November 22, 2017
"I decided to give up having a gimmick and just play music. Pure music. We have nothing shiny or special. And we're kicking ass."
Midnight pancakes, man. Midnight pancakes.
Welcome to the latest tour diversion. They’re crepes, really, but call them whatever want. Served warm with a praline spread in the company of friends new and old, I call them delectable. We certainly didn’t see them coming when we hit the last chord at the Ons Café in Emmen, Netherlands last night. Our thanks to Matt and Tia for inviting us to what turned into a really fun Tuesday night after-party with German superfans Schimmi and Karin and a bunch of great new friends.
Add another to the long list of cool shows we’ve played on this tour. The Ons Café is a fairly new spot trying hard to establish itself as a music venue in the city. The owners, Gerda and Rick, are beautiful and generous people, like so many others we’ve met along the way. They put us up at their house, fed us dinner, and did everything they could to make our show a good one. It worked. As always, we loaded in to a mostly empty room, but by the time Deni went on to open, there were people in the bar.
Where do they come from?
We don’t know. We had some superfans there, including Willemina of Willemina and her Bandits (you’ll be hearing more about that band later). Sarah’s friend and business acquaintance Jordy – a tour booker – was also there in the company of a band from California called The Dread Crew of Oddwood, who are about to launch their first European tour. Good dudes. The others were locals looking for music. We love that those people exist over here and take a chance on bands they might not know.
But again I’m getting ahead of myself. Yesterday’s other highlight came in the afternoon, when we stopped in for an interview and live performance on Radio NOOS Hardenburg. We were guests on the Dutch Blues Radio show with Gerda and Patrick. It was cool to be in the studio and play, though the Virus of the Van continues to pester us at every turn. We've been sick for three weeks and counting, but Sarah’s voice held up and we powered through. It’s always inspiring to hear her talk about her journey. She’s such an individual. She follows her intuition and does it her own way. It’s working. I’m so lucky to be part of it all.
Last night I was thinking about my bandmates again. I know I haven’t done an expose on Sarah yet like I have on Deni and Ken, but my conclusion, half asleep and fighting a pancake coma, is this: Deni has taught me about intensity, Ken has taught me about detachment, Sarah has taught me about faith. Those are three pretty strong pillars upon which to build a successful and fulfilled life. I’ve mostly taught them about eating pastries. I’m not sure it’s been an even trade-off, but there’s still time to tilt the balance.
Anyway, we had fun last night. Willemina joined us for a cover of Little Big Town’s Girl Crush as part of the encore. Others in the audience really wanted Sarah to sing Janis Joplin – not such an easy task with the Virus of the Van playing its tricks. We did Sarah’s version of Me and Bobby McGee, inviting the crowd to join in. One of the cool things about a small club like that is that Sarah can stick the microphone in people’s faces and let them have a go. Most times, especially toward the end of the night, they are happy to oblige.
I want to give a shout-out to Deni for playing Into The West during his opening set. It’s still my favourite song of his (you can see the video below). Seriously, if you haven’t checked out his stuff, you should. Spotify him. Play him on repeat. Play Sarah too.
And now, and now, and now.
Isn’t it always about now? Grey skies. Dutch fields. The highway. I’m reminded of the Sloan song Money City Maniacs: “Take the heart of a travelling band / You’ll never understand / All they know / Is the yellow line.”
It’s still great, you know. We’re still having the best time. Today we’re headed … somewhere. We’ll be greeted by wonderful people. They’ll welcome us and feed us and be happy to have us. We’ll set up and soundcheck and go to the hotel. Later we’ll play and it will be awesome. We’ll be in the element we love most in an experience we’ve created together with our work and energy and commitment and, if you like, intention.
Everything’s possible, gentle reader. Me living this dream means you can live whatever your dream is. Intensity, detachment, faith. Bring those to the table and work, work, work.
The world’s your pancake, baby.
Now here's Deni Gauthier: