Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Brussels or Bust: Day 5 / 6 - Couch Surfing music, Germany, France, Luxembourg and all that's inbetween . . .

Day 5 of my Brussels life took my European adventure to whole new levels.

The day began as planned with a short stroll around some tourist highlights of the city, followed by a Couch Surfing event.

The event was a house show, in which four young and very talented artists from across Europe entertained us all with their very different musical styles. The couch surfers chatted, drank some beer, ate some food and listened to some really great music. My video blog shown below shows a few shots of the event, but to see and hear full tracks of all the artists, please visit my YouTube channel over the next few days! Apologies to the artists, I did not get your contact details, names or track titles, but if you contact me I can update this information!

The rest of the day didn't continue as planned. Recent friends I have made decided late Sunday night that we should go on a road trip. This impromptu road trip, took us down many roads, through many mountains, over countless provinces and to a number of EU countries!

Again, clips of the journey can be seen in the video below, but for a full run down on our crazy, yet tiring adventure, visit my YouTube channel over the next few days!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Brussels or Bust - Day Four - Wanders, Waffles and Weather

Day four of my European adventure brought many new foods, beers and naturally, new friends.

The day began with glorious sunshine, a perfect opportunity to check out the city from above from the arch at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, whilst eating a delicious Liege waffle!

Next, to la Grand Place for a Couchsurfers meeting and guided tour of the area!

After a short visit to see Zinneke Pis, Brussels' newest member of the peeing family, we headed for the bars where we saw a number of bands and DJs (one of which played many records from my beloved favourite record label - Tru Thoughts).

My video blog of the day can be viewed below, or by subscribing to my YouTube channel!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Brussels or Bust - Day One: Journey & Jazz

So the Brussels adventure has begun - I'm here, I'm tired, and I have quickly put together this short video to tell you about my first day here!

Music by Randy Simon Jazz Project.

The gig at the end of the video took place at Le Café Central, located in St. Gery, Brussel (photographed above) and the band were Belgian/Finish electro jazz five piece aNoo.

If you enjoy there music, check out their website and myspace!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Up, up and away . . .

Ok, from previous mentions, some readers may have cottoned on that I shall soon be fleeing the UK shores to become Eurotrash, more specifically, a Brussels resident.

My move to Belgium will have two direct influences on this blog:

  1. Brussels has a huge jazz scene, so I hope to write short reviews on all the bands, groups and artists I watch and listen to. I especially hope to write a series of blogs running up to, and during the Brussels Jazz Marathon, which will showcase over 400 artists, in 125 free concerts over three days at the end of May!
  2. In an effort to update family, friends and anyone else who cares, I shall be starting a short video blog. The short video blog will include daily developments of my expatriation experiences! You can view the video blog by subscribing to my YouTube Channel. Alternatively you can view the videos individually at the bottom of any page in my blog!
For those wanting to keep in touch, I shall still have the same UK phone number, Facebook, Skype and email accounts. If you know me personally, you should already know these, if not, drop me a message and I will privately contact you with them!

Anyone can freely follow me on Twitter, and of course, visit / comment on the blog!

Until next time, au revoir . . .

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Spirit of Jazz, gone, but not forgotten . .

Many of you with keen ears out there may have noticed the distinct lack of jazz and jazz inspired goodness gracing the airwaves of Reach OnAir as of late.

It is with great regret that I must inform you that The Spirit of Jazz, will, temporarily be off air. This is because, I, sole presenter / producer of the show will be relocating to what may refer to as the Central European home of jazz - Brussels.

This will of course enable me to listen to much more new jazz music, especially at the upcoming Jazz Marathon, but this is no use to listeners back in the UK. However - fear ye not fellow jazzaholics, once settled in the city I hopefully will be able to share my new jazzperiences with you all through the medium of Reach OnAir, as such is the beauty of internet radio!

Watch this space . . .

One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don't know what's going to happen next, do you?
Bix Beiderbeke

Making IT a little fairer . . .

This time two weeks ago I was recovering from an amazing weekend in Amsterdam with the makeITfair guys. Two weeks on, and I have just about found the time to tell you all about my wonderful experiences there!

You may remember from previous meanderings, I attended a Youth Roundtable in Amsterdam to discuss with the engaged youth of Europe the ways in which we could make IT a little fairer.

The first day, although very fun, it was very presentation based. The second day was very much more workshop and discussion orientated, but also provided us with very practical ideas and information on how to organise and fund campaigns. I felt at the beginning of the weekend that the NGO would struggle to provide us with an easy platform in which we could launch Europe wide campaigns. By the end of the weekend I personally felt that the event was very useful for providing participants very useful practical tools (both ethical & physical) to come home and really spread the word of the makeITfair movement.

In terms of practical campaigns and actions I intend to work on and think about, you lovely blog readers can help me out tremendously in such a small and effective way! If you could all take just a few minutes out of your day to take action against companies which refuse to pay their staff fair wages or provide suitable working conditions it would be greatly appreciated.

The wonderful Dutch GGTV followed our every move over the weekend, and put together this great short documentary:

If you enjoyed the makeITfair rap, written and produced by 'El D', aka Alec J Weatherwood, check out his beats on his myspace page.