The second installment of Music Designer Deidre Gott’s tour of Europe with Shearwater! Read the first installment here!

July 3rd – Munich, Germany

We’re stuck in Munich, Germany. Grey, drizzling, dreary, Munich. Our Sprinter van has been overheating for the last two days and since this is the first day off since it happened, the van is in the shop being torn apart by German mechanics. And so we sit, waiting for hours to find out if our trusty Sprinter van will survive or if we get a replacement.

We’ve finished our Scandinavian part of tour. Going from Oslo, Norway, to Stockholm, Sweden, to Gothenburg, Sweden, to Copenhagen, Denmark. Some of these were first time trips for Shearwater. And then we went on a little mini tour of Germany, starting with a day off in Hamburg, to Cologne, then Frankfurt, and on to Munich.

View from our venue in Stockholm

Public trampoline in Gothenburg

Neat-o shops in Copenhagen

Hearty German meal in Hamburg (and where I officially stopped my Gluten free diet-totally worth it)

Marienplatz in Munich

The band says these shows have been smaller than the last time they were in Europe (they toured Europe for 4 weeks back in April). These venues have all been about 200 capacity venues and while that may be smaller than their most recent tours these attendees are die hard fans; silent and focused while the band is performing and then giving great big cheers at the end of each song. No one is chitchatting during the show, throwing back Lonestars while the band plays in the background (ahem… Austin). It’s been a really cool experience to see this and to speak with the fans after the shows. The Germans like to tell you how many times they’ve seen Shearwater, what year it was and exactly what they think of the new line-up. All favorable, of course.

Let’s meet this line-up of Shearwater peeps, shall we?

Jonathan – Mastermind, Vocals, Guitar

He’s an ornithologist and takes his binoculars on tour (and little else) to check out birds while we drive.

Danny – Drums

He produced and recorded Shearwater’s latest album Animal Joy and I may or may not have a huge crush on him. He’s played drums in local bands The Lemurs and Belaire.

Christiaan – Bass

Has his own band back in Lafayette, Louisiana called Brass Bed. He is hilarious. That’s his lady Lizzy who joined us in Montreux.

Lucas – Percussion, Keys

He was once in the band Hospital Ships and toured previously with Shearwater where Jonathan and Lucas first met. He is like a little squirrel and stashes all our leftover rider food under his seat for later.

Mitch – Keys

Also sings in this local band The Lemurs.

And we can’t forget the Tour Manager/Sound Engineer extraordinaire Phil.

He’s from Manchester, England and says funny things like, pushchair, lift and have a butcher’s.

So that’s our crew on this tour. By now, we’ve been updated on our situation with the van. We’ve already been kicked out of the place we were staying last night and we’re sitting outside. Luckily the drizzle has stopped, but we just found out our hopes of leaving Munich tonight have completely been dashed. We’re scheduled to play the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland tomorrow. Had we gotten there tonight, we would have a whole day of exploring this beautiful city. Instead we got a whole day of sitting around waiting. No, I’m not grumpy at all.

July 4th – Montreux Jazz Festival

Oh Montreux, Switzerland. You breathtaking, beautiful bitch. Good thing I did not know exactly how beautiful this place is while we were sitting around in dreary Munich. I have to come back here. It really is crazy beautiful. No wonder to Freddie Mercury decided to live out his days here.

These iphone photos don’t even begin to capture the beauty of Lake Geneva.

We traveled here in two cars. One, a cargo van for our gear and the other, some weird ugly Nissan. It can’t decide if it wants to be an SUV or compact car. It’s deceivingly small, as there were four of us crammed in this tiny thing. The other three were stuffed in the front of the cargo van. This is not the most comfortable way to travel but it’s all we could get since our van went kaput. Luckily, we still made it in time for a late load in and sound check.

The Montreux Jazz Festival! What an honor to play here. This festival has been going strong since 1967. Legendary artists like Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Prince, Pink Floyd (the list goes on) have all played this festival. Deep Purple’s song “Smoke on the Water” was first conceived at this festival as they watched the festival’s original venue burn down in 1971.

Shearwater’s performance was on fire too (I’m not above cheesy segues). Their official festival people were taping the show so I’m sure some footage with surface soon. The show was free and tons of people came out. Playing the upstairs stage before us were Lana Del Ray, Noel Gallagher, and Bombay Bicycle Club. I can’t give you a review of any of those artists because I was too busy walking around trying to soak in as much of Montreux as I could (can you really blame me?).

Tomorrow we will all squeeze back into our vehicles for a long drive to Liege, Belgium to play Les Ardentes Festival. Yay! More festivals!

– Submitted by Deidre Gott, Music Design