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Part 3 – The EOE Meta Tour Brings us to Some Historic UK College Towns

After a very special evening in Liverpool, we all awoke relatively early to get on the road to Sheffield. I say relatively early because when you don’t go to bed until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, getting up at 9:00 AM is early. It was another scenic drive, populated with many sheep spotted in hillside pastures. We were also surprised to see lots of beautiful autumn foliage on trees full of red, orange and yellow leaves.

Unfortunately, it was pouring rain when we arrived in Sheffield, so we weren’t able to see much of this great college town. We checked into our hotel quickly and then we hightailed it over to Cafe Totem, our venue for this evening’s performance. The rain never stopped which made unloading all of our equipment and merchandise extra exciting.

To add to the excitement – if that’s the right word – it was on this night that our friend and drummer, Mika, experienced one of pretty much everyone’s worst nightmares. He lost his mobile phone in the frenzy of loading and unloading equipment. Fortunately, our touring companion, Gemma (aka Music Of The Future), a true superstar in her own right, found it. Unfortunately, she found it in a puddle in front of Cafe Totem, not functioning at all. We’d all heard that submerging a wet phone in rice worked miracles so off ran Create Change Chief Brand Officer, Angelo Lagdameo – in the still pouring rain – to find a grocery store. His heroics saved the day, and after spending some quality time in a bucket of rice Mika’s phone came back to life with only some minor camera damage. Crisis averted. Phew!

Due to some technical issues with the sound system, Nathan decided to make tonight’s performance a fully acoustic set. While different from the prior shows it was very special in its own right, with beautiful music and lots of audience interaction. It was also a very successful evening for Roundabout, the local charity this performance was in support of. Roundabout is focused on ending homelessness among young people ages 16 – 25. They provide a myriad of resources to young people, including drop-in advice, family mediation, peer education, and assistance finding living space, employment and education opportunities. This is an issue near and dear to many people in our Create Change community and we were very proud to promote and financially support Roundabout’s good work. Another successful EOE Experience in the books.

The sun was shining brightly in Sheffield the following morning when we hit the road for our next stop on the EOE Meta Tour. The drive took a bit longer than anticipated, but we arrived in the beautiful city of Cambridge on the River Cam with a bit of time to spare before heading over to the Portland Arms, the venue for this night’s performance.

There was a smaller crowd for this EOE experience, giving Nathan an opportunity to have a group discussion with the VIPs prior to the show, in addition to the usual individual photo and autograph opportunities. It was during this discussion that Nathan decided to change things up a bit and open the show with a different song – “Crazy Beautiful” – due to a VIP request. This was a special treat for everyone.

While the cities and venues change on tour, the enthusiasm and support we receive from our Create Change community never does. This was certainly the case in Cambridge where the set list may have been slightly modified, but the joyous response from the audience was a constant. What makes these experiences so special is the candid and sometimes vulnerable nature of Nathan’s interaction with the crowd. It was pretty evident that he was missing his family tonight, which made his performance of “Nowhere” that much more tender.

Another thing that made tonight’s performance special was that it was in support of SCOPE, a disability equality charity in England that provides practical information and emotional support to people in need. They campaign relentlessly to create a fairer society and they will not rest until those with disabilities have all the same rights and services as those without disabilities. Their Everyday Equality strategy is their commitment to be the go-to organization for disability assistance by 2022. SCOPE holds an extra special place in the heart of Frances, one of our community members who nominated them. Her father has cerebral palsy and SCOPE has provided tremendous assistance to him – and to her entire family – over the years. We can’t think of a more worthy organization to support.

Cambridge is such a beautiful and historic city. Before heading off to our next stop on the tour, we were fortunate to have a little time to roam around the morning after the Portland Arms performance, taking in some incredible and historic sites. Alas, our time was limited and soon we were on the road again.

Next stop, London.

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