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2002 Holland and Germany

March 21st 2002 One day on tour in Holland with annA rydeR banD

Gosse-PlantingwebThe reason we ended up going to Holland is because a nice man called Gosse asked if we were coming to Holland on my email and I said no but did he know anywhere we could play and he said he would try and then he went and got us a gig at Arnhem where he lives. Which I thought absolutely amazing.

So we got up in the early morning and loaded everything into my car and some of it into the topbox which I had thoughtfully purchased in case of stuff not fitting in the car. We had to leave at 4am for to get to the ferry at Dover by 7.45am.


Crossed the channel and got to Calais. Tried to sleep on ferry but most uncomfortable as stupid arms things across seats so had to lie on uncomfy smelly dirty floor.

Also drizzling.




Drove on wrong (right) side of road otherwise would crash all the way to Arnhem. Very exciting but all tired from journeying and also me = tired from having been in Australia. And then rushing to get ready for this.

We will go to Holland for one day then go to Germany for 5 days. Wonderful!

Kept ourselves going by playing nest  and talking. (see CARGAMES section)

We arrived at Gosse’s house easily because his directions were correct. It was brilliant to see Gosse and Trix after talking to him on the email for so long.


I suddenly found out that his name is not pronounced Goss but you say Hosser as all Gs in Dutch are H but pronounced like you are going to spit something out. It’s actually a really interesting language.

Gosse and Trix and a nice lady called Elizabeth who is Gosse’s sister welcomed us with tea and chocolate! Yes!

The whole Dutch experience was wonderful as everyone was lovely and very hospitable.
Here is what I had in my mind about Holland I suppose from childhood:

1. Boy with finger stuck in dike
2. No hills – whole of Holland completely flat that’s why there are lots
of bikes
3. Bikes
4. Canals
5. Tulips
6. Windmills
7. Drugs i.e. cannabis probly
8. Coffee
9. Clogs
10. Sticky out plaits tied with red ribbon
11. Cheese
12. Liberal-minded about drugs, sex etcholl_03

1. Boy with finger stuck in dike is story here but more symbolic than I was led to believe.

2. Well – it is pretty flat but there are some hills and bumps. The country is very beautiful actually. And interesting.

3. Yes lots of bikes and good bike lanes and tracks.

4. Yes – spectacular canal we saw. With boats and lifty-up bridge.

5.Didn’t see any tulips but perhaps they were out of season.

6. Yes – loads of windmills – probably more windmills than nests (see CARGAMES section).

7. Didn’t actually see any drugs.

8. Lovely cups of coffee available which I can’t drink as it make me go funny.

9. No clogs seen on people’s feet – probly a bit like kilts in Scotland.

10. No sticky-out plaits.

11. Ate nice cheese for breakfast.

12. People are definitely very open-minded about stuff and therefore quite relaxed.

New things about Holland:

– Light switches are big you just sort of sweep them with your hand and they work.
– Loos are different (but let’s not go into that).
– There are 2 basins in the bathroom.
– Showers very good.
– Furniture like better than Ikea.
– Everything comfortable yet practical yet stylish.
– Dutch people mostly speak about 4 languages – Dutch, German, French and English. Very clever.
– Volvos are liked.
– Everywhere you go there is a grand piano.
– People enjoy music.
– People keep their tea in a thermos even at home.
– People like to eat lots of things and chocolate for breakfast

We had a great gig at a place called the Katoenclub in Arnhem just down from the Bridge at Arnhem made famous by film with Anthony Hopkins. I think…



The Katoenclub is perfect for a gig especially as it has grand piano. Geert did the sound and Willem was the boss.

He was lovely. He gave us food and drinks plus the fridge in the dressing room was full of beer and Chocolate!!! I had put this on my contract.

We had a wonderful time and in the end quite a lot of people turned up of all ages.

See AUDIENCES I HAVE KNOWN for photos of audience. 



Gosse was brilliant to be able to set this up – apparently he visited the club 7 times to make sure it was all going to work for us! And it did! Chris and Kate played beautifully and exquisitely.


Gosse also helped to sell our CDs and Trix. Their 2 daughters came along named Dieuwke and Jikke they were lovely. Plus Elizabeth Gosse’s sister. Then we all had drinks after and talked and joked etc. I made a cartoon on the dressing room wall. It’s alright everyone else had done this before us.




Gosse had kindly arranged for us to do a radio interview at 9.30 in the morning. The radio people were great. Plus there was a grand piano. We played 2 songs and got interviewed along with Gosse. It was funny because everything was translated and I couldn’t help laughing a bit at the translation because every now and then you could hear a word you recognised…

I tried to say Hoodenmorgan Helderland. Which means good morning Helderland which is the area we were in.

After this we had to get to Germany to Mulheim to play support to Fairport Convention and meet up with our German promoter extrordinaire Ulla Hilger.

We were sad to leave everyone although Gosse and Trix would be coming to the gig at Mulheim cos the advantage of living in Europe is you can get to different
countries without crossing the sea.

I asked Gosse if we could come back and he said we would organise a tour in Holland lasting longer than one day next time. We have decided we really want to go back cos we had the best time. We talked with Gosse about this and it looks
very good.

 Then To Germany For A Few Days

20020322_01So having left Arnhem we embarked with optimism and eagerness on our German tour which was equally wonderful with Ulla Hilger reputable tour manager and promoter etc etc in charge.

First stop Mulheim and met up with Ulla having followed excellent directions to the hotel and then to The Star Club where we were playing. Gave all Fairports hugs and was great to see them again after saying goodbye to them in Oz.

Gig looked really unpromising at first as didn’t seem to be enough channels for us all to play. But Rob the marvellous incredible to the rescue. Fairport soundchecked sounded like it was going to be a bit shonky through the available gear but Rob magically transformed the sound into nice and more.

Then we soundchecked and everything was fine.

Looked a bit dodgy the gig as was dark and perhaps looked liked it was going to be those very overthetop Fairport fans who only like Fairport and no-one else and sing along to all the verses of Matty Groves and like all the old stuff but no – when we went on everyone liked us. And everyone was nice. The sound was excellent and easy. We sang about half an hour and then went off to stamping and clapping which we had never experienced before. In the end I went back on and told them to stop but once I was on we had to play one more. Simon joined in from the floor on claves. 20020322_02

We’d even remembered to record it which was great cos it turned out brilliant. Ish.

We think the Fairports really liked it as well cos they were saying stuff like we can’t go on after that and we really like your little band Miss rydeR etc etc. Kate and Chris were marvellous though and especially things like the harmonies to stuff and little subtle touches. It was a lovely experience playing with them at this gig.

Anyway the Fairports were excellent and everyone had a wonderful time including their own promoter who sat on the stage smiling. I went on with them for a little while.



Gosse and Trix turned up and had a good time – we took photos and laughed a lot. Chris had lovely chat with Chris Leslie.






In the photo he is asking astute question (is it a fiddle or a accordion, Chris?) and as you can see Chris L. is all ready for his cycle ride home wearing reflective clothing.

Met up with old friends met in Germany before which was wonderful and received lovely hugs.


The next morning Gerry is still putting away his drums.




NEXT DAY was travelling about 2 hours to Solingen just below Dortmund. It was easy for the rest of Germany finding our way around as we just followed Ulla in her car to everywhere.

20020322_11We did not take long to get there so went to find a lovely meal which was fish and was gorgeous and excellent and then went shopping.


20020322_12Marco and his friend Laura were with us and we bought nice things especially some funny animals to put on our bags. And ate nice things.


Ulla bought me lovely umbrella called Solingen. This is so because because under some special rules to do with A.R.S.E.H.O.L.E. (annA rydeR Society Europe Home Of Lasting Entertainment) we must call our umbrellas by the name of the place we buy them. It’s the law.

Solingen gig the Cornish Pub was the place of more lovely food I seem to remember. We could not stop eating it. There was chocolate in the fridge and beer and wine and vodka!

Fritz was doing the sound and the promoter there was very nice.

There was a reasonable crowd and we had a great time again.

The thing is about Germany is it’s very hospitable and well organised but not in a rigid way in a logical way. Here are some examples:

1. The services on the motorways are neat, clean and small and serve food you can eat and drink you can drink at a reasonable price

2. The toilets are clean

3. The food in restaurants and cafes is always or mostly always nice tasting, good quality and not expensive

4. The roads work most-times

5. People don’t nick stuff e.g. the pumpy-up tyre things at petrol stations are ones you can fill up from the compressed air cylinder and take to your car. This means you don’t scratch your car and you don’t have to try parking you car right next to it. No-one nicks the thing even though it’s an item which isn’t attached to anything. I asked Ulla why and she said why would someone take something if you can’t use it? I said in my country someone would take it and throw it through the nearest window. This doesn’t generally happen in Germany.

20020322_156. The shops are nice and no-one minds if you buy a hand-bag if you are a man

7. The city centres work for pedestrians without alienating the drivers who are after all the pedestrians anyway. Mostly.

8. People like music.


9.People like good food.

10. The Euro works there because you can spend it anywhere in Europe.

11. Hotels are not expensive yet are very nice.

12. If you go into a bar, people bring drinks to you and write on the beer mat what you owe and then you pay it when you go out. This prevents queues and people having to find bits of money all the time and people having to get up out of their seats when they are having a perfectly nice time sitting and talking and drinking the drinks. Why do we not do something sensible like this in UK?

13. There are lots of nests to spot. (SEE MUSICIAN’S CARGAMES)

14. The services sometimes even have chairs in them which will give you a massage…

20020322_17web20020322_18 20020322_19 20020322_20

Next was Worms, Ulla’s home town. Before the gig we had time to go round Worms cathedral and we spotted a nest on top of a statue – Chris said Nest!



Next was Worms, Ulla’s home town. Before the gig we had time to go round Worms cathedral and we spotted a nest on top of a statue – Chris said Nest!

We also visited the Jewish graveyard which was very beautiful. It is one of the graveyards which wasn’t destroyed by the Nazis although all the Jews were. Just as we were leaving the graveyard a seed-pod with 3 seeds in it fell out of a tree right in front of me. We deduced this meant the three of us and so I kept it. Ulla said it was a good sign.


I have played this town twice before but this time it was a different venue. Robin was doing the sound and he was great. The venue was Aqui. We were given some lovely food and had nice hot chocolate. The gig was great fun again and everyone was very happy. Ulla had good fun as she met up with friends she knew. After the gig we had drinks at another pub she knew. On the way to the pub we played hide and seek in the car while going along. (See MUSICIANS CARGAMES)
As we walked in I could hear they had on XXXV Fairport’s latest album with me on it and Chris and Kate on The Crowd! We were very excited. We were a bit tired however and just seemed to sit drinking Guinness and didn’t really talk much.


All the hotels Ulla arranged for us were of a very high standard and it was fab and groovy we felt like international megastars. Which we are.

Next gig was Saulgau which was a long journey and in the deep south of Germany looking almost like it would be in Switzerland. (Would be nice to go there). It was in a pub which had lots of English stuff in and also had an English person in it. Hans was the promoter and seemed quite normal until later on when he brought out some strange headgear for us to wear. He was very nice however and gave us things. Like stickers for our instruments.


It was a cramped gig with us trying to fit on a very small stage and people crowded all around. Lots of people on walking sticks got up and left about a third of the way through. They did it very nicely though and smiled as they went past us to the door. Apparently this is because it is a spa town and there is a spa. This is why places are called Bad something and indeed Saulgau is called Bad Saulgau which means it has a spa. The spa has a kind of place with it where people can go to get relief from things like arthritis etc.
Anyway – the gig was noisy and we enjoyed it even though we couldn’t speak German and they couldn’t understand us.


The goldfish/frog thing was not something that was that easy to get across at this gig. (See GOLDFISH/FROG). However lots of people smiled and tried to join in as you can see from the photo of the audiences. After the gig we had a nice time with Hans and his friends. The hotel was extremely posh and we’d eaten earlier some lovely fish.

20020322_27Next stop and last gig was Giessen which was a bit of a trip north and to the east of Frankfurt meaning rather a long journey home the next day. We played nest a lot and saw a stork on its nest. We also texted nest to the Fairports and back. (See CARGAMES section)

Giessen was a nice place (we went into town earlier to look for a nice present for Ulla) but a bit of a difficult gig. Not many people and not really the place for us maybe. Not sure. Someone came who I think was at Worms which was nice but I didn’t get the chance to speak with him and say thankyou for coming all that way.

Everyone was very hospitable and we played the gig okay. There were some English blokes who were a bit mouthy but really quite good-humoured. Ulla had to keep going shhhhh! to them. They helped us afterwards to get our gear into the car.

20020322_28Anyhow it didn’t matter. We enjoyed every minute of being in Germany and Holland. It was fantastic. We even made a bit of money each. Ulla is the most fantastic person and we love her.


For breakfast on the last morning there was caviar but we didn’t have any but there was lots of other nice things to eat like cherries.

We shared out the dosh and found we were happy and satisfied with our dosh.

We went into the town again to get presents for the Fairports as Ulla would be seeing them at Darmstadt that evening. Some horrible shirts for Rob and Simon.




Some chocolate for Peggy and some little teddy bears with Gerry, Ric and Chris’s initials on. Also some presents to take home to our families. Such a nice time we had and a lot of it was down to Ulla.

We had to go home and said a sad goodbye to Ulla sending our love on to the Fairports.


Off we went in our trusty car across Germany and Belgium and France to Calais to get our ferry home. Chris and me had taken turns in driving all along which was great. We played nest and other games, talked, ate things…


… and then when we got to the ferry we found Chris had lost his wallet with all his doshen in it. Poor Chris! We reckoned he must’ve dropped it in the car park or left it on the ledge in the services. He was quite upset and we were upset for him but he soon recovered. It’s only money we said. It’s not that important we said. We can give you some of ours we said. But he said no you must keep your doshen for yourselves I am alright. So brave. We did buy him a bottle of wine to take. And the moon was lovely on the way.


Got to Dover and drove home.

Fantastic little tour and we want to do it again. Ulla says she will try to organise for us to come out next January. Hooray! and Hoorah! We had the bestest time.