KOBO TOWN’s ‘Jumbie summer tour 2013’ – European Leg (week 2)

by Cesco Emmanuel

June 17th – Have a great breakfast at the Van de Valk Hotel in Haarlem, walked around the town centre, lovely place with canals running through it. 1PM – we pick up Don at Schiphol airport and drive to Paris. We arrive after 9PM to discover our hotel rooms are very, very, very small, we are staying down by the train station, not a nice area at all actually. We cancel our booking and get an apartment. Our GPS cannot find the street where the apartment is on. We finally get there after 11PM, check-in and go grab dinner in a rather funky part of Paris.

June 18th – Gig #6. We move apartments, our luggage is back in the van now. We have two more radio interviews and a live performance at Radio France International. We take the train to get there. Later we ‘attempt’ to take Le Metro to our soundcheck at ‘The New Morning’ Club. I say attempt because this is the most packed subway station I have ever seen in my life. It is a MESS! People stand by the door, so you have to squeeze your way on, how stupid can people be? I eventually get on, I am sandwiched between hundreds of people. Trying to get off the bloody thing was even worse. I’ve lost the rest of the guys, only Richard and our guide – Quintin is there when I get off at our stop. The rest of the band took a cab to the place. We walk the rest of the way. The streets are full of people and garbage. I am told this is the ‘hip’ part of Paris and this club is a great venue – it’s nice and big and smells of cigarettes. We have a pretty good soundcheck. I am exhausted. I think everyone is actually. We get dinner and rush back to where we’re staying. We get on a jam-packed Metro and squeeze between people – AGAIN. We get to the van, take out our luggage and go change in an empty, gutted apartment. No shower. Get back on the metro. How do people do this every freaking day? My God! We have a decent size crowd, mostly press folk, we give a great performance and get all the folks on their feet. We later have drinks with a few of our new-found fans. We reach back to the empty apartment and fall asleep on the mattresses.

June 19th – We get up at 5AM, I attempt to grab a shower, but the water is like ice, and worse yet, it’s in a dusty tub, so no shower. We grab breakfast at a gas station. We drive to Harlingen, Holland where we take a ferry to the Oerol Festival on Terschelling island. We’re staying on a boat. We end up doing an impromptu gig on another boat. We grab a late night pizza around 2AM. We’re sharing the boat with another group and they come in at 5AM! They talk really loudly.

June 20th – Gig #7 – We get up late and go grab breakfast in the town. It’s a beautiful island. Some of the guys go rent bikes, myself included. I cannot stay on the bike so I give it to Jan. I decide to walk to the festival office. Not a good idea as it’s 5KM, I walk for over an hour and get nowhere, but at least I got some exercise. We have a 5.30PM pick-up, we get dinner and head to the Camping de Kooi stage. We play at 11PM. At 10.45 the place has some people, but miraculously at 11PM, the entire place is packed. We give a great performance. My amp cuts off on stage but there’s another amp so that gets fixed rather quickly. We hang out after with a few of the folks we met on the boat ride over. Dutch people are so nice and friendly.

June 21st – Gig # 8 – It’s rainy and we’re playing on the Green Beach, 3PM show. We get there, grab a mid-morning snack, fall asleep backstage and hit the stage at 3. It’s rainy and cold, but the crowd that’s there thoroughly enjoy our set. We head back to the boat and decide to stay the evening and leave early the next morning to Utrecht. We walk around the town centre and bar hop. The weather is not nice but everyone is out and having fun. This is a great island.

June 22nd – Gig # 9. Get up at 5.45AM, shower and grab the 7AM boat back to Harlingen. Pick up the van and drive to Utrecht, our last show on this tour. We grab a few hours of sleep at the hotel and head out to soundcheck at 5.30PM, we get a little lost but do make it to the venue with enough time. We’re playing at RASA. It’s a free show for the members of RASA, they have no idea who they’re going to see. We get a great response and stick around after the show talking to most of the people. We reach back to our hotel after 3AM

June 23rd – Fly back to Toronto via Detroit. I must say, the service and food on this Delta flight was amazing.

June 24th – 29th – Catch up on sleep.

Our U.S/Canadian tour begins on June 30th and I’ll be blogging everyday.