Well this year has started off pretty rainy where I live in northern NSW, Australia. As I write this, my local town has just escaped from major flooding with rivers rising and more rain on the way. (Great weather for songwriting!) It reminds me of our time in the UK last summer. One of the festivals we were booked to play at was cancelled at the last minute due to flooding, which then led us to going to Amsterdam spontaneously. One of the many things I learnt on tour was how important it is to make the best of any situation, to improvise when life doesn’t go as planned (and quite often it doesn’t!).
Andrea Soler’s “Daydreamer” Tour – Paris
Our tour in Europe had ups and downs, and sometimes I just wanted to pack up and go home. When we had nowhere to sleep, being lost in a foreign country, our car boot not locking (with all our music gear inside), getting stuck in traffic for hours and hours, and of course dealing with mud and rain. In retrospect, I can see how these chellenges also helped me to grow and understand more about myself.
It also makes the good times SO darn good!
There is some exciting plans for 2013. I’ll be heading back into the studio to finish off my forthcoming album, and planning another tour to the UK and also a national tour in Australia. Thanks for the support! If you are interested in hearing more music, or to check out my tour dates, you can head to
It’s been more than two months since we returned from our European adventure, but do you think we could find time to actually edit more footage? Well, not until last week. We now have all the episodes ready to give to you one week at a time. This episode is part three and we are in Amsterdam, Holland. It was a last minute addition to our tour as one of the UK festivals we were booked to play at had to cancel due to bad weather and flooding. But, we made the most of our week here. Walking and riding bikes through this amazing city, eating apple pie for breakfast, visiting hidden gems in the city (thanks to Stan) and getting stopped by the police for busking! Andrea Soler – Daydreamer Tour – Amsterdam
Andrea Soler is back home in Australia following the summer-fall Daydreamer Tour. This Australian singer songwriter, a true friend of HorizonVU Music, continues to deliver her compelling vocals and insightful lyrics. Musically inspired by the passionate joie de vivre of her French ancestry she exudes a distinctly European influenced sound, yet maintaining her own take on indie folk. Likening herself and her music to the old ways of gypsies and travelers; expect a swathe of moods and emotion from Andrea’s soulful live performances. We recently caught up with Andrea and took the opportunity to join her in reflecting on the tour and finding out what might be coming our way in 2013!
Hi Andrea! I think it goes without saying that it’s great this opportunity to do this interview. Give us a little bit of background. When did you start thinking about a tour across Europe and how did it come together?
AS: The preparations for the tour were at least a year in the making. From nonchalantly talking about it one night while driving home after a gig, to actually buying the plane tickets and booking the shows, I worked full time for six months in preparations for this tour. I have always felt a calling to do a tour in Europe, I was just waiting for the right team and the right time.
You didn’t go alone…tell us about “team Daydreamer”?
AS: There were three of us on tour – Goba, James and myself. Leading up to jetting off, we met up once a week to finalise plans, make clips on youtube, fundraise through Pozible.com, and organise ourselves!
My husband, Goba, has been with me on my musical journey from the beginning, and has always supported and believed in what I do. He was a crucial part of the Daydreamer Team because he was not only the man with the camera in his hand capturing all the moments on tour, he was also interviewing people, helping to drive from country to country, and most importantly he was the rock!
James is my guitarist, and is a very talented guy! He is a real people person and loves making connections and new friends. James helped us to raise
Andrea Soler and James Ross
funds for our trip as well, which enabled us to purchase camera and sound equipment for our doco. He also helped to get sponsorship from AER Acoustic Amps.
For most of us going on the road takes a special measure of courage – it’s tough for a lot of us to leave our own backyard and play elsewhere. Did you have any real hesitations about coming to Europe?
AS: I did have my hesitations, and of course fears came up for me – What if they don’t like my music, what if the car breaks down, what if we don’t find a place to stay, etc. Those fears are totally normal. In a way I was lucky to have lived in Paris and the UK and performed over there so I wasn’t going over with no idea of what to expect.
What were your initial objectives in setting out on the road…did you accomplish everything? Where do you give the tour high marks? What would you do to try to improve next time?
AS: The initial objective of the Daydreamer tour was to expand my musical horizons. As you can imagine the music industry in Australia is very small and isolated compared to say Europe or the US. I wanted to test the waters to see if in a three month time frame I could gather up a grass roots fan base to be able to return and tour independently and sustainably the following years.
We also set out to make a documentary about our trip, to inspire fellow independent musicians on self-management and booking tours overseas themselves. We interviewed festival directors, radio announcers, musicians, and music lovers in the UK and Europe to gain insight. This doco will hopefully be completed in 2013.
It was hard combining those two projects together as it increased our work load to almost unmanageable. Not only were we heading to countries we’ve never been to, finding our way around, performing in front of crowds that didn’t know us, we also had to have the camera with us to capture it all, and also edit clips for youtube and blog along the way. I think we achieved more than what we set out to do and we proved to ourselves that we are a good team.
Okay, so you were in a number of countries and cities over the summer to fall, how exactly did you get from place to place? Did you find moving around difficult at all?
Yes, and no, to that question! First we went and bought a car in the UK so we would have our own transport, which was a great way to get around. It was a bit scary when driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road in Europe, and also sitting in traffic jams for hours and the lack of parking was definitely a challenge.
We had so much gear in the back of the car and every time we had a gig, or stayed somewhere we pretty much had to unpack and repack it, which was tiring! We ended up doing about 12 000km’s in the car and I think that was too much driving.
We know that you have some great videos of the tour…do you have a video we can show readers…you know, give them a taste of the Daydreamer Tour 2012?
AS: We are actually in the process of finalising the edits of our European part of the tour right now. At the moment there are clips of our time in England and Scotland and one music clip we recorded in the south of France. All clips can be accessed via www.andreasoler.com.
We’d like to share a clip with our readers…Andrea Soler and “No Ordinary Love Song”!
Reflecting back, tell us, was there a real highlight of the tour? We’re there any moments you care not to relive – honestly now….?
AS: When I have people ask me that question I find it hard to answer because there were so many highlights! I felt very honoured to be able share my music, and be on the road touring in Europe!
My first day in Germany is quite memorable. We landed at the Mobile Blues Club in the back streets of Hamburg, where we were playing that night. From the outside it looked like a semi trailer from a circus, and on the inside it was a cabaret bar. By the end of the night we had so many people crammed inside watching, listening, and clapping along. It was an incredible atmosphere I’ll never forget.
We also had a show in Lubeck, Germany. We arrived at the venue to be told that a lot of the uni students were on holidays and they didn’t know how many people might come along. We started setting up and a handful of people walked in. We thought that was it, we would play to about seven people that night. Within the next hour, the whole bar was packed. You just never know!
I did have an instance where one guy drove 800km’s from Switzerland to Berlin to see our show, and we also had a couple from Austria drive to our show in Chur, Switzerland, and they knew all the words to my songs! That was amazing! I really enjoyed performing at The Larmer Tree Festival in the UK with the incredible musicians who recorded on my first album –Earth On An Axis.
In regards to moments I’d care not to relive – I think when we arrived to a festival in the UK and I’d forgotten my wellies and umbrella. (The biggest mistake.) It was windy and raining and we had to walk across a muddy field in shoes. We got wet, cold, soggy and muddy and then had to play a show. Not fun at all!
Usually, touring along with the ups and downs provides some maybe unconfortable at the tile, but at the end of the day, funny moments. Did you get some good laughs along the way? Tell us.
AS: We had so many funny moments! In times of stress (there were a few!), we would end up laughing about it in the end.
We did a lot of busking in the streets without permits and I remember a few times being stopped by police. Once in Berlin, the police approached us and we had a crowd of about 50 people who started booing at the cops. There was this tension in the air. He told us we had to stop. So I smiled at him and cheekily said do you think we could do one more song? He let us!
Andrea Soler, James Ross, Hannah Judson and Phil
When we drove from Berlin to Prague on a heat wave 40 deg day, and got over the border into the Czech Republic our GPS wouldn’t work. The screen went blank. So, not only did we have to find our way to Prague, we had to find the place where we were staying! If you’ve been to Prague then you know how condensed and tiny some of those back streets are. We ended up paying a taxi driver to drive in front and take us there while we followed behind in the car!
When we got to the big cities, we would go and hire bicycles and ride around. It’s a great way to see the city, and we had a lots of fun, and once Goba had the Go Pro in his hand a James accidentally ran into him and they had a crash in the middle of the street. It’s funny because you can see it all on film.
When you gave that last performance, that last night and it was over, how did you feel? Happy to be headed back home, sad to be going off tour? What was that like for Andrea?
Our last show in Paris was, I think, around the 50th show. I was happy and content and ready to come home by then. I didn’t feel sad because well, three months on the road was long enough, but also there was so much to look forward to in coming home. I’ve started working on my new album, and also building a solar powered house in the Northern Rivers with Goba.
Do you have any particular plans in mind for keeping up momentum in Europe?
AS: Definitely. The plan is to return to Europe next year. We will focus on less countries and less driving next time and do more shows! I have already started contacting people and venues to keep the ball rolling.
What’s next for Andrea, James and the team?
AS: I think editing our little grass roots documentary is a priority as it’s still current and relevant. I am really looking forward to getting it out there.
Anything we haven’t touched on that you’d like to mention…errors or omissions on our part ?
Thanks for all your help and support with my music!
You’re entirely welcome. Thanks to you for taking time to talk to us – much appreciated. We look forward to hearing more from you in the weeks and months ahead and we look forward to seeing you back in Europe!
Maria Zubova and “Maria’s Sound Space…” is a regular column for HorizonVU Music. Maria has a passion for music and she likes to communicate about it. Maria is herself a trained musician. She is follows photography, arts, fashion, and travel. Of course, she frequently attends different concerts and rock festivals.
HorizonVU Music, Women Of Substance Radio, Photography@ Sue Rynski and Café OZ invite you to a night of music for everyone Andrea Soler with guitarist James Ross and Paris-based folk-rocker Hannah Judson head up a double bill 9 and 10 September!
Sunday 9th September 2012 – Café OZ, Paris
Café OZ Grand Boulevards
8, Boulevard Montmartre
Entrance Free – Donation to Christina Noble Foundation
Monday 10th September 2012 – The Bombardier, Paris
2 place du Pantheon
Hot summer days in Paris! Welcome to everyone who never forgets music – even while having a sunstrocke) Let’s take a listen and look to a great artist discovering some of her best songs – Andrea Soler!
Andrea is an Australian singer-songwriter with a spicy blood-mix of Spanich and French roots. She is an experienced artist having two albums and numerous concerts and festivals to her name. Her band has performed at last year’s renowned Woodford Folk Festival, Dorrigo Folk Festival, Mullum Music Festival and has also won ABC North Coast Artist of The Week, ‘Female Vocals’ and ‘World Music’ categories at The 2010 North Coast Music Industry Awards in Australia. More recently, she became a 2012 Music Oz Awards Finalist. “Her music evokes the tradition of the troubadour with a beguiling joie de vivre taking the listener on a journey through the realms of indie folk, jazz, roots and world music.”
Andrea has a unique mix of various music styles and streams with a velvet voice that turns out to be a ‘cherry on the cake’. She is very passionate on the stage, so never lose any opportunity to see her live concert! The audience is always covered by her calm, rhythmic music tracks as well as her sunny smile and charming presence. Andrea manages to hold a crowd without being loud: real music from a true artist can attract people with a high level of professionalism, its clarity and beauty.
“My passion is to share my joy of music and life!” – she says and proves it through her own songs. One of the most positive examples is “Daydreamer” which comes with a recently created video clip. It tells a story of a girl whose biggest talent is to dream! Listeners can relate – the track parallels with self-reflection – while listening to this sunny and warm melody. The video suits the lyrics of the song. It’s very creative and exciting at the same time: lots of balloons, smiles, lights, surprises -everything that one might, well, dream about!
Andrea’s first album, the fourteen track, “Earth On An Axis” shouldn’t be missed. “Waiting For The Moon” is a romantic song with very beautiful melody, catchy rhythm, and marvelous vocals. It’s a calm and pleasant track showing another side of Andrea’s soul. One of the most interesting songs for me turned out to be “The Flowers”. It has its own very many-sided and peculiar character. The guitar solo and long pauses makes it unique, reticent and penetrating. The lyrics are structured so to create a picture in our mind. “I leaved the flowers on the table with a lonely chair in the
Andrea Soler with James Ross
corner”. This first line instantly brings listeners into her world. “Earth On An Axis” the namesake track is rhythmic in the spirit of her minimalist folk-roots base, and it’s an active song with some gentle jazz accents. Here you’ll also find some melancholy in Andrea’s words about her home country, Australia.
People of so various music preferences and tastes can find something interesting and pleasant for themselves in her music, different tracks. She has been on her European “Daydreamer” tour with guitarist James Ross all summer. If your in Paris, I advise you to use an opportunity and visit at least one of Andea’s upcoming concerts!
Thursday 6th September -Le Bistrot 82, Montmatre, Paris
Sunday 9th September – Oz Cafe, Grand Boulevards, Paris
(Benefit Concert for Association Christina Nobel)
Monday 10th September – Bombardier, Latin Quater, Paris
“Do not miss any opportunity to see Andrea Soler play live.This Australian singer-songwriter has brought a much needed helping of antipodean warmth and manages to blend so many rhythms and ideas, emotions and moods into her music. A brilliant, imaginative original artist.” Ian Peterson – LIVE WIRE, UK.
It’s already been over a month since we’ve been in the UK and
it’s been an incredible tour so far. We are setting off tomorrow
to head to Amsterdam and then onwards to Germany later this week.
Below is a youtube link, a snap shot of what we’ve been up to
since being on tour.
So after six months of planning and preparing for our UK/ Europe tour we are finally here, sitting in our friend’s loungeroom in Bristol! Before we left our home shores we launched Daydreamer at The Bush Theatre and The Beach Hotel. If you haven’t seen our Official film clip for Daydreamer, you can check it out here - http://www.youtube.com/user/andreasoler17
It’s good to be back in the UK. We’ve spent the last two weeks catching up with friends, sight seeing and also playing some shows. We played our first gig at The Dolphin Inn in Blandford Forum with Dan Baker and Jim Allen. The kind of old pub where you have to duck to get in the door, and where a crowd of fifty make it a full house! You can have a look at our acoustic version of Better In The Sunshine!
After the Dolphin Inn gig, Jim, Laura, Jimmy, Gobs and myself hung about til about 2am drinking, laughing and chatting. It has pretty much set the precedent for every night since. How do I keep this up for another 3 months?
SUNRISE CELEBRATION Festival
We played The Sunrise Festival (which could have been renamed Mudfest!). The rain bucketed down, wind howled and mud sloshed around our wellies, but it did not manage to dampen the good vibes.
The Chai Wallahs stage is made up of a great crew of people who are passionate about helping independent musicians get their music out there. Not only did we play their stage, we got the chance to interview some of the key people involved in Chai Wallahs and they will be featured in our grass roots touring doco.
Chai Wallahs Program
The Chai Wallahs Stage Line Up at the Sunrise Celebration Festival was fantastic!
We had a lovely Saturday afternoon set, and youtube clips will be coming very soon!
Played a gig at The Town Mills, and enjoyed catching up with James's family in Andover!
This is going to be a really special night! We’ve got some very special guests coming down to play The Winchester with us including Dan Baker, James Jim Allen, Omer Makesa and more! Hope you can come down and celebrate our official UK Daydreamer EP launch on Tuesday 17th July!
There’s just one person missing from this trip so far and that’s Big Al. Somehow being in the UK and not being able to head on down to the Sonic Kitchen Studios seems so strange to me. It’s like I keep expecting to see him in a festival crowd or down at a Costas Coffee shop. This amazing man who brought so much to my life and my music isn’t here anymore. Since he passed away two years ago, I think about him nearlly every day and I can still hear words of wisdom ringing true, (mainly his jokes about life, love and bass players!). So much of who I am today as a musician was formed from spending time and working with this incredible man – Big Al. Daydreamer was made in loving memory of him, and I hope it does him proud.
Andrea Soler is a genuine gypsy. Music is her life and she lives it with a nod to the cultural tradition of the troubadour, travelling the world, singing songs, telling tales and lifting spirits with a beguiling, bohemian flare and an authentic joie de vivre. Her music is nomadic too, wandering the realms of indie folk, jazz, roots and world music. With touches of calypso, flamenco, reggae and more, Andrea intuitively blends a myriad of global influences to create music with universal appeal.
Hey there friends!
It is with great pleasure that we present to you our brand new
film clip for Daydreamer! Created on a $20 budget, this is our
first home made clip, and it couldn’t have happened without so
many people involved!
Directed by Nora Savona
Lighting and Effects – Tim Tonkin
Extra Lighting – Jim Spriggs
Edited by James Ross, Goba and Andrea Soler
Special Thanks to – The Nimbin Bush Theatre, NORPA, Tropical
Fruits, Vinnies, James Ross, Shay Henderson, Elvis Callaghan,
Angus Graham, and all our friends, family and fans who came along
to help make this clip so special!
Hope you enjoy it, and we’d love to hear what you think!
James Ross - Guitar, Angus Graham - Bass, Andrea on Uke, Shay Henderson - Drums, Elvis Callaghan - Violin
It’s an exciting few months coming up, and it’s all starting off this Thursday. I will be going in to chat with Jo Shoebridge on ABC North Coast 94.5 FM at 10 am, then over to Bay FM 99.9 in Byron to have a with Rich Bell at about 3pm, then off to play an intimate house concert in Ocean Shores from 7pm (Tom’s House Concert).
We are launching my brand new single ‘Daydreamer’ here in Australia on Friday 1st June at The Nimbin Bush Theatre where we will be world premiering the Daydreamer film clip on the cinema screen! Then on Sunday 3rd June we will be playing at The Beach Hotel in Byron Bay with some very special guests including Steve Russell on keys, and Scott French (A French Butler Called Smith) on trumpet. It’s going to be so much fun and I hope you can come along and celebrate with us! And for everyone who has been asking – The Daydreamer film clip will be on youtube/vimeo on Saturday 2nd June!
Friday 1st June – The Nimbin Bush TheatreNimbin.
(With film clip premiere) Tickets $15/$10 Conc 7pm
Sunday 3rd June – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay 4pm
Goba, James and myself say a BIG THANK YOU!!! x x
Friday 1st June also marks a wonderful day because it’s the last date of our Pozible fundraising project! Over 100 friends, family and fans supported our project and pledged from $20 to $550! With your help it has enabled us to really make our tour to the UK & Europe possible! Thank you so much for your generosity and excitement about what we are doing. If you still want to take part in Pozible, you can still pledge until Friday and pick your rewards. Just click on this link here – http://www.pozible.com.au/index.php/archive/index/5646/description/0/0
Ten days after our launch here in Australia, James Ross, Goba and myself set off on a three month tour throughout the UK and Europe. We’ve managed to hop onto the UK festival circuit and includes the lovely Sunrise Celebration, A Lost Weekend, Larmer Tree Festival, and Tonefest! I honestly can’t wait and am so excited that I have already packed my bags… (nearly). We are booking more dates all the time and if you see that we are coming to a town or festival near you, we would love come and do a house concert/ party for you! So far we have dates for Germany, France, England, Switzerland and working on Prague, Paris and Denmark at the moment.
Some exciting news this week. ‘Daydreamer’ has got into the 2012 MusicOz Awards Finals for ‘Acoustic / Singersongwriter’ category. Although I won’t be heading to the ceremony at the Sydney Opera House, I am sure it’ will be a fantastic night full of wonderful Aussie talent.
As you might know, in about four weeks I’ll be heading over to tour in the UK and Europe for three months. It’s going to be such an incredible adventure, with shows booked in England, Scotland, France, Germany and more. We’ve been running a little fundraising project and have had over seventy friends, family and fans pledge their support and in return they will be receiving lovely rewards. I’ve got a new video for you to watch here to find out more – Come and join us on the tour of a lifetime. I’ve got a new video for you to watch here to find out more – Come and join us on the tour of a lifetime. (Well… my lifetime anyway!)
Thanks again to everyone who has supported us in getting over to the UK/ Europe.
(It is after all halfway round the world…)
Andrea Soler is an Australian singer songwriter with compelling vocals and insightful lyrics who has just recently toured the UK summer festivals including Isle Of Wight, Larmer Tree and the Sunrise Festival. Musically inspired by the passionate joie de vivre of her French ancestry she exudes a distinctly European influenced sound, yet maintaining her own take on indie folk. Likening herself and her music to the old ways of gypsies and travelers; expect a swathe of moods and emotion from Andrea’s soulful live performances.
Andrea, it’s really a pleasure to meet you and to be part of your journey! We know a bit about you from earlier talks and your bio, but tell us a bit about your musical path and how has your career has developed.
AS: When I was 18, I went to the Woodford Folk Festival here in Australia. I’ll never forget the feeling I had watching band after band blow me away. I knew then, one day I would play that festival, all I wanted was to be a musician! So, I then bought a guitar and started playing and writing songs. I went busking on the streets with my sister. After recording a home made demo, I decided to try my luck overseas and bought a one way ticket to Paris. I ended up living there for over a year and played in bars in Montmatre and even Fete De La Musique in 2007! I then went to the UK where I was then sponsored to record my first EP ‘Better in The Sunshine’ at The Sonic Kitchen Studios. I played festivals such as the Larmer Tree, Isle of Wight and Sunrise Festival, UK. I got on so well with my producer that I went on to record my debut album ‘Earth On An Axis’ with him as well. Since coming back to Australia I achieved my dream of performing at many festivals and lastyear I played at the Woodford Folk Festival, the place that kick started my musical career!
Is there anybody who has really helped you along you path, Do you have a mentor?
AS: I am very lucky to say that I have had so many people help me along the way. My biggest mentor is Alan ‘Big Al’ Hill. He was the incredibly brilliant man who produced my first two records. He believed in me and taught me so much about the recording process, about music and about life. He truly was an incredible man, a world class musician (played bass for Jack Dejonette – Miles Davis’s drummer, produced for Shirley Bassey & many more). Sadly, Al passed away a couple of years ago, is greatly missed today by so many people around the world. I still count him as my biggest mentor. I always think – what would make Al proud?
What’s next for you? What’s coming up for you live and recorded?
AS: I have just finished recording my brand new EP called Daydreamer. I’m going to be launching it here in Australia at the beginning of June, and then embarking on a twelve week tour through the UK and Europe! I’ve booked 18 shows already which includes four festivals in the UK. We’ll also be making a documentary about this tour to inspire independent musicians to manage themselves and book their own international tours. I am very excitied about this trip, especially to return to Paris!
Do tells us a bit about your latest album.
AS: Daydreamer is a five track EP. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written on the ukulele. A lady once said to me that you can’t write a sad song on the ukulele. Well, one day I was sitting at home and wrote a song called ‘Heart Break Floor’. It’s about my first heart break. At least I can prove to the lady you can write a sad song on the ukuele! Then there’s ‘Love at First Sight’ which is a true story about a guy who was lost, walked into a cafe to ask for directions and fell in love with the girl behind the counter, and there’s Daydreamer which is the title track. It’s a song to remind people how important it is to believe in their dreams. Lonesome Traveller is a haunting tune, and The Palmreader is a song about.. well, I guess you’ll just have to hear it and find out!
It’s hard to believe that anyone would have the nerve to break your heart! Let’s take a few minutes out to let everybody in on what’s going on as we watch “Daydreamer EP”
We work with a lot of young emerging artists. Can you share a certain moment in your career – good or bad – that’s kept you moving on?
AS: I think I’ll share a good and a bad if that’s ok? The bad moment was when I lost one of my best friends and producer Big Al. He means so much to me. He always assured me along the way. Gave me advice, feedback about my songs and made me laugh too! He brought out the best in me, and I’ll never forget all that he did for me.
A good moment – I think it was just recently, when I walked onto the stage to play at last years’ Woodford Folk Festival! It had been my dream for over ten years to play at this festival. I had to pinch myself a couple of times to realise that I was literally living the dream. It taught me to never give up on my dream, keep working hard, and enjoy the journey!
I always like to ask our guests about personal heros, so here goes…who is your hero? Why?
AS:There are so many people that inspire me. When I read the biography of Edith Piaf, I felt so inspired by her zest for life and for everything she achieved from her humble beginnings as a homeless girl on the streets of Paris. Then there’s Joni MItchell who got Polio at the age of 8 and started singing to get better. She is another woman who overcame obstacles in her life and achieved her dreams. I think another of my heroes would be Sally Dastey. She is an Australian singer and is such a beautiful person and gives her whole heart to her audience. I like artists that give their all.
I have to tell you, that my colleagues here at HorizonVU Music are not to wild about that question (they’ve heard me ask it so many times), but I think you saved me…we’re all Joni Mitchell fans! Andrea, again, thanks so much for your time and we look forward to going live in September. We’ll be posting your gigs!