Gettin’ Fuzzy in Copenhagen
4th March 2020
Back when we thought Covid was “just the flu”, I booked tickets to see the boys in Copenhagen. I just couldn’t hold out until the next winter’s tour (ya know guys, you always seem to come in winter – we do have summers in the UK – just) and, Country Fuzz, live!? It had to be done! I couldn’t justify the expense of C2C tickets for just a few songs (and yet I can always justify the expense of a few days in Europe – go figure!) I didn’t, at that time, realise that it would be such a close run thing to be able to go, or that it would be my last gig for a year (and counting). So I cannot describe how lucky and privileged I feel to have got to see TC3 before the world went to shit.
I guess this is not really a review of the show – y’all know what they’re like. The squeaks of excitement; the anticipation; the butterflies; the “I can’t believe I’m here” moments……Just me then? Naww, surely not?! This is just a few ramblings – had it not been for TC3 I wouldn’t have been there. So thanks guys for the opportunities and beeyooootifull memories!
First stop – find the venue. I’d booked the hotel to be close to the venue as possible (without bankrupting myself – yes, Copenhagen is an expensive city!) and found it about 5 minutes walk away. Perfect! And yes, I spotted the billboard with their name on (and got the obligatory geeky photo). And yes, I squeaked. Again. Then for some sightseeing/shopping/eating/drinking – ya know, the usual. Copenhagen is such a beautiful city, I really do hope I get the chance to return someday.
The day of the show I squeak some more – especially after spotting the tour bus outside the venue that morning (I don’t have the bottle to knock the door to say hello). I spot Austin (Jenckes) but the butterflies by this time are performing Riverdance in my stomach, so I can’t speak to him. I go do touristy stuff, returning early to the hotel to try and get forty winks before the evening, but I’m just too excited. The venue opens at 7pm and I’d planned on getting there for around 5 ish, but, I’m always late, so I arrive at 6 – to find only one other person there (whoop whoop!). Another very excitable fan from Scotland (you know who you are!) Then comes the nagging doubt that we may be stood at the wrong door, so we lurk….and spot Kelby. We stand chatting with him (he too has no idea if we’re at the right door) and he graciously poses for photos. I can never completely remember what I say during these chats – I know I must sound like a babbling idiot, all the while grinning like a simpleton. D’oh! I know mention was made of the Scots tolerance for cold (yep, it was cold!) as my fellow fan had no hoody or jacket (I’d layered for my life!). I also know that I practically begged for a Kelby pick – he tells me that they’re in short supply.
We eventually let Kelby go (!) and are told by venue staff that we are at the right door – it’s just that we’re the only ones in line. With about 20 mins to the doors opening, we’re joined by another fan, from Copenhagen (again, you know who you are!) who explains that the Danish generally don’t queue early. (Another reason to go again!) I rep the club (I believe I recruited a member that night!) and general excited babbling commences. I remember commenting that we should be called the TC3 junkies – we’re addicted and need our fix. Other locals turn up around 5 minutes before the doors open – all very relaxed and chilled. When the doors open, we early birds scramble for pole position (front and centre) – yet no one else seemed to. Bizarre!! But it’s a small venue, standing only, with the “stage” raised only about knee high from the standing area. It’s perfect! I’m so glad I’m front and centre – with all these tall Danes (and Swedes apparently) I’d have had no chance of seeing anything had I not been (vertically challenged as I am).
Pacts were made to keep spots should anyone have to go (bar, bathroom) and the place filled up quickly (I think the capacity is around 500?) Austin starts his set (acoustic) initially watched by Neil from backstage (“wave to Neil guys”!) and he’s great – really talented guy, with a beautiful voice. It’s quite low key and relaxed, but a lovely warm up for the boys.
After a short break, the joss sticks are lit and the intro music starts….it’s time for the main event! I can barely contain myself (even thinking of it now, I wanna squeak!) What can I say? It’s a TC3 show – if you’ve been, you know. If you haven’t, why not? Where have you been and what’s the matter with you?! You don’t know what you’re missing out on! The energy is just magical. I can’t remember if Neil posted a set list at the time, but it’s no good asking me for the set list now – all I remember is things got real “Fuzzy” real quick! To hear those songs from Country Fuzz live – aww man! We heard “Jam”, “Bar Round Here”, “Raise Hell”, “Slow Rollin’”, “Back Home”.....amongst others. Ah, you get the gist. Live performance gave the album a whole new edgier “rough” feel – more “rock” – just heavenly. This was a show with little chat – just pure, pounding music. It was simply amazing/outstanding/awesome (insert more adjectives as appropriate). I look around at others and see my inane grin reflected (and on occasion hear an echo of my excited squeak.) At one point the stage is “invaded” by a guy (Vikings invaded!) but with no malice – just to fist bump with Neil. I think it threw him a little – kinda difficult to fist bump when you’re a drummer halfway through a number?! And when Jaren stood on the speaker at the front of the stage, he was so close that his guitar strings were around 2 feet from my face. Had someone nudged me, I’d have faceplanted that fret (now there’s something I never thought I’d say!) If that ain’t front and centre, I don’t know what is!!
I’m loving it, the crowd’s loving it, but too soon, the show’s over. They say time flies when you’re having fun – how true that is. I’m a little hoarse (me “singing” again, apologies to everyone who had to hear it – I can’t help it. Although I always say “never apologise for enjoying yourself” to everyone else. Oh well!) Somehow I’ve managed to acquire another of Neil’s drumsticks (although I missed out, again, on a Kelby pick, dammit!) No–one seems to be in a hurry to leave, so we stand chatting. Austin comes out and we have quite a lengthy chat with him – what a lovely guy! Eventually, the staff start clearing the place, so we leave the building and stand chatting (and buzzing) a while outside. We were comparing our TC3 ringtones (yep *cringe*) when Kelby comes up and asks what we’re doing (more cringe). (He prefers my “Days” to my fellow fan’s “The South” I think it was!?) We also comment about the amount of guitars Jaren has used onstage (it seemed he changed guitars for every song!) – joking that the trailer hooked up to the bus was for them alone.
We eventually say our goodbyes and return to the hotel – totally exhausted but buzzing with the “fix” for now – fully expecting to see them again in 2020, either at C2C or later on tour. Maybe the whole reason for writing this is so I can get a fix by proxy (is that even a thing?!?) But I’m hoping that it’ll give y’all that fix too.
I’ve live streamed the boys in 2020, but it’s not the same, and I’m bursting to hear T&ST live. I know many think it’s too funky…but if it’s performed with the same energy and grit as all their other songs, I think it’ll be amazing!
So, Jaren, Kelby, Neil……and the ever important crew, thank you so much for an amazing night and for keeping me (us?) going through a pretty shitty kinda year. I hope to see you soon. So until the next time, much love and stay safe……xxx
BLACK ROSES TOUR
New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, TN - 19th January 2017
By Craig Lindner
Saw the tour kick off in Memphis...I was lucky enough to be in Memphis for business...unfortunately without my significant other (sorry Tina Marie Lindner). Guys have a new stage set up, moving Kelby Ray Caldwell to the back right and up on a riser (probably to keep him safe from all of those crazy female stalkers in the front row...good move guys). Neil Mason is up on a riser to the left (also safe and sound from the crazies. Jaren is front and center and ...armed only with a guitar and mic stand to protect himself from Kay Ford rushing the stage. The show was #18 (I know, I know...slacker) for me and as always, I was not disappointed. The guys brought the exceptional energy you've come to expect from a TC3 show as they ripped through the Bury Me in My Boots album.. hit after hit after hit...sorry, I never keep track of the set list, but I'm sure Neil posted it. The highlight of the show, as always, was Life...'cuz this time ain't hard. Jaren dedicated it to Kay Ford, I guess because Tina Marie Lindner wasn't in attendance.. sorry babe. Anyway, I was so into the gig that I forgot to pull out my phone and get some pics. To top off the night, I ran into the Kelby and Neil after the show for a hug and a quick hello and had a wonderful conversation with the always sweet and beautiful Chelsea (never let her go, Neil). Looking forward to the House of Blues show in Dallas February 24th for #19.
Bury Me In My Boots
Soundtrack to a Six Pack
Back It Up
Party Like You
Running Red Lights
Whiskey Soaked Redemption
Peace Love & Dixie
Days of Gold
DON'T FORGET THE WHISKEY TOUR
Melksweg Sugarfactory, Amsterdam - 20th November 2016
Another concert another new place. And I have to admit I didn’t realise there were actually red lights in the Red Light District. Stupid, I know.
Decided Amsterdam would be awesome to visit. Always wanted to go and apart from a connecting flight through Amsterdam that’s as close as I got. That doesn’t count though, does it?
So we bought tickets to see The Cadillac Three at the Melkweg Sugarfactory on 20th November 2016. Got a grandparent to babysit for a couple days and just waited. Got to love a 45 minute flight. I’m used to the long haul of 9-10 hours. I feel like I’ve barely sat down and it’s time to land! I always find it amazing how once you get high enough it’s beautiful up there. The rain clouds sit so low but when you are on the ground they seem to stretch on forever. Upon descending we hit the turbulence that is those big grey rain clouds. And suddenly you are back into the miserable weather. . . It’s going to be a wet first day. Silently I’m wishing for some of that sunshine we saw above the clouds.
One good thing is by now my anxiety is a little better than it was. The rush of people aren’t irritating me so much. I think maybe it confuses people. How can I love concerts but hate being around people. I hate shopping- people milling all around me, pushing past. I like being in the front of a concert, I rarely look back. It’s better that way. Also I have a freaky obsession with people’s hair touching me particularly on my arms or hands. It makes me cringe. If I have to stand behind somebody I usually choose someone with short hair. Some girls seem to have this crazy ass thing where they think it’s a great idea to shake their hair out half way through the concert. I cannot stand it when it touches me. There have been times when I wanted to have scissors with me to cut the damn stuff off. There is such a thing as personal space! Believe me when I tell you I have at least one funny story to tell you about it. At another concert. That’s another story. Back to Amsterdam.
We wandered around the airport and got a 3 day travel pass and not a clue how to use it, but didn’t take long to see what everyone else was doing and copy them! Managed to board the train and again I was shocked. It took 15 minutes into the city centre. I had no idea the airport was so close! I’ll be first to admit I didn’t know a word of Dutch. Not one word and I’m usually pretty good about this stuff. (When we went to Sweden I had a grasp of the basics; though everyone spoke wonderful English, I tried to use what Swedish I knew.) Everything was really confusing and the trams didn’t make sense and I had no idea where the closest stop to our hotel was. So I got the map out on my phone and started walking. Did I mention it was raining cats and dogs? A few wrong turns but we made it to the hotel. We looked like drowned rats. I kid you not. The hotel was further out then I had expected. There was a tram stop 5 minutes away which was handy. Maybe I should have done my prep better. It was like 10 am. Couldn’t check in till about 2 so we sat in the bar and dried out with our good friend Jack Daniels. Even my boots had failed to keep my feet dry. Great. That was the only pair of shoes I brought too. I hate soggy toes.
Check in a bit before 2, shower, and a quick nap because we had been up since about 2 am and we still had quite some time to be up. There were a few members of TC3 Drinking Club already here and one had recommended this burger place. Bar B Burgers and Beer. By the time we found it we hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours and only had JD in our tummies. I was starving so decided I was having the midsize burger 250g with fries. It was flipping huge but it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted and my stomach was still rumbling as I was finishing the last bite. Seriously. That has NEVER happened to me before. About 20 minutes later I was feeling rather full and tired, but it was soon time to head to the venue.
Got there and met up with a few drinking club members and had some photos together. We weren’t the only ones that had flown over so it was nice again to see familiar faces. You know who you are!
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown were supporting and they were really good. Tyler isn’t very old and looks a bit like a 70’s throwback but totally rocks the look. I had missed them previously as we were at the meet and greet at the last concert in Cambridge. The drummer Caleb was awesome. He came right out and does this cool drum solo. It was loud but very cool.
The Cadillac Three played and at one point there was a problem with the sound system but it was all good because the crowd helped out. Someone behind us in the audience shouted out for ‘Ship faced’ and Jaren actually sang it. I don’t think anyone had heard it live by this point. It was phenomenal to hear and one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s just so much fun! Jaren traded hats with one of the Drinking Club members which was super cool and upon further inspection Jaren had wrote his wife’s name in the hat. Double cool. I wasn’t at all jealous…. Ok, I lied. Yes I was. I just can’t help it.
At the end of the show they always play ‘The South’. It’s just one of those epic songs. Hearing the crowd chant ‘This is Where I was born, this is where I’ll die’ never gets old. Seriously. I can’t say it enough- 8 times and these guys still rock. I never get bored. We had a chat with a few members after the show and then headed back to the hotel. Everyone was going for drinks after but I just couldn’t hack it. I don’t cope well with very little sleep. I was exhausted and wanted to enjoy the next day for sight seeing.
We got the hang of those trams the next day. They are super handy once you’ve grasped the idea. We would have looked considerably less like drowned rats had we figured them out yesterday. We took a canal ride and got a great history lesson and checked out the smallest front facing house and had to check out the Red light district. I mean, it has to be done right? Ok I admit, I didn’t know why it was called the Red Light District. But it never dawned on me that there was actually Red lights! Huh. It makes sense now. I always thought it was a weird name.
It’s kind of strange. You don’t know whether to look in the windows- or not look. I mean what’s the etiquette? Not looking seems rude; but staring too long isn’t that just creepy? Ah well, I can officially say I’ve seen it. I really wanted to hit the Anne Frank house but I hadn’t booked. I wish I had. Hubby wanted to do the Heineken Experience so we decided we would have to come back. After all it’s practically a day trip away.
Maybe we will have to make it coincide with another concert. Any concert. I’m not fussed- I like all kinds of music. Seeing music live is just a totally different experience. It keeps me somewhat sane.
DON'T FORGET THE WHISKEY TOUR
Ship Faced in Amsterdam
Melksweg Sugarfactory, Amsterdam - 20th November 2016
I arrive in Amsterdam late Saturday night – too late and too tired to do much of anything other than have a beer or two (or three). Sunday is spent exploring (aka getting lost) in this crazy city. I’m not a city girl, I’ll trade concrete for a dirt road any day. (Sorry!) And even now I still have a twitch when crossing roads – keeping a wary eye out for bikes/scooters/trams/buses/cars. I head back to our room to shower/change ready for the show. Make sure I’ve got everything; Tickets – check. Cash – check. Drinking club tee – check. I hop on a tram to get to the venue - and again get hopelessly lost. Another tram and 3 pit stops later (to ask for directions) and I finally get there – and meet up with other Drinking Club members, all welcoming me with smiles & hugs. And I get in line to wait (not so patiently) for the doors to open.
In line I get chatting with a couple of locals (I love that the Dutch mostly speak English!!) They tell me they’d seen The Cadillac Three supporting Eric Church in Amsterdam, and were very excited when they found out they were now headlining. They also tell me that it’s sold out – some of their friends weren’t able to get tickets. I assure them they’re in for a treat (and told them all about the club, of course). I was a little worried at first that they thought I was some crazy stalker fan girl (after all, I can rant on a bit, and who travels to a different country to see a band they saw only the previous week, right?) but the Levellers were playing just across the street that same night and a lot of their fans asked who we were seeing - and all of us (locals included) started raving about TC3. (The Levellers fans had never heard of them – but they have now!) So I realised that we were all like-minded and it was gonna be a good crowd.
They finally opened the doors, and we all filter our way in. Apparently it’s obligatory to check coats, so after a slight hiatus, enter the room. And it’s tiny – yaaayyy!! I make my way to the front but other club members have beaten me to it – fair enough, they did get in line before me. But hey, 2nd row and close enough!
First up, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. After seeing them the previous week, I thought I knew what to expect. But I was wrong – I don’t know if it was the smaller venue, smaller stage or the energy of the place, but they were amazing. I love watching the crowd’s reaction to a band – and this was very positive – I was blown away by how many appeared to know many of their songs and one particular person who sang every word to every one of their songs. A true fan indeed. A particularly memorable moment was when Caleb jumped off the stage to play drum in the front row. Unexpected (I think for both crowd and band) and very entertaining!
So, their set ends to rapturous applause and we wait for the main attraction – a quick “comfort break” and then we didn’t have long to wait – the applause and cheers begin and the boys saunter on to the stage. They look tired, but when Jaren starts singing the opening lines to “Bury Me” you can feel the excitement building, and when that first crashing chord comes……ahhh, bliss! And from that moment on, it’s my idea of heaven - when not “singing” along, I have the biggest grin on my face. Apart from when Kelby does his solo -and then my jaw’s on the floor – amazing, amazing, amazing to actually see it as well as hear it. I was mesmerised. There were some sound problems during the set (Jaren’s mike cut out completely at one point, but hey, it’s a small venue and the crowd were singing along, so we all managed just fine!) But this seemed to frustrate Jaren somewhat (at one point, he shook his head as if in disbelief). However, it was soon resolved, with no apparent ill effects.
Since Neil has already supplied the set list to the club (thanks Neil!), I won’t bore you with repetition, except to say that it was the first time (that I’m aware of) that Ship Faced was played live on this tour This was initially prompted by an audience member yelling “SHIP FACED!!!” and the call was quickly taken up by others. Jaren said “OK, so you want Ship Faced” – the audience yelled their approval. With a quick confirming/conferring glance at Neil and Kelby, Ship Face began. An excited buzz went around the crowd “they’re doing Ship Faced!!” OK, so Jaren seemed to forget a couple of the words (and again seemed a little frustrated by that) but I think the boys seemed more surprised than us that it was requested and that they were singing it!! The only slight disappointment was that I think it replaced “Days of Gold” – and I just love “Days”. But I suppose something had gotta go!
With Neil’s relentless and enthusiastic drumming, he seems to burn through drumsticks and this night was no exception. So when one headed towards us, even though it didn’t quite make it as far as me, one of the other club members managed to get their paws on it. And then passed it to me! (Thank you Linzy!!)
The singing and dancing (in whatever form that may take!) continued. During “Soundtrack”, when Jaren starts the chorus and gets to “love the little hotties dancing like they’re on a mission” he points over at one of “our” girls at the front. I’d like to think it was aimed at all of us, but I suspect not (hey, a girl can dream, right?)
After Down to the River, (cue much more singing and stomping!) Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown returned to the stage for the “Honey Bee” encore as performed at other shows on the tour – but this time on a tiny stage! I’m not sure how it accommodated them all and with Tyler’s enthusiasm with his guitar, I was a little worried that someone would get clouted with it!
Finishing up with White Lightning and The South, the audience was in full voice and then all too soon, the show was over. We filed outside and stood around chatting (with some a little more worse for wear than others – that’s birthdays for ya!). My old man surprised me by presenting me with a signed tour poster, (apparently they were brought to the merch table towards the end of the show just as he was passing – serendipity!) Naturally, I was a little (lot) excited and very pleased. Then someone spotted Neil and Jaren by the bus and dashes over (a “fan boy moment” according to their wife!) whilst I hang back a little having a “should I/shouldn’t I?” moment – for all of 10 seconds. Then I was over there like a shot! I grabbed hold of Neil first (I just can’t do handshakes after a show, I have to do hugs), grab a quick photo, and told him how much I’d enjoyed the show. He asked if we’d come from the UK just to see the show and when I told him we had, he said how cool it was that we’d done that and how much they appreciated it. I asked Neil, after working so hard and coming to the end of the tour, weren’t they tired? And when do they have a break? (My concerned “Auntie” moment!) He explained that they were getting tired, but that they’d had a couple of days in Amsterdam before the show to relax and recharge a little, but the end of the tour was in sight then they had a short while to relax at home before starting the Black Roses tour.
I then went over to Jaren, got my hug and started chatting, a similar conversation to the one I had with Neil. When I asked if he was tired, he said he was but then, with a concerned look on his face, asked if it showed on stage!! My reply? “Hell, no! I’m just worried that you’ll burn out” (concerned “Auntie” again – embarrassing!) I commented about the sound problems (reassuring him that it made no difference to me!) and he explained that on this leg of the tour, the sound equipment wasn’t theirs (it was hired) so it was a little frustrating for them. I reassured him that with the crowd singing and the size of the venue, I was sure it made no difference. He spotted my club tee and said “oh, you’re in the drinking club!?” I said “of course”. He too asked if we’d come from the UK. Another “of course” – his reply was “Awesome”! I commented that I’m sure most club members would love to be there, including Kay and Will and he said “oh, we love Kay, those guys are the best”!! I, of course, agreed. So I’m standing there with poster and drumstick in hand, and then asked him if he’d sign the poster (of course in my excitement, I’d forgotten to ask Neil to sign either the stick or poster and had forgotten the poster was already signed at this point). Jaren asked one of the crew for a pen, who points out to him that it’s already signed. But he then says “oh well, I’ll sign it again but this time with love”. And he does – it says “Love Jaren” lol. I say my thanks for a great show, grab a photo and start to say my goodbyes (others are waiting to get an impromptu M&G and you’ve just gotta share, right!?) but before I go, say “sorry, just gotta do it” grabbed hold of him and planted a kiss on his cheek (he seemed very surprised!). Sadly, Kelby didn’t get off the bus at all during this time lol.
I spend a little more time chatting with folks (and repping the club to non club members!) By this time, we’ve lost other Drinking Club members (and don’t want the night to end), so we head to the local bar down the road to try and catch up with them. En route we bump into Tyler Bryant, so had a quick chat with him telling him how much we enjoyed the show, with him commenting how much they’d enjoyed touring with the boys. Then on to the bar, where I go inside to see if I can see anyone – I can’t see anyone but the “rest stop” is welcome! However, when I get back outside, I am informed that Neil, Jaren & Kelby (along with crew) have all walked by a few minutes previously. So while I was “indisposed”, they’d all walked past. Dammit!! I did have a slight urge to try and find where they’d gone to, but resisted (waaaay, too stalker!!) So after a last drink, we head back to our rooms – slightly buzzed, but mostly buzzing from the whole night. With my face fixed in the most idiotic grin.
So there it is. This really isn’t a review, just my thoughts/feelings/observations of the night. It was amazing! And I’d do it again in a heartbeat! I just love the smaller venues and as I’ve already said, I love watching the crowd watching the boys, but that’s even more fun when that crowd isn’t my “home” crowd! And each time I see them I still have the same excited anticipation beforehand and still get the same buzz during and after the show. Dunno what it is about them, but whatever it is, nothing gets me drunk like them (sorry!).