By Caleb…

Written by neil on 10 April, 2008 in Touring with no comments.

I have just finished reading what Neil has written about our adventures in Europe and thought it about time I finally do as asked and add some of my own thoughts to the blog – Neil,if you are reading this, the inadequacy I feel in even trying to write anything next to you is overwhelming.I sit at work (clearly not working) and think that all I have now are the memories of the people, the travel and most of all the music. I also sit and wait for my couch surfing registration email so that I may keep in touch with all the people with whom I shared a beer and song over the last few days.

Thinking back to when this tour was first mentioned, I remember feeling that it would be a nice idea but was unlikely to actually happen – So many good ideas get lost in the monotony of everyday life.  However, behind the scenes and without my knowledge work was being done to bring it all together and make it happen and one day it was reality.  I still don’t think I believed is was real until the tour bus pulled away and we waved goodbye to our loved ones.

The travelling has been good.  The friends I knew I had in the band have now become even more important to me.  There are not a whole lot of people you can spend 9 days on a small bus with and still be laughing but we did it and with barely a crossed word or a frown between us.  I was going to write that this type of camaraderie is down to tolerance but now that think about it I actually believe it is more likely down to trust. Trust that they will be there when you need them, trust that they will be honest with you – both when you have slipped up and also when they have done something stupid themselves.   It is this that made the trip special in the first place.  New friends made along the way are the icing on the already ample cake.

The gigs were simply spectacular.  One thing about the layers is that we love to play – we don’t always do it to the best of our ability but we don’t quit. Even over the space of our last four gigs we have moved on furlongs as a band.  I truly look forward to our next UK gig where we can put what we have learned to good use and wow a different crowd.  Utrecht lit the fuse of an explosive tour and despite the last minute rush, everything came together for The Layers European debut.  The musicianship we were introduced to in Moira was stunning and at first I thought we might scare the crowds away with our bumbling UK sound.  I could not have been more wrong.  The nerves soon slipped away and The layers were playing Europe !!

Bach in Vienna was a step up again.  The same collection of outstanding musicians in a deeply atmospheric venue all backed by a responsive and eager crowd.  No nerves this time. More space and a chance to rock Vienna to it’s core which, in my opinion, we did.

Rupert hurting his back was a dreadful blow and an unexpected early conclusion to his tour.  Speaking with him on the phone the day after he arrived home broke my heart – I don’t think I have ever been confronted with such sadness in my life.

The Pardubice gig was overshadowed by the fact that we were only three quarters of where we should have been and had Duke not stepped up and learnt the songs I don’t think we would have been so well received.  I don’t think it could have been any better with a stand in drummer – the only way we could have topped it would have been by having Roo with us.  In the end though we managed to do what Rupert has been urging us to do for months now and we put on a show for the crowd.  That one was for you, Roo.

And finally, the long trip home – plenty of time to think and reflect and get our thoughts in order – plenty of time but not really enough.  Thoughts of friends we may not see for a long time to come, memories of crowds dancing and cheering and of stages oozing talent.

I really only have one last thing to write.  These blogs have, up until now, been exclusively written by Neil and he praises us and encourages and often insults us (i will assume in jest) but he seldom receives the praise he himself deserves.  So, Neil, for you energy and commitment, your boundless talent and endless humour, your beautiful writing both here and in our songs; for the music you write and the passion with which you perform it, we thank you.

D’yer want some soup?

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