This was a difficult list to compile. Almost every show I have played since the #looptheworld adventure began has been memorable for one reason or another. Special mention has to go to Choppers Bar, Koh Tao. Those hot, sweaty nights with the Koh Tao Pub Crawl made up a huge amount of the memories that the tour has brought me so far. Every night at Choppers was another crazy party. So too were all of my performances at Harmony, Ios. However, this here list is about those single shows that stood out. The shows that warmed my heart and kept me on a high for days after getting off stage. Those shows that reward me more than financial gain. The shows I’ll remember long after my career is over. The shows I’ll look back on and smile.
Surfers Paradise Live Festival May 2015
A festival stage definitely helps to make the top 10 list. A big crowd, a great PA, a professional sound man, the whole kit and caboodle. This was also the last show before we took #looptheworld international. On a more personal note; Surfers Paradise Live Festival was special because my family was there. My mum, my little sister Megan and my adorable little nephew Malakai. It was also the first time my newborn nephew had left the house since his birth. I’m very proud of this fact. It will be a story I tell him when he’s older. I hope one day he takes up the musical adventure that has brought me so much satisfaction.
Lotus Bar Ios Farewell Show August 2015
Ios was a big part of the story so far. For two months I played a show every night on Ios at a restaurant called Harmony. Over that time I made countless new friends and came to feel very close with my Ios family. I didn’t start playing at Lotus bar until close to the end of my stay there. I chose to have the Ios farewell show at Lotus Bar over Harmony as it was somewhere different after so many nights at Harmony but also because there was more space for a dance floor. I was nervous that I wouldn’t pull the crowd I hoped for for a successful farewell party. I shouldn’t have been. Everyone that had made an impression on me on that crazy little island made it down and made me feel so very loved and appreciated. I miss those crazy cats.
Spiritual Caipirinha UK Farewell Show Oct 2015
What really stood out about this show was the fact that I was so far from home, almost the furthest I had been, yet friends I had met from all over the world made it down to see me off on the next leg. Friends from Australia, Ios, Koh Tao and of course London all came and made me feel at home. Like the world was not as big and lonely as we often imagine.
Blue Collar Theatre Eindhoven September 2015
The small crowd at this show were so attentive and supportive, but it is the venue that puts Blue Collar in the top 10. Quint, the venue booker, has done a brilliant job of setting up this elegant room. No expense was spared in renovating the old Phillips factory. Big red velvet curtains, a quality PA, a classic wood finished Bar, a huge skull shaped mirror ball, beautiful lighting and a stage big enough to accommodate the largest of bands. On top of that I was treated with such respect in a strange new city by the venue owner, the sound man and all involved. I look forward to one day playing the Blue Collar Theatre to a full house.
Bendigo Blues Festival November 2015
There were a few shows that made up the experience at the Bendigo Blues Fest. Each had there high points and together could have taken a couple of spots in the top 10. I decided to combine the experience to a single entry mainly because I wanted to fit as much in as I could. The two shows in particular were the main event Rosalind Park Stage and the sunset session on the verandah at The Yard Bird.
Birmingham #looptheworld Launch March 2015
The first show of the #looptheworld adventure. Of course this one was going to be memorable. Seeing off all our friends in Melbourne town, jamming with my band, the excitement of what’s to come and the after party till 7am the next day. A big thank you to Jonno and Straight Jacket Productions for the first of many #looptheworld TV productions, Mikey Chan on guitar, Shane Evans on Drums, Richy Rose on bass, the Birmingham Hotel for hosting and all of my friends and family that made it down. I miss you all so much.
Fishbowl Koh Tao farewell Show June 2015
Saying goodbye to Koh Tao is bitter sweet. It’s so sad to leave that magical little island but every time I do i put on a farewell show that fills my heart with tropical warmth that will last the longest of winters. Koh Tao is hot! All the time. So standard attire is thongs (flip flops for those of you from the northern hemisphere), shorts and a singlet. This show I wanted to give the island a more authentic version of the Simon Wright show so I dressed up in my typical stage wear. Jeans, a collared shirt, a tie and a waist coat. Woooo weee did I sweat it out. By the end of the set I’d shed a few layers of clothing and replaced them with the love of my island friends. I play fishbowl a lot while I’m on the island, 2 to 3 times a week, but this one was by far my favourite.
Blues Fest Byron Bay April 2015
Of course the multi award winning Byron Bay Blues Festival is going to make the top 10. I earned a spot on the Blues Fest stage after once again becoming a finalist in the Blues Over Byron Busking competition. Although I didn’t win the competition, I was chosen as a wildcard to perform on the Apra stage. I’d played the festival twice before. Once with my band “The Wright Brothers” back in 2007 and once more recently with my band “The Simon Wright Band” however this was the first time I’d graced the stage there as a solo loop artist.
I grew up in Byron and attended the Blues Fest since I was a young man. In fact my father Dave Wright was the first ever act to play the Blues Fest way back in 1991. The acts that I’ve witness there over the years have been a huge inspiration to me. I’m still yet to play one of the main stages but that’s a dream I haven’t given up on yet….. maybe next year.
Rossli Bern August 2015
This makes the no.2 spot for a few reasons but the main one is because it was such a surprise. While on Koh Tao in Feb 2015 I met a guy named Yannick while playing a show at Fishbowl Beach Bar. He told me that he helps run a venue in Switzerland and he’d try he’s best to book a show there. Once we arrived in Switzerland later that year I got in contact with him. At first we were unable to lock down a date as everything was booked up. Then out of nowhere he contacted me and said they had an opening. It was last minute, a Thursday night, I was an unknown in Switzerland and we had little time to promote so both Yannick and I were expecting a small turn out. To both of our surprise we were far from correct. By the end of my first set the room was full. The audience was super attentive and respectful. The lighting and sound were very professional. I had a great dance floor happening. It was buzzing!
After the show and due to it’s success the venue very generously upped my pay. They also gave me a great room for the night, a delicious meal for both Hannah and I and showed us so much respect. I can’t wait to get back!
Banyan Koh Tao Farewell Show Feb 2016
And finally, the big No.1.
What a great night! I’d been on the island almost 2 months by this point. It was also the 6th time I’d visited Koh Tao. Every time I leave I put on a farewell gig and every time it is such a beautiful night but this one takes the top spot! One thing that is disappointing about Koh Tao is the lack of decent audio production. Choppers and Fishbowl have a PA that is more than enough to do the job but at the same time it’s nothing special. For my big finale I wanted the island to see me at my best. Playing my original material through a big PA. A proper Simon Wright concert. I asked the boys down at Banyan if we could get a special rig in for the event. At first they were a little unsure. Particularly when the quote came back for what I was after. I mentioned to the boys that if they didn’t want to spend the money, I would. Of course being the supportive legends that they are they said “No, we’ve got it”. After all the fuss I was super nervous that we would not pull the numbers to make the boys outlay profitable. I should never have worried. We ran the night like a small festival with music on from 6pm till after 1am. Opening the night was my good friend and go to guitar tech on the island Andy Stock. After Andy another good friend and fellow global adventurer Ricardo Gonzalez, then a sneaky set by a last minute random before I jumped on stage for my solo set. Already the night was cooking but what came next was the icing on the cake. My good friend and amazing loop musician Andy V (of Dub Fx) who had been on the island for a couple of weeks performing with me was next to play a solo set. He got the sub woofers doing their job and brought in the party end of the evening. Andy then invited me back on stage to take out the evening with a improvised Drum and Bass set. The vibe at the bar was electric, the turn out was enormous, the drinks flowed freely and the love was felt throughout. One of my favourite shows ever!
Thank you Koh Tao, thank you Banyan, thank you Andy V, Ricardo and Andy Stock, thank you everyone who came out. A night to remember! Let’s hope there are many more to come!