The Banjo Boys

Madalitso band blog

The Journey home after the Euro Tour (Part 1)

The last few weeks of the tour were surely like the last few miles of a marathon. By the end we had played 53 concerts in 10 weeks and on the last day we actually had an afternoon and an evening concert. 

We’d slept in a tent, woken up in a field, showered in a cabin and were so happy to be on our way to Heathrow. We’d done it!

Our spirits were so high as we landed in the queue for the Ethiopian Airlines flight for Addis Ababa leaving London at 9pm on the 18th of July. We’d arrived 3 hours early and packed and super-wrapped the instruments the way we usually do and were just at the part of the queue where they ask for our passports. Our manager, Neil, was with us as always, only that he wasn’t planning to fly back to Malawi with us this day, as he wanted to stay in England for a month after the tour to see his family.

We saw the man take our passports and try scanning them with his machine and we could see his puzzled face. We’d already missed two flights on the way over to Europe from Malawi due to Visa and Covid things, so we started to get worried, but we really just expected a small hiccup. We were absolutely shocked when he came back to us saying that our names weren’t on the flight. How was that even possible! We’d booked and paid for return flights on this day three months earlier. Neil had to go over to the sales desk to find out what was wrong and he came back with the news.

“They made a mistake with our booking and accidentally removed us from the flight. All flights to Addis are fully booked for the next two weeks and they aren’t able to tell me any more than that today. We need to find a place to sleep and call them in the morning.”

It took two days to finally get us on a flight home but that’s a story for another day…