Like so many of us during lockdown, our motorhome has given Andy and I much more than just the promise of future adventures. It’s been a classroom, playroom, chill-out zone, office, music studio and, memorably, the base for our family staycation, back in April. Hunter, our three-year-old, was confused – cries of ‘But where are we going?’ resonated around the motorhome for days…
Perhaps most surprisingly, the motorhome also became a broadcasting space, where I went live on social media with ‘Turntable Tuesday’. Once a fortnight I’d relocate my beloved record player and share some of my favourite vinyl albums with friends on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube; just me, wonderful music, a cup of tea and a couple of hundred like-minded people.
As a professional jazz musician I travel a lot for work, and the requirements are often logistically, not to mention financially, intense. Trips away are often cover long distances, requiring transport and accommodation for myself and my three band members. We’re usually off-grid, whether that’s stopping off in a car park outside a venue, or staying in a festival field. We do not travel light – currently I’m working and touring with a drummer, organist and woodwind player, so just imagine the amount of kit we lug about! – and we need to eat, sleep and physically prepare for performances.
Pre-COVID, I had a weekend of solo gigs booked in Cornwall to celebrate VE Day. I was due to perform in two beautiful holiday villages, just myself, my voice and my saxophone, travelling alone but performing to hundreds of people each night. Initially I was due to stay on-site in accommodation at the venues, but when I was told they were fully-booked and I’d have to find somewhere to stay, my eyes lit up. We’d recently taken delivery of our Alliance SE 76-4T, and the thought of driving it to Cornwall and having it all to myself for three glorious days turned a pleasant work trip into a much-anticipated three-day holiday.