I woke up in Nijmegen on Monday morning feeling pretty refreshed. I walk downstairs and take a shower. Afterwards I drink tea in the living room with Linda who had kindly let me have her room. Will is the next to arise. I said that I’ll make breakfast for everyone. So me and Will headed to the local store to pick up supplies. Some nice bread, Eggs, Bacon, Spring Onion, and some cheese but I forget to bring the Tomatoes. No one notices and everyone enjoys the breakfast. I nominate Joel to wash up. After breakfast we all head into the city centre where we all break up. Me and Dave grab a milkshake and chill out in Kronenburger park. We all meet back at the previous nights venue at 3pm to load up the van. There’s also a little time for some pinball.
When we arrived at the next venue in Utrecht we are all surprised. There is a dense piece of woodland with a community carved out. It’s amazing. Very pretty and quite magical. Matilda’s Scoundrels who are also playing tonight are equally mesmerised by the surroundings. Those guys have turned up with tents whilst we are shown to our little cabin in the woods. This is so much fun.
Dempsey and Joel head off into Utrecht Centre as they are sitting out of tonight’s show because it will be just Me and Will playing acoustic. We are served a lovely meal. Onion and Garlic Soep followed by stampot. The stage area is getting pretty busy. Lots of people are turning up. People are in very high spirits. It’s a great turn out for a Monday night. We are playing totally unplugged tonight no microphones no amps. People listen intently while me and Will smash through our set. We start off slow and I’m unsure if the crowd like us. By the end of the set they are all singing along and clapping and very happy.
Next up was Bettie Akkemaai and she played her heart out. I’m standing with Matilda’s Scoundrels and they love her set. Me, Will, and Dave give each other a nod and a wink and decide to go into full on party mode. Let’s break out the good stuff. Whiskey, Rum, whatever let’s go for it tonight. It’s not often you get to party in the woods.
Maltidas Scoundrels were next up and bloody brilliant. Energetic six-piece folk punk. Sea shanty type music that’s well fitting for the makeshift boat stage. Even the captain of the evening brings us some grog made from an old pirate recipe. Incredible. Even the usual reserved Will Grinder is dancing away.
After the gig someone starts a fire and we all sit by it talking. It’s beautiful. There’s definitely a little bond forming between all the musicians tonight. Lots of hugs and lots of love. At around 4am a very nice gentleman approaches me and Will and asks us if we’d like a threesome in the woods. We thank the man for the very kind offer and politely decline. Me and Will had run out of beer hours ago, and Whiskey, and Rum. The captain gives me the last of the grog and asks if I’ll help her at the bar finding more alcohol. There was nothing left apart from a box of Rosè wine. Someone’s gotta drink it I suppose. It’s better than nothing.
Then next morning is a blur. I stagger about looking for breakfast but instead decide to take a walk along a canal. On the way back I stop for a baguette and something to drink. When I get back to the cabin there’s a message on my phone informing us that tonight’s show is cancelled. Fuck. Although it’s probably a blessing. I’m in no real state to be playing a gig anyway. What are we going to do. The group decides that going to Wednesday venue in Amsterdam a day earlier might be the best option. I decide to go in a different direction. I instead go to Antwerp to have a dinner date with the lady I met in Beerse on Friday. Bettie Akkemaai decides to go home to Rotterdam and joins me on the train. In the band group chat later it appears Dempsey went to Den Haag. Dave pottered around Amsterdam on his own and Joel grazed his knee. Poor Jorl.
I arrived in Antwerp at around 5pm and I take the bus to Beerse. I get picked up by Nikki who takes me to her place to shower before eating. Our table was booked for 7.30pm at a Japanese Restaurant in Turnhout. The food was delicious and I really enjoy her company. We both ate so much food. What a lovely evening. I hope to see her again before the tour ends.