Tales from the Rails – Circles

“I’ve been travelling on a boat on a plane, in a car on a bike, with a bus and a train” George Harrison’s song ‘Any Road’ is quickly becoming the new theme tune to my life. Save for the bike, I’ve used all those modes of transportation to get to my gigs over the past month. I’ve been through England, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and will be back on British soil by midnight tonight.

RdeB_Spring Tour 2015I didn’t expect this tour to be of such importance. Life will always surprise you and take you to places, metaphorical and physical, that you did not expect. My favourite moments are those joining of circles, when you can see your journey from an objective place and marvel at the beautiful patterns that make perfect poetic sense, just for a split second, before you get thrown back into the thick of it.

I often get asked whether touring on my own gets lonely. It doesn’t ever. In fact, I’m not sure I even know that feeling, or if I do, it does not have any negative connotation for me. There’s something very romantic about being alone and experiencing things by yourself. Of course the walking, the carrying and the waiting gets tedious and strenuous at times, but that is a small price to pay for the wealth of experience you receive in return: “we pay the price with the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice”, to continue with George’s song.

I wonder where my brain files all the impressions I get on tour. They seem to get stashed away so quickly, so that walking through Verona to catch a train to Milano already feels like a small life-time ago. I also wonder whether my mental card-catalogue will crash at some point in my life and spit out all the images and all the faces in a random succession. Letting all those impressions flash by now, some moments seem to have taken poll position. In no particular order, I loved making new friends in Verona (one of my favourite shows of the tour!), playing ukulele on sunny train platforms, walking through the beautiful walled city of Ferrara, performing in Basel with Jimi Hendricks looking over my shoulder, eating lots of Leberkaes in Munich and celebrating Desire’s Birthday with all my Munich friends and performing to a sold-out room in Rheda-Wiedenbruck as a grand finale to the tour.

The world can be wonderfully small. Per chance, one of my favourite singer songwriters on the planet, Niall Connolly, had a living room gig in Kiel the day after my show at Prinz Willy in the same little town in North Germany, so I took the day off to see him and be on the receiving end of a living room show for the first time. Niall is originally from Cork, but has been in NYC for over eight years now and has nurtured a network of musicians in the metropolis. He doesn’t know this, but he was and is an inspiration to me and helped me brave pursuing music full-time. I’ve always admired not only his songwriting, his way with words and performance skills, but also his hard work, forging his career as well as helping other musicians. He deserves all the success in the world.

It’s a strange existence and a wondrous path and I did not choose it, it chose me. You make think that sounds grand or even pompous, but I don’t care, it’s true. What I do is not brave, it just is. It’s wonderful and rewarding and frustrating and difficult and easy all at once, but I guess that’s just life and true of everyone’s path…”and if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there” – Thanks George!

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