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Current page: Concert Diary 2008

Current page: Concert Diary 2008

Concert Diary 2008

Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham - 5th January

Linda Simpson writes - My apologies for the delay in writing this - and for the fact that there is no photo of 'Our audience'.

I did do better than usual as regards UK gigs in that I did actually remember to take the camera along - but then I simply left it in my bag for the duration and brought it home again without taking the relevant shots - I shall try again on the 17th...

Chris arrived to pick me up and we checked with Doris as to what time she thought we might arrive. It was going to take a while, but we figured that we could get there on time, leaving ourselves half an hour for a quick stop along the way. We had a cuppa, loaded up and were soon on the road.

I had made some sandwiches and brought a couple of pork pies (good healthy stuff - not) for the trip so we were at least confident that we wouldn't starve.

We hit traffic half way down - it looked as though we might be in trouble so when we did stop we made it a quick one with good results - we drew up in front of the address smack on time according to Doris... one hour early according to my watch. Guess what? Chris hadn't changed Doris to UK time, she was confused and thought she was still in Holland and so had worked on Dutch time... and we were one hour early. One hour early that is - but rather lost as we were outside a house and not an Inn. We called the number on the contract and found that we were actually sitting outside the house of the organisers. Lucky for us they had not already set off or we would have been in deep trouble, Early and lost - has a certain ring to it.

Chris and Della couldn't have been nicer, they invited us in, gave us a nice cup of tea each and let us have a look around their amazing Victorian house. Still with just about all the original features as far as I could see... it really was something special.

We followed Chris to the venue and loaded in up the fire escape. Lee was doing this one with us but as he hadn't arrived as yet we set up and did our bit of the sound check with a very 'on the ball' Brian - it was quick and painless but still no sign of Lee. I called him on the mobile to find that he and his lovely wife were quite close but a little lost - they wouldn't be long.

There was another act 'Little Sister' who describe themselves on 'My Space' as four voices - too many instruments (I didn't think so) - one of whom played a harp (beautiful instrument) and we were by then holding up their sound check so we got off the stage and let them make a start. Poor Brian couldn't do a proper check for us and was left with less time than he really needed to check them - but he did extremely well and they very soon had a great sound. Lee and Shirley eventually made it through - they had been well and truly lost but it didn't take long to calm down and get the bass in place and a quick sound check done.

Little Sister played first and were excellent. I really enjoyed the diversity of material and the way they interpreted the songs. he instrumentation was also very different and they obviously enjoyed themselves too, which is more important than most people think.

Another nice touch was the tea and coffee in the dressing room - and biscuits too - thank you to the lovely lady who arranged all that for us.

Chris and Lee were downstairs for some of the time, trying to work out a set list because Lee had never played some of the new material with us. He had in fact only heard a live concert on CDR two nights previously, but you would never have guessed - he played a blinder! It was such a pleasure to be on stage with him again - it makes such a difference to me as I don't have to worry about holding everything down. Lee just takes over and everything is 'rock solid'. Not only that but he is one of the most inventive players I have ever heard, let alone worked with. We did of course miss having Matt with us but his Grandfather is still very ill in hospital and so he couldn't be with us. I'm just looking forward to the next gig with all four of us on stage - that will be great!.

Brian had everything under control and you would have thought that the sound check had been done in full before the gig. In fact he had not heard even us all play together and snapped it all into place in seconds ... good work and thank you. Thank you to Chris on lights too - he also did a smashing job.

The audience seemed subdued to us but I guess that's because we did our last 36 gigs in Holland and were not used to playing to our own countrymen. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. Fields of Eden and Paradise row went down very well that's for sure and we did have some nice comments after the concert.

All too soon it was time to go. We bade a fond farewell to everyone and set off with our gear back down the fire escape.By this time the car park had some rather treacherous icy patches and I was a bit apprehensive about the trip home but in the event it was fine.

We got in at 3am (not bad considering) - Chris went on his way and I made myself a hot water bottle and got into bed (not good for the image but I don't care). Harvey was doing a 'sleepover' with his friend Moss so the place seemed empty without him... but I had no doubt that wherever he was he would be snoring his head off and he wouldn't be keeping me awake.


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