Waaaaaaaa, so much news, where to start? With some general snippets of good news I think! First of all I had another play on Radio 2 this weekend - my single "Tilly’s Song" on Clare Balding’s “Good Morning Sunday show”. I also had a couple of tracks from “Red & Gold" featured on a Dutch Radio Show thanks to Peter Hodzelmans. Then I found out the 2 songs I entered into the UK Songwriting Contest both made the semi-finals - a good way to start a Sunday morning!
The next thing to say is thank you so much to everybody who has already got involved in my crowd-funding project for album number 2 - we’re almost at a hundred preorders so far which is fantastic. If you haven’t yet had a look at what’s on offer, head over to http://www.hattiebriggs.co.uk/2nd-album for the full list.
It’s suddenly November, what?! I swear it was Summer last time I looked. And it’s been really warm the whole time we’ve been in Holland, which has been fantastic for sight-seeing. I hope you have been sunning yourselves wherever you are. Since you last heard from me I’ve been all over the place gigging and seeing some new and amazing places. The first of the second batch of gigs was at Cafe Swaf in beautiful Hoorn in the North West of Holland. This gig was honestly hilarious. Despite being called a “Café” the venue was most certainly a bar. On arriving I was more than a little worried about how the gig was going to go I must admit. A noisy bar, an ancient sound system, a tiny stage right next to the loos… you can understand why I had doubts. Thank goodness Dan Cassidy was there to help me get the sound to a bearable mix, I would have been lost without him! There is much more to tell of this story. I should mention that it was the bar owner’s birthday that night, so most of the punters were his friends and family who pretty much filled the place. Add to that the fact that they were all mourning the death of the bar owner’s brother in law, and you get a pretty confusing mix of emotions for a party. And I was the entertainment, no pressure! And it gets weirder. You can imagine my surprise when the guy working behind the bar comes up to the stage before the start of the gig and removes the doors from the loos so that they won’t bang during the performance. After that I had to make sure I didn’t look to my right straight into the men's room, which people were still using during the gig (they had to walk past me on the stage to go in there)! As often happens, when you are prepared for the worst, things actually turn out better than you could have ever hoped. Despite all of the strange things I have described the gig turned out to be a success. The audience were respectful, enthusiastic, and joined in with covers and original songs alike! They even bought a whole load of CDs and vinyl from me at the end. The highlight of the evening had to be when a fairly drunk Nico, the bar owner, joined me on stage for a tearful (on his part) rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song”.
After the gig we headed off to our B&B just a few miles from Hoorn. The lovely couple who owned the place had three beautiful Leonburgers and as you know I love dogs so I was in heaven. We took them for a walk the next morning and then went for a long bicycle ride around the coast in the sunshine. It was so glorious that we stayed an extra night and headed back into the Hoorn the next day for more of an explore. A beautiful city with lots of old architecture, a lovely square and walks along the water. Working holidays are the best!
Then it was back to Zoetermeer for a last minute extra gig, but on our way south we stopped off in beautiful Utrecht for a night. We did a most enjoyable canal tour as recommended and wandered through the winding back streets with all the lovely shops.
My next gig was back up north in Alkmaar and as we had most of the day free we visited the beach at Bergen an Zee (basically the West Wittering of the Netherlands), which was stunning. Huge dunes and proper sand (not that pebbly rubbish) stretching for miles into the distance - wonderful! After having a picnic and stretching our legs we made the short car journey to Alkmaar and I found some awesome shoes before we set up at the venue.
The venue was called Koffehuis and was a very cosy café/restaurant as you’d expect. The food was delicious, the sound was great and the audience was warm and smiley. All good! Crikey there’s so much to say! I have loads more news from the past week, but this update is already so long that I think I’d better do Volume 2 in a couple of days time, by which time there’ll be even more news!
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