Have guitar, must travel – Zurich


Have guitar, must travel – Switzerland mini-tour

Day 1 – Zurich

I’m just on the train to Luzern. Am filled with love from the kindness of the many people who looked after me in Zurich, my lovely CS hosts, Alexa and Heather, especially – making sure that I was fed, occupied, even lending me a bike and detailed instructions for a trip up the Limmat River – and stop at a really cool café, the Bucher cafe. They even have little sheep skins to sit on… and of course, loads of books and cultural events.

Nicholas, who I met on a bridge selling the local homeless newspaper, Surprise. I met him on my first day in Switzerland, walking over the bridge. I bought a newspaper and we chatted about music, about life, about travel. He gave me a long list of musicians to check out and some really valuable tips about music – he composes music in his head when he’s selling his papers on a beautiful bridge in Zurich. Niko, a fellow couchsurfer, came to rehearse the melodies to a few songs.

I arrived in Basel at 10am and when the pilot announced that it was 6 degrees outside, I thought to myself “youre taking the piss right?” But it was cold, and my host was at work, and we’d agreed that I would come round at 8.30… So, I had the day free till 8 pm to explore Zurich – so I checked out the Kunsthaus, which is free on Wednesdays. Also Café Zähringer, which Nicholas had told me about, he said I should ask about gigging there another time… At 5pm I was a bit cold and seen enough pretty doll’s houses and views on the East side of the Limmat, so I went to sit down in Langstars Hostel which is situated bang in the middle of Zurich’s red light and alternative district.

Every Wednesday, the owner, Lukas, organises a jam from 8pm in his café attached to the hostel. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay but I caught the beginning of the jam session. Normally jam sessions start off slow and awkward, but within minutes Lukas was on the piano, with a full band and a rapper. (video)

It is on my to do list for Zurich next time for sure!

At 8.30 I walked round the corner to Alexa’s house – I couldn’t have stayed any closer if I’d planned it! I had written Alex a request but didn’t realise how close it was to where I was playing on the Thursday.

When I arrived in Alex’s beautiful apartment, we spent the evening chatting, eating and drinking wine. It was so cosy and so cold and rainy out, that we just chilled.

Have guitar, must travel – Switzerland mini-tour

Day 2 – Langstars gig supporting Awaken Tales

Today I spent the day cycling up the Limmat and to Zurich lake (pics) taking pics of the contrasts of Zurich’s landscape, graffiti, banks, nature, expensive boutiques, artist’s galleries, picturesque doll’s houses and churches – the Chagall window in the Frauenmünster is a must see.

At 6pm Niko arrived to rehearse a bit and eat noodles with my hosts, Alexa and Heather (indomie of course (    !). It’s a kind of CS tradition to provide at least one meal for your hosts (apart from doing the washing up).

We were enjoying the talk and food that it was 9 before we left to go to Langstars. When I arrived, my old friend, Bang Agun was there – who I know from Bukit Lawang and Alex, the drummer from Alex, is not only a fantastic drummer but also makes films and is an awesome person, and by some new twist of synchronicity made a documentary about an Indonesian guitarist from Medan of all places.

Awaken Tales

Unfortunately the video of my performance at Langstars – especially the jams with Alex and Nico didn’t work L so that will be only in my memory. Here are some pics though x