Green Flags and Great Cakes: Performing in Saudi Arabia

We were on the plane from Heathrow to Riyadh, and I was awkwardly putting on an abaya - the black robe that would cover my clothes for the next few days - turning it around, zipping it up at the front, then taking it off, turning it around, and zipping it up at the back.… Continue reading Green Flags and Great Cakes: Performing in Saudi Arabia

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Rose Town Rhumba: Return to Latvia

Just over a year ago we were playing in Latvia for the very first time, in the eastern city of Rēzekne. Our return to these forested flatlands, this time in the western town of Tukums, was nothing short of triumphant. We arrived around midnight at a guest house just outside of the quiet town centre,… Continue reading Rose Town Rhumba: Return to Latvia

Fishing for Maltesers in Malta

Stepping off a plane just outside Valletta, there was something dreamlike about the summer humidity that you could almost taste as it subtly lingered in the breeze - the smell of warm, damp grass and a novel sense that one might just get by here without a jacket. After enduring the longest winter in recent memory… Continue reading Fishing for Maltesers in Malta

Istanbul, Not Constantinople

Istanbul, as many will know, is huge. So huge, in fact, that one might not know where to start in this continent-crossing metropolis. My mind was therefore put at ease when we were told we'd be spending four days there without a single chance to see the city. We arrived at the airport on the… Continue reading Istanbul, Not Constantinople

Fast Cars and Falafel in Kuwait

It's January, and what better way to start the year than with sleep deprivation and swift trips to foreign lands? Kuwait seemed the obvious choice. Arriving at our hotel at around 7AM, we were bleary-eyed and delirious, but didn't fail to notice that the hotel looked less like the five-star super-modern vision of luxury we'd… Continue reading Fast Cars and Falafel in Kuwait

Christmas in Kaunas

It's been exactly two years since our first Lithuanian jaunt. After our second and most recent visit, we could conclude that it's still cold, quaint, and the spirits are still strong. Kaunas upheld our expectations since our trip to Panevėžys: that despite being the second largest city in Lithuania, at times it felt very much like… Continue reading Christmas in Kaunas

Lights On, Eat Pizza: Parading Through Pula, Croatia

Anyone who woke up in Pula after a long journey would be forgiven for thinking they were somewhere else entirely. Every restaurant serves primarily pasta and pizza, locals say 'ciao' when they bid goodbye... oh, and there's a great big Roman amphitheatre in the middle of town. Sitting just across the Adriatic Sea from Venice,… Continue reading Lights On, Eat Pizza: Parading Through Pula, Croatia

The Street’s a Stage: Welcome to Bucharest

On a flight from Amsterdam to Bucharest, a few travelling musicians peered out the plane window to the ground below to see a familiar-looking lake - long and thin, containing memories from the previous week. I think I could even hear a distant thumping of beats reverberating from the earth around it. This summer sees… Continue reading The Street’s a Stage: Welcome to Bucharest

Beats, Beats and Bigger Beats: Balaton Sound, Hungary

It's day four of five at Balaton Sound in Zamárdi, about 70 miles outside of Budapest, and our ears are almost bleeding. We've endured days of relentless dance music being blasted from opposing stages in every direction, while scantily-clad, picture-perfect, bronzed bodies move and shake and gyrate in the 35-degree heat. All of this takes… Continue reading Beats, Beats and Bigger Beats: Balaton Sound, Hungary

Latvian Illusions: Raving Mad in Rēzekne

The official tourism website for Latvia describes the country as 'Flat in landscape, quiet in temper, cold in temperature and small in size.' Except for the temperature, which right now (summer) is a great deal warmer than the -25 degrees it can apparently drop to in winter,  I couldn't come up with a more fitting description… Continue reading Latvian Illusions: Raving Mad in Rēzekne