We’re Chuck & Pap Shirock, of the band SHIROCK, out of Nashville, TN. We’ve recently released our first single “New Solution” in the UK, and have come over for a couple weeks of acoustic & full-band gigs, radio station visits, and generally promoting our up-coming album! So, we’re keeping a little tour diary to remember and share what we’re getting into over here…
Monday, Nov 12th
Chuck and I have been in London for about a week now – we’re staying in Queen’s Park area in a nice little rented flat. So, a little about our neighborhood…
Loving this part of the city; we’re close enough to get almost anywhere around London without too much trouble, but there’s also plenty of nice spots right here in Queen’s Park that we’ve discovered on the nights we just want to stay close.
We’ve found a few staple places that we really like – The Salusbury is a restaurant/pub, with a wine shop and also a pizza parlour next door (including gluten-free pizza, which is a dream come true for me!) – delicious food and nice atmosphere. Gail’s is a wonderful bakery we’ve been stopping for breakfast or lunch at – the most amazing bread and baked goods.
Chuck discovered something called a ‘sausage roll’ that we don’t know why no one in the States makes! Our other two favorite places in Queen’s Park are Jack’s and Hugo’s – we’ve definitely been eating well over here (going to have to get back on the healthy food and workouts when we get home!).
One of the other things we love about Queen’s Park, aside from good food and drinks to be found, is that there are so many cute families around here. If you hang out anywhere on the high street during the day in about 5 minutes time you’ll see at least 30 mums with babies going by! Certainly looks sweet and makes you feel like you’re in a safe area, ha! In the week we’ve been here so far, we’ve had two full days going out and around visiting radio stations, a day of rehearsing with our band over here, and 2 gigs. Our first day of radio took us to Guilford, Birmingham, and Marlow, and on the next day out we went into Wales (first time!) to Swansea, and Cardiff.
I think about our favorite was the town of Marlow, which was just a picturesque place, with a river running through it (little bridge over onto a pretty high street), and moss covered cottages all around… gorgeous. We also played our first gig there, at Life of Riley music club, and met the most incredible, really genuine people.
Not only that, we had the rare find of a 5 star hotel right near the high street in Marlow with amazing food, cocktails and free wifi, to hang out in between our radio interview and our show – yeah!
At all of the radio stations we were so thrilled to have some great interviews, with hosts asking really good questions at all of the stations. Friday night we played our first full-band show over here in Islington, at a venue called The Garage.
We had a few familiar faces out at the show… it’s always so crazy and really humbling to me to look out at a crowd (especially in a city like London, thousands of miles from where we live) and see people singing along to the songs. Makes everything else worth it – to see people getting so much joy from these songs, that are just our lives, in the form of music.