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,