HEALTH – by Mohsen Amini

Hi there! 

Im Mohsen Amini. I play in both Talisk & Ímar and this is my blog.

So this is maybe my second ever blog so thought I would just tell you about my year really. This is more of a diary entry without all the personal bits. Thats for blog number 3!

In my opinion music is the best job in the world but its not as easy as it all seems! Playing is great fun but the reality is that you only play for about 90 minutes every day. The rest of the time is spent driving to the venue, checking into the hotel, sound checking and drinking lemonade at night. You also have to be ready to spend a lot of time away from home so its not for everyone.

This year weve been all over the place, done about 180 gigs and 120 flights, its been mental but incredible! Ive released albums with Talisk, Imar and Fourth Moon and unfortunately had to leave Fourth Moon due to having to many commitments with Talisk & Imar but let me just go through a few of the years highlights!

Skip to end for worthwhile advice

January: Always starts with a total bang at Celtic Connections, 3 weeks of incredible music which half way through we managed to get to Serbia to play for their New Years celebrations! Also got to fly to Canada to record on Shannon Quinn’s album that should be out sooooooon!

February: I went over to Germany for the month with Ryan Young, Craig Irving & Claire Hastings for a Young Trad spin off tour which is now running annually for select finalists in the Young Musician of the year and also managed to fit a trip over to Kansas for Folk Alliance with Talisk.

March: Talisk went back over to the states and toured around the Mid West with We Banjo 3! What a great  tour and what gents they are to tour with! We definitely had a bit of a reality check when we saw how Merch is quite a big part of the states and we could up our Merch game entirely. Top Tip. Blow Up Mannequin.

April: Folk Awards!!! We went down to the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with Imar and we managed to win the Horizon Awards and I picked up the Musician Of The Year. What an amazing night in Belfast! And this was just the start of the month. After that Talisk went on tour around the UK for the month. Bristol Folk House being by far the stand out gig! 

May: Imar blended the end of April into May with a 10 day stint over to Germany and went straight into a UK tour ending at the – according to our agent – best festival in the world ORKNEY FOLK FESTIVAL!!! Hi Craig Corse… thank you. We Love It!

June: Holiday time! Got to chill out and go on holiday with Niamh to Malta. Thank god. It was time for a break!! Was so fun away without the concertina, not that I dont love it and play it every day!!

July: For sure a highlight. With Imar having such hectic schedules we have to cram everything into as small a space as possible and managed to have a run of 6 festivals in 6 different countries in 6 days ending in Spain at probably the biggest gig Ive ever done, Ortigueira!! Check out our facebook for the videos but I felt like a pop star! It was amazing!!!

August: Back to the states for Talisk!! We were lucky to be invited to Milwaukee IF, La Crosse IF and Philadelphia FF. Such a great experience to see festivals out there! Very different to back home and brilliant! Ended August with Tonder. Maybe the best festival you will ever visit, run by the goddess that is Maria and if youre ever looking for a lift over Aunty Liz will be driving over on the Thursday. Legend. Long Haul!

September: Back over to the states again with Talisk to Oregon. Such a beautiful part of the states and would highly recommend. Then got back home for a few days to clean the clothes, brush the teeth, say hi to Mum and then it was start back over to the states with Imar for a 2 week tour which ended at a festival in a place called Bethlehem. 5 wise men coming with Gold, Frankincense & Murph… (Ryan of course)

October: UK Tour with Imar & Talisk and a short trip over to France! The end of the tour gave us a beautiful drive back from Paris… 14 hours in a van. Facebook for sure makes life on the road look cooler” than it is haha!

November: Were in Gran Canaria with Talisk! Literally sending this from here now and its like the best budget holiday you never went on with your family!


If youre not completely bored by all that then here comes the actual blog. The part that means something.

Diet is so important when on tour. You can get stuck eating a lot of junk. Stuck dipping into service stations. Grabbing something fatty and generally unhealthy. So to help you overcome this Ive included a list of the best food places around and you are more than likely going to bump into them everywhere. 

Forget Carrot Sticks, Eggs, Spinach. Your number 1 source of health and convenience is the place where clowns are always welcome.


Weve rated every country weve been to out of 10. Tried and tested and foolproof.

McDonalds rating by country:

America: 9/10

Australia: 10/10 – Gravy chips & Slush Puppies

Belgium: 7/10

Canada: 8/10 – Double Big Mac – Bun, Burger, Burger, Bun, Burger, Burger Bun. (Fun Tongue Twister)

Denmark: 8/10

England: 5/10 – Go To Tebay

France: 4/10

Germany: 10/10 – When hungover in Hamburg from Tønder

Ireland: 6/10 – Go to Supermacs

Isle Of Man: N/A

Malta: 5/10

Norway: 1/10 – Too Expensive #Scandinavia

Poland: 5/10

Scotland: 10/10 always.

Serbia: 5/10

Spain: 5/10

Sweden: 1/10 – Too expensive #Scandinavia

Switzerland: 5/10, not too bad, not too good. Keeping it Neutral. #SwissAlliance

Top Tip: When in rush, order more, less stops, more food. #ThePocketBurger. 

Order: Stick to what you know. Large Big Mac meal with Hamburger chaser.

Warning: Can cause serious pleasure and obesity.


20 Chicken Nuggets in 3 minutes

3 Cream Crackers in 1 minute

3 hamburgers in 1 minute

Video evidence required. x