UK Tour 2015 in retrospect

We are now back in New Zealand after a most successful mini tour of the UK and what a tour it was!
In an effort to keep friends and fans posted of our day to day itinerary I started a facebook page (Brilleaux UK Tour 2015) where photos and comments were added dail. This appeared to be well recieved, despite the technological difficulties I had at times.

One again the tour was put together with the help of our good friend Rob Vernon from Bedford in England. Rob took care of all the logistical details, finding hotels, planning the best route from A to B as well as all the driving. Rob also sourced all the amps, drums, guitars and even a mini PA which he packed into the tour van. Without Robs help a tour like this would not have happened, and we cannot thank this man enough for his help and dedication to helping a bunch of strangers from the other side of the world (although we a re no longer strangers, but lifelong friends). Kudos must also go to his long suffering wife Sandra who allows him him to swan off for a couple of weeks of debaucherous rock n roll on the road.
Our first gig was on a Thursday night at the Ranelagh in Brighton. We were invited back to play here after our tour in 2013, and it is the perfect first gig, as it allows us to familiarise ourselves with the new equipment before we have to play at some of the bigger and more important events.
The surprise of the nigh came when two good friends from New Zealand (Brian and Shona Dellow) burst through the door in the middle of our set.

Friday was a free day, and we made our way to the other side of the country ready for our gig at the Boogaloo festival in Torquay.
This was held at the Toorak hotel complex, and had a number of wonderful blues acts, including a guy called Guy Tortora who impressed me very much. The standard of acts was astonishing, and we really had to lift our game if we wanted to leave with our reputation intact.
We played a brief acoustic set at the Toorak to a packed theatre, who were most appreciative of our set. For our electric set we were on before the main act, and delivered a full on powerful show to a dancefloor full of happy blues lovers. The final act was once again amazing, but they failed to inspire the crowd. The organiser of the festival conceded that that was the second time they had put us on at the wrong time and promised they would not make the same error again!

Sunday saw us back on the other side of the country in Chichester at the Blues on the Farm Festival, which has won awards for the best UK festival.

We started playing to a fairly sparse audience, but before the first song was over, the marquee was packed, with a number of photographers lined up across the front of the stage.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I had befriended ex Wilko Johnson and the Solid Senders piano player Mr John Potter, who joined us on stage for a number of songs much to the joy of the audience.
We finished our set, and were called back on stage for an encore.
When we left the stage, we were literally mobbed by people wanting CDs signed - I have never signed so many CDs in one sitting. A very humbling experience.

I also made contact with the Blues Matters British Blues magazine people, and a couple of other festival organisers who would like us to appear at their festivals in the future. The rest of the night was spent drinking vast quantities of cider and local ales, and we went to bed exhausted but very happy.

A couple of days of recreation and sightseeing followed this festival as we made our way up to Bedford for another acoustic set, which was nothing other than to drum up interest in our electric show at Esquires the following night.

We played at Esquires on our 2013 tour, and the venue was jammed with friends and fans who had travelled quite some distance to see us again. Much to our delight we sold a good deal of CDs and Merchandise and even had to re order some more T-shirts as we had sold out our first order.

Our final gig of the tour was at the Musician in Leicester (another venue revisited after our 2013 tour)

The Musician is a great venue, and our sound man did an amazing job. It really was great to see many people who had seen us on our previous tour once again. Special treat was for me to meet Bill Woodman and his wife Suzie at last after only having spoken to him via email previously. I was very honoured for them to make the trip to our gig. Bill is a big Dr Feelgood fan, and glad we didnt disappoint him with our show. Also all members of the band the Della Grants were at the show (check them out on YouTube - well recommended)
Thats it more or less (lots more actually, but thats a very brief outline of the proceedings)

This tour our partners all joined us, making the tour party from New Zealand 7 in total. The girls - Ange, Holly and Martine did a great job selling merch and CDs, so thank you all girls. Start saving for the next trip now.