Kaltern Pop is a sister festival to Haldern Pop in Germany. Brain child of Stefan Reichmann, Kaltern was the village he visited with his family as a child, and he decided to bring a music festival there. A German speaking town in the vineyards of northern Italy, it has all the traits of Germany and Italy rolled into one. Confusing I tell you! We were scheduled to play 3 gigs - two in the village and one at the top of the mountian. The first gig was in a cinema and the second in a wine museum - both amazing gigs with incredibe audiences. But the third gig topped them all. On Staurday morning we drove up a windy road, to take us to the 'Penegal' at the top of the mountain, to meet Cantus Domus - the choir who we would sing with today. We walked in and they were rehearsing in the most beautiful room I have ever played in! They had arranged 'It beats me' for Mark, and 'Lilacs' for me. I litereally cried during the rehearsal because it was so beautiful!
We weren't quite sure how any people would turn up - there was seating set out for about 40 people - but once the doors opened, people just kept coming in! there were about 180 there by the time we started and the atmosphere was electric. Mark and I performed 3 songs and the choir joined us and then we did Lilacs and I performed Little Bird, This Secret and Both Sides Now. Hands down - gig of the year!
Mark's new CD came out on 20th October and we were in Switzerland to play a few gigs. The incredibly talented ROMY was also on the tour for added awesomeness, keys and vocals too! We played a series of gigs - with a cool caravan for a green room, a dance studio for a gig, a mountin side restaurant gig overlooking lake zurick and a chic furniture store gig! We got to the local prettiest cow competition (not it's real name!) and saw the cow parade and got to spend time with Fat Rosie.
I was super excited to head back to Kew in London to meet up with the Harris' and play in their amazing gallery space again - this time solo! Elizabeth collected me from the airport and we headed to the house for coffee and cake and a snooze before the gig! My friend Fleur managed to capture some great shots of the night too!
My friend Joanna kindly hosted an intimate evening in her home - where we had sushi and wine - and songs of course! Fleur popped along again to take some photos!
Next I was off out to Cambridge to hang with friends Dan and Zulfiya. Dan runs a few open mic nights so we played some music and I got to be a tourist around the beauticul city of Cambridge and even went for a punt!
I decided to extend my UK trip and take a train up to Newcastle to hand with my friend Sarah and go along to a John Smith gig in the Sage. We walked on the beach, collected sea glass, jumped up at an open mic and talked the ears off each other!
September saw a return visit to the US with Mark Geary. Flying from Dublin to Charlotte, onto Louisville, Kentucky to meet with Mark's label and perform at NULU Festival. We dropped into WFPK radio for a quick promotional slot before wandering the streets of Lousiville, finding all the good coffee and some great cookies!
NULU Fest is a festival in the newer part of Louisville - celebrating the locality with a big block party bringing local businesses together with stalls, stands and merchandise from local suppliers and craft suppliers. We spent the morning wandering round the streets ans checking in with friends and family of the festival. I even managed to pick myself up a festival t-shirt!
That evening before we played, we had a jam with Ben Solee, who would then jump up and join us for a song! The set was great, just as the sun was setting and the stage lights really took effect!
The following day we had a day off, and no visit to Louisville is complete with out a visit to the Muhammad Ali Centre. We followed this by checking out Hotel 21C - the museum hotel with an awesome art gallery built in!
The following morning saw a super early uber driver come collect us for an early flight to NYC via Charlote. Dragging luggage we wandered round Mark's old neighbourhood searching for a cafe that was no longer there. We eventually settled on visiting Cafe Orlin, the soon to close famous East Village cafe, where Mark used to work. We met Vitor the owner, who shouted us our lunch!
Tuesday night saw us catch Mark's brother Karl read excerpts of his book Montpelier Parade in the Irish Arts Centre, alongside the stunning Jenna Nicholls and the very talented Gerry Leonard.
I took myself to the infamous Russ and Daughters for a lox bagel lthe next morning before meeting Mark at the bus station to head upstate to play a gig with Peter O'Toole. We jumped on a bus and headed to Marlboro, where we met Stephanie who took us to The Falcon - an amazing venue! Upstairs a beautiful space and restaurant and downstairs another venue housed amongst music memorabilia! We had a beautiful gig, in the round with Peter and then were joined by the incredible Dylan Doyle on guitar!
Back to NYC on the train the next evening for a night off, before we jumped on a train again on Friday for another house concert with some Bruce Springsteen fans and first time house concert attenders! A pot luck dinner and a totally acoustic gig with great people! Jumped on the train back to NYC again that night!
We were doing a joint house concert the next night in a private home with Mark's brother Karl, the incredibe Jenna Nichols joined us for a few songs too which was a lovely warm up for the following night's gig in The Scratcher. Joined by Justin Carroll too, we played to an incredible packed house and warm vibes! An amazing gig to end a brilliant trip to the East Coast.
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