Day 17 – Special C on tour

Ashby FrankSpecial Consensus mandolinist Ashby Frank has agreed to send us updates and photos from their current tour of Britain and Ireland. Ashby is unsure how much web access he will have during the tour, but promises to send his musings whenever he has the chance.

I’ve been home for 1 day out of the last 21 days, and performed on 18 of those days‚Ķ sometimes twice. Wow. This is the longest string of gigs that I"ve ever had, and I wouldn’t be very truthful if I didn’t say that I’m very ready to be home and sleep in my own bed, work out a little, then maybe watch a movie, and not have to search for wifi everywhere!

Right now I’m in a very friendly Stir Fry Restaurant in the University District of Belfast, buying wi-fi from a British Telecom Hotspot that’s somewhere around here. It’s very interesting‚Ķ the bigger the town, the harder it is to find free wi-fi.

Since I wrote last, we’ve been over a good bit of England, drove back to Scotland, took another ferry back to Belfast, and played a show here in town last night.

Even though I really didn’t get to see the sights at all, England was nice. We stayed in one small town, and then had two nights in the larger cities of Nottingham and Bristol. Everything is so compact (including the streets) and to me it feels like everyone lives on top of each other. We’ve driven through or gotten lost in some of the larger towns here, like Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, Nottingham, and Liverpool, and despite their age they all have very well kept up and thriving downtown areas or “city centres,” and there are so many things, new and old, that look and sound so interesting to me, we just don’t have the time!Greg Cahill with his heretofore unknown twin brother

Oh and as a side note, we found Greg’s long lost twin in England…

As we travel from place to place, back and forth across the sea and across ancient borders and boundaries, playing in everything from small pubs and hotel ball rooms to larger festivals, I do notice a huge difference in accents and certain customs, and things do look a bit different from place to place. The one thing I can’t stress enough is how friendly most everyone is, no matter where we’ve been. I sure am glad we haven’t been somewhere for this long where they don’t speak English! I’ve experienced that a few times before and it makes getting around pretty hard.

Last night’s show was really the first one where we didn’t have a good crowd. We had a radio interview scheduled to promote the show yesterday, but the economic news here isn’t very good and it’s dominating the headlines and stole our spot away. Oh well! Good music cures the blues, don’t they know that?Live in Belfast... The Tennessee Hennessys

We did get to share the stage with our good friends the Tennessee Hennessy’s. Check them out if you’re ever around Belfast!

OK… well BritTel time is about to run out, and I have to go get ready for the next show. Only 6 more to go!