We (Haight-Ashbury) are not long back from tour number…I don’t actually know what number, they all kinda roll into one in a great way, but it was the third one this year, and it was fantastic! I try and take as many photos as I can while we are away because I get the feeling that in the years to come I’m going to struggle to remember what a place looked like so I’m going to use this blog to share photos and memories and a few stories from tour. Not all the stories mind you, what goes on tour stays on tour!!!
We started on Saturday 11th May, up at the crack of dawn to drive to London to meet our manager to then drive to the Eurotunnel. I have lost count of the amount of times we’ve done this but we’ve started to get into such a familiar routine with it that it feels completely normal to travel the length of the country before 2pm in the afternoon! Our aim for that day was to make it to Brussels to stay over before starting the long drive to Bratislava. I love the Eurotunnel, a big tin box that takes hundreds of cars back and forth to France in half an hour is pretty amazing. My favourite thing about it is the sign on the UK side pointing to France.
The drive to Bratislava from Glasgow is 1411 miles. A loooonnnngggg way to go and it’s the furthest east we’ve been for a show. It was a gorgeous sunny day when we arrived for the gig at KC Dunaj (The cultural centre Dunaj˜) We were playing on the top floor of the centre, such an interesting place. It is used for live shows, club nights, literature, visual arts, theatre and social events. Part of the venue is a bar, with a terrace with a beautiful view of the Old town. Unfortunately my photos of the view from the terrace aren’t that great because the sun was just at the point that an iPhone decides to make a beautiful scene look mediocre. I can tell you though that the view was indeed beautiful, you’ll just have to take my word for it or go to Bratislava and see it for yourself!
The show in Bratislava was fun, it’s amazing to play in a place that you’ve never been and have a crowd of people to play to, equally amazing is when there are people in the crowd singing along to our songs.
We had a great hotel in Bratislava. Interesting bathroom situation in the room…a window between the bathroom and the bedroom. No frosted glass just a nice big window so that whoever you share a room with can see you. Weird and kind of creepy if you ask me. Very similar to this one but I’m pretty sure our window was bigger because it was behind the bed. It was a lovely hotel though, always seems to be the way that when we are lucky enough to get an amazing hotel like this that we are only in it for a short time. Still, it’s nice to be in them for even a short time!
We ended up having an unexpected day off after Bratislava so we had a choice to make – stay there for a night or head to Budapest, the stop on the tour. We all opted for Budapest, so we packed the car, checked our route on the map because our sat nav doesn’t have eastern European maps and we headed off.
We arrived in Budapest at around 3pm, we were staying in the same hotel for 2 nights (normal bathroom situation here guys!!) We dumped our stuff in our room and headed out, we were all starving and just along from our hotel we found a little restaurant/bar that we could sit outside at. Chili was exactly the sort of place we needed, predictably Scott and I both had chilli. There was a tiny little chilli placed on top for what I decided, was presentation. Kirsty and Scott later decided to have a chilli challenge, just as they both bit into it I reminded them of this little gem – the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is – too late though, they were both gulping down beer as fast as they could to cool their mouths. One round of the chilli challenge wasn’t enough for these two crazy kids, oh no, they went for round two! Both players did an excellent job but I would have to say Kirst handled the chilli challenge much better than Scott. Well done Kirst!!
We moved to another bar for a couple of drinks and to watch the football. I’m not a beer drinker but even I could appreciate the tables in this bar, upstairs, each table had a beer tap!
Lots of fun and the bill wasn’t even crazy, Budapest is wonderfully cheap, it’s definitely a place I would like to go back to and explore a bit more! 4 very merry people made their way back to the hotel that night!
We had a seriously lazy day the next day (Wednesday) which was a shame because we didn’t get to see or do much before our soundcheck. The venue we were playing was called A38 Hajó, it was a lot bigger than I was expecting and it was a boat! The 3rd boat we’ve played on, once you’re inside they just feel like a venue but every so often you feel the rock of the water which is a strange sensation. We had an interview to do after soundcheck which was done in an art gallery space on the boat, it looked out onto the river Danube, after that it was time for dinner in the restaurant. We ate A LOT of schnitzel on this tour but this one was particularly good! Might have had something to do with the atmosphere and the view we had from the restaurant.
I was starting to forget we actually had a gig to play that night, we were having too much fun relaxing in the restaurant and in the outdoor bar. That day felt like a mini holiday, the sun was beating down on us!
We were playing alongside 3 other bands which was nice, there have been so many times we’ve turned up at a venue and we are the only band playing, which is scary! It’s nice to have other people around backstage. Speaking of backstage, best part of that was the bar backstage. We all got given wristbands with 4000 forints to spend at the bar. ah-ma-zing! The gig was one of my favourites, again because the crowd was bigger than any of us expected. They were a really fun crowd, lots of dancing and singing, at one point during Blow Your Mind a group of people joined hands and danced around in a circle, good old fashioned hippy dancing! It was great, it’s so nice to look out and see people enjoying themselves. We met some lovely people afterwards, we even had 2 people jump a fence and a barrier to get to the backstage area to meet us!
Next stop on the tour was Vienna…