moodiness, no whaddayawant attitude. Just polite questions at the coffee stand as to my early needs, civilized transactions, fast, good natured nattering in German.

Then the cold wind at the train station. Now that reminds me of an early morning at the Munich Bahnhof. Yes, it's cold here. And yes, I am a wuss. Walter and I are staying at the Hotel Stadtpark which we reached at 9am after a brisk S-Bahn ride. We immediately got our room - no hanging around in the lounge until 3pm (that other hotel in Prague). And we went swimming and sauna-ing in the hotel pool and spa. Man, that felt nice!

Today was rehearsal and press conference day. Both went well, I think. Met the bass player, Nico Brandenburg, another tall, very nice German. I will look like a shrunken version of myself on stage next to these teutons, but heck. At least they can shlep the heavy equipment! Tomorrow we will make the long trek to Vienna, Austria, where the tour will officially start at the Tunnel (show is on Thursday at 9pm).

I did want to upload some rehearsal pics, but the vodafone usb internet thingy is somewhat capricious and might rob me of my connection. There will be more news, and hopefully more pics, down the road.

Until then, much love in all directions!