Well, well, well… That was quite the experience!
I didn’t think we’d ever get to the point where we’re at Pearson waiting to board and then BLAM! There we were cruisin around the UK like it was our job! And, I guess, it was our job… haha We played some wonderful shows and met some incredible people, thanks to Jez Hellard the magnificent.
Our UK favorite was indeed Letham Nights in Scotland – thanks to the lovely crew there (Roy! Claire! Michael! Dougie! Mick! Emma! and the pizza dudes! and the rest of the folks who make that monthly event happen!) and we are most certainly going to find our way back there again. If you’re curious about it, you can read a review of and check out the photos from the lovely hall performance here. And then there was The Magic Garden in Battersea, London which was also fantastic and equal in the hospitality and genuine loveliness of the folks we met, ie. Corneilius! Connor! and Matt! Wow. Thank you again for everything. It’s so important to feel AT HOME while on the road, and now especially in foreign countries when you are so far from the folks you know and love, and we definitely felt at home in the company of these wonderful people.
Although there were a few hurdles to jump and a couple road blocks to dodge, specifically in London within the LEZ (Low Emission Zone, which encompasses the world’s busiest international airport, btw), we made it through with our best, albeit fatigued, smiles on. We will definitely do it differently next time, but never try never know, right?
On to mainland Europe we went for a gorgeous evening in Bois Colombes, Paris, Fr with Canadian friends and folk duo Scarlett Jane. This performance was magical and most certainly what we’d call PROPER. It was French-Canadian week in Paris and Lezarts et la Scene, specifically the indubitable Pascal, invited Scarlett Jane and Picture the Ocean to be a part of this wonderful event held in a lovely 300 soft seat theatre with a creative lighting crew and an amazing sound crew. We hope we can do that again next time!
If you haven’t checked the Facebook photos, you can check out some of the professional photographs captured here. The band enjoyed a few days off in Gaie Paris and took about a million photographs which you can find on the band’s Facebook page. How surreal it was to be walking along the streets of such a stimulating and OLD city! You don’t even need to pay anything to walk around and look at all the amazing architecture and sculptures telling stories of an ancient time. Scott Cook said it best: “In Europe, 100 kms is a far distance, whereas in north America, 100 years is a long time.”
We then booked it for Nancy, FR where we met up with a couple of beautiful Macedonian women (hi Anna! hello Juju!) who hosted us for the night – friends of Jez’s. Then, BAM! We were spat out in the center of Stuttgart, DE after navigating our way through the incredibly busy (and über fast!) traffic and then through a tunnel which lead us underneath the city from the outskirts! So cool. Café Galào — a phenomenal music venue serving up the best in everything, ie. atmosphere, food, staff, drinks, hospitality, and music. Reiner Bocka is the sweetest man no the face of the planet. We loved it so much we stayed 2 nights (well… it was more that we had such a wild drunken evening after the show that we couldn’t even move the next day and Reiner graciously let us stay in his apartment an extra night.)
Dusseldorf, DE was next up for a house concert we’d booked over a year before and which was the main reason for this band even going to Europe in the first place. Where the Birds Fly c/o Corneilia and Guido. I feel like we’re family now. It was beautiful and warm and packed with music lovers who were so silent at times, you could honestly hear a pin drop! We recorded this performance, both the audio and video in highest quality possible, and we’ll be posting these performances as soon as we can so stay tuned!
Thanks to all the rest of the pubs and clubs who took a chance on booking an unknown band from Canada and Australia. And, most of all, thanks to Jez for putting his neck out for us and booking the whole damn thing as well as carting us from place to place. We are forever indebted.
But for now, we are on separate paths until we meet back up at Heathrow and fly to crazy Bombay, INDIA where we’ll gig and travel for the month of November. Matt Blackie can be spotted throughout Germany & Czech Republic. Jesse and I are holed up in a sweet apartment here in Amsterdam for a few extra days and then we’re going to check out Brussels. Jane is visiting with family south of London and will be squeezing in a weekend trip to Barcelona.
Much love from Europe! Stay tuned! Thanks for reading.