Well, it’s now around six weeks since we moved to our new home here in Calis Beach, Fethiye and the first thing I have to do is apologise for not keeping my blog updated during what has been a very hectic, yet very satisfying and enjoyable period.
As always here in Turkey not everything went smoothly. It took 10 days to transfer our telephone and internet from Didim to Fethiye (extremely frustrating). The boot on our car developed a fault and our final journey with a boot-full of our belongings took about an hour and a half longer because we had to keep stopping each time we went over a bump in the road and the boot opened up !! And as far as our gigs are concerned….. well we’ve had some interesting experiences as we try to find our feet in this new and exciting area of Turkey.
A couple of venues in Ovacik turned out to be very unsuitable for us. One hotel (which shall remain unnamed) was like playing at a kiddies club in Pontin’s and needless to say our mix of classic popular hits went down like a lead balloon ! We should have guessed when the prelude to our show was a half our of kids dancing onstage to the Birdy Song, Agadoo and the Hokey Cokey :D
Two classy hotels from the same international hotel chain started off very promising. The one in Hisaronu wanted us to sing in their a la carte restaurant during their weekly ‘Steak Night’. The first week was supported by around 30 customers, but then each week as the attendance started to dwindle we started to wonder what was going wrong. It turned out that there was no promotion of the gig, and most people didn’t even know we were performing. The hotel was also holding an entertainment programme in the poolside bar on the same evening which, given that there were many families holidaying there, was proving to be more popular than what the guests perceived to be an expensive dining only experience. Their sister hotel made a very similar mistake, and despite us performing in the main restaurant in front of around 120 guests, they were drawn away to the pool bar immediately after their food to see an exciting fire-eating and break dancing show. No competition really huh ?
However, we have found a fabulous venue in Joseph’s Cocktail Bar in Calis Beach. We have known the owner Joseph for nearly 20 years, since we first came to Calis for the first five or six years of holidaying in Turkey. He was then a waiter in a local bar and could speak very little English. What a delight to see him owning and managing his own very successful, and extremely popular bar. We agreed to do a trial gig for him to see what he thought. As a drinks-only bar he needed reassurance that he was going to attract enough customers to cover the cost of hiring live singers. We have now just completed our 4th weekly gig at his bar and the crowds are loving our music – despite the extremely hot and sticky weather conditions !!
Additionally we have now been performing weekly in the mountain village of Uzumlu every Saturday evening for the last three weeks. Uzumlu is a picturesque village with a large ex-pat community as well as a healthy supply of holiday makers during the height of the season. It is about a 20 minute drive outside of Fethiye on the mountain roads towards Denizli. We play at the Park Alya Restaurant every Saturday and the customers are fab, guaranteeing a great night of song and dance every week. Ali Yaba and his staff lay on a fantastic BBQ including burgers and sausages as well as chicken, liver and a huge selection of salads and mezes. It is proving to be a very popular night in the village.
Finally we are performing regularly now at Maria’s English Restaurant and Bar, right next door to Joseph’s in Calis. It is a small and very friendly venue which is popular with the Brits due to it’s typically British fare – steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, cottage pie, liver and onions etc. The heat of July and August though is sadly stifling the appetite for dancing…… but not for the grub. Hopefully we can get more people onto their feet as we move into September and some cooler evenings.
So, after six weeks we are starting to find our feet in the area. Perhaps we might pick up another one or two venues towards the back end of the season and maybe even a winter gig or two. And then next spring we will start to do a bit of prospecting for our summer 2013 venues.
Very happy with the way things are going, and I think we are starting to build a good reputation amongst the holidaymakers, the bar and hotel owners, and the ex-pat community. We are very grateful for their support and look forward to entertaining in the Fethiye area for some time to come.