Ann Vriend: A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events — On Tour In Europe

Ann Vriend: A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events -- On Tour In Europe
Ann Vriend: A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events — On Tour In Europe

Ann Vriend at The Basement in Sydney, March 2013 with Ted E. Quinn of Overheard Productions (chauffeur, cook, minder and police liaison)

Ann Vriend’s Tour Mishaps #3663 or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love BBC News In The Airport Hotel

Ann Vriend is at it again: touring relentlessly and sharing her sweet music, sumptuous lyrics and those wonderful ivories and keys in far flung locales. And she’s also up to her other signature move: having wonderfully Tati-like, British 70s comedy slapstick challenges, and farcical misadventures.

The ones that you can laugh about and blog about afterwards or during, but at the time they can be massively distressing and painful and expensive and inducing of tears of pain, tears of rage.

But with the crunchy comes the smooth. And Ann found that a rather stormy set of clouds did indeed have a silver lining.

Which brings us to this morning when this bobbed up on my news feed from Ann which, with her written permission, I re-post here verbatim:

just when u think you’ve managed a 5 week tour overseas w/o any major disasters, and you’ve congratulated yourself on stage the night before to that regard, and it’s the morning of your flight home, and you’ve returned all your gear to all the places it needs to go, and everything’s running according to schedule, and you’re filling up the rental car at the Frankfurt airport gas station to make sure you return it full, you look into that secret pocket with a zipper in your purse where you keep your passport and have quadruple checked a million times the whole tour that it’s there, right about then you suddenly remember 3 nights ago in the Netherlands you had this show where the venue owner needed to photocopy your passport for tax purposes in order to pay you and you don’t remember getting it back from him. You frantically check everywhere but it rapidly becomes clear the passport is still in this Dutch guy’s photocopier, 312 kms away, and your Frankfurt flight leaves in 4 hours. Then you realize you don’t have this venue owner’s phone number anywhere, so you madly email him, but he doesn’t email back, so you try to find him on Facebook, and call the venue, but it is closed during the day, and call the B&B where he organized for you to stay, but they only have the venue phone number, so you message anyone who was at the venue who liked your Facebook page from that show, and eventually you track him down, and he agrees to ride his motorbike 312 kms from Asten, NL, to the Frankfurt airport, to deliver the passport in time for your 5:10 pm flight. In the meantime, at the airport check in desk the Air Canada ticketing guy happens to be an Irish singer-songwriter named Sean (really) and due to musician camaraderie helps you out and allows you to check your bags in on stand by in the event that the NL venue guy, Willy, will deliver the passport in the nick of time, so Sean gets you your ticket printed up so all you have to do when Willy runs into the airport with your passport is run to security as fast as you can and then to the gate where they have been notified of your situation, and somehow he arranges to allow you to do this up to 20 minutes before the flight leaves, which is pretty much unheard of for an international flight. So you stand there, totally ready for this plan, and watch the airport doors like a hawk, and while you do this it starts to rain outside and you hope you haven’t caused this Dutch guy racing on the slippery Autobahn to have a horrible motorbike accident, and meanwhile you practically book yourself a whole tour of Ireland and discuss the in’s and out’s of digital distribution via CD Baby and Amazon. Then, sad as an Irish ballad, 4:25 comes around, then 4:30, then 4:35… and by 4:40 Sean has done everything in his power but they have to remove my bags from stand by, and it becomes apparent I will indeed not make my flight, and I have to book another one from Frankfurt to Toronto in the morning, and also of course my Toronto to Edmonton flight has to be re-booked, too. Sean gets that done for as little money as possible, but still some, and just when that’s all gone through Willy rushes in, motorcycle helmet in one hand, my passport in the other. It was the opposite of the movies when all this rushing around involving airports and motorcycles results in tension to the last second but in the end it works out perfectly. Well it was kind of like that minus the last part. So, we agreed we all tried our best, went for a beer, and maybe Sean the Irish guy is gonna play a gig at Willy’s venue, and but if he does he’d better get the passport out of the photocopier as SOON as the photocopy machine passes over that thing. Those guys went home- Willy got home around 10 pm according to his Facebook message- and I’m in a Frankfurt hotel watching the BBC News, and will be back at the airport at 8 am to re-try going home. How was YOUR day? _______________________________

My intial reaction to this was sadness, hope, and biting the top of my warrior shield, Viking Berserker-stylee, just desperately wanting the fairy tale ending.

When you get to the part where you know Bogie isn’t going to get on that plane, there IS a quiet solace to be had in simply knowing that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Or several.

My next piece of quiet joy are Ann’s last four words: How was YOUR day?

Never mind she was having dramas aplenty, how’s it going with you?

If you found things to like about this story, some suggestions:

* follow Ann Vriend on Facebook
* listen to Ann’s music on, watch some videos mayhaps
* buy a song or album if you like what you hear##
* drop Ann a line at any social media or via email/web link — drop my name or this blog name to add context if you like; I’m not on commission!
* get to a show or tell friends where Ann’s touring
* give some e-love to the other players in the story, esp. Motorcycle Man Passport Delivery ‘R Us — links to follow
* turn the tv off tonight, go out and see some live, original indie music. Check local guides.

## And to those who burn, torrent or copy with no earthly intention of purchase, I’ll see you by the River Styx. I’ll be the one protesting to Shaitan that the git who went ahead and shared his music collection on BitTorrentScrewTheArtists dot com should have seen the concealed shiv in my hand, and that the dark lord claimed my soul just as the support had finished soundcheck and I was about to score the interview with the seminal act of 2014! 😉

I fear I’ve wandered off topic.

Here. Watch this.


Adios et a bientot.


Epilogue: especially for our friends in the Netherlands.

See, in the bit above that disappeared, I talked about first meeting Ann in 2007 or 2008 at the Illawarra Folk Festival and blah blah blah, but I did introduce her on-stage in Dutch, to which her first words to the audience and me were, “Thanks, Bill; that’s quite a bit more Dutch than I speak myself!”

So, without a net and without Google Translate: Hartelijk bedankt, Willy, voor wat je heb voor Ann gedaan. Het was zo vriendilijk en zo meer voor een personne te doen, meer dan wat is normaal voor een musician en voor een cliente. Ik vind zo veel mensen in Nederland zijn het zelfde ding: heel vriendelijk en doen meer voor anderen mensen als zij het kunnen doen. Het maak mij….geeft mij? um, much joy!! Veel liefs, Willem.

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