Whew, I was able to get out of working for the crazy French family last week and have been in Paris since Sunday. Well, kind of. On Tuesday I took a quick trip to England to meet up with my friend Dave from Kansas City who was touring with the very awesome band, the Republic Tigers. I knew that Dave was running the sound for the Tigers, but I wasn't aware that he was the tour manager/manager of everything getting done. Needless to say, Dave was a very busy man in England and was highly focused on his job. We got to hang out a little and most importantly I got to see two great shows, one in Sheffield and the other in London.
I have only seen the Republic Tigers play once in KC and it was rather random how I got to that show. I was hanging out with the guy I was dating at the time and was debating whether I should go train for the marathon I was about to run. He and I grabbed a Pitch Weekly, and decided that the Brick was the place to go. I was wearing my running clothes, which consisted of a hoodie, t-shirt over a sports bra, and running pants! I tell you, I did not look fantastic that evening, but whatever, I got to see a local band perform like I'd never seen before. The sound wasn't distorted, it was pristine to my ears. Over the past year I have been wanting to see them again and the occasion never presented itself. Maybe if I could get over this fear of going to bars by myself, I would have been able to experience the electricity of their music. As luck would have it, the Republic Tigers crossed the great Atlantic Ocean to the United Kingdom exactly one week after I had made the venture to France. Things were a little complicated for Dave and the Tigers at first and it didn't seem possible that I would be able to catch them in England. If I would have continued with my job, I would not have been able to make the voyage over.
I've never hung out with a band in the way that I did the past two days, but I must say that it was quite an experience, and not a bad one. When people think of musicians, they think "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll." There was definitely the rock 'n roll, but not the former two. Who knows, maybe the boys were on their best behavior because there was a girl present. I didn't see any of them "mackin' on any girls," and if they were, it wasn't noticeable. I know that a few of them have girlfriends back home and if any of them read this, I just want to let them know that their boys were good! So the Tigers are definitely not your stereotypical bad boy band members. In fact, they were so professional with what they were doing, that I left highly impressed with them all. They all have dreams of making it big like most bands, but its interesting to see them being proactive and taking it seriously. I think that they are all smart about what they are doing and being responsible with the business aspect of it. So, I must say that I have a newfound respect for musicians, particularly these.
Check out their photo blog, you'll get a sense of their trip. Republic Tigers in the UK
The only person I had a problem with was the door man, he said I was there to "cheer" the band on, said with a wink. When I asked him what he was trying to insinuate, he only said I could well imagine. Trust me though, I'm no "band-aid." I did however help carry a few things and the burnt CDs are in my handwriting. I figured if I got an all access pass, then I could help them out a little bit.
So, I got to see a little bit of London and I'm wondering if the whole place is always so crowded. I spent about two hours walking down Oxford Street near Soho and the place was incredibly packed. They had more stores than the Champs-Elysees and more people on top of that. It was almost too crowded, to the point of uncomfortable. The concert was at the Astoria, and you would never know it was a theater from the outside. I didn't get to see Big Ben, or Buckingham Palace, but I'm okay with that. I saw Trafalgar Square and the top of the Eye Ferris Wheel that is on the Thames. I always thought there were too many tourists in Paris, but I think London's got it beat.
So, now I'm back in Paris and planning my next leg. Tomorrow I'm heading to Versailles to walk around for several hours and to check out an art showing that my friend Jason told me about. Next Thursday I'm going to Vienna, then to Prague, and then to Krakow. That might not be the right order, but Vienna is definitely the first and last stop. I'll keep you all posted as I make my journey. I'll be home eventually, but changing an awards ticket is rather difficult as they only have so many seats available for travel. I'll keep everyone posted in the next couple of days about my adventure. See you all soon! A Bientot!