The Searchers have just returned to work after 2.5 weeks off, which may not sound like a long time, but in Searchers World, that is!
The holidays for me included doing a session, organising and playing at my engagement party, Rome, seeing Take That and trying to relax while organising a wedding for next year.
My partner Sam and myself got Engaged July last year, but due to work commitments, our Engagement party was July this year.
We decided that rather than trying to watch and book a decent band, I knew enough talented musicians to be able to put a top notch band together.
The band was a collaboration between the Meatloaf tribute I play in and 2 very good muso mates.
The members were Matt Shaw (who won the UK Stars in their eyes tv show in 2008, as meatloaf) Tabitha Wild (Great Female singer who I have done several Summer seasons with at various UK holiday parks) Mark Wikinson on guitar, Adz Wimbolt also on Guitar, Andrew Weeden on keys and Allan Burls on bass.
Due to everyones commitments, a set list was agreed in May and Andrew took over as MD and send everyone the arrangements for all the songs and on the day everyone was reading score, but it sounded like a band that had rehearsed for months.
Even the venue manager was impressed and wanted to book us!
You never know, it might take off one day.
The wedding arrangements are about 60% there in case you wanted to know.
We left for Rome early Sunday 10th July, The day before We were sat in Hyde Park, watching Olly Murs and Take That.
As you can tell, Sam and myself don’t like being in one place too long.
It was the first time I had seen both Olly and Take That and I must confess, I loved it. The whole day was full off live music with 4 other acts on before and everyone on the bill was able to lift the crowd and get people dancing.
I had decided a week before to drive to London and pre book parking nearby. The trains home after an event like this are always full and with an early start the next day, we needed as much sleep as possible.
We left at Take thats last number and after a 10 minute walk to the car, found ourself on the A40 and heading home as the fireworks started in Hyde Park.
As for Rome, it was the first time Sam and myself had been there. I had been in Rome a few times in 2007/08, but that was at the railway station catching a train to Civitavecchia to jump on a costa cruise ship.
This was 4 days in Rome to explore.
It is majorly hot in July! it was about 37c every day with no breeze, but Sam and myself managed to see most of the sights and the city. The first night we had a real Italian pizza in Italy near our hotel…..and it was awful!
We stayed clear of that restaurant for the rest of our stay
The Roman ruins are a must for anyone exploring Rome. The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon are a few that stick out. I have so many pictures from nearly every angle of them all.
We returned from Rome late Thursday 14th, Friday 15th was a major food shop to buy most of the food for our engagement party on Sat 15th!
We know how to relax…..
The session I did was for a London based band and while I can’t say too much about it, was great fun and the songs are very catchy with some great guitar riffs. Hopefully something good will emerge from that session, but time will tell.
I was able to use my large kit for both the session and engagement party. The carrera custom with gold hardware (24, 10, 12, 14 snare, 16) with 8 Istanbul Mehmet crashes/splashes. For my engagement party, I used a Roland TD30 to trigger the sounds and a Roland SPD-SX for some of the Meatloaf samples. This was the first time I had used a hybrid kit and I loved it.
I also managed to fit in a very quick video shoot for Istanbul Mehmet. Myself and a few other artist were asked to make a quick video of themselves with their cymbals. Hopefully soon you will be able to see everyones efforts.
The Searchers returned to work on July 22nd and its always fun coming back after a long lay off, just to see whose put weight on and who has forgotten the songs!
3 shows that weekend all went very well without any issues. Even the 6hr drive from my house to Fleetwood was not that bad.
That was another subject I wanted to mention. The travelling. While most bands will travel together, We don’t
Thats not because we don’t like each other, its because we are scattered over the UK. So in the UK we travel separately.
Abroad, special Australia, we travel together, taking it in turns to drive.
We cover on average 33k miles a year. Which puts a lot of strain on your car, with 2 sometimes 3 services a year.
But we all love what we do and while the UK roads seem to be getting more and more congested, getting on that stage and playing to the fans makes it all worth while!
Till next time, take care and see you soon!