UK TOUR 2015

In June 2015, Brilleaux undertake our second UK Tour.

How did a band from little old Tauranga New Zealand end up touring the UK not once, but twice?

In 2010 I attended the Lee Brilleaux Memorial weekend in Canvey Island, staying with Dr Feelgood bass player Phil Mitchell. Whilst there, I toured with the band, lugging gear, eating egg and chips, drinking beer, and selling merchandise. One of the shows they played at was a festival on Hayling Island, where I was asked to join the band on stage for their encore.
They gave me a big introduction that I was from New Zealand, and that I had a band named in tribute to their original front man Mr Lee Brilleaux.
After the gig, I was helping to sell merchandise with their roadie (Baldrick!) when the organiser of the festival approached me, and asked if my band would like to play at one of the festivals they ran.

Hence our invitation to play at a blues festival on the Isle of Wight in 2013.
I went about tracking down a number of other gigs in the UK (all via email!), and with the help of a chap from Bedford by the name of Rob Vernon - a musician and all-round good guy - we booked a total of 9 gigs in a 13 day tour.

We learnt a lot on that tour, and when we were invited back to play at nearly all the venues we played at, and another festival, we chose to be a bit more selective in the amount of shows, and to give ourselves a little more time at leisure.

We immediately contacted Rob (or Mother Superior as he became known) to see if he was up for a repeat performance of his previous duties - ie, Driving the tour van, booking venues, organising posters, tickets, borrowing instruments from his friends, booking the van, stocking the tour bus fridge, collecting and organising and selling CDs and Merchandise etc etc etc. - to which he replied - "Hell yes" - or words to that effect (much to his poor wifes dismay)
. . . and so here we are again, ready to hit the UK stages again, keeping the spirit of British Rhythm and Blues alive, and showing them what we are doing with THEIR music on the other side of the world.

In 2013 we were joined on stage by Dr Feelgood bass player Phil Mitchell, and ex Dr Feelgood guitarist Gordon Russell, which has to be one of the highlights of my musical experience.
In 2015 we are to be joined at the Chichester festival by piano and keyboard player extraordinaire JOHN POTTER - who played with Wilko Johnson and the Solid Senders - ANOTHER of my musical idols (Im sure he would chuckle to himself being referred to as an idol, but never mind)

To coincide with the tour, Brilleaux will release their 8th album entitled "Pictures of the Queen" in the UK.

Wednesday 17 June: Arrive
Thursday 18 June: Ranelagh, Brighton
Friday 19 June: Torquay Festival
Saturday 20 June: Torquay Festival
Sunday 21 June: Chichester festival (Blues on the Farm)
Monday 22 June: Free Day
Tuesday 23 June: Free Day
Wednesday 24 June: TBC
Thursday 25 June: Flower Pot, Bedford
Friday 26 June: Esquires, Bedford
Saturday 27 June: Musician, Leicester
Sunday 28 June:
Monday 29 June: Return flight to NZ

Both tours of the UK have been self-funded by Brilleaux. We play gigs in NZ and bank the money until we have saved enough to cover our flights and expenses. Earnings from the UK shows and sales of merchandise and CDs goes back into the bank until the end of the tour, and we decide what our next project or adventure may be.
At present we are on the short list for the Blues at Bridgetown festival in Australia later in the year, so who knows - we may be off to show the Aussies what we do in the near future.