November 21, 2017
“Huff the Stuff! Huff the Stuff! Huff the Stuff!”
“That’s what I say when I bring ether to a party.”
And so, battered by rain and with the wind howling, our intrepid band of minstrels slipped out of Germany and drove back to The Netherlands, where it all began.
They left in their growing wake a string of victories in Deutschland, the Czech Republic, and Austria. They brought with them memories of the Canmore fans in Kutna Hora, Sir Geoffrey of Berlin, Gisele Jackson, Anna at the bar in Vienna, Tanja and Heike and Manfred and all the other angels of Germany. Weary, virus-laden, and super tight, they set their course for the port city of Urk, there to meet their Friesland friends once again.
The return was triumphant.
The scene: A bar called Het Haventje in the fog of Urk. Tiny A-frame houses, brick streets. Sarah and the Glitterboyz arrived to a hero’s welcome from the awaiting Frieslanders. Hugs were exchanged. Kisses of greeting in the Dutch tradition. And then, with mugs upheld and laughter rattling the nautically themed accoutrements, they ate so much freakin’ fried fish that they had to roll themselves out into the rain to unload the van.
Later the German crew arrived and the entire international family was gathered at last. And on a rainy Monday night in Urk, before a cheerful crowd of good citizens, Deni Gauthier’s beard took the stage to open the show. The superfans swooned. The locals sighed. Four songs later Deni strummed his final chord amidst yowls of appreciation from the faithful.
When the last echoes of Deni’s applause faded from the room, Sarah Smith and company laid hands on their instruments and proceeded to tear the venue’s roof asunder. They sang, they played, they jumped, they slammed, they danced, and Deni himself began stripping for the promise of money. When none was proffered, he stopped stripping, to the disappointment of many a patron (but hey, one gets what one pays for). The show ended with rapturous applause and calls for encores, one of which, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley, had the crowd singing and dancing as never before. A brand new song, We Love You For Cooking The Fish, brought tears. The evening’s final number, Zombie by The Cranberries, was chaos by the very best possible definition.
With thanks to Jaap, who helped put the show together and looked after the band so well, and bartenders Jakob and the beautiful Femi – apologies for any incorrect spellings – the band hit one sublime final crash and took their bows. After that it was drinks and photos and revelry with Sarah’s adoring public. All in all another terrific show in Europe.
Danki val, friends. Danki val.
And now for something completely different.
Sorry to get all serious on a post that’s kind of silly, but I had a bit of bad news yesterday, just after the show. My wife and I are cat people. We had three at home, one of which has been acting strangely since I left for the tour. She seemed to be always hanging around on the high ground and scratching her fur out and not finding the litterbox. We thought maybe she was just stressed because I was gone and it would resolve itself. She was also sick with kidney disease, though, so we suspected maybe something physical was going on.
Yes, I said was.
My wife took her to the vet yesterday and it was decided to let her go. She was only six years old (and an adorably odd little sociopath), but the disease had progressed to a point where it was affecting her brain, so it was time. I don’t tell this story for sympathy or to make you feel bad, but to illustrate one of the harsh truths about being on the road. We’re here doing this fun stuff, but each of us has a partner back home carrying on without us. Deni has four kids. We all have spouses. Being on the road means not being at home sometimes when they need us. I’m sad about losing little Bea, but more upset that my wife had to deal with that alone. It’s not fair.
So I want to say thanks from all of us to our spouses and families who understand this part of what we do and who give us the space to do it. I hope we’re worth our absences when we come back home to you.