January 4 tour update

January 4 and the internet access drought is finally over. The free internet at Travelodge Hollywood was oatchy at best, and crashed the last day or two we were in LA.

The hotel in Barbados, coconut court, was simply not telling the truth when they advertised free wireless internet. The same hotel also managed to mess up our booking and has tried to overcharge us for rooms. We are waiting for the person “who can do something about it” to get back “on wednesday”. There are probably better places anyone looking for a hotel in Barbados could find. During hard times, stuffing around repeat guests, in our case regulars with large groups, is just stupid and not a viable business model long term. We will certainly look for somewhere professionally run for future tours unless they manage to fix the overcharging problem. A shame, because otherwise it is a really nice place.

The other thing that has made updating this blog hard is that I have tried a few times now to use Karen’s I Pad. My verdict? I Pad is an over-rated, over – priced trendy waste of time. It just doesn’t work very well. At least it looks nice, and that must surely be the most important feature anyone looks for in a computer.

We are now in Barbados, and the tour is going brilliantly well. The band is about to play their 7th gig tonight. They are getting stronger and stronger each time they play. The music is getting tighter, and the musicians are becoming really aware of what is going on around them and becoming flexible enough to adapt to things as they occur. You can hear each individual player improving all the time too.

We have had some media coverage here too, including a couple of bits in the newspapers plus a TV interview this morning. The band is being well recieved and is generating a lot of interest.

Off the bandstand, we have gone on a catamaran tour along the west coast of the island. This included several stops for snorkeling, looking at giant sea turtles, tropical fish, coral and a couple of ship wrecks. Yesterday we took a bus tour around the island with a stop for lunch in a little village in the “Scotland”area of Barbados, so called because it looks a bit like the highlands (but with palm trees).

Today everyone went into Bridgetown to look around and buy some souvenirs. Transport was in a local taxi van, with about 26 people crammed into a Hiace van.

Everyone in the band is well, not too tired and having a good time. time to go and set up for tonight’s show. But before that, congratulations to Nick Henderson, bass player in the tour band and JWA student on getting into the jazz course at Sydney Conservatorium. Other JWA students to get into the Con includ Oli Nelson (drums) and Carlo Antonioli (sax). Well done!

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