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Why Amsterdam Might Be Better Than London For Your Next Gig

Flights to Amsterdam from Doncaster Sheffield Airport

How many times does your favourite band announce a UK tour and you get all super excited only to find they’re only playing a date in London? We’ve been up and down to London so many times, grabbing the late night train after a gig or staying over to explore the city – I love London, but everything happens down there and I’m just a little bit bored of it.

When The Shins announced their tour I noticed they were playing the 6 Music Festival in Glasgow and a date in London, but then something caught my eye – they were hopping into Europe and playing a show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam… it can’t be that much harder to get to Amsterdam than to get to London from Yorkshire, right? I had a chat with my pals at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and they sent me out to Amsterdam as an experiment to see why Amsterdam might be better than London for your next gig.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Robin Hood Airport

Our flight to Amsterdam was leaving from Doncaster Sheffield airport at 3pm, so we jumped on a train to Doncaster at 12.15pm and arrived into the city half an hour later. From here we walked the three minutes from the platform to the bus station which is just through the bottom of the shopping centre to the left when you exit Doncaster train station. The X4 bus leaves from here every half an hour, it takes 22 minutes and costs £3 one way. We arrived at the airport at around 1.20pm with the perfect amount of time to check our suitcase, grab a beer and some chips and wait to board out plane.

The airport is really small, so all the facilities are within very close range. If you drive, it’s even easier to fly from here as the car park is literally outside the door of the airport, unlike similar airports where you have to park in a nearby lot and grab a shuttle bus to get your flight. Even though it’s small, DSA still has a duty free shop with a massive range of Benefit products, some fun designer sunglasses to try on while you’re killing time and a large WHSmiths to pick up a magazine if you fancy. There’s also a Subway if you’d rather another option to Wetherspoons.

Yorkshire to Amsterdam, Flights from Robin Hood Airport

The flight time to Amsterdam from Doncaster Sheffield Airport is around 45/50 minutes so there’s just enough time to enjoy a drink at your seat before the plane descends to land. Schiphol airport is the complete opposite to DSA – it’s huge!! We grabbed our bag from baggage claim and followed the signs for the train into Amsterdam.

It costs €5.50 for a single into the city and the journey was just 15/20 minutes into Amsterdam Centraal, from here we hopped on the ferry outside the exit to the station for the two minute journey to Amsterdam Noord where we had booked into ClinkNOORD, a fun hostel hotel with all the facilities you could ever need.

Amsterdam better than London for Gig

On our first night we settled into the room, looked up a tasty dinner option on Trip Advisor and headed out to explore the city. We had an accidental walk down the red light district, which is definitely interesting to see! The next morning we had breakfast at the hostel, which was just €5.90 if you book in advance, and popped next door to the A’dam Lookout for amazing 360 degree views of Amsterdam. We spent the rest of the day exploring the streets and canals and having a spot of lunch and coffee in the sunshine. We tried the popular snack Bitterballen for lunch which is really tasty. I believe it’s a fried ball of meat and roux, so not veggie friendly! I was also happy to find out that the coffee in Amsterdam is lovely and strong, unlike the excuse for coffee we get in the UK! Haha.

The Shins Live at the Paradiso Amsterdam 30th March 2017

Amsterdam better than London for Gig

After lunch and a wander, we got changed and caught the tram down to near the Paradiso. Trams are a really easy and quick way to get around the city. We had dinner at Dubbel, which is two streets across from the venue and I had an amazing butternut squash and goats cheese risotto before we wandered over to see The Shins at the Paradiso. The gig was amazing and the venue is gorgeous, set in an old church building with huge intricate windows above the stage. If you’ve never seen The Shins live, I highly recommend it!

The morning after we popped into the city to get brunch at Toastable, who offer triple layered toasties with a whole bunch of tasty fillings, perfect for soaking up your hangover! From there you could either head back home or spend a couple more days exploring Amsterdam like we did – more on that super soon!

I loved every second of our trip to Amsterdam and being in a new city definitely helped ease the post-gig blues. It was at least as easy to get to Amsterdam as it is to get to and around London – next time there will be nothing stopping me from venturing a little further to see my favourite band! Thanks to Doncaster Sheffield Airport for sending me to Amsterdam!

Flights from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Amsterdam are from £29.99
Flight time is just 50 minutes, quicker than the train to London and often cheaper too!
The airport also flies regularly to Dublin and Paris, other amazing cities to take in a gig and soak up some of the local culture as an alternative to London.

Will you try a city break for your next gig? Loves x xx

posted by onetenzeroseven in Music,Travel and have Comment (1)

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

What are you listening to?

The Shins. You know them?

No.

You gotta hear this one song. It’ll change your life. I swear.

– Garden State

Did anyone else fall in love with The Shins after watching Garden State? I was going through a really bad time when it came out and the whole ‘screaming into the abyss’ thing was so relatable, it hurt. I used to listen to The Shins on my long commute into my retail job when all my friends were going away to University and I was just lost and still living at home. Music was my escapism.

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

Fast forward to last September and I got a message from a friend that he was in the country playing with The Shins at the Village Underground in London so I jumped on a train to catch up over dinner and he got me tickets for the show. The coolest part, though, was that he also got me a photo pass so I could take in my DSLR!!

I was really nervous taking photos and I did get pulled up by the security staff during the support act for using my camera, but I had a quick word with a big scary dude during the break and showed him my pass and he sort-of apologised. It was really fun taking proper photos at the gig, but really really hard too. When I took a photography course a couple of years ago my tutor was an ex-gig photographer and even he told me how difficult it is – such a fun challenge for my rusty photography skills though!

I don’t think I could do gig photography professionally or be bothered to go through the stress of trying to sell my photos, but I’d love to do it again as a bit of a hobby and get some of my photos printed up for our walls at home. The first and third photos are my favourites!

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

The gig was amazing and the Village Underground is one of the coolest gig venues I’ve ever been to with huge tunnels in an old coal store beneath an old railway viaduct in Shoreditch. The venue is topped with a bunch of old London Underground trains that now house a creative community working alongside each other.

The funny thing is listening to The Shins really did change my life – or did my life change while I was listening to The Shins? Either way, it got me through some really dark times! Looking back I don’t even seem like the same person I was then and I love moments like these that really solidify how far you’ve come. I wish I could go back and tell myself, on one of those depressing journeys to work, that future me was actually kind of kick-ass. Hah! Loves x xx

The Shins at the Village Underground in London

The Shins are touring the UK, Europe and the US in March. Head to theshins.com for ticket info!

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Music,Photography and have No Comments