Friday, July 16, 2010

Amsterdam,Holland

Well.... another show down and three to go and I'll be heading back to philly soon. The last batch of dates are all well near each other which makes me happy because I get to escape the extensive traveling I've been doing!

Amsterdam,Holland is a very special place and it belongs to memories of many different people, including myself. And before you guys begin to jump the gun.... these memories are all within... No crazy stories too much......

I look around and I see bikes, all of sizes and shapes, a very few are decked in cool colors, but It is definitely the way of transportation around in that town, and to be quite honest, I was really digging the idea of rolling up on a bike for a date or meeting, or whatever it is.
Just imagine how it would be to roll somewhere of distance..... on your bike!

Whatever! call it corny if you like, but I'm sure at some point you've all had in your mind to have a romantic time with your partner, wether It's riding bikes, or whatever, but since we're on the Amsterdam topic, yeah riding bikes!
I'm kinda  bummed about only being in town for a few hours, it was, and i mean literally, we were in and out!
I got to take a few pictures of what I thought my be interesting enough for you guys to see! Three more cities to go and my camera is flashing in the red, and you know i left the charger home............. i know, blame it on me for last minute packing.... I took everything else but that!   Well folks, lets see what I come up with!
This show was special, a few of the band members were talking about old times, we played Amsterdam quite a few times and the first couple were pretty memorable times, We've played here in the year 2000 rocking the stage then!

What an excellent venue Paridiso is, this night was going back down memory lane. I even have a favorite Chicken Swarmer spot  called Oma's.
We go there every time we are there, its located right around the corner from the venue! Excellent food, you sit down, they give you the old school wooden bowls with fries, and the sandwich..... The truth.....I can go without the red light district stuff, thats for the birds.... Always will you see crazy sights but like they say, different folks  different strokes!
With so many things going on in a few hours there, i documented some really cool things, and shall I say, only in Europe folks, only in europe. Take a vacation here people, we are in 2010... Broaden your horizon folks, I promise that you wont regret it! Thats what the world is here for, save up some money and take a trip!

Before I leave... I wanted to touch the Importance of the load in and sound crew of these venues.
They wait there patiently for you to arrive and most of them are pleasant and they get the job done for you! Being a musician, i remember walking past them and not expressing my gratitude to them for being such a hard worker on their respected jobs!
At the end of the day, their job is to make you able to hear your self, and sound good in the audience. This tour, these guys have been more then welcoming with helping us out, and I thank them very much!
Not sure if i wanna give props to the light guys, they are responsible for these amazing light shows, but it makes me burn and sweat, sweat and burn :)

Anyway, I'm off to Oslo, Norway.... let's see what happens there!


I'm telling you guys, this is how they get down in Amsterdam, looks like she got some groceries in the tub, ready to go cook a nice meal and have a cool evening!
Here it is, the good Old classic date on a bike! I told yall
This church of a venue has a great vibe, always amazing stuff goin going on in here
There go my homie! how many years have we played here?
We shared the stage with this legendary guy! a few times
Romantic enough?
A view from my hotel room!
Now if we had hard rock cafe presented to us like this in the states, i would eat there too
Imagine this as your Flat! Nice
Chess Match outside, How dope is that! Love you shey! This one was for you!
They were going in until we had to leave......cool sight, i'd have to admit.

Thats all peoples...... have a good evening!




Oslo,Norway

Oslo,Norway........For a crowd that's not too familiar with us...I wanna say thank you for listening to us. You guys rocked with us..... even sang some of the songs!
We have fans even in places we wouldn't expect....Oslo,Norway... 

Sights are beautiful, puts me in a place where it feels surreal, but yes, actually its real and I'm here.
Well today's travel went slightly different with Flying instead of driving! That was great, but my flight wasn't my most comfortable one. I will not complain though.... (Maud) seems to think I complain about stuff.. so for her sake... I'm gonna keep it cool! She told me I was complaining about the way my drums were in Koln Last week, Remember that one, the first blog of the tour!  Home Boy Backline R Us. Follow Maud Arnold on Twitter Guys, she's a Cool friend!

Anyway..... I'm gonna be cool on this one... I shall instead say that I'm blessed to have landed ok with no bumps and bruises and we made it Here to perform our show. 
The band before us played some good sounds, i actually watched most of their set... Killing!
This gig was  a more easy going one.... with us basically introducing ourselves to a new audience.... Like i said, they enjoyed it, and so did we.
Like james brown said... We hit it and quit on a great note! Oslo  Rocks....
WE Played about a good 50 minutes and we were done! 
Back to the hotel, to get up early in the Am to do it again, festival style In Dour, Belgium...... and please no waffles and ice cream Ms. Falcon.....
That food is far from my list of things that i need to be eating!

I walked around today with the little time I had off, and was impressed on how clean it was and how easy going it felt to walk around.
There are hills galore here and right at this very moment that I'm writing, It's about 3:35 am in the morning! Right! But Check this, Looks Like a scene from the shinning if you ask me! Just kidding,But it was kinda spooky for a second.

This time around, being in europe and touring with B, promoting the new album came with a different feeling, I wrote a blog about it, and if your remember correct, I mentioned  feeling accomplished! But not contempt.

It's very important to keep that mindset, because once a few things start rolling in your life, you've thought you made it!
Nope, keep it cool!
Oslo,Norway is cool too, but why it is full day light outside at 3:30 am????
Can't understand, so I'll just embrace it.
This festival was cool and easy! Great catering too, I ate healthy folks... what more can you do.
I have three more days until I'm out of here, so while I'm still here, I shall take advantage on how they eat in really small portions!
Thanks Norway I had a ball here.... that flight coming in though, was not the deal, I was so tired that I feel asleep right before we landed, and if you don't have any idea on what not to do when flying... never... ever.. fall asleep...Before and while landing...Why?
Well because you get into a good mood of sleep finally and then once that plane hits the ground without your knowing................BOOM........ rude awake right!

Then you catch your gatherings...... I've landed...... Belgium Is the next stop... We're on the move....  later
------------MCKIE---------------------

Beautiful place.. I'm always getting the cool views from my hotel room! Nice
More bed room views, 
Folks in Oslo eating nice and calm!
Tony walking near the fountain! In Oslo
Fountain... forgive me for not knowing the name of it!
Tone is getting mad love in my photo's MY BOY 
In the streets  of oslo
Not quite Amsterdam bike outing.. but hey.. It's europe
Yeah.. H&M is every where, not that i shop there, but i know some of you do!
Thats all I'm rockin with these days... simple and sweet. all that backline talk and those tama drums sounded amazing!  Thats all folks, check me in Belgium!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

London....


So Here I am back In London town, just finished our show at Club Fabric which kinda started off on the wrong foot............well here we are again with that back line gear, only this time, they were expecting me to setup my drum kit..... Like take it out the box, carry to the stage and set it up!
And in the back of my mind, I'm saying why  aren't the drums setup like normal and I'll just walk in and do a little tuning and throw my cymbals up. Nope I swallowed my pride and set them up, pissed the whole time, then came back to my senses!
(Thanks, Tony You helped me out there for a second)
Upon arrival to London we had to endure yet another ferry ride across the ocean into London, But! We got yanked in immigration of course, well because being a musician, they just don't like the way we live out lives and make money, it's too lose and free, and they wanna be able to structure it with how much you can make and track you with work permits, and while some people can get stamped to stay in town for six months, we are subject to only 4 and 5 days out the time and then we gotta leave town! So yeah so just keep it tight, and you will not have any problems!

So London crowd was cool tonight, very accepting of the new songs, and i noticed  a few people in the front needed air plugs from all the rocking out we've done. (Sorry) When i noticed i started to play a little softer!

I wanted to go in on these ferry trips back and forth, but I don't wanna make it seem like I'm complaining so, I'll keep it short and sweet and let you know that we have yet another one to take Tomorrow in route to Amsterdam!
For some reason since we've been having great summer weather in europe, I just figured that that would carry over in London today, Wishful thinking is cool, but not today.
The rain came down and it kept me from taking pictures like i wanted too, oh well, you can get the idea from what I've shown you!
London is a very cool town, I often thought today, wow, I have friends back at home that would soak up these moments and most importantly fit right into this european zone.
I could single handily point out some of my friends that are not in the right country or city and would love to be in these cities that i often visit and take full advantage of! And I often thought, I wonder what my parents would feel like to be in the streets of Barcelona, or Paris, Or where ever. How would they take it in?

Remains to be scene! 
It was on my mind, and made me wonder about it! 
Today was more like a meditation day driving along the road towards London, and I was totally sleep for most of it, Until that damn ferry ride came up.........Ok i won't go into it, I promised i won't my trip or any negative thing around  it.
On my way back to the hotel, me,bilal and corey, saw a Fox! Yup i said fox, it was surreal to see that, when you always read about them in books in school, it ran away from us like we never even saw it! funny stuff, a fox!

Great show tonight in london and Four more to go! And I'm back on the plane home to philly!
Have A good one everybody, I hope that you enjoyed the video clips!
Museum Of London
Train Station
The streets of London
This is how they do in london, right after work, Talking and drinking,
This Art was posted in the lobby of my hotel! pretty dope
Streets of London again
Think it over.... new record of the album









Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Nice day In Paris



Here we are In Paris,France.....Beautiful day outside and back home in philly it's raining and thunder, that's pretty bad, sounds like a nice and cuddle day to me! Watch a few movies and maybe a nice and healthy home cooked meal.
Ok back to Paris! I can understand why people love this country and the atmosphere,   and while the sun is shining with a tint of La sunny weather, what more can you ask for? Maybe the south of france on Nice Beach, but other then that, i think its pretty cool.
This has to mark my 11th time here, maybe more, I've played here with a few different groups and I've even recorded some live music here, so its safe to say that I've seen Paris through all the seasons it has to offer.

Love is in the air most definitely, some of my close friends say this is their favorite place to be!  These are times when i wish of a significant other, to travel these journeys with me and just have a cool romance,  and just soaking up the moment here in the streets of Paris! I almost guarantee that you will have a smile on your face and always would wanna come back!

The Music scene here is great too, i always enjoy playing here since my first time back in 2000! Every time I've played here, the crowd has been amazing, and very supportive and kind, and just such passionate lovers of good music.
I believe Europe is the place that appreciates all kinds of music, wether it's old or new! They will accept and embrace you.

As I write my blog, a good friend (Robert Amour) Just commented on my Face book page telling me that I must love what I do, knowing I'm in Paris, and I thought, Yeah, I do, But It's a combination of things that makes it so interesting.... Which are... The hotels we stay at, the accommodations and the Venues. Today all three in tact and it makes a world of a difference!

Today we arrived at a Hotel called "The MAMA Shelter" Gotta love it, everything is MAC Computer Integrated, The lobby is a cool hangout and  the rooms are very relaxing! Then i walked into my bathroom, ready to bath and i see all the products to wash, lotion and everything were from Kiehl's
I thought wow, keihl's product in the bathroom, that was a first!
If any body know their lotion and shampoo products or whatever you like, Kiehl's brand is off the chain, pretty pricey, but its good stuff, which will be going in my travel bag!

Mama Shelter hotel has it going on, and if you ever visit paris, maybe you wanna stop by here  during your stay!

On to the venue for tonight, La BelleVilloise Club. Sound was great, backline  equipment was right on point and most of all importantly, the show is sold out! Should be a good one! And We start early, every night before, we went on stage no later then 1 am.... crazy right!  I know, not tonight, looks like were gonna hit it and quit it!
Besides we got London tomorrow, and then Amsterdam the next! We're in full motion now.

When the weather is great and the sun is shinning, it automatically puts you in a good mood, you have a clear mind towards whatever it is your about to do. In my pics, i tried documenting whatever i saw that was random, but simple enough to give you an illusion to draw while checking the pics out!
I've had some life changing moments in Paris, and if you ever been, I'm sure you've had a few too, mines, yes they are disclosed, can't talk about that of course, but this place is a magnet for moments and adventures!

Its safe to say that they have been good, and not so bad, and most of all important, I've created some great music here and built up a base where people actually know who I am whenever i appear here.
Thats safe to say a small legacy huh? So yeah, i feel blessed and I'm enjoying my time here more then ever before, I can't really pin point it, but my mind is sorta free, and not too much stress on me, and it's just a huge weight off my shoulder to just sit in my room and chill out.

There was really no time to venture out and sight see, we often never have that kinda time, its always in and out, and hopefully you'll get a minute to grab something good to eat, like the other day in  Berlin.... (Good Stuff) Moon Thai..... Thai goes down in europe, there's another fancy one next to the venue today, can someone say BUYOUT! Were gonna hit it folks,
I'll Report back with you guys tomorrow from London Town, Shout out to me girl Estelle! And my Boy Leon!

Have a good day everyone, i hear the sun is trying to peek out!

Later --------------MCKIE-----------------
A rest stop on the way to paris
250 km were a nice long drive to Paris, ever seen it like that?
Outside the hotel in Paris
Le Mama Shelter
They Have super makets too!
Right outside my Window, there's a old vintage tunnel
They do Mc donald's too, not to worry, just a pic i took, i haven't eaten there!
This cool cafe across from my hotel, seems like they have fun in there!
Fly elavator in Mama SHelter
How about that for a carpet in the hotel room!
There the venue for tonight, and thats all i got for you folks, have a good one,
I'm out of here! late for lobby call as usual!
Peace

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Berlin,Germany once again!


Berlin Berlin, Big city And dreams... just kidding, But at least everyone swears by this place! It's cool in some sense and I won't even argue that. Plus one of my Favorite Thai places are here called Moon Thai. Food was great and Me and tony  caught a crazy case of itis while watching the world cup match, and nodded a few times. It's definitely one of my Top Three of Thai restaurants of course, followed by the one in philly,manayunk, and the one on baltimore ave.

In my attempt to document what my eyes saw through my Canon G10 camera yesterday, I felt so sluggish and the ride from Copenhagen to Berlin really did a number on us, and we still rocked the show. I mean it was Up close and personal, but everyone who watched the show left in an Incredible amazement! Bilal is a special dude and I'm totally blessed to have been able to soak up all his musical genius after all these years! (Now knowing him for so long ,makes that comment feel a little funny, because believe it or not, we often never really comment on each other's Craft!) You guys maybe, but me, My replies are simply like, Oh yeah, good show dude,or a nod of the head like Yup! His, are barely that! :)

Last night in Berlin was like a test for us, because the last time we performed here, it was a crazy performance, details i rather not discuss! 
We had a task of convincing people we really have a good show, and we stand behind a legacy of great music, and only one of the best singers in the world! ( Yes I said it world)

Songs entitled "Restart" and "Think It Over" goes over well with our past few audiences!
So congrats to my homeboy for  getting back in the flow!
The Berlin crowd got a great show, and it was major Hot in that place! I Appreciated all the love, I guess some people are moved by my playing and newly appointed job as a background singer while playing the kit!
( Can i just sidebar real quick and tell you guys that my room is extra hot, they came to fix the Ac but it still feels like a sauna in here!!!!!  Right this very moment!!!!)

Ok, so maybe I really inspire people through my playing, and musical gifts!  A few seem to think so last night.
(Another side Bar.... I"m Missing entourage tonight and there's no way I can watch it over here :( :( yeah i bet that was pretty funny and random....

Ok, so yeah, I'm feeling inspired and ready to take my career to new heights, and with that said, I've  finished working with Berlin's own Joy Denalane new cd,which shall drop this fall! She's an amazing talent, being able to sing so well in english and sound like she's been doing it all her life with a great sound to her voice, As i think about Berlin, and being here, i figured i would share that with you guys because you didn't know.... Another album that I've put some great work into! 

Don't forget about the Bilal"s airtight revenge Album too, I've done  a few things that people shall take a liking too! Both Albums, just get them when they drop!

This one particular venue that we performed at i was not familiar with and I've played in Berlin quite a bit!
But hey, we've reached some new fans here and the legacy has been revived and shall continue as our show  picks back up in Paris!  Pretty cool right, London/Paris/Berlin/Amsterdam!... and more!
I'm have to get ready and have myself in the van by 8 am and it's already 2:45 am over here in Berlin!
Good evening everyone... catch in Paris!
-----------Mckie---------------
Berlin's S-Train, took a field day
Corey Bernhard and Tone Whitfield
We stayed on the east side, but that couldnt stop us going to Moon Thai on the west side
Tone getting his ticket!
People just roll with their bikes on the train!
Boy was that some adventure finding our way, but we manged
Corey Bernhard next to the mop pad on streets of Berlin
Ok your wondering why do i have a pic of my bathroom, wait excuse my french the toilet area,
New designs are cool and all but the way the shower and toilet is together with that one little piece of glass separating them is terrible and a hazzard, i bumped my head a few times because i wasnt use to the glass being there. but kinda cool when u look at it, miss that shower already

I as get set to travel to paris, everyone take the time out to pray for the hawkins family, Walter Hawkins passed away, for all who don't know, he was an amazing gospel singer with great songs that lined my family music stream for years!




Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hanging In Copenhagen,Denmark


Day Two on the tour, another ferry ride into Berlin and I'm having a few flash backs from last night. A friend told me I should outline my postive moments from the tour and not be so angry! You guys thought my last blog was angry?

I dont think so, I just think that I was disapointed with the turnout in Koln,Germany. Nothing major, I felt like it could have been better, but with every first show, you have to take some losses!
So basicially I was not upset, just kinda bummed how the turn out was, from my perspective, a few people thought the show was pretty good! Thats cool.

On to Copenhagen, You gotta love that town in Denmark! Its very cool, down to earth and for the first time in a long time i enjoyed  myself and it didnt involve hanging in a club getting wasted!
We sat outside on the bare ground in a circle full of people, sitting there conversating, listening to music, drinking, and of course everyone had a cigarette in their hands, (ahhhhh Where's the shampoo for my hair)

The club was a small venue called Rust, we ran into some good friends their too! The sound was nice, i could hear myself sing and the others, and i felt like we played a better show, due to energy and just overall everything was there! The show is coming along as we keep introducing new songs from the album, They seem to have liked it alot, while still being star gazed!

Going back to sitting out in the park, wait, it wasn't even a park, just small random area where people came with their crews and sat down on the pavement with radio's blasting cool music and having a ball.
In all my time in europe, i never experienced a scene like that, and my bandmates could agree too!
We all were chillin, yup, even me sitting on the ground, on my cymbal bag of course, for all those who know me, you know I wouldn't just do it like that!

It was pure happiness going on, people making new friends, I'd like to experience that more in my hometown! But we all know philly right!

Copenhagen also seemed to be a rich musical town, filled with talented people who know their stuff! You gotta love that.
We stayed in a interesting hotel, right outside our hotel was this live and in person hooker service going on, walking up and  down the street trying to get their groove on.
Funny thing was, you saw their pimps pacing back and forth monitering the whole scene, keeping them in check!
Yes, very very funny scene, and then exactly right next to my hotel was a counseling center for "Foreign women" right dead in the mist of the hookers walking up and down the street, here it is a center for women.... gotta love it, please scroll down for pictures for proof.
Also one more thing before i go, i thought Amtsterdam was a Bicycle town, Copenhagen may have them beat, their were bikes everywhere, almost getting you inspired to ride you own bike! I mean everybody had bikes..........Ok........ok.......... I sound a little amped about these bikes, But hey.... I'm sharing with you guys and making the best of these situations so that i can share them with you!
I would definitely recommend vacating here in Denmark, it  has a cool vibe, very chilled and relaxing!
My Next stop is Berlin,Germany and that's also a cool town to be! So I'm gonna go and see what happens!
Hope you guys are having a "Hot July" It's also very hot over here too! 
---------MCKIE--------------

Like i said, in Denmark, Lots of people ride bikes!

More Bikes
The inside of Rust Club in Copenhagen
Thats our small stage that sounded killing, check out the backline!
As i promised, directly next door to my hotel! WTH
There's my hotel, there is  the women's place
Here's a view of hotels from my room.
Now this is where the fun started that nite, sitting outside on the ground,Tony gets it started
The party on the ground after the show in Denmark
Steve,Mike Severson, And Quadron_Quadron Dope group from denmark!
Here we are again, sitting on the ground!
Even bilal joined the action!
Bilal and Tony Were Lit!
That was a first for me
In black in white it started getting bright outside
Once it got light out, the night ended. and thats all folks from denmark