Our Newcastle show was also surprisingly cool. The venue Barkollo turned out to be an old house turned into a hip pub and restaurant/music venue upstairs. The livingroom-like stage had hipster couches around it with trippy pillows with tables behind where people could eat and drink. Claudio, the booker and son of the owner, treated us very well and we had one of our best meals in England! The mussels he served (cooked by his dad) were the freshest I've ever had. AMAZING!
Our set started out pretty normal, but soon got really wild as this character, apparently a local hero, who looked like a cross between Charles Dickens and Ron Wood (and about the same age) got up and started dancing in front of the stage. It was his birthday and the audience loved him. Especially when he tore off his shirt ala Mick Jagger in "Performance" and then preceded to strut back and forth shirtless. Others joined in - including me when I wasn't on the mic. Now THAT was fun!
Next we drove all the way to Edinburgh, Scotland on a one lane road. Apparently they haven't built a proper motorway into Edinburgh! But the sights were spectacular so it was worth it.
Our show was at a college venue called The Wee Red Bar located in the Edinburgh College Of Arts. Unfortunately, school was out which meant not many people. But I was pleasantly surprised to see Bob Hutton there, who had seen Maple Mars at Maxwells in Hoboken, NJ back in 2003. Nice guy. The next day we set out to see the Edinburgh Castle, which was epic! AND we saw the Crown Jewels!
This pic shows the Edinburgh sky at 11PM - still showing some blue.
Our next show was to be in Leeds at TJ's Woodhouse. UK bands Empire Safari and The Paper Tigers were also on the bill and it would've been an incredible show. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. The promoter actually canceled the show THE NIGHT BEFORE! I can't tell you how unprofessional this was and really pissed us off as we were really looking forward to being "Live At Leeds"! Oh well, C'set la vie!
Finally, it was back to London to play our last show. We were invited to play this gig by a promoter who caught our first show of the tour at London's The Good Ship. The venue was The Mist, and was located way out in Finchley, near High Barnet. Friend of our bassist,Terry Crowley said "I didn't know there was even music in Finchley!" The Mist is a new venue and has potential, if they can get a better sound system. That being said the gig was cool and a loud end to our tour.
So in the end amid all the chaos and last minute changes, we had our adventure. The DIY approach left a little to be desired this time out, and a good US booking agent would've made a big difference. But venturing out on the road in a foreign country is always a crapshoot - and we did have our hot streaks. Hopefully, we entertained a few, and left some wanting more. Thanks UK, we had fun!