I’m a little weary this morning - I should have had an early night last night but couldn’t resist the urge to play at open mics on consecutive evenings in two different countries.
Yes, I visited Utrecht to meet Henk and all the other guys that he’s recruited over there to publicise the CouchSurfing Musicians party gigs; where we’ll be going to play in April. May I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Henk, Peter and all of the other people who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I had a great time and look forward to seeing you all again in April.
So what have we learned from this mini-adventure?
Firstly, the guys over at Gigswap HQ are working their asses off to produce publicity material and are diong everything that they can to make the gigs a huge success. I’m really excited about the whole thing and feel so much more confident about the venture now that I’ve met everyone.
Secondly that Utrecht is a lovely little city - a real gem. There are some lovely old building, canals, friendly people, welcoming bars… I felt immediately at home. Not only that but then I was privileged to be able to come and play some music at an acoustic stage in a little bar in the suburbs of the city - I met a fantastic group of people and heard a wonderful, eclectic set of music - the only common theme was excellent musicianship. It’s great to see grass-roots level music so vibrant.
Lastly I have to comment on the ‘grass is always greener’ thing that we all get when we travel. I heard a few people over in Utrecht say that they’d rather be somewhere else, preferred other places, weren’t happy (although everyone I met seemed pretty relaxed and happy…). There were a lot of things that I noticed made me feel envious, though. Everything was so clean in Utrecht; the public transport is sparkling, clean, efficient and very cheap. The pace of life seemed different: purposeful but relaxed. There was very little traffic congestion (one thing that we are lucky enough to share in Ciren!). And it has to be said that the Dutch look great - slim, healthy and well turned-out. It really struck home how much we’re turning into the US over here; the contrast was obvious even as soon as I walked through Stanstead - back to the land of obesity, slovenliness and gluttony.
Roll on April and the Layers European tour. Very, very excited.