Sunday 22 October 2017

My Latvia debut at Rock Cafe, Riga (Pic: Valentina Abrazey)

OOOFT…alarm goes off at 6am…less than four hours sleep. Again!

Eduard comes to drive us to Rakvere bus staon, we say our goodbyes and an hour-and-a-half later we roll into Tallinn. We have an hour or so before we have to board the bus for Riga, Latvia, so we have some breakfast and a coffee in the bus staon cafe.

The journey to Riga is about four-and-a-half hours. Thankfully its one of the fancy coaches with wifi, personal entertainment screens and comfy reclining seats….I get some online work done then sleep the rest of the way.

Promoter Peteris is waiting for us in Riga and drives us to our rather nice hotel in the old town…and it’s just50 metres form the venue 🙂

We get organised int he hotel then wander along the road to Rock Cafe and have a wonderful meal before soundchecking.

Nice to meet British Ambassador Keith Shannon

I nip back to the hotel to get changed and get back to the venue just aer doors open. The event is included in a series of ’Brish Days’ and we meet Keith Shannon British Ambassador to Latvia – a fellow Scot – who’s going to be introducing me on stage.

Meantme, local jazz musicians Vilnis Kundrats and Aris Ozols play a short set…then Keith takes the stage. The place is full and it looks like its gonna be a good night.

I play the first of two sets then have a break while Berlin-based American Kat Baloun and Stefano Ronchi from Italy play a fine set.

We all play another another set each then a couple of local musicians join us all on stage for a jam session. I don’t really ’do’ jam sessions, but I have fun and take part in the spirit of the night.

There’s a whole spread of great food in the backstage area…and the drink is flowing all night. We load out around midnight, take the gear back to the hotel and meet Kat and Stefano to find a pub for a nightcap…we find somewhere close by and the place is in full swing with what we think is a crowd of crazy Latvians. But they’re not. They Scottish!!!!

A really nice bunch of folks, who by pure chance have congregated here.

When we leave, Margaret’s hungry and orders a chicken kebab to take back to our room…

Kat Baloun and Stephano Ronchi

The end of night jam session…I don’t normally do this, but we have fun 🙂