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Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Concert Diary 2006

't Zielhoes, Usquert - 10th December

Matthijs Barnhoorn writes - It has come to that point - the last concert. And what a concert it was, it had everything: the location, the audience and the atmosphere.

At 9.00 am Nice Mr. Jan rolled up. It is not quite a musicians sort of time, but we managed. The car got loaded up and in no-time we were off - heading for the café at the end of the Universe: 't Zielhoes in Noordpolderzijl.

We had a very pleasant journey, filled with jokes, the odd story and laughter. Then out came the Liquorice All-Sorts and 'Tum-Tummetjes' (little jelly sweets with sugar on the outside). For some strange reason they were done in in a wink. Anyway, after a little detour thru the Groninger polders we came to the venue.

The location was beautiful: on one side you could see nothing but fields with a farm every here and there and on the other side there was a famous Dutch 'Dijk' with the sea (Waddenzee) on the other end.

We got a very warm welcome by Jan and Fien Bos and the soundman Jan (three Jan's already, this could get interesting). Then we met Joke, the host for the afternoon and owner of this wonderful café/music stage-venue. We got lots of coffee, build up the stage for the last time this tour and prepared ourselves for the soundcheck. The sound was quickly set and we disappeared upstairs, where we got our dressing room. It always has a special feeling when you make yourself ready for a last concert, after you've been doing it for 10 weeks. Perhaps I do think too much about these things, but I can't help it.

Where the audience all came from I don't know, but it was a sold out house. We got our five minutes-knock and soon it was showtime. It was a great afternoon: the audience was with us from the word 'Go', the playing went well and we all had a lot of fun.

The first set was played in no-time and than came the last set of this tour. After a big group hug, Linda and I went out for 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes' - I think one of the better versions we'd done during this tour. A couple of songs later it was 'Backroads'-time. Chris finally got what he'd been secretly hoping for during the tour. The stage wasn't really big, in fact we had to move carefully not to hit each other with our instruments. But it being the last concert of the tour, I couldn't do it without manic leaps, so off I went to do the famous solo-behind-the-head-whilst-sliding-on-my-knees - Not noticing that the microphone stand was in my way. With a loud THUD I came past it. Then my cables got stuck behind the monitor, which resulted in a wrestling match between me, the mandolin and the monitor.

It must have been one of Chris' better plots.

Four songs later we came to 'Rings Around The Moon' - the final one. We thanked everybody to be thanked, especially 'Nice Mr.' Jan Bor, who - apart from being our tour manager this tour - also became a dear, dear friend. To finish the tour off with this 'road song', made the circle complete for me.

After the concert we had a great time with the audience and the staff (Seija, Mieke and Bea). Then the meal got served: a traditional Dutch 'stampot' meal. This includes 'boerenkool', 'zuurkool' and 'hutspot' with smoked sausages, bacon, sort of pickled onions, gherkins and mussels. It was wonderful.

After a last cup of coffee it was time to set off for home. On our way home we had our last 'band holiday' (a cup of coffee in a gas station) and although we were in the far North-east corner of Holland, we got home pretty quickly. There we had a last drink with the four of us.

It has been such a great tour: all the great new material which we all enjoyed playing and developing over the past couple of months, the wonderful audiences who've come out to watch us doing the shows, meeting up with old friends and starting new friendships and of course making lots of fun with each other. It has been a most wonderful time!

There's come an end to this time. Luckily every end is a new beginning. How this next period will look like we're not sure yet. So watch this space!

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