So, dear reader.
Finally I find the time to write another episode of, what has become the traditional road blog.
To be honest, I wasn’t going to bother at all this tour because, what with all the eating, drinking, sleeping and occasional playing we have to do, it’s difficult to find the time. However, when this was suggested, the general reaction was one of shock, horror and outrage.
Both of you said that you quite enjoyed reading them.
…. and, when asked if you would miss it, instantly shrugged your shoulders and replied….
And so, with that ringing endorsement, how could I possible not find the time to scrape together the usual 700 or so words of utter claptrap and half baked nonsense?
So, where to begin?
Rehearsals were the usual chaotic affair, with poor old 80s Dave pulling his hair out (good job there’s plenty of it!) trying to shepherd everyone into the rehearsal room and away from the usual round of fry-ups at the Breakout Café.
We are adding a few new tunes to the set for this tour, some of which we did on the European tour in May/June and some of which are old favourites making a comeback.
There’s even a completely new, never before heard song which we literally only recorded a few weeks ago. I think it may be the new single so its one to watch out for.
Whichever way you look at it, we needed to get in there and get our heads down and rehearse.
Which we didn’t…..
To be honest, it doesn’t matter how much rehearsing we do, the first night of the tour is always a little bit nervy. Did we decide on the short ending or the long one? What happens at the end of “The Rain” (other than the brass players blacking out)?Were we REALLY listening when Dave ran through the links between songs?
Well folks, it would appear that we….
… WERE listening after all, as the opening show of the tour at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, went off without a hitch. In fact, I would go as far as to say it was a cracker!
Before the show I met up with Ian Davies, an old school chum who I had reconnected with a few weeks ago after almost 40 years. Ian and his lovely wife Pauline were in Birmingham for the British Open Brass Band championships which were on in the same hall the following day and they came along to the show just to confirm that my playing had shown very little progress in the intervening decades.
It was great to catch up with them and they even came along to the soundcheck especially to watch me moan about the on-stage sound.