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So here's what happened in the first half of 2009!

Athens in mid-March for Scarlet's Well: 6.30am flights - thank goodness for taxi drivers who show up when they're supposed to. I didn't see much of Athens...except the Parthenon from my hotel balcony, and an amazing ice-cream parlour, but I did play in a cubicle of perspex which was an interesting experience! Makes a big difference to the sound - i.e. you can't hear anything! Especially when there's no drum monitor. But people enjoyed the show, which was the main thing.

(I have to say there was a stray dachshund (!) enjoying our soundcheck, I was very tempted to take him home but he didn't show up for the gig later on...)

New Royal Family gig, also mid-March: There was a stage invasion! That was funny. There'll be another gig in June, I think, so will see if that happens again...

Scarlet's Well also played Germany in mid-April. For the P!O!P! festival, in Hamburg, plus a show in Dresden. I love going to Germany, and the "Teach yourself German" I've been doing on the Tube in the mornings on the way to work has really produced results! Sensible flight time, landed, taxi to venue, soundcheck, 1 band on, then us a 9pm, then watched the other bands, had a dance, then back to hostel for 3 hours sleep. Lots of fun. Good gig, and drummed just fine, although felt slightly under-rehearsed. Other bands were good, especially the Crayon Fields from Australia. Honeyheads were good too.

7am start the next morning. Dresden isn't that far, but the cheapest way to go was to get a "Schones Wochende" ticket - where 5 people can take as many trains in the region in a day as long as they're not the express train. So, 9 hours, 4 local trains, a tram and a replacement bus tram later, we arrived at Ostpol, a very cool "Ostalgie" bar in Dresden.

That was another fun gig, although a tiny bit strange setup because I didn't want to move the headliner's drumkit (the excellent Schwervon). They had it at the front side-ways on, so I had Helena and Sian behind me, and I was at the front of the stage. We went down well, but I discovered I'm much more comfortable at the back!

Then, another 7am start, 2 trains, an airport bus later, and we were flying back to London. (We found out that the Stansted Express wasn't running, nor was the Victoria line, so it was bus replacement services back to London. Adventures in trains, planes and airplanes..)

Paris was fun, the french were lovely. Scarlet's well played 2 gigs - one in a very swanky nightclub, and one in a hip part of town. Not huge amounts of people, but we had such a fun time and the audience clapped a lot.

Deptford Beach Babes in May rocked - all girl surf band. There's video evidence on youtube. Surf drumming was amazing, really sorted my fills out for good!

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