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Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Concert Diary 2006

Muziekcentrum Enschede, Enschede - 10th November

Linda Simpson writes - We have had a busy week, we've been rehearsing two 'new' songs - at least two that have rarely been performed live - we recorded them on a little machine and thought they sounded OK and so planned to do them tonight.

We arrived at the place a little late because, although we left in plenty of time, the traffic is unpredictable on Fridays and we did get held up a bit. Even so - we had plenty of time to get ready.

Robin was there to meet us in, and he was doing the sound, so we got on with it straight away. Robin was extremely good and it didn't take long to get a good mix. We had a bit of a problem with a buzz on the mandolin - just one of those things that couldn't be sorted out for some reason - we'll have to see what happens at the next gig.

I brought the video camera tonight - mainly to film backstage and the sound check as that's the bit that no one sees and I thought it might amuse my Dad. It was all very relaxed and I got quite a bit of footage, not only of the check but also of what was going on in the dressing rooms throughout the gig, we had our usual amount of lunacy and fun both on and off stage.

Matt with his Tommy Cooper impression

As we were checking the sound we were told that something was happening in the main hall and there was to be a presentation in our hall first, before our gig. It was all very strange but, once we'd finished, we moved things back and asked if they had enough space - they said yes and so Matt then told them, in Dutch, that if they wanted anything else moving to let us know and we would do it. I stayed in the dressing room while the boys went for something to eat (I wasn't hungry) so I was only a few feet (2m) from the stage. When they got back from dinner we realised that the guitars had been moved. They were OK but we were not happy, these instruments are our livelihood and we don't like them being moved by anyone - especially when they have been specifically asked not to do so.

Once the presentation was finished, Chris went to have a word with the man that had moved them; the man protested that he had worked with orchestras for 35 years and knew how to handle instruments. Chris countered that he had been on the road for 40 years and had never touched another musician's instrument w ithout permission. I don't really know who he was but he was not happy. He probably did use the utmost care but accidents can happen and if a guitar had been damaged - then what?

No matter - all was OK and the gig was just great.

Having had a few days away from the stage we were ready to get back to it. We gave it everything and played as if our lives depended on it. When it came to the two new songs we chickened out a bit and just did one of them, but it worked really well so we should be able to pluck up the courage to do them both on the next one. We still have another 4 possible new ones to go in - we'd like to get them done by the end of the tour if we can.

It was a super theater, the people that we met were all very nice and helpful, the audience was warm and, we hope, had a good time - and so had we. Anything else required?

The only thing I would say is that the building is vast and I could see that it would be very easy to get lost in it. You could imagine that there are people that have been in there for a couple of weeks - still trying to find the way out. In fact Matt told us that there have been incidences of artists not being able to find their way to the stage in time for their show!!

At the end of the gig we were presented with lovely flowers, it was most unexpected and it is also a lovely Dutch habit that we find touching in the nicest possible way. Afterwards we went into the foyer to say Hi to some people - we do like to be able to see the audience after a show and sign CDs if people want us to. To us it's all part of the experience - we can't just walk away and go home.

Matt's family came this evening - they said it was the best concert they had ever seen us do - that is praise indeed. Some of Matt's friends also came - they were really nice people and Sanne, noticing that her scarf matched the sparkles on my stage clothes, gave it to Matt to give to me after they'd gone. That was really nice - thank you Sanne.

We finished packing up and said goodbye to Matt's Mum and Dad - who re-appeared a few minutes later because they couldn't find a way out... What was I just saying? Ronnie gave them some directions and off they went again - I think they must have made it that time.

After that we were invited for a final drink in the Artistes Foyer, but the business had to be sorted out first - or so we thought.

Of all the concerts on this tour - this was the one that caused the most paperwork and telephone calls. It seemed that there had been a 'change over' and the new people didn't seem to get everything passed onto them properly. These things happen, but we were a bit non-plussed at the end of a wonderful night to find that there was no one to explain or help us with the business side of things.

The arrangement on the contract appeared to be obsolete, but we had not been given any other instructions. This is one side of our business that I really hate - it's not nice to be left 'hanging' when you've given everything and are already emotionally drained. We know it will be OK of course, and everyone there was most apologetic that they couldn't help, but it would have been nice if someone had informed us of the changed arrangements instead of leaving us in an awkward situation.

I thought carefully before telling you that - but if this is meant to be an honest account of the 'romance' of being on the road - I think it would be wrong to leave out these things. It's not all fun and laughter. This is after all our profession, and although there are many who do not consider it to be a 'proper job' (my own mother was included in this category - so you're in good company if you think the same!) - try to imagine a world without music.

Our next concert is on Sunday the 12th - it will be Matt's birthday - he's 23 this time (old huh?) so it should be a bit of a hoot.

Our audience
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