Saturday, March 28, 2009

talking Jazz, Spinach and Angel Delight

New Microphone, Milab LSR 3000

Saturday 28th March 2009

I have been trying out a new microphone - Milab LSR 3000 which is great! I tried the mic out in Australia, firstly at The Basement in Sydney and it sounded amazing!

The sound engineer at The Basement, Chris, was also really happy with the sound - so I'm a happy bunny!

The guys at Milab have been great - as they let me try the mic out first. Yes it's a great mic and I will certainly be using it all the time now!

Will post up a link from my site so as you can have a look at it! With some pics of the mic in action!

My Milab!



Jersey Jazz and Spinach, Angel Delight and Evaporated Milk!

Saturday 28th March 2009

I arrived in Jersey yesterday to acclimatise!! I asked James if I I needed to adjust my watch to a different time zone - he said set your clock back 30 years!

We're struggling a bit to get veggie food - but I was successful in sourcing some spinach for lunch - it was OK but expensive - 2 spinach leafs deep with a suggestion of mozzarella quivering under a blushing tomato the size of a 1 pence piece! All in all - I used more energy eating it and left the cafe more hungry than I was when I went in!

Still - the hotel will be providing dinner tonight so I'm braising myself for a choice of Sir Loin steak, fish cottage pie, gammon steak with Penelope and a cherry on top! Followed by Angel Delight and Carnation Milk! As my dad used to say "Eva-ported milk"!

You know how the old saying goes - "red sky at night, shepherds pie for your breakfast"!

So sound check soon - then DINNER! Will take some pics of foodie and the show.

More soon.


Monday, March 23, 2009

After the Tour - Jet lag, the Cat and Cycling!

It has all been a bit odd dealing with the jet lag - I've had it before but almost like a dream sequence!!! Squiggly lines as the scene changes!

No I'm not on drugs!

Glad the cat didn't go in the huff for too long - he did ignore me for a while then he went into security mode - just in case someone or thing attacked me. A bit of cupboard inspection (that's the cat's job anyway!) and he was on my lap giving it big purrrrr! He's such a sap! But very cute!

After wiping down the Aga - James and I went out for a cycle - around Lintrathen Loch and then Peel Farm for tea and scones! We almost didn't get the tea and scones - James had stuffed a £10 note into his very funky cycling gloves - he forgot the dosh had been stashed there and when he pulled his gloves off - unknown to him the £10 note blew away in the wind!

Don't worry though we scrambled around for a few minutes and luckily found it between 2 trees and a pile of country dung! How nice! So we got our tea and scones in the end!

Back to the ranch and off to Glasgow for dinner with friends!

I think I'll be sore tomorrow! Saddle sore!

Ali B

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back in the UK - Thursday 19th March 2009

Hello from Bonnie Scotland!

The sun is shining for a change and I arrived back from Oz yesterday mid-day! After a bowl of soup and some cheese puffs I fell asleep and didn't wake up until 6.00am today - 17 hours of big kip-la!

Still feel a bit weird today like I have just landed from another planet but no doubt the jet lag will pass over the next few days.

More stories to come.

Lots of love


Day Off in Perth - Monday 16th March 2009

Hello from Sunny Perth!

Last full day in Australia and it's a day off! Hurrah! All shows done - tour has come to an end and it has been fantastic!

I must say that I am very taken with Australia. We had a fantastic lunch with Christine, Bruce, Carolyn and Todd at award winning restaurant called Zafferano - highly recommended - food was out of this world!

Then a trip down the river to Fremantle and back - and a tour around the fab areas of Perth. I could live here!

So homeward bound tomorrow!

Sad to leave Australia but also need to get home and sort out that cat of mine!

Speak back in the UK

Lots of love


Fremantle Show - Sunday 15th March

Ellington's last night was great! We had Hank Marvin and his wife there with Nunzio Mondia - his accordionist and also our very good friends from Scotland Christine Stewart, her daughter Carolyn and Kirsty with her partner Todd!

It was great to catch up with them and spend some time after the show talking. They are all coming to the Fremantle show as well.

The show went really well and the last set finished at 7pm which meant we were heading back to the hotel early.

Now how's this for a coincidence - I met with a couple from Dundee who were at the show and who absolutely know everyone that I know back home!! Rhod and Anne Ogilvie from Dundee - we had a great catch up and the stories were fabulous! I have a pic ture above with them and will drop them an email when I get back. They were on the button! Great to see you Anne and Rhod! When I'm back in Perth I will certainly look you up and be in touch.

I was pretty hungry once we got back to the hotel but we had just missed last orders at a Thai restaurant that had been recommended. So we caught a Vietnamese restaurant about 5 mins from the hotel! I had a heap of tofu - which I absolutely adore! Being veggie is very easy in Australia! I could easily move here - need to work on James though!

With the last show done - we have a day off tomorrow which we will spend with Christine and Bruce. Can't wait!

Night night!


Perth Shows - Ellingtons Jazz Club - Friday 13th & Saturday 14th March 2009

Perth - oh lovely Perth!

We were picked up at the airport and taken to a lovely hotel overlooking the Swan River. First show tonight and all is going well apart from Martin's guitar which has sustained some damage and doesn't seem to want to work.

One of the Perth Guitar Society has donated a guitar for the night - so the first night went well.

Second show was great - Hank Marvin and his wife Carol and his accordion player Nunzio Mondia all came along - fantastic!

A good squad back stage - pics with Hank and Carol - really nice people - and they want to come and see us at the last show in Fremantle!

Ellingtons - what a great venue! Graeme Annie and Stella and all the staff were fabulous!

Tired but looking forward to the Fremantle Show.



Adelaide Show - Thursday 12th March 2009

Well here we are after an unbelievably early flight from Sydney - we have arrived in Adelaide!

The hotel wasn't up to much so we had a change of plan - much better - Holiday Inn in the centre! I nipped out after checking in to get my sister's friends Wendy & Jos a wedding present. I settled for a gift voucher not knowing what they may have needed for their house or to suit their taste!

I had a quick soya latte and we headed off to the sound check. No point in unpacking as we are away from here tomorrow very early to fly to Perth for the last shows.

It was funny - even although the first hotel was pretty bad - before we changed - we passed this bonkers looking place on the way to the venue - The Squatters Arms - where you get strippers followed by a "sausage sizzle"!!!! Whatever can they mean! Anyway - I'm glad we're not staying there!

Show went well and I saw my sister's friends, Wendy and Jos after the show as well as neighbours of mine from Scotland who happenned to be in Adelaide at the same time!

Bedtime - and early start for Perth tomorrow!


Avalon Show - Wednesday 11th March 2009

After the day off - I had to get to a medical centre to sort out some madical attention - the burn on my hand was a bit more painful today but OK!

Anyway - I got it all sorted out and we kicked about Sydney for the day before getting ready for Avalon. I had to get my suitcase sorted as we had a very early start the next day for Adelaide.

James is heading home tomorrow - so I'm not looking forward to that as I really wanted him to be here until the end of the tour! But someone has to hold the fort back at the ranch!

Avalon was a very strange gig - however it all came out in the wash and and we had a full house yet again!

As a farewell to Sydney James and I had our last night aftershow party at Harry's Cafe de Wheels - where we munched our way through veggie pies, mash potatoes, mushy peas and gravy! We ate it by Finger Warf and people watched for a while - it was great!

Next - Adelaide!

Alison XXX

Day Off in Sydney - Tuesday 10th March 2009

Well after the mad day yesterday - what with being electrocuted and having to do the show somewhat shaken. We arived at our day off - still breathing!

I had to see the doctor in the morning and was immediately put on medication to stop infection. Also had to go to Medicare Centre just in case I needed extra attention later in the tour! So with my hand all bandaged up - James and me headed out to see some of Sydney. We had lunch with my cousin Gillian at Bill's Restaurant - it seems to be the place for good food. But Sydney has the most amazing restaurants!!

Spectacular weather and we had a good walk around the city - Sydney Opera House and a boat trip up the bay! Just wonderful. We took some amazing pictures and then had a dring in the outside bar at the Hilton Hotel. Then off to a great Thai Restaurant for dinner - Chedi - run by Greg and Shanya Richardson - he turned out to be a guitarist who knew the promoter who arranged the show in Bangkok! Small world - really exceptional food - you must go there!

So a relaxed day before the next show in Avalon!

Pip pip


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Second Show in Sydney, The Basement - Electrocution and Day Off!!! - 9th March 2009

Well we arrived back in Sydney after The Gold Coast concert. My gosh it was hot on the Gold Coast!

Was this my lucky day or what! We got back to the hotel and I started to get ready for the show at the Basement - as normal I was drying my hair with the hotel hairdryer and it exploded in my hand. I got quite a substantial electric shock through my hand and up my left arm - oh and and also sustained a rather large electrical burn on my hand. Lucky I wasn't killed!

Emergency measures taken immediately by James - running cold water over the burn for 30 mins we called the hotel manager and he called the doctor - hey hair still wet no make-up and a sound check happening in 1 hour. I must admit I was very shaken and shocked! Well actually shocked in 2 dimensions - electrically and physically/mentally! Or is that 3?

Bandaged up - we headed off with the tour manager to the Basement for the sound check - The Show Must Go On!

I was very shaken throughout the show and it all felt like a bit of a blur! I wondered if the audience noticed? They certainly noticed the bandage!

My cousin Gillian and her friends came along to the show and had a good chin wag afterwards. Singer Emma Pask was also there and it was lovely to meet her as I am a fan of hers! See pics!

Anyway - I will see the doctor again tomorrow and see how the burn is manifesting itself. was I ever so glad to finish a show and get to my bed!

So - life's rich tapestry! But I've never been electrocuted before a concert - may never be a need to charge the mobile again!

Get your lucky white heather!

Yours electrically


Gold Coast Show and Sunshine - 8th March 2009

Well after 3 successful shows in Melbourne we caught an early flight to the Gold Coast for a late afternoon concert in the Arts Centre.

What a great venue! The concert went really well and afterwards James and I went out on the town with our good friends Pam and Stephen who live there. Pam is a presenter on channel 9 and Stephen is a very successful entrepreneur and property developer in Oz and indeed all over the globe. Their dog Vegas was "Security" for the duration of the trip! He did a great job! - See the pics - security vest gave him the right uniform for the job!

We had a fabulous curry and stayed with Pam and Stephen. Next morning we were up bright and breezy to get back to Sydney.I loved the Gold Coast!

More later - on Sydney and day off!

Love Alison - pics to follow.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dizzy's Jazz Club Melbourne - 5th, 6th & 7th March 2009

We have had 2 great shows so far at Dizzy's. Tonight is the last night.

Here are some pics of Melbourne and of Dizzy's. Left to right - Paul, Steph, me and Adrian - Colin, me and Lydia - Melbourne from a taxi - a lovely couple originally from the UK.

Must sort out my big bad suitcase for that early flight tomorrow to the Gold Coast. I'll see James up there as he is already surfing - not the web - but the world wide waves! Lucky James! No time for that for me though - outta my way spider there's work to be done!

Alison x

The Basement Show - 3rd March 2009

After a long flight from Bangkok and the Basement show, James and I had a day off in Sydney. I met with a cousin of mine who I had never met before. She told me of some very interesting facts about our family history. It seems that I am a direct descendant of Captain Kidd the pirate!! Well well well! My mum always said that she knew I would run away with the gypsies ( meaning James and his gypsy roots) but James never thought that he was marrying into a family of pirates! Ha ha!

So all becomes clear now - I always wondered what that map with the X was all about!

So the Basement show went very well and we had a day of sightseeing - walked past Russell Crowe's house - which is just across from our hotel. We went up to the top bar in the Shangri La Hotel where we had some drinks and looked at the stunning lights of Sydney - wow pretty spectacular I must say.

In the afternoon we had an interview live on Eastside Radio Station - the lines were really busy with callers and the presenter Eric Gyors played a lots of tracks from 1 AM and also Martin's solo album Double Standards. That's me, Eric Gyors, Wally Wrightman and Martin in the picture at Eastside Radio Station Sydney.

Next day - Martin and I are off to Melbourne - early flight - so a bit of re-jigging the old suitcase. Airports are a pain in the bum! All the liquid stuff is a piece of nonsense. Had all my toiletries confiscated in Bangkok even although I hadn't left the airport from security in Heathrow. I tell you - my bouffant has suffered for it! I'll need to get a stick on one like Amy Winehouse - it would save a lot of bother.

We arrived at Melbourne airport and were whisked off to do another live Radio session at 3 AW with presenter Denis Walter. We played live in the studio and then spoke to callers on air. Seemingly the phone was red hot at Dizzy's - all looking for tickets! Good stuff! Then off to the hotel.

So here we are in Melbourne - 3 shows at Dizzy's and the last show is tonight. A guy from PBS was at the show and was really very enthusiastic about the the music and the concert, so we are trying to set up an interview and some TV if we have time.

With a little bit of sightseeing today and the last show tonight - I'm a wee bit tired but will take a rest this afternoon.

Tomorrow we're off to the Gold Coast - early flight with an afternoon show we don't have much time to catch our breath after the show tonight.

Monday, March 2, 2009

OZ - Sydney - 3rd March 2009

Hello there from hot Sydney

We arrived safe and sound after a long flight and checked into the hotel.

James is arriving tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to seeing him.

Tuesday 3rd March

OK good sleep - breakfast and James arrived! We headed out for a light lunch and managed to get on line to up date blogs and facebook etc.

Show tonight and we need to rest up for that. Thinking about hiring bikes tomorrow as it is a day off before the back to back dates all over OZ!

News of the show to follow later.

Pip pip
Ali B

Travel Day - 2nd March 2009

Very early start to get to Bangkok airport. The flight to Sydney is just over 9 hours and we'll get into Sydney around 9pm. Time to get a reasonable early night. James arrives tomorrow.

See you in Oz Land

Day Off Pics - 1st March 2009

Started the day by going to an amazing temple having lunch with Tao and doing a bit of shopping. We went to see a massive reclining Buddha and took a few boat trips down the river.

What a great way to end the trip in Bangkok.

Tao and Hucky were amazing and I just can't wait to come back again.

Ciao for now Bangkok

A x

Day of The Concert - 28th February 2009

Well hello,

Had an early night last night - looking after my voice. Soundcheck at 1pm and it is sooo hot. Managed to get some great pics of the venue. We had a live radio interview to do back at the hotel so sound check went well and then back to base.

Gig went really well. We had one of the main TV stations in to film the first 3 songs and we had a heap of signings to do afterwards. The concert was being sponsored by a number of businesses including AER. Udo from AER was at the concert and we all went out for dinner to an Italian restaurant close to the hotel.

I was really looking forward to a day of sightseeing and shopping on Sunday - which was great. Although we did have some Mango rain at the start of the day but that didn't last long. Visited some temples and had lunch at the riverside. Tao took us to a crazy sukiyaki restaurant for early dinner. We ate from a cooking pot on the table - veggie stuff first so as not to contaminate the stock - then the fish went in. By that time I had eaten a load of veg and millions of beancurd - Mmmmmm!

Must pack for Oz when I get back to the hotel as it's an early start on Monday morning to get to the airport.

Ciao for now and speak from OZ!