Rockstar Rides Throughout The Year: 911s and Campers

Our all-time favourite ‘gig rigs’.

We’ve had all sorts of artists play at the Riga Music Bar since it first opened, and whilst we can’t say that we’ve had any honest-to-goodness ‘A-listers’ play at our venue, we’re proud of the motley crew of respectable underground players we’ve had grace our stage. It’s perhaps no surprise to find out that such a diverse history of performers has led to a similarly diverse selection of transportation which has brought them to us.

Mainstream acts playing in stadiums require huge tour buses and articulated lorries to take their show on the road, however the smaller acts that grace our stage have more freedom in terms of what kind of carriage that takes them from A to B. We thought we’d take a misty-eyed look back into Riga Music history and think back to some of the most memorable vehicles that our artists have arrived in.

Here are a few of our favourite ‘tour buses’ that have rolled up to the back of the Riga:

Big Dave Paulson

Known for his incredible baritone voice, not to mention his impressive slide-guitars skills, Big Dave Paulson was one of the first artists that we welcomed onto the Riga Music Bar stage and we were taken aback to say the least when we saw him draw up in his 1972 Porsche 911. He played a barnstorming set that night with his band (who arrived later in a rather cramped minibus), but as soon as he was finished he was back in his car. We heard recently that he registered his Porsche 911 restoration project for sale – maybe he’s thinking of upgrading?

The Jaffa Tan Clan

A criminally unloved soul band from the late 80s, The Jaffa Tan Clan have been plying their strange blend of Motown and Psychedelia for decades now and they’ve got their beloved 1984 VW Camper Van to thank for getting them from one gig to the next in that time. Although the crazy paint job might have worn down over the years, it’s clear that these guys have still got a lot of love for what they jokingly refer to as the 6th member of their band!

Bulimic Stevie

Never one to miss a chance at an open mic, or sell a T-Shirt or two, many fans are surprised to discover that Bulimic Stevie transports his whole show, including gear and merchandise, in a humble 1982 Austin Mini. Being a solo musician, Stevie has no problems with racing from one end of the country to the other for a gig and has often popped in on us to say ‘hello’ (and sell us a t-shirt).

Bank Teller Pets

We hosted this excellent punk group just a few years ago and were impressed with the sheer amount of gear that they would lug to each gig. They managed to achieve this feat thanks to the huge ex-service bus that they’d converted into a ‘gig rig’ which they affectionately called ‘Mary-Jo-Beth’. Although the Pets never referred to themselves as audiophiles, they felt that they could only make their sound by playing their own gear which is something that we always respected.