Introduction: When we crossed the channel from Calais to Dover at sunrise, we had no idea what to expect on the other side. With 25 gigs lined up and 2000km ahead of us, quite a bit of excitement and nervousness became apparent. Additionally, we were still shaken by the cold weather, and the first two shows in Germany and Luxemburg lingered in our minds.
The First Week: After rehearsing and enjoying the stunning beach views in Margate, we felt anxious as we got ready for our first performance at The Red Lion in Ramsgate. Unsure of how the crowd, especially native English speakers, would react to our lyrics, we were pleasantly surprised when the owner, bar staff and the audience warmly received us. Thanks to a fortunate coincidence, we even scored another gig offer from a bar in Ramsgate.
Discovering Stewart’s Cafe: The next morning, during a whirlwind of emotions, from enthusiasm to self-doubt, we stumbled upon a delightful surprise – Stewart’s Cafe. As we savored a delicious traditional English breakfast, we realized that our tour had officially begun.
Three Wild and Wonderful Months: As we traveled through the charming landscapes of the UK, we encountered a series of thrilling adventures and heartwarming encounters. It started with the easy and essential task of getting a gas bottle for the heating system in the van. However, we struggled to attach British bottles to our gas hose. Determined to find a solution, we embarked on a quest, driving endless miles and seeking help from locals until we finally stumbled upon a kind company that came up with a quick fix and even allowed us to leave our empty bottle behind.
One memorable stop was in the mesmerizing city of Brighton on a peaceful Sunday morning. The vibrant artwork, the bustling pier, and the friendly locals left us in awe. However, we also faced a minor setback as we discovered a water leak in the van. Undeterred, we turned it into an opportunity to connect with the community. We stopped at a remote parking lot, unloaded our band equipment, and inspected the van to locate the source of the leak. The experience brought us closer as a team and strengthened our bond with music and the van that carried us on this unforgettable journey.
Five days before our next gig in Taunton, we decided to visit the bar where we were scheduled to perform and asked if we could use their mailing address to receive the urgently needed replacement part for the van. This became a part of our routine, visiting pubs early to hand out posters, familiarize ourselves with the stages, and get to know owners and crews behind the bar. We always looked forward to these friendly interactions and felt even more enthusiastic and driven to perform at these venues.
One extraordinary encounter was in the Liverpool area, where we called several pubs looking for a potential gig on a free weekend. The owner of The Butcher’s Arms in Neston welcomed us warmly over the phone and expressed his genuine interest in our music. Despite being fully booked, he spontaneously decided to squeeze us into the schedule on a Sunday night after another band’s afternoon performance. The atmosphere was electric, and the owner, who showcased mad DJ skills, turned the evening into an unforgettable celebration of music and camaraderie.
These are just a few anecdotes that made our three months in the UK a whirlwind of excitement, learning, and unforgettable memories. As we continued our musical journey, we forged connections, experienced the beauty of various towns, and left a piece of our hearts in every place we visited. Each village had its unique charm; every encounter enriched our lives as musicians and wanderers.
A Unique Bond with Stewart’s Cafe: As we wrapped up our last gig at the Fringe Festival in Gravesend, we passed by Stewart’s Cafe again. It had been our first stop after the debut gig and now, by sheer chance, our last stop after the tour. The synchronicity left us with overwhelming gratitude and motivation for our upcoming gigs in Germany.
Conclusion: The journey across the UK with so many memories has been nothing short of extraordinary. From nerve-wracking beginnings to heartwarming connections with audiences and fellow musicians, we have experienced moments that will stay with us forever. And as we returned to Stewart’s Cafe, the place where it all began and coincidentally concluded, we felt an inexplicable connection to the power of destiny. This adventure has transformed us as musicians and individuals, and we can’t wait to continue our musical voyage in Germany and beyond. Thank you, UK, for an unforgettable experience!
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