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UK Tour Highlights!

Nov 9 | Posted by: Rebecca Loebe |

Oops! Haven’t written on the blog for 5 months. I was really feeling it in the spring, then summer and fall came and things got extra busy. A little touring over the summer, but mostly I got wrapped up launching into a new album project (which I am very excited about!). Then suddenly it was September and I was traveling constantly… Because I have some actual work that I am procrastinating on, I just counted and I have been on the road 55 days since September 1. There’s some trivia for you!

This travel season is coming to a close, crescendoing with a 16 day tour of the United Kingdom. It’s my first time playing music over here and I’ve gotten to perform in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This trip has been incredibly fun with loads of inspiration along way (for example: I’m inspired to use the word “loads,” more often, because the Brits sound so cool when they do it). It’s quite cold and windy in Edinburgh at the moment and I’m having a lot loads of fun playing laptop battleship with the fantastically talented Kat Healy at her snuggly kitchen table. So I thought now would be a good time to share some recent highlights:

+ The day I arrived, Martyn Joseph and Justine drove me into Wales. The weather was beautiful - sunny with bright blue skies, lush green rolling hills - just long enough for them to laugh and say “It’s always like this in the UK!” Then it started raining…

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+ Then we saw a rainbow!

 

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(I did not get a picture of the actual rainbow)

+ I opened a short run of theater shows for Martyn and it was an absolute blast. These shows were my whole excuse for booking the tour and they were totally dreamy. Beautiful venues, big, juicy audiences full of super nice people, lots of fun all around.

 

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At The Acorn in Penzance. Photo by David Wheeler!


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I asked the audience in Pontardawe to teach me how to say something in Welsh, and this little cutie in the front row said “croeso i cymru,” which means ‘Welcome to Wales!’. Thank you Daniel!

+ During soundcheck one day, Martyn let me scope out his pedalboard. After showing me all the gear we ran my guitar through his setup and WHOA. It’s like the difference between black and white and technicolor. I definitely know what I’m going to become obsessed with when I get home…Look out for my new rig, sometime in 2016!

+ I got to scope out a wedding venue with two lovebirds I was traveling with. Although I won’t be at the ceremony, it really meant a lot to me to see the beautiful property on which it will take place. Hint: It looks a lot like a mini Downton Abbey.

 

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+ Martyn’s audio tech Rowan drives a big white van from gig to gig, arrives early and sets up all the gear. Bestill my beating heart. He kept offering to let me ride with him in “The Funmobile!” because I think he gets kind of bored driving by himself all the time. Over the weekend I did end up riding with him because we were staying in a different hotel than our compadres. On our drives on Saturday and Sunday he lived up to his word and we took fun detours on both drives. I got to see Dartmoor National Park and a lovely pebble beach on the English Chanel. 

 

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Rowan has a thick, dignified British accent and I couldn’t not for the life of me understand where he wanted to take me. “Mwuuueerrrrrrr” he said. 

“What?” I asked. 

Slowly and a little louder, he said “Mwwwwuuuuuerrrrrrr!” 

Again, “Huh?” from me. Finally, exasperated, he asked if I had ever read The Hounds of Baskerville. “Oh!” I shouted. “Moor! Let loose the hounds!”


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+ In London I had a pint in a pub that’s been continuously operating since 1216 AD! I also got to catch up with a friend from college that I haven’t seen in 8 years. So so nice.

+ Speaking of old, I slept in a home that was built in the 1400’s! My room was in the “new wing,” circa 1700. And my gig was in the candyshop downstairs. It was sweet! (SORRY! Couldn’t resist).

 

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This is my favorite picture of that home. When they showed me around, they explained that all of the floors and ceilings are a little uneven, not because the ground has sank beneath it (which everyone assumes) but because the beams that the house was built on were bought from a wooden ship decommissioned sometime in the 15th century, and were each a little curved. I like to think it was a pirate ship. The whole house had a bit of a funhouse feel, with sloping floors and curved ceilings and nary a right angle to be found. 

+ I stood on a sidewalk with three friends in London, waiting to get into an Indian restaurant that they promised was worth the two hour wait (it was). One of them wandered off and came back with a bottle of wine and four paper cups. The restaurant staff was perplexed but amused by our self-service on the sidewalk.

+ Books: On the way over I read “The Martian,” which had been recommended to me by a few people before Ellis Paul lent me his copy. I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I blamed it for my jetlag for the first couple of days, because I stayed up til almost 5 am reading it the night after I arrived. Then on my last day, Martyn gave me a sweetly inscribed copy of “How Green Was My Valley,” a beautiful novel set in Wales (sidenote: I have no idea how he had time to track that down while I was there, our days together were so super busy!). I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s been a mesmerizing companion on all of my train rides so far. The two books couldn’t be more different from each other in terms of prose or subject matter, but I recommend them both thoroughly. 

 

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That’s it for now, more soon!
xoxo
~becca

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