Friday, March 30, 2012

Girls with Guitars: The Gossip, the excitement, the exhaustion, the drama, and more

Wow, the second leg of the 'More Girls With Guitars' tour is almost over. It has been a great tour but it has also been exhausting and has certainly had it's emotional ups and downs. Davide Floreno (Erja Lyytinen's sideman guitarist) has joined us as tour manager, merch man and driver and of course our special guest in the encores each night.

We started out in Denmark for the first five shows and then flew to Finland. The Danish venues were good fun and we stayed in some beautiful towns. I really enjoyed running in the sunshine by the ocean one morning in Aalborg the day after our show at Cafe Frederiksberg. It was beautiful. Most of the venues in Finland were concert halls, and despite the fact that I'd only ever played 3 shows in Finland before this year we had some lovely big crowds. Also, the award for best food on the tour goes to the Thai restaurant in Helsinki; thank you Davide for taking us!

As you probably figured out from my last blog, Samantha and Denis are the practical jokers on the tour. I usually try my best to stay out of the joking which involves many horrible photo's of band members asleep in the van posted on facebook. Sam got the ultimate revenge on Denis on this leg of the tour though; she signed him up to a sex website for gay men and made him a profile as 'Dirty Denis' stating that he was a sex slave who needed to be punished for not practicing his paradiddles'. Oh my goodness, she crossed the line this time! Denis did not find it funny when he started receiving emails from men who wanted to dominate him. The profile has now been deleted and as far as I know Dirty Denis has forgiven her.

Denis had some bad news from home while we were touring in Finland. He told us he was going to have to leave the tour after our upcoming gig in Gottingen. This was a real shame and didn't leave us with much time to find a replacement. Good fortune was on our side though when I contacted an old friend of mine 'Martin Wright' who drummed, sang and produced for The Rolling Stones 'Ronnie Wood'. We were over the moon when Martin agreed to come to our rescue and with only a few days notice he learnt all our songs and flew in to Germany to meet us.

In the meantime, Sam, Vicky, Denis, Davide and I caught an early flight from Finland to Norway. Having played a late gig in Jarvenpaa the night before we had only had 2 hours sleep and were exhausted. When we arrived at our hotel in Oslo it was still breakfast time and we were told we had to wait a few hours before we could check into our rooms. This was bad news because that day we had two gigs ahead of us, one in Oslo in the afternoon and one in Fetsund that evening. It was already feeling like a very long day and we were all emotional and tired. On top of that, I had some heartbreaking news that one of the orphans I love in Kenya had passed away. I cried myself to sleep on the sofa in the hotel lobby for an hour and then we had to head out to soundcheck for our afternoon gig. The two shows were actually really great; good audiences and the promoters took great care of us. Then, after the second gig of the day we had a late night followed by another very early morning involving a flight back to Copenhagen followed by a seven hour drive to pick up Martin Wright from a German airport. Sam was upset in the van, her poor dog Ginger had died. It really felt like the tour had hit a low point and emotionally we needed a new start. That evening that Martin arrived we said bye bye to Denis who drove home the following morning.

Our first gig with Martin was in Gottingen, Germany. He did a great job. It was really cool for us to play 'Bitch' a Rolling Stones song that we recorded on our Girls With Guitars album with Martin who has performed with both Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger. Martin is really down to earth, sweet and humble and so when you dig and get him talking about all the things he's done in his career and people he's worked with it's just amazing to hear his stories.

After Gottingen we headed to Vienna, Austria. That was a great show and Vienna is one of my favourite cities. Chris Filmore and Meena Cryle (Ruf Records) came out to see us play and Chris and Davide joined us on stage for out encore of Ray Charles' 'Night and Day'. We were just jamming out the song but it felt so good we have played it every night since. On the morning of the show, Martin, Vicky and I took a long walk to the palace and it's gardens in the sunshine. I didn't want to leave, it was just beautiful. Early the next morning before we left Vienna I walked back to the palace to explore some more. I hope I can go back there again soon.

All of our Austrian gigs were in spectacular places with snow topped mountains. Then we had a long drive to Luxembourg, another of my favourite cities, to play at Sang & Klang. That was another really fun show with a really awesome, packed audience. It was great to see my friend Jimmy in Luxembourg too. I'll be back in Luxembourg later this Summer with my own band at The Abbaye.

On March 24th we played one of my most favourite venues 'Muhle Hunziken'. Its hard to explain what this Swiss venue is like; you really have to visit it for yourself, but i shall try: It's like walking into a Grimm's Fairytale. It's like disneyland gone wrong in a cool and spookey way. There's memorabilia and strange antiques and statues everywhere and the place has so much character. The concert was sold out and the audience were a real mixture of men and women, young and old. For me, that was our best performance of the tour so far. We were really in the zone that night and it was so much fun.

The next day we drove from Switzerland to Salzburg, Austria. It was a long drive and I realised I was starting to get sick. My throat hurt and I was so tired. In Salzburg, Martin bought me some ginger and garlic and insisted that if I ate cloves of raw garlic it'd make me feel better. It really worked. So I apologise to anyone who has been near me recently; i know I smell of Garlic but its really keeping me going and helping my voice each night. Now Vicky is sick too and she's joined me with the Garlic eating... Davide doesn't like the van smelling of garlic but I think that's because he is secretly a vampire... He does actually look like a lovable vampire and he kind of talks like a vampire too.

Basel Blues Festival, Switzerland was another highlight of the tour. What a fantastic city. I especially enjoyed jogging by the riverside. Eden Brent opened for us at a fantastic concert hall venue in the city centre. The sound system at that gig was just magical. As a singer, I just love it when the sound system and the natural acoustics of the roomlose yourself in the music; that's what that night was like for me. The next day we all caught trams around the city and went exploring, had cappachino's in the sunshine and did some shopping before driving to our next venue. It felt like we were on holiday; good times!

Tonight we play at The Moonwalker in Aarburg Switzerland. I have played this club a few times before and so I know it'll be a great gig. Tomorrow is the last gig of the European leg in Dietkon and then we fly home. We've been on the road for about a month now and so I am looking forward to seeing friends and family at home but also I'm sad that it's coming to an end so quickly. I love touring with these guys; they've become like family to me.

Big Thank You to all the fans who have come out to support our live show and have bought our CD's. We really appreciate the support you give us and hope you've enjoyed our shows as much as we have enjoyed performing for you. Also a very big thank you to those of you who have supported my projects in Kenya. The money you have put in my donation box will make a big difference to children living in awful poverty in Embu. These children love school, and with your donations we can make sure they have pens, paper, books, water, sports equipment, arts equipment, musical instruments and tuition, and so on... all the things we take for granted in the west that these children would not have without your support. Thank you!



Friday, February 17, 2012

The end of the first leg.. The Official DVD.. and More!

I'm sat at the airport in Frankfurt with Vicky. We have a 5 hour wait and then we fly home to England. The first leg of the tour has been really fantastic but I can't wait to be home!

Last night we played a gig at The Cotton Club in Kaiserslautern. It was a fantastic show... what a great venue; I hope I can come back with my own band! I was feeling a little bit down before the show; I was having a silly girly moment of looking in the mirror and wishing my nose wasn't so big (I have my dads nose), and my chin wasn't so round. I was wishing i'd achieved more with my life and also wishing that I could do more for my kids in Kenya. I know i'm not supposed to have favourites, but their are a select few kids in Kenya who I love so much I feel as if my heart might burst out of my chest just thinking about them. I wish I could give these kids the world, you know. If It was up to me, they would be living the life of princesses in a castle with chocolate flowing rivers and candy growing on trees; not a life of hardwork, hunger, sickness and struggle to survive. I just wish I could bring them home with me, but obviously that is not the answer; the solution is to make sure they live in a safe place with access to food and water and that they have a good education so they may grow up to escape poverty.

After the show, when I came over to our merchandise stalls to sell CD's, I noticed next to my collection box was a huge jar of money. Thomas Ruf (the head of our record label who came on the tour with us to sell our CD's each night) told me that a good looking, shy, young man had left it there for me for my charity. I begged Thomas to point out to me who had donated the money so that I could thank them and after I had finished signing Cd's, fortunately the kind man was still hanging around. Oh my goodness, he was so cute looking and intelligent and lovely. He had driven 100 miles to see us play and to give me that gift for my babies in Kenya. When i'd hugged him goodbye and went back stage, I opened the jar and I was overwhelmed by his generosity. I was so happy I cried. So, Thank you , thank you, thank you.. You made my day!

Since I last wrote this blog we have done a lot. We all got colds which was worrying, but on the night of our DVD recording in Worpswede we were near enough recovered and it was a very fun show. Making the DVD was great. Not only did they film the show but they did a lot of filming backstage and of us visiting a record store and doing an acoustic promo performance earlier in the day. There's a lot of casual interview bits and it really gives a behind the scenes insight into the 'girls with guitars' tour as well as capturing the performance. It should be a fun DVD to watch; it was certainly fun to make it!

Sam also played more awful pranks on us and she made me believe our lovely drummer Denis was responsible. At out gig in Karlsruhe, I was about to go on stage when I realised that there was a bananna skin covering my microphone on the stage in front of the audience. When I went to put on my guitar, someone had lengthened the strap so that it reached my ankles! I thought Denis had done it, and so i took the banana skin and placed it in between his high hat symbols. He didn't realise until three songs in to the set. I felt bad after the show when I realised I had taken revenge on the wrong person and that it was Sam Fish who had started the prank! It was funny, but I'm quite a boring person and prefer a quiet and smooth tour without practical jokes. Save the rock 'n' roll for on stage! lol

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The John Lee Hooker Room, Sam's cruel jokes, and what happens if your insides fall out of your bum hole.... Here it is, the tour diary continues!

So, after Soest, we drove to one of my most favourite clubs in the world, 'The Blues Garage' in Hannover. The club is run by our friend Henry and his family. Herny also runs 'Motel California', the coolest hotel in all of Germany. All the rooms are stunning and homely and decorated with artist memorabilia. I chose my usual room there, the 'John Lee Hooker' room which has a huge carving/painting of John Lee on the wall, guitars and amps everywhere, and an organ in the corner which you're allowed to play. The show was fantastic. We had a large and passionate audience who were all up for a party, singing and clapping along from start to finish. It was a really great night.

The following day we played Museumskeller in Hannover. The venue is like an underground cave which is pretty cool and again the place was packed. It was an interesting night... I was ready to murder Sam. Thomas Ruf was rushing us out of the back stage room and onto the stage to start the show just as I realised Miss Fish had posted two of the most horrific photo's ever taken of me onto my facebook wall. One was me asleep in the van with my mouth wide open and the other was a photo I had to get a fan to remove from facebook page several months back because I appeared to have developed an extra 30 chins from somewhere. I was so embarrassed; I couldn't believe she'd be so mean (Yes, Sam Fish... Mean!) and obviously her, Vicky and Denis found the whole thing hilarious! So, I did my best to laugh at the joke even though I was struggelling to find it funny. In my panic trying to get the photo's off of facebook as Thomas was shouting at me to get on stage, I unfriended Sam as my facebook friend. Sam and I found this funny, I could never fall out with Sam for real, even when she does play harsh jokes on me. But when Sam posted on her facebook status "Dani Wilde has unfriended me", her loyal American fans didn't realise the two of us were joking and immediately turned on me. I was relieved when Sam told them it was all a big joke.

The following day was a much needed day off. I feel when i've played over eight gigs in a row my ears stop working properly and it's hard to concentrate. I spent my day off reading my Nelson Mandela Biography (I've read lots of them; he's a hero of mine), sleeping and then going out for a nice meal with the girls and Denis in the evening. Then we finished up in Sam's room eating Rolo's Chocolates and drinking her birthday Champagne. That was fun! The conversation us girls have is always hilarious. It's not sweet girls conversation, oh no... I think the topic just before I left to go to bed was that of prolapsed wombs, and what happens if the inside of your anus falls out! I think it's a musician thing, to be just a little bit disgusting at times!

Yesterday we were happy to be back at a great venue called Colos-Saal. We were all coming down with colds and having to drink plenty of multivitamin drinks but it was still a great show and I think I played some of my best guitar yet. 'Mississippi Kisses' was very fun. Today we are at a beautiful theatre 'Reithalle in Offenburg'. Big thank you to the soundmen for helping me to raise the action on my guitar with a wrench (I left my allen key at home). My big high bends sound as they are supposed to again now and I can wait to get out there and play. One hour of chilling backstage and then it's time to rock n roll! Can't wait!

Dani xxx

Friday, February 3, 2012

From Bonn to Soest!

Sorry I haven't written for a while. We've been too busy having fun :-)

Bonn was a great show. I raised lots of money for my children in Kenya, sold lots of CD's and had a great time with a wonderful audience. The day after the show in Bonn I got up early to make the most of the hotel gym, swimming pool and sauna and then we set off for one of my favourite German cities 'Stuttgart'.
I love Stuttgart. I've played there many times at two clubs: Laboritorium, and Merlin. We always have a great crowd and sell out the shows. A few years back I played a winter show in Stuttgart and the city streets were filled with Christmas Market stalls. It was magical.

We performed at Merlin and it was our best show so far in that everything really came together. We no longer had to remember how the songs go... that's all coming naturally now so we can really enjoy the music and the vibe and the audience. Like Bonn, the show was sold out and we had a big mixture of fans who come every year and new audience members too.

The next morning (Thursday 2nd Feb), Sam, Denis, Vicky and I got a tram from our hotel into the city for two hours of shopping. It was icey cold but we had a great time. I didn't buy much; Vitamins, Headache Tablets and a pretty blue flower clip for my hair. Vicky bought a cute skinny black dress and Sam bought a new curling iron to curl her hair for on stage. Poor Denis was very bored as we dragged him around womens clothes shops. He didn't buy anything.

The we were back in the van on route to last nights show in Lorch. The venue was called Musictheatre Rex. It was a nice big hall with a great sound system and lovely soundman. I had the best on stage sound of the tour last night. When I can hear everything crystal clear on stage it makes the show really enjoyable. Big thank you to our hardcore fans Analease, Thomas and Paul who showed up in the front row with their custom made Girls With Guitars Tshirts. We love you guys! Again, the show as sold out with a fantastic mix of our loyal fans and new audience memebers. We had so much fun last night. It felt like we had a real connection with the audience. Cd sales were great and that's exciting for me. I want every one to hear my new record!

After the show we were buzzing with adrenaline and acting really silly. Denis had had some Jack Daniels to drink and was on top form making us laugh. When he left the room Sam and Vicky filled each of the pockets of his bag with bananna skins. We were really giggely all the way back to the hotel wondering when we was going to look inside his bag; Slimey bananna skins everywhere. Sam was laughing so much that she fell over on the floor in the hotel lobby with all of her bags and guitar case and couldn't get back up. I don't speak french, but in the van on route back to the hotel after the show I managed to string some sentences together; "Je' Voudrais une bananne dans ma sack a doe" , and 'Une Bananne; Ce'st a' bon pour gross levre" (because at disney land, denis' lips had an allergic reaction and swelled up like balloons). At the time, Denis just though we were being crazy but when he opened his bag this morning he realised we had been making fun of him all evening. At breakfast this morning he declarded 'The war is on'... so now us girls will have to be careful as I'm sure he'll plot revennge of some sorts.

I stayed up late last night getting on top of my emails and then this morning went for a run with Denis for half an hour in the freezing cold. I felt like a frozen chicken defrosting when I had a hot shower afterwards. Today we have a short 3 hour drive to soest where we play a venue called 'Alter Schlachthof'. Hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yesterday we woke up early and it was icy cold and snowing outside. It was Sam's birthday and I felt bad that it wouldn't be very exciting for her. I had bought her some Minnie Mouse ears in Disneyland for her present but she had nothing to open on the day. We were stuck in the van for a ten hour drive across France.

The show at MAI music college in Northsea was great. We had an audience of enthusiastic music students and we only had to perform for 1 hour in the early evening which was relaxing after our journey. After Sam had performed her big guitar song 'Runaway' someone in the crowd shouted out 'Hapy Birthday' and I got the audience to sing Happy Birthday to her. After the show, Sam, Vicky and I were taken out to dinner by the staff at the college. We went to a lovely italian restaurant and had such a fun time. Jean Paul, one of the staff/Denis' friend was teaching us some incredibly rude and funny french phrases for us to say to Denis in the van the following day. We were in hysterics of laughter in the restaurant, the food was lovely, and at the end of the meal, the waiters came out with a cake and candle singing happy birthday to Sam.

After the meal, we walked in the snow back to our hotel. I spent the evening watching the BBC news on Egypt, Syria, and Afganistan which was incredibly depressing. Make Love Not War. That surely would solve all the worlds problems. That and RESPECT. Why can't we all just respect eachother and solve our problems without violence. Anyways, whilst watching the news I did some sit-ups, push-ups, running on the spot (I usually run outside with Denis for 6 Km in the mornings but it has been too icy) and then some karate kicks, blocks and punches to keep fit. We have been spending way to much time in the van and not enough time being active and that drives me crazy. And yes watch out... I know some karate ;-)

My guitarist and co-band leader Stuart Dixon emailed me this morning having confirmed us to play Burnley Blues Festival in the UK in May. That's exciting. I love Burnley and haven't played it since 2008. Big thank you to Stuie for booking it for me. Since Stu came on board working with me we have made big changes to the band, pulling in the best musicians, booking some awesome gigs, and making sure the set sounds better than ever in regards to songs and tightness and playing the new material. Stu is an awesome guitarist who has played with so many of my idols including Geno Washington and Stax artist Eddie Floyd (Knock on wood). I am so so lucky to be working with him... and did I mention he's not bad looking either!

Currently we are sat in the van, again, on route to Bonn Germany to play the Bonn Harmonie Club. I love this club. It is one of my favourites. My favourite lighting man Knut will be there to do lighting for our special show tonight. Tonight's show is special because it's all being recorded for a promotional DVD. Hope to see some of you there!

Love Dani x

Ps... Just found out that the video has been cancelled, which is a real shame but we'll still play the best show we can!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

29/02/2012 Disney and France drama


Well, playing Billy Bob's at Euro Disney was certainly a different experience but it didn't exactly go to plan. It was stressfull. Poor Vicky was feeling really sick, shivering with a temperature in the van. When we arrived, they told us that the venue was not in the actual park and so we were not allowed entry to the theme park unless we paid full price, and with only a few hours to spare between soundcheck and our performance it just wasn't worth doing. My parents met us at soundcheck which was great. I hadn't seen my mum since Christmas.

At soundcheck they insisted we used in ear monitors, which Sam and I had always wanted to try out. It did make the vocal sound crisp and lovely but it also meant that they unplugged the speakers from our amplifiers so that the guitar sound would only come though the front of house PA system and our in-ears. Unfortunately, during the show that evening, they forgot to turn my guitar on in front of house, and I played a whole song with a big guitar solo that no one could hear apart from me in my headset! Also, during the show, because the in ear monitors were not moulded to the shape of our ears, both mine and Sam's fell out onto the floor meaning that we couldn't hear anything but Denis' very loud dumming to sing and play along too. I guess playing with in ear monitors takes some adjusting too. Many great artists, like Ruf's own Ainsley Lister swear by them but I like to have my guitar amp nice and loud behind me so that everything feels big, beefy and live... so that you can hear the room and feel the vibe. It's odd rocking out to a compressed mix of what you're playing and I found that difficult.

Despite this though we did have fun. The audience were huge and wonderful and all up for a party. Sam and I wore Minnie Mouse ears. Actually I looked like Minnie Mouse from head to toe with my little red and black dress to match the mouse ears and red bow upon my head. Vicky, despite feeling ill played a great show. After the show I stayed and danced for a while at the club before heading to bed... Thanks to Berry for taking care of me; I had fun!

The next morning we had to be up bright and early to leave but then Vicky sent me a text saying that we had another hour at the hotel because our drummer Denis had been rushed to hospital. Poor Denis had an allergic reaction and his face, lips and throat had swelled up so much that he couldn't talk, hear or breath properly. We were really worried about him and relieved when a few hours later he was back at the disney hotel and was feeling much better. He did look hilarious though. You know when women have collegen implants in there lips and too much botox; he looked like that... like plastic surgery gone wrong hahahaha. Every time Sam, Vicky and I turned to look at him, even though we felt awful for him we couldn't help but laugh. I used the extra hour to go to the hotel gym and then we left for a 7 hour drive to the next venue.

Vicky was feeling a lot better today as well which was a relief. It's not fun feeling sick and being on the road. We drove to a great venue in france called Le Bacardi. The show was really fun and the venue took great care of us with a three course meal after the show. I think the songs are sounding better and better each night.
I'm really enjoying France but also I am very excited about our up and coming dates in Germany. It's nice going back to venues i've played before where the fans and promoters know us well and we can't wait for them to hear how far we've developed and how great the new show is sounding.

Northsea, France tomorrow! Up at 6am and leave by 7am...


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday 28th Jan, 2012 Girls with guitars tour diary

Saturday 28th Jan, 2012

Sat in the tour van on route in France so I thought i'd update you all on our tour fun!
Yesterday we left Thomas Ruf's hometown of Lindewerre Germany, and drove to Metz in France to perform at Le bar a crepes. It was snowing, and everywhere looked beautiful but it was bitterly cold. Thomas Ruf treated us three girls to new hats... big knitted bobble hats, all matching but each in a different colour. I got the blue one.. It's lovely.. and warm.. thank you Thomas.

The drive was long but we put on the new Oli Brown record 'Here I am'. It's not released yet but we were aloud a sneaky listen and it is fantastic. I am a big Oli Brown fan. I love his voice... sexy as anything, especially on the new record. The title track on my new record 'Juice me up' was written about Oli Brown. It's really about being a fan/wannabe groupie and going to an Oli Brown show and just being smitten with him, watching him on stage and dreaming that all those passionate songs he's singing are about me. I'd like to make a point of saying that none of Oli's songs are about me and that he has a beautiful girlfriend who i'm sure he loves dearly who most likely inspired all of those saucy lyrics... But we can dream can't we? I'm pretty sure all the women in Oli's audience feel that way. In 'Juice me up' I sing "I always know when your bands in town. I'll be there in the front row getting down. When it's time to go home I'll be at back stage doors. You know if you want me baby, I’m yours, I’m yours, I’m yours!" Oli is a good friend of mine and really it's a silly song I wrote it to make him laugh. I'm pleased with it though. I'm not sure if he's heard it yet!

So, the time flew by in the van and soon enough we were sound checking and then having dinner at the 'crepe' venue. Yes, we played a pancake house! The show was good. I felt a lot more relaxed and confident with the material than I did on our opening night. The audience seemed to have a great time and insisted on two encores. One of my extra special fans 'Jimmy' came to the show from Luxembourg and it was lovely to see him. Jimmy has been coming to my shows for years and is now more like family than a fan, so it was great to see him. It was also exciting to be signing and selling my new album at the show. It will be on iTunes and amazon very soon so you can all get a copy!

It's now the day after, and we're back in the van on route to Euro Disney, Paris! We have a gig in the middle of Disneyland and my parents are going to be there. Its Sam Fish's birthday tomorrow and so what better way to celebrate than in the company of Mickey Mouse!

So far this tour has been great fun! And no drama; apart from Vicky broke her bass guitar from rocking out so hard. She was jumping around so much on the first gig that the metal bit you attach the bass guitar strap to pulled right out of the guitar. She's bodged it back together for now but I know she's worried about it so we need to find time to get it fixed; then she'll be safe to jump around and rock her socks off again without doing it further damage.

Okay... I'm off cause we're nearly at Disney!

Dani x

Thursday, January 26, 2012

25th January 2012, More Girls With Guitars Tour Begins

So, at last, Samantha Fish and I are back on the road for the 'More Girls With Guitars' tour. As always we have with us our superstar French drummer Denis Patatin. We also have a new addition to the group 'Victoria Smith' on bass. I have known Vicky for many years. We met music collage/university where we both were studying for our Degree's and I lived with her for two years, but during all this time we were so busy with other projects we never got around to performing together. When we heard Cassie was leaving the group, I was keen to suggest Vicky... she's just great fun and an incredible talent.

We were all stressing a bit learning the songs for this year I think. Sam (Who has just recieved a Blues Award Nomination.. so go vote for her!) had been touring extensively in the USA and so didn't have much time on her hands for song learning, and I had been away in Kenya (as I do every year) working with the Moving Mountains charity to help give children who live in dire poverty the opportunity of a good education. I'll admit, when I did get home from Kenya this year, i wasn't very focused on songlearning. I felt really down. Even though we had achieved so much, building classrooms, delivering pens, pencils, paper, food, and descant recorders to thousands of children, I was left feeling heartbroken; I really love those children, and especially with the children I know extra well, like Nora Pamera and Ahadi (who my new album is dedicated to) I couldn't bare to leave them there. I just wished I could bring them home and give them the same love, protection and opportunities that I had growing up in England. These girls take on so much adult responsibility just to survive and that isn't fair; children should be allowed to enjoy being children.

Anyways, by the time we reached 'Lindewerre' in Germany for the first day of rehearsals and began playing through the set list, we soon were incredibly excited about the show. We have some great new songs lined up and I was really impressed by how great Sam, Vicky and Denis interpreted my album tracks and made them sound great live. I feel like we're really stepping things up this year with better songs, better guitar playing, and some great vocal songs. It's not just blues, its soul, funk and rock n roll. Most of the songs are original but we're also playing some Lenny Kravitz, James Gang, Lou Reed, Rolling Stones, and Patti Labelle.... That high note on Lady Marmalade is damn HIGH.... Like i said there are some big vocal songs this year which I Love!

So, yesterday was the very first show and it was great. We had a wonderful audience who clapped and danced and sang along and the songs were well recieved. It was a relief to get the first show done and now we know things will continue to get better and better each night as we develop and get more comfortable with the new material.

Today we had a day off. The girls and I went on a beautiful walk into the neighbouring town and stocked up on vitamins to make sure we stay healthy throughout the tour. I've been running every moring with Denis to keep fit too (or to get fit again after having got so unfit over christmas lol) Tomorrow we're off to France for two gigs. On Saturday we are playing in Disney Land; very exciting indeed lol, and my parents are driving over from England to see the show (and meet Micky Mouse) which will make the experience better still!

Anyways.. over and out.. thanks to everyone who came out and supported us in Lindewerre last night and thank you to all of you who donated last year towards my charity projects in Kenya (you made a lot of children very happy).

Oh, and Achim... Big thanks to you and your lovely lady for bringing us chocolates! We were in chocolate heaven after the show last night!

Sam, Denis, Vicky... I love you guys. This tour is gonna be fantastic! And Thomas (Ruf) and Sabine: Thank you for spoiling us, cooking deliscious food for us at your home and lending me warm woolen socks when my toes had turned to ice!

I do intend to keep this blog updated regularly, so please feel free to join and post comments etc.

Big Love,