I'm spending a few weeks in a small village in central Portugal nannying a vegan kid and cooking vegan food for him. While meeting some of the friendly expat locals there, we got talking and decided to put together a benefit vegan dinner buffet/musical performance at the beautiful Casa Bela Vista for the animal victims of the Greek fires. Doing the two things I love the most: performing and cooking!
My first radio interview in Europe! It was to plug my performance at the local pub 'No. 9' in the cute little city of Kristiansund, Norway. The guys literally called me at 7.30pm and said "Hey, can you come for a radio interview and performance at 8.30pm?" After a quick shower, getting dressed, applying make up and a 15 minute drive, I arrived at 8.23pm. I was pretty pleased with that haha!
While in Kristiansund, I'm staying on a beautiful island nearby called 'Averoy' with my friend's folks. I have a traditional dark red guesthouse called 'Grongen' all to myself right by the ocean!
Captain George -- a boisterous Slovakian street musician -- had a stopover in Athens on his way to Asia to busk, so I invited him to hang out. We'd only ever met online through a street performers Facebook group. He was pretty cool in real life too. We went to an open mic hosted by my talented DJ and sitar-playing friend, Bill Hunchback, and also went out one night and busked in the centre in front of a small old church (after we got stopped by the cops trying to set up at plateia Monastiraki). Unfortunately, it was a bit quiet that night. The few people that were there though appreciated our efforts. I've been more or less living in Athens for well over a year and this was my first time street performing there!
A 6-week residency in Stalis, Crete turned into a mere 10 days because some people just suck. I was supposed to perform 5 nights a week but due to a slow season and the boss deciding that he was paying me too much, my nights and pay were literally cut in half. Being shafted with work and pay is pretty common in Greece. I should have known better. The best thing that happened while I was there though was enjoying my own little apartment by a swimming pool and a day trip to Spinalonga island. Overall, my 2nd visit to Crete was an underwhelming experience. :(
It's been over a year since I have written. Well, moving to Europe was a big deal and it took me awhile to settle in and make connections. I'm happy to say I've made some great friends and had many new experiences along the way: I helped renovate and set up an apartment in Athens, Greece (which I no longer live in, but that's another story), I auditioned for a cruise ship in Bulgaria (which I wasn't successful for, but that's ok too), I traveled in Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Egypt, and Iran and briefly visited Rome and Berlin, and spent a week lazying about in Paris with a friend. I started hosting themed vegan dinner events & recently catered for a charity event where I launched my vegan catering business 'Veganopoleio'. Last year, I performed in some pubs in Denmark, Norway and Greece, and this year, I have gigs booked around Europe. I'm not playing my own music, but it's nice getting paid and traveling to new cities and towns, and hopefully, I'll get back on the songwriting wagon & start playing original shows again.
My song 'Love @ 25' got some love & airplay from Heritage FM radio's on their International Women's Day special program.
Today I went to the Guitar Lair in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to look at an incredible collection of acoustic and electric guitars. I am proud to announce that I have been endorsed by Lindsay Marcus custom-made guitars! I get to take a beautiful 600 series OM model on my travels now!
It's almost Christmas & I've been back in Australia 7 weeks now catching up with family, doing some substitute teaching & recovering from an awful flu that knocked me out for well over a week. Musically, I played a couple of shows & I'm gearing up for a little busking this weekend. Other than that, I've been laying low but have some exciting new: I'm moving to Europe! Time to finally use my dual citizenship.
I received an email today from Amrap (The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project) that distributes new Australian music to community radio stations nationwide. In one month, I have had tracks played from my EP on 25 different radio stations across all states (except NT), with 5 stations adding my tracks to their station library! Woohoo!
More radio airplay: 2 stations on the same day!
The Rock'n Downunder Show in Nevada City, California (PDT) from 10-12pm
The New Grooves program 96.5 Inner FM in Melbourne, Australia (GMT) from 1pm (and repeated at 10pm).
Lisa Spykers is a singer, songwriter, piano player, acoustic guitarist, instrumental and primary school teacher, porridge chef, vegan caterer, author, nomad, and unstoppable force of nature.