Ned Luberecki and Stephen Mougin are touring this month in England, and Stephen is sending along a travelogue of their time across the pond. Day 9 finds Mojo behind the wheel.
Before we came over, I made the decision that I was going to drive… at least for a few minutes. Our rental came with a second driver option, so when we picked it up, I laid down my driver’s license. Nedski drove in Ireland earlier this year, so he was the main driver because of “all” of his experience on the other side. Six days on left hand passenger side (which was terrifying in its own right) gave me the nerve to try it. This was the day I was going to drive!
As you may know, almost all European cars are manual transmissions. It’s not a huge problem, except that in an English car you have to shift with your left hand. VERY WEIRD! I’ve spent a week listening to Ned’s creative cussing when he would miss 3rd gear; today I found out exactly what he meant! Wow. When you’re changing with the “wrong” hand, gears are not where you think they should be!
My journey from the Menai Bridge area to Mid-Wales was one of the most frightening drives I’ve ever done. And it wasn’t from being on the wrong side! In Wales, they build huge rock walls on either side of the road. And when I say either side, I mean that the wall starts on the tar! They are REALLY close! The roads got smaller and smaller, until it was one lane… with cars coming the other way! Not only were they tiny, they were full of quick hairpins and hilly passes. It took about an hour and a half to get to a proper two lane road, and I was never so happy to see a center line and guardrails.
The first stop was at Mid-Wales Music for a Fishman demonstration. The shop was several rooms packed full of instruments and audio gear, as well as a tiny “café,” just what you want at the music store! We set up and did our demo for the lovely people there, then packed back up and headed to Shrewsbury for the evening concert.
The Lion Hotel is the nicest room we’ve ever played. We were up in the ballroom, which was highly ornate, and where Pagannini once performed. I felt underdressed! What a neat gig!!