<span id="back-to-top-inner"></span>

echo bloom

Euro Tour – Part IV

Over the course of the tour, we made several trips to downtown Bremen and the Schnoor neighbourhood. Here are some of our photos from those adventures!

Bremen, DE – Downtown


While it looks ridiculous, Ausfahrt actually means “exit”, so we’d see it everywhere. In fact, the band NoMeansNo even named an album after being confused by the word, calling it “All Roads Lead To Ausfahrt“.


The skyline while driving around Bremen.


In the downtown core there were lots of interesting art sculptures and statues, so we made sure to try and capture them. Here’s me pretending to ride a horse, but I ended up looking more like Psy doing Gangnam Style instead.


Some of them were gorgeous.


But if you just changed the angle, it could look…special.


Not sure about the story behind this piece, but that’s ok. The broken horse jaws area certainly intriguing.



Shannon and I took turns with some statues as well, making sure to match their expressions. Her first.


Then myself.


Sometimes the architecture was beautiful.


Sometimes it was the person in front of the architecture!


Since Shannon was with me, it was mandatory that we did at least one jump photo.



…and a feet peek.


Most areas were pedestrian and bicycle only. The sign on the right actually means end of the pedestrian zone, as opposed to “no women and children”.


Bremen, DE – Schnoor Neighbourhood

Later on, Echo Bloom and I went out for a quick bite to eat, but Kyle and I stopped in at a “dollar store” type place to look for things to add to our live shows.


We were looking for christmas lights, tinsel, etc, but all we found was a ridiculous blond wig. Aren’t we pretty?



I’m in a glass case of emotion!”



Joining in on the “no nose” phenomenon.


Taking a moment to enjoy all the fall leaves!


And now, some more photos from Schnoor.









Euro Tour – Part III

11.05 – Workshop at the Refugee camp

With the cancelation of one of the other promo activities that day, we were asked if we’d like to stop by one of the Syrian refugee camps to help with a music workshop. We joined Mona at the Songs & Whispers headquarters and walked over with a couple of guitars each.

There are no photos for this post, because we felt it wouldn’t be appropriate. That being said, it didn’t look like a lot of the refugee tent camps that you’d see on the news. The buildings were all modular, similar to a sea canister or a rail car, and very modern. There were common areas for school-type activities, an art room, a playground outside, a courtyard and bathrooms scattered throughout.

The kids we met were great. I was working with a 16 year old boy, while Mona was teaching an 11 year old girl. Shannon was meanwhile helping some other very young children with some drawings. As you can imagine, there were some translation issues, but, the boy I was working with spoke English better than German because he learned it by watching TV back when he was in Syria.

We worked on a few chords for about 45 minutes. We had settled on “Time of your life” by Green Day, a fairly easy, classic acoustic guitar song for beginners. Anyone that has ever taught guitar will know that it’s around this point when a student’s hands start to hurt. So, since he had been learning with me, I asked him to show me something instead. We went outside and played soccer for the other 45 minutes.

I used to play soccer when I was much younger, so I was a little out of practice. We tried to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible, and my hackey sack skills came into play. We were joined by a couple of other kids and were playing a variety of different games. The next day, I wondered why my head hurt so much, and I realized I had bruised my forehead by heading the ball over and over and over again so many times.

This experience even inspired a new song – maybe you’ll hear it before the year is over!


11.05 – Oyten, DE – Dohm-Eck

When we heard that Dohm-Eck was a private bar, we were kind of nervous. I mean, we figured it’d be like a house concert, but with more booze. We drove through the countryside (again, at night) but didn’t really see anything. Seriously, the entire trip I think we saw one instance of roadkill.

Whatever you do: DON’T HIT A TREE.


When we arrived, we waited outside for a bit. It’s the waiting that really kills me, and I started to dread going in. Finally, Jose (works in the kitchen) arrived and let us in. Shortly, Marc, the owner, arrived and started chatting us up. This was one of the very first times that a host spoke perfect English! You don’t realize you’re doing it, but when you have to speak to a native German speaker, you start to speak in English a bit slower, and often rephrase certain sentences just to make sure the sentiment came across. Anyways, I digress. Marc was an amazing host, and the “private bar” that I was nervous about ended filling up with tons of people. Why was it full? Because Marc literally opens it up only once or twice a month. So when he does, you know it’s going to be a good time. Typically only for a concert (like the series I was a part of) or occasionally special presentations. He just likes to have a good time and invite all his friends to his bar. He’ll hire out staff for the night (usually always the same staff) and it’s a party. What an awesome concept.


Marc continued to be an awesome host by feeding us not one item from the menu but ALL of them. French pizza, nachos and a meat/cheese platter was overly filling. Speaking of filling, let’s get back to the show. The room was packed. Both in front of the bar, and directly across from me in a different room – it’s like they were looking through a wide open window at me). It was the biggest crowd yet.

There were two incredibly funny/awesome moments. The first was the fact that I got 4 encores. Four! I totally blame Marc for that, he was the (hilarious) instigator. Secondly, Shannon was talking to a fellow named Olaf at the bar who had some choice words when I was singing falsetto: “Where did his balls go?” Amazing.


By the end of the night, we were thrilled with the show, the turnout, and of course our hosts, Marc, Jose, and Otto (behind the bar). I can’t wait to go back to Germany, if ONLY to play here again.


11.06 – Bremen, DE – Schwarzer Hermann
I have no photos from this show, for one main reason. It is a smoking bar. It’s not like “I refuse to take photos in here because there’s smoking”, rather, Shannon is allergic to cigarette smoke, so she stayed back at the apartment while I played  the show.

That being said, it was very nice and welcoming to have the owner Johannes putting around little signs encouraging the soon to be audience members to only smoke after the show had ended – and they did!

Before the show, Astrid (from Songs & Whispers) and I hung out at the bar and caught up. After emailing back and forth for close to a year, it was nice to actually chat in person, and not have to be so formal. She then made what it now one of my favourite quips; “Germans are embarrassed of two things: the Nazi’s and the Scorpions.” Zing!

The show itself was fun too, and we had some very vocal people (like Susanne) singing along from the back of the room. I even made a new friend, Christian Pasche. He had spent some time living in the US, and we connected over a Danko Jones cover song I played earlier that set! We’d meet up again later on the tour, but again, it was so great to make friends overseas!


11.07 – Bremen, DE – Music Pub Bremen

I try not to be negative about shows, but this one was a big ol’ waste of time. Not only was it a smokey bar (which is annoying for many reasons, including loss of voice and the fact that I can’t get the smell out of my gear for a long time), but the crowd was quite disrespectful. No, they didn’t throw anything or heckle, but there was absolutely zero response. Oddly enough, it had the biggest PA and overbearing light show, but a totally useless sound tech. While the gig was around the corner from the artist flat, it still felt like an inconvenience.

The ONLY positive, was that there was one individual that interacted with me. His name has long been forgotten, but he wore a Spider-Man shirt that he was showing off to everyone, so I only refer to him by that. He also yelled (ahem…slurred) the amazing line: “I am German, I am drunk!” I managed to catch some of Spider-Man’s dance moves on camera, but that’s for my own personal enjoyment…sorry!


11.08 – Bremerhaven, DE – Passage Kino

This show was awesome in premise. I was supposed to be playing at a movie theatre, before the film. It’s an awesome idea: there’s a captive audience, and who wouldn’t mind a little music prior to the show? The reality was that through what I hope was a scheduling error, the show was scheduled for 11AM on a Sunday. I figured a Sunday matinee, good call! In fact, everything shuts down on Sundays, so the giant mall that the (really cool) indie theatre was in, was in fact closed. So the photo above is me standing in an abandoned mall.

Still, I thought, there might be some people destined for the theatre anyway. WRONG. The first movie wasn’t until 2:00 PM. I was to play from 11 until 12:30, that’s it. So now I wouldn’t be getting any captive audience members, nor would there be any walk-ins from the mall. I literally looked like the stupidest busker of all time. So I took a nap in one of those massage chairs.


The good news is that I just improvised for a few hours, and I think there might be some cool new material coming out of that!


11.08 – Bremen, DE – BuS Huchting


The theme of the last few shows was “Bait and Switch.” The premise was awesome, but there’s always some catch. When I saw the name of the venue ‘BuS Huchting’, I thought it was a bus station depot. That’s a place with lots of busking action, so it made sense. Then I checked the website and saw that it’s a really cool cultural centre with a massive stage. I was stoked! We got there for load in, and found out that I’d actually be performing in front of the stage. Not on it. That was a downer, but at least the space was awesome. Lots of natural reverb.



This was one of the first times that “snacks provided” actually meant snacks. We were quite hungry to only find out that there were pretzel sticks. Ah well!



11.09 – Delmenhorst, DE – Cabarelo

Cabarelo was an incredibly upscale restaurant. It kind of boggled our minds that they’d even have live music there. It was connected to a building that housed a senior’s home, so I feel like we frightened some of the patrons that were there for dinner by just showing up with all of our gear.


This was the first time that I joined Echo Bloom on stage for one of their songs. We’d end up doing it many times over the tour, and if I find a video, I’ll share it!


Keeping in theme with the rest of the week, there were only 4 people for our sets, but Shannon and I still made friends with Graziela and Bruce. Graciela studied in Canada and Bruce is originally from South Africa, so we had lots to chat about.


11. 10 – Syke, DE – Wessels Hotel


The Wessels Hotel was a very cool old hotel. It had several big rooms in it, so I set up in one while the hotel owner took care of us.


Shannon ordered a very interesting meal, called Hawaii Toast. The simple description was a piece of toast with ham and pineapple on it, but then SMOTHERED in cheese. To the point where you couldn’t see anything else.


Unfortunately, there was only one person at the show, so it was an incredibly intimate show. Katharina was a wonderful audience member!


But at least there was a hilariously German bathroom. Not only were there flags everywhere, but there were soccer nets in each urinal, so each piss would be a Goooooooooooal. AND. There was a vomit station with handlebars! Funny enough, Shannon reported back that there was no vomit station in the women’s bathroom.

Euro Tour – Part II

10.30 – Mechelen, BE – Zennegat 13


As we would find out later, this venue was one of the hardest to find. For our first show of the tour, we were frustrated trying to find this tiny little bar at the tip of a triangle shaped pier that we weren’t allowed to drive to. On one side of it was a shipmaster’s headquarters, and the other side was private property. Not only that but we drove several kilometres down a dirt road with massive potholes to get there, all the while thinking, “this better be the right way”.


Finally, we got there. Jan, the owner was incredibly warm and friendly, and even made us a delicious spaghetti dinner before the show got under way. Since Belgium (and Germany) are known for their beers, Shannon starting trying some out while I got a sampling of some of the regional pops and sodas.


Not only was this my first show of the tour, it was also my first strictly acoustic show as “Jean-Paul De Roover the one-man-band” ever.


When you’re looping you don’t realize that you actually haven’t played guitar consistently through an entire song without having to give your hands a break with extra riffs, basslines, vocals, drum samples, etc. After playing for 2 hours straight, I was ready for the rest of the tour, that’s for sure!


10.31 – Achim, DE – Katakomben


We had been told that Germans were very punctual and so we should be arriving on time, if not early, to every show. That’s what made this first show in Germany so stressful when the venue was hard to find. There are a lot of dissimilarities between Europe and North America, and one big one that we found out was signage. Big neon signs lit up all night long simply aren’t a thing. That, mixed with the fact that the GPS kept trying to route us through many different pedestrian-only streets meant that I was literally running through completely shut down business districts looking for a bar called “Katakomben”. Finally, I saw a small little sign near the door to a basement business (which I should have clued into before), and we arrived, only 10 minutes late, greeted by “we didn’t think you would make it.” Talk about stressful. Either way, we loaded in, sound checked and everything was gravy. We met Mona (from Songs & Whispers) for the first time and started to feel comfortable with our new German friends!

This was also the first time we saw the term “Snacks provided” on our itinerary. Little did we know, “snacks” meant a massive spread.

Apparently Katakomben used to be cave/bat themed, but when we got there, it was all underwater/sea themed.

It was also our introduction to the fact that there was smoking allowed in some venues. Living in Canada we’re spoiled with smoke-free spaces. Thankfully the smoking was limited to an upstairs area, but it finds its way everywhere.

The owners also fell in love with my song “Pensando En Ti”, sung in Spanish. One of these days I’ll post a live version of it!

You’ll see photos of this venue later on in the blog, when we played there again and actually took some photos!


11.01 – Bremen, DE – Day off

Not too much to report here. We got comfortable in the artist flat we would stay at for the next few weeks, cleaned some black mould, and did some grocery shopping. Just kidding, we did the shopping the day before – everything shuts down on Sundays.

That being said, we found that they take their wieners seriously, and that they can escalate quite quickly. 4 Wieners! 10 Wieners! All the Wieners!


11.02 – Bremen, DE – Falstaff



What a treat to play a cool little theatre space! Anna the bartender was lovely, and we had some great food as well. This was our first show in Bremen, as well as our first show with our tour-mates Echo Bloom all the way from Brooklyn, NY.


Kyle Evans – lead vocals, guitar


Aviva Jaye – vocals, keys


Cody Rahn – percussion


Me, doing my thing.

Also, we met some people that would we’d run into every weekend. Michael and Uta Wilken introduced themselves and little did I know that we’d become friends by the end of the tour!

We spent the earlier part of that day getting settled into the apartment, rearranging furniture, doing some much needed cleanup, as well as testing out some of the PA gear we were provided.


11.03 – Delmenhorst, DE – RadioWeser.TV


I got to sit down with Mark Sender at RadioWeser.TV for an interview, as well as record two songs live.


It was supposed to be a full TV performance, but we made the best of the radio experience instead! Here’s a video I cut together of “Break My Soul” for you to get the idea.

I had to do a station ID, and had a lot of trouble pronouncing the name, because “.TV” is pronounced “poont Tay Fahl.”


11.03 – Bremen, DE – Hafen Casino

This was probably one of the funnest/funniest nights of the entire tour. First off, the venue is called a Casino, but nowhere was there anything involving gambling. Secondly, it looks like a tiny diner from the 50’s/60’s. Thirdly, we didn’t play in it, per se. Instead, we played in a tent beside the building, connected by a covered walkway. Rita and Angela were there to help us get set up.


Part of the setup included moving two giant space heaters into this little 15×15 tent. Not only am I now sweating buckets, but the crowd (more than we could comfortably fit in there) was having such a blast! I had my “Casino Girls”, a group of girls that were also out celebrating a birthday. They would “woo!” and “yeah!” quite often, and sometime it’d get caught in a loop, at which point we just ran with it so the entire tent would start yelling “woo” on weird offbeats throughout the song. Great fun! You can get a glimpse of it here:

This was also the first show that I convinced Shannon to get on “stage” and sing Hope with me.



11.04 – Beverstedt, DE – Kulturhof Heyerhofen

In the theme of venues being hard to find, Kulturhof Heyerhofen is out in the middle of nowhere. We were told it was an animal sanctuary, and so we should be on the lookout for exotic animals. How exciting! We got there and it was a lovely art gallery and community space, all set up for the concert that night.


There was yet again another massive spread of food (considering we were just two people), including locally made sausages, cheeses and more.


In the photo above, you’ll notice there’s a large plastic bag hanging from my mic stand. That’s because I grabbed the wrong one, which was in fact broken so it kept falling down on me every 30 seconds. Thankfully we rigged up a couple of stones in a bag and attached them to the end with what I think was velcro to keep it all in position. MacGyver!


As we were gearing up for the start, we met a cute little Dachshund that was incredibly old. Apparently it came in during my set and stayed the entire time, something it’s NEVER done before. How cute!


And then, through the window, Shannon sees Emile, the Emu, strutting around outside. His mate, Emily, was still back in the pen, so we didn’t get a shot of her.


That being said, he was putting on a show, so here’s Shannon with Emile, coming to that realization.


And did you know that Emus can look and sound terrifying? I know because my parents had 3 on our farm growing up.


European Tour Dates

The European tour dates are announced for this Fall (Belgium and Germany)!

10.30 Mechelen, BE / Zennegat 13
10.31 Achim, DE / Katakomben
11.2 Bremen, DE / Falstaff *
11.3 Bremen, DE / Hafen Casino *
11.4 Beverstedt, DE / Kulturhof Heyerhofen
11.5 Oyten, DE / Dohm-Eck
11.6 Bremen, DE / Schwarzer Hermann
11.7 Bremen, DE / Music Pub Bremen
11.8 Bremerhaven, DE / Passage Kino
11.8 Bremen, DE / BuS Huchting
11.9 Delmenhorst, DE / Cabarelo *
11.10 Syke, DE / Wessels Hotel
11.11 Bremen, DE / Feliz
11.12 Bremen, DE / Heldenbar
11.13 Zeven, DE / Franky’s
11.14 Norderney, DE / Inselloft Norderney
11.15 Achim, DE / Katakomben *
11.16 Bremen, DE / Lilie *
11.17 Bremen, DE / Theatersaal Universität Bremen
11.17 Osterholz-Scharmbeck, DE / Stagges *
11.18 Harsefeld, DE / Kino (Hotel Meyer)
11.19 Hamburg, DE / Belami
11.20 Hoya, DE / Lindenhof hoya
11.21 Brake, DE / Harrier Hof
11.22 Bremen, DE / Club Moments *
11.23 Bremen, DE / Freie Waldorfschule

* with Echo Bloom

Also, I’m very proud to announce that the tour is presented by Songs & Whispers, as well as sponsored by Quadro with support from Larrivee Guitars.