Just back from an amazing UK tour- 13 shows in 13 days!!! Thankfully we have a few days to recover before it all starts again. August was a great month for festivals. We visited the White Mountain Blues n Boogies Festival in New Hampshire here in the US. It was VERY hot and we performed in the baking Sunday afternoon sun facing the stunning white mountains. The sound was superb and the crowd really dug the show despite the heat. We performed also at our favorite clubs- Harrys & Inn On The Blues. After a show at Kclingers Tavern we headed to New York for the Chenango Blues Festival. We did several workshops at a Youth Camp, the public Library and a Veteran's Home. So we basically covered every age imaginable in one day!!!. The next day we performed two shows at The Festival and brought the house down. Chenango was alot of fun, really well organized and probably the best hospitality ever. After the festival we all got to hang out in the town of Norwich where there was plenty of live music to be heard. We caught up with amazing musicians: Mitch Woods and Chris Cain. Bobbi and I also hung out with our good buddys Chef Jimi and his lovely wife plus several other folks drinking red wine, eating gorgeous cheese in the foyer of our hotel until we were asked to leave!
The next day we headed to the first Annual Lakeview Lodge Festival. Apart from a very short huge heavy down pour of splattering rain, this was a great day. We caught up with Tyler Mac and Biscuit Miller. We finally got to meet Motor City Josh, after many conversations on the phone and got to hang out with Chris Cain for the second day in a row. After the show there was an almighty jam in the lodge that went to the wee hours of the morning.
A couple of days later we flew out to London for our 13 day UK tour. The flight was OK and we picked up our van and equipment at Heathrow Airport. The next stop was our hotel- The Metro Inn in Stockton on Tees. We booked this hotel on line and it looked pretty good in the photograph, but reality was a whole lot different. The hotel turned out to be an old Formula 1 which had changed its name. We had stayed at a Formula 1 in Australia several years ago and vowed never to return. This hotel was just as bad. Shared bathrooms- self cleaning toilets and showers- very nasty indeed. Bobbi had asked the receptionist if we could have a late checkout for 12 noon the next day and was told we could. At 10.15 am the next morning we were awoken by loud knocking at our door by the heavily tatoed, shaven headed manager with his Rottweiler dog in tow. We were told we had to leave! We hastily packed up and got the hell out!
Our shows at The Studio in Hartlepool and The Musician in Leicester went well. The Great British RnB Festival in Colne was a blast. We performed in a huge theater packed with people, just before Mick Taylor (Ex Rolling Stones). We had such great reaction that we were called back for an encore and an elaborate bow to the audience. Our shows at The Cellars and the Maltshovel Tavern were alot of fun. On our one day off we visited the town of York and climbed the 375 steps of the ancient York Minster - the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. We stayed the next two days at a 300 year old farm house in Laycock Village. We did two didgeridoo presentations at two local primary schools in Bradford and in the evening performed to a sell out crowd at the Laycock Village Hall. The next evening we performed at a fabulous club called the Boardwalk in Sheffield.
Our flight to Ireland for the Harvest Blues Festival was very short in comparison to our journey through security at Birmingham Airport. Our Bass player Chris Smith had to go through three different times. Flying is such fun these days!!! Ireland is the greenest of green countries. We stayed at a beautiful hotel and were treated to an amazing ala carte meal in the hotel's restaurant where we all had a very first authentic Guinness. The band performed at 1am in the morning to a packed house and we didn't get off stage until 3am.
The next day we flew back to England for a show at The Famous Monday Blues Club in Oxford, followed by a show at The Robin 2 the next day. Our final show took place at The Blue Funk Blues Club in Poynton then we drove through the night to get back to Heathrow for our flight back to the US the next day. We had a fantastic tour, ate way too much food and drank way too much fine beer. We plan to head back to the UK in April.
Hope to see you out on the road,
Harper & Midwest Kind
www.harper.biz (Official Harper Website)
www.youtube.com/harperband (for live video clips)
www.blindpigrecords.com (for CD orders & downloads