Good evening You,
I hope you’re snuggled up in front of the fire with glass of wine in hand, the better to enjoy my ramblings. You’d better get comfy as I’ve got loads to tell you.
I’m now back in the UK and have had time to reflect on the Netherlands tour - and what a tour it was! I’ll start by filling you in with the last half of the tour after we visited Hoge Veluwe National Park. To cut a very long story short:
We headed to Amsterdam, visited the Rijks Museum, the Van Gogh Museum (my favourite), and saw the new James Bond movie (enjoyable but my eyes physically hurt afterwards from taking in all the action). I had 2 gigs in the big city - Checkpoint Charlie (intimate but great sound and lovely people), and Cafe Soundgarden (friendly pub atmosphere).
Then it was onto a house concert in Rotterdam, shared with Dutch/Polish Duo Teddy Jr - another packed living room and amazing hospitality! Next was a quick stopover in Leiden where I played a cheeky instore at Velvet Music Records then drove south to Middelburg for house gig number 4. This was a corker of a gig in a beautiful part of the world - I hope I get to go back!
On the Monday I snuck in an extra gig in Amsterdam at The Waterhole before popping down the road to Haarlem, where I gigged at Café Briljant, met the most friendly lovebird called Fritz at the B&B, and also caught up on all the Downton Abbey I’d missed. Fritz wasn’t at all shy as you can see.
My last 3 gigs were back in Amsterdam (I know the place pretty well by now). First was a packed out house gig, then the best instore ever at Concerto Records Store, and then…
...we were robbed. Yes you did read correctly - robbed. We got back to our car on the last day of the tour, and the back right window was smashed in, glass everywhere and nothing in the car except my old walking boots. I was due to play a gig that evening, so I'd had all of my musical kit in the car - keyboard, guitar, ukulele, 2 amps - you get the idea, even our passports were gone from the glove compartment, and my beautiful new trainers. In hindsight I guess it was foolish to leave the stuff in the car, but we were parked on a main street in the middle of the day and most things in there were pretty heavy and awkward for a thief to carry off (or so we thought). So anyway, after talking to the cafe next door to find out what happened (they didn’t really know much except that the police had been there earlier in the day), and sitting in shocked silence for a few minutes, we realised that before heading to the police station we needed to go to the venue (500 yards down the road) and tell them that I couldn’t play the gig.
At that point there was a large hollow area where my heart had been and I was feeling like the whole tour had been ruined. It was a huge shock therefore when we arrived at the venue, Pompstation, and having seen us, the venue manager handed over our passports and pointed to the stage in the corner of the room. Everything that had been in the car was piled up on the stage, including my beautiful red trainers. Confused.com! How had all of our stuff miraculously appeared at the venue? Well, it turned out that while the car was being broken into, a heroic neighbour had called the police and gone out to the street to chase off the robbers. The police then arrived and didn’t want to leave all the expensive equipment in the car when the window was smashed, but they didn’t have our contact details to call us.
Luckily they had found some of my CDs in the car, looked me up online, and found out that I was playing a gig in Amsterdam that night. Therefore after emptying the car of all valuables (why my walking boots weren’t important to them I couldn’t say), they drove the whole lot to the venue and left it there for safe keeping! How unbelievable helpful and above the call of duty was that! You can imagine my relief - I actually broke down and sobbed for a couple of minutes (very unlike me), before pulling myself together, having a cup of tea (obviously), and setting up for the gig. It was an eventful final day for sure, and for the first time I was really looking forward to getting home.
We got home without a hitch and after one day of recovering I headed down to Cardiff to shoot the music video for my Christmas single “Turn On the Lights”. This will be the first time that I’m not actually in my own music video. Instead we have 2 fantastic actresses playing a mother and daughter separated by thousands of miles around Christmas time. Sharon Morgan is a Welsh BAFTA winner and Hollie Burrows is an up-and-coming star of the future. I’m so chuffed that they wanted to get involved and I can’t wait to show you the video, which will be out in the fist week of December - watch this space!
My last bits of news concern my final few gigs of the year and the 2nd album campaign. This weekend will be a busy one!
Friday 27th Nov - I’m supporting Stornoway at Gloucester Guildhall.
I’ll have Asha with me on cello and backing vocals and will also be joined by Stornaway’s bassist Oli Steadman for a couple of tunes. Can’t wait!
Tickets here - http://venues.gloucester.gov.uk/Freetime/Guildhall/listings/music/Stornoway2015.aspx
Sunday 29th Nov - Folk at the Froize, Chillesford, Suffolk.
I’ll be accompanied by Asha on cello and backing vocals.
Tickets include a whole load of delicious Tapas! 01394 450282 :-)
Monday 30th Nov - The Bicycle Shop Cafe, Norwich.
Duo with Asha for this one too.
Last few tickets - https://ueatickets.ticketabc.com/events/hattie-briggs/
Thursday 17th Dec - Maggie’s Christmas Carol Concert, Christ Church, Cheltenham.
I’ll be performing my Christmas single with the Maggie’s choir and trumpets from the Flower’s Band.
Don’t miss it - https://regonline.activeeurope.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1645878
Saturday 19th Dec - I’ll be supporting "Said The Maiden" at Bristol Folk House - 0117 926 2987.
Before I go, I’d like to say thank you again to those who have helped crowd-fund my 2nd album so far.
We’re up to 92 pre-orderers!
To find out what’s on offer head over to http://www.hattiebriggs.co.uk/2nd-album - every little helps!
I think that’s enough excitement for one sitting. You’ll hear from me again next week :-)
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