October 2011 “Switzerland Tour” – What they do – Part 1

October 19, 2011

Hello, It’s me, “Student Grant” and I’ll be updating the blog along the way of the tour ,shooting all the photos and videos and hopefully giving you a full insight into what the guys are like on tour. Enough of me.. lets get straight to it… enjoy the adventure!

Day 1 of the Tourwhere it all began

So,  me and Derek arrived at Shaggy’s place at 11:00PM on the 11th of October, all set to begin our adventure and we decided a game on the ps3 was a good plan to pass a couple of hours until we left at 3:00am.after about an hour and a half, Shaggy was fast asleep on the couch with pizza all over his face, when the time came to wake him,at about 3:00AM me and Derek had to decide who woke him up…with a game of rock paper scissors, lucky for me, I won. After waking a very sleepy Shaggy up we got the car loaded up and began our jouney to Manchester Airport, three hours later we had arrived at Manchester where we had  to leave the car. Finaly, we were past the long painful part of the trip now all that was left to do was get a bus from the car park to the airport itself, this journey was made extra special by our amazingly “happy” bus driver. Less then a minute or two had passed and we had made it to the airport entrance, after making it through security without getting attacked things were looking pretty good!  some time and a coffee later it was time to board the plane, Finaly! Switzerland was in sight! lucky for us we were only on the plane for an hour and a half due to it being 20 miniuts early! Not long after we got back through airport security once again at Zurich, we collected our bags and met up with our old friend Bill Weir, the owner of  “The Legends Bar”  He was kind enough to drive us back to the appartment he was letting us use for a few days, What a guy!  Now we were  unpacked and ‘sorted’ Bill took us for a coffee and we caught up.

Day 2 –  Kinda like the Blues Brothers …. but Different!

The first of gigs the guys were to play was at a bar called the “Bruch Brothers”where we were looked after by the owner Philip Husler, with 2 litre bottles of water and a huge bottle of diet coke on stage ready for the guys during the show and plenty coffee to keep us alive after the 4:00pm soundcheck . The gig went amazingly, and as you would expect the guys blew the roof off of the place, while still keeping the sound below 95 decibels, that’s right. there was a giant decibel meter staring the guys in the face through the gig and if it hit the 95 mark.. out goes all the electric, but the crowd was great, so great infact the guys where asked to continue playing long after the gig ended and of course they did. It was great to hear the crowd actually asking for original songs like “No Secret” and “Our World” which they had been viewing on the youtube page before we arrived.

So with that the night had came to an end and we made our way home to Bill’s place… with a very drunken shaggy who enjoyed some dancing with the locals (if you can call it dancing) and kebabs and guitars in hand. Time to hit the sack and a job well done.

Day 3 – How do I say that hotel’s name?

So our third day in Switzerland had arrived and we popped up around 10am to the sound of hells bells by AC/DC, oh wait.. it was just the huge church outside our window that had been gonging all night long. Thanks for that you crazy bell shakers. We headed down to our favourite kebab shop just outside the appartment (or kebap as they say here) to find new owners and a whole new layout in there since the last tour. But we thought we’d give them the benefit of the doubt and ordered after many “ehh…engleesh?” “anglais yes” “we are ENGLISH” then pointed at the menu and made a mhmmmm noise for each thing we wanted. Im sure at some point they mumbled pirate under their breath to while serving derek his Kebab wrap. I had a little donner box (pleased it was spelt donner and not Donna) which was just a meaty box of goodness.(kinda the same as the Donna Box) and we filled our boots then headed down to Billys Bar. The amazing ,fantastic, brtitish pub looking Legends in Luzern and winner of the Best of British Pubs in Switzerland in the Telegraph in 2010.We Drank some more coffee then off to check in at the Hotel where the gig was being held.

Holy Cow BATMAN!! Their gig tonight was at the Hotel Scweifhsjdjcnoffen (I’ll maybe correct that with the right name later as we cant even say it so i think a copy and paste might be the best idea) This place was amazing and one of the biggest hotels ive seen and it also faces the Lake Luzern right in the middle of town. Manuel took our bags from us at reception and we jumped in the lift. Well Derek didnt as he doesnt do lifts but Manwell insisted on pulling him in. Derek was having none of it and set of on the stairs four flights up on the biggest staircase youve ever seen.

The porter let shaggy in his room ,showed him how the door worked and then placed shaggys bags on a baggage holder thing? At which point manwell stuck his hand out to shaggy for a tip we think. Shaggy did the right thing and shuck his hand instead and sent him out the door to dereks room, oops. With the eventful day over it was tine for the gig, the guys were set up to play in a huge hall with a bar in the centre but even with all of this room it was still amazingly crowded. Before the gig the guys and myself were treated to a meal at the hotel, the food was fit for a king, and I’m sure we turned a few heads as we sat at the best table got an awesome meal and walked off without paying…When the guys started to play the crowd were won over almost instantly, while the gig ran on Mark Chesterfield the tour agent was hosting a whisky tasting table that proved to be very popular with the crowd. as the gig came to an end  I Packed away the camera and went outside to see how Shaggy was doing…He was laying over a table in pain, it turns out he had opened the door and stubbed his foot on the first step causing our ‘king of balance’ Shaggy to fall down and flip the table, what a legend… after a bit mingling with the good people after the show we decided to head out for a drink with Bill,Andrea and someone who i cant remember his name.. (lets call him Schmeagal for now) We headed into the Irish bar where we had a coffee at 2am apart from shaggy who was enjoying the Free Beer and had to carry on with it. He disapeared to the toilet upstairs and didnt come back for over an hour… he went out for a smoke on the roftop where he met Harry Potthead who said he was a musician too.. turned out he was a Rapper and shaggys new freind. So from then on shaggy was called MC Hammer for the rest of the night.Its so strange seeing everyone in the bars just smoking pott on the balconys and making joints.We headed off to a sports bar for one more drinky then once again as the night came to an end, we headed home for the night, lucky for the guys they where able to stay in the five start hotel that I’m still unable to spell or pronounce, let’s go with “Scweifhsjdjcnoffen”…while I had to head back to Bills pad. After a good night of sleep we where ready for the next chapter of our adventure, heading into the  mountians to Grindlewald @ Spinners Bar. Here we gooooooo!!!

Student Grant is signing out and will be with you with the next part of the adventure very soon!! I love this life!!

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100 gigs in 100 days

May 30, 2011

The 100 gigs in 100 days Tour was a long time in the thinking. When we were busking for presents on christsmas in 2008 someone asked if we could help raise money and awareness for a charity we knew nothing about and when asking other people we found nobody knew about Grace House and that these buildings needed built and over £4 million a year was needed to keep each one alive and running.

Keeping it short, a few things were tried to see how it would go and if anyone would join the mission. The mission was to help raise money and awareness to help get built a childrens’ hospice in every county in the UK.

We Steal Flyers were always going to be touring and playing over 250 gigs a year so reaching thousands and thousands of people was never going to be hard.

A 12 hour gig was the first and it was ran as an open mic night to involve more people and players then12 hours a day for a week, went pretty well.
Then came10 hours a day for 10 days which went pretty well then the 30 gigs in 30 days, started and ended very well.

September was when the plans started for the 100 gigs in 100 days when the 30 gigs in 30 days were still going, all we had to do was tell the others.

100 gigs took 4 months to plan and book. The dates were still not completely filled when the gigs started. BlogTV saved the day giving us a dontation of a years free pro account and front page online playing and coverage to between 300 and 700 people viewers every tuesday needed and when a few of the gigs pulled out, which sadly happened over a dozen times we dived into BlogTV again to keep the ball rolling.

Playing so many gigs to so many people was going to let so many people know about the whole idea and more people would get involved. No venue too big or too small and even a week in Switzerland playing in the alps because this is what We Steal Flyers do.

There is a place where a musician goes to perform to people and do it well, a place in the mind and is mostly called The Zone. This was the place we stayed for the whole 100 days and we travelled thousands of miles, kept everythign running, played to 5 people or played to hundreds and always performed the best we could do and always with a smile.

This could have have been draining and of course was to some degree and also illness comes and goes as alway but we had 4 months to prepare and almost 4 months to play. A musician wants to play and play lots, so this is what we did and we had an amazing adventure with so many people joining us along the way leaving nothing at all to complain about. A speaker blew up and the car needed a good fixing but all was sorted with good help.

Names can not be named or venues as some people and venues would be left out maybe by mistake and this is not right to do.From Northumberland, Newcastle, South Shields, North Shields, Morpeth,
Alnwick, Seaham, Yorkshire, Switzerland and more places including BlogTV,Xbox gigs and Second Life gigs online it was so much fun and rewarding and most of all worth doing.

The money raised was great but mostly this is so people know things can be done and we can all do it, hope is important and this was what most people said to us on the way.

Amongst the three of us (Derek,Shaggy and of course Mel) we booked and toured it all, we all had our roles and we all played them well.We know that wherever you met us and whoever you are you know that you did and we are ever thankful as are the families we have never met. They need our support and we gave them all we could.Every gig played we sold raffles and raised a little more as we went.
We will be teaching players as we go how to run a night and one day every one of them will play a gig at one time and all of us will be raising money to help have a charity in the uk.

This way it is all fun for everyone and something magical happens when people come together, its like we are all notes and when we come together we are a powerful song that can change everything.

We are doing more missions,and we are planning the next already..

See you somewhere & Happy everything

The We Steal Flyers Team!!!