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Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Concert Diary 2006

Herriots Hotel, Skipton - 8th April

Linda Simpson writes - Thursday was spent getting everything ready for the arrival of Stewie and Matt and Harvey's friends Moss and Sky who were all coming, at separate times, on the Friday. Airbed and bedding to be found, extra dog bed to bring in - it promised to be quite a day. I also had to deal with a delivery of cookware from a demonstration that I'd had before going to Guernsey. If you haven't heard of Pampered Chef you should have a look at the web site - it's really excellent quality and well worth having an evening for your friends who like to cook. Anyway - I got that lot sorted out and delivered in between everything else - and I was grateful that it arrived on the Thursday as any other day would have made the madhouse even madder!!.

Friday morning I got up early to greet our two doggy guests and then took all three out for a walk - Moss was bouncing about for all he was worth, Sky turned her attention to decomposing rabbits and Harvey was sulking because I wouldn't take them all to the river (I tried that on another occasion and decided my sanity was more important than trying to keep the three of them together near water). It was a lovely day so, when we got back, they were all happy to be outside in the garden, which was good for me as I needed to change the beds and blow up the airbed with a malfunctioning electric pump - I gave up in the end and left it to Stewie to do the rest with his foot pump.

Chris went to pick Matt up from the airport, when he had gone I noticed a patch of diesel on the ground so when they got back Chris arranged to take the vehicle to the garage the following morning and then gave me a lift into Skipton for a much needed haircut; up to that point I'm fairly sure the three dogs were t hinking that I was an Old English sheep dog. A bit of shopping was also needed so I did that and then Chris picked me up again. I prepared a massive lasagne for the following evening (people always come back to the house after a local gig) and a cottage pie for that evening's dinner.

Stewie arrived and by then I was ready for a glass of wine. I drank three and ended up chatting instead of concentrating on feeding everyone so dinner was a little late. The boys then went out to the pub and I settled the dogs down - they had had a really good day and a couple of good walks so they were ready to get some sleep.

The boys came back having had a couple of pints and Stewie didn't even notice that the airbed was almost flat so I guess they had a good time.

Saturday - Gig Day

Chris got up early and took the vehicle into the garage in Skipton to have the fuel pipes replaced, he came back with a courtesy vehicle and then we had a good breakfast as that was likely to be the last meal until we got home at midnight - which is exactly how it turned out. The boys took the dogs for a walk in the pouring rain and then we heard from Andy, the sound technician, that he was not going to be able to get in until 4:30 because there was a conference going on in the room. He would normally be setting up at 3pm so this was a bit of a setback to say the least. We decided to use the extra time to have a run through a few more songs (no point in panicking). Chris took the dogs home at around 4:30 and then we loaded up and headed for Skipton.

There is a very strange little wall in Herriot's car park, which has several different coloured paints on it from the cars that have caught it on the way past. Not being used to the van that he was driving; Chris misjudged the turn slightly and dented the hire van, adding a little more paint to the wall and turning the air slightly blue inside the van. There was no point in worrying about it, we had a job to do, but that little bump is going to cost us over 400 - and that on top of the price of changing the fuel pipes made it rather an expensive day in motoring terms.

The concert room was chaotic, the stage was not yet fully set up and poor Andy was trying to get his PA gear in place. We did our best to help where we could and eventually we were ready to check the sound - with about ten minutes to go before doors-open. We did a very quick check of everything and then had to leave it to Andy to do the best he could. In the meantime Lee's friend Dave had set up his stage lights and we were ready to go.

I didn't get the chance to thank Dave properly but he brought the lights out of the goodness of his own heart and we were more than grateful to him so I hope he reads this.

It wasn't until we got on the stage to start the concert that we realised that the speakers were obscuring the view for quite a number of the audience. We apologised at the time but there was little that we could do about it by then and we hope everyone realised that.

The concert itself went off at 100 miles an hour because we were all full of adrenalin from rushing about up to the last minute. Sometimes that can be disastrous but it seemed to work this time and we had a ball from the first note to the last.

As ever it was a pleasure to be working with Lee. As I'm writing this, Chris is listening to the recording that Andy made and the bass playing is nothing short of inspired. Matt and Stewie rose to the occasion and Chris and I just lay back on a cushion of great musicians doing a great job.

I hope that those who couldn't see very well still enjoyed the music and that they will not hold it against us because the main point of the concert was to raise money for the Lady Mayor's favoured charity the NSPCC.

Relaxing at home after the concert

Margaret, the Lady Mayor, and Norman, her husband, had worked hard to help us with the concert organisation and I hope they felt it was worthwhile. Herriots' manager, Dave, gave the room for free so we hope that he also gains extra business from the venture.

After the concert I left everyone packing up and headed back with Stewie to get the food on for anyone that came back to the house. It was after midnight by the time we got in but that's normal and we were looking forward to seeing those who could make it back. Thankfully there were not as many as after the last Grassington concert when I think we did pie and peas for about 40 people and then raided the freezer to feed the rest!!

Having forgotten to take photos at the gig I took a few at home - I think we got to bed at around 4am - tired but happy.

The Lead up to Holland…

Sunday, the day after the gig, we had more visitors, the ones who had not been able to make it back the night before. Some very old friends of Chris' who had found us via a concert that we did in Guernsey a couple of years ago. Other friends also dropped in and we sat around having croissants, biscuits and cake - calories don't count on Sunday mornings.

By this time I was a bit conscious of the fact that we were setting off for Holland on the Wednesday which meant the last of the washing had to be done that day for it to be dry in time (I have a creel in the house for drying washing and, although it takes a little longer, I would never go back to using a drier) so in between making pots of coffee I was trying to get all the washing sorted out. I do apologise if anyone thought I was a bit rude but needs-must. I also had to iron Chris' Mum's curtains so that he could take them back to her that day… it really does go a bit mad sometimes.

Chris took Matt to the airport and called in to see his Mum, our guests all left and then Stewie left so Harvey and I had a little walk to blow the cobwebs away and then I set about putting the house back to normal.

Monday we had to take Harvey to Scotland but we were waiting for the jeep, which was still being worked on at the garage. As we were going beyond Glasgow to Helensburgh, and had to come back the same day, we were hoping that the call would come sooner rather than later but it was after 2pm before we were able to collect it.

We got everything in and finally set off at around 3pm. It took us 5 hours to get there (with a little break) but it was worth all the effort because Harvey went absolutely bonkers when he saw Anne again. He obviously loves her to pieces and it's so nice to know that he's happy when we're away.

Anne had very kindly made us something to eat so we had dinner together and then Chris had a little sleep before we set off back again. Harvey was not at all concerned when we left - he came to the door and gave me a snuffle before we left. I think he is now used to the fact that we have to leave him behind sometimes but he loves Anne and Heather so doesn't mind staying with them for long periods of time. When we go for short hops he stays with Terry and Lynda (who have Moss and Sky) so he's always well looked after and has lots of friends of the canine variety. I sometimes feel sorry for him when we pick him up because we just cannot have another dog and he has only us when he's at home.

The trip back was another 5 hours and we got home at 3am, had a cup of tea and fell into bed.

Tuesday I got up early and cleaned out the budgies (yes we have budgies too) because we had to take them to the pet shop where they will be looked after while we're away. At 12:30 I had an appointment at the hospital for my carpel tunnel problem, they gave me an injection and then I went to see my friend Joannie at 'East End' where I buy most of my stage clothes…

After that it was back home to iron all the stuff that I washed on Sunday - I hate getting home to a pile of ironing so I wanted to get all the bedding done too. That just about took me the rest of the day and as Chris had to give a talk at the Rotary, he was gone most of the evening so I had no distractions.

Wednesday meant an early start to get everything packed into the jeep before setting off for Holland. Luckily we had both managed to get ourselves almost sorted out so there wasn't the usual panic. I packed the jeep as Chris did the last of his office work - Chris lifted the heavy stuff in for me and we were all ready to set off on time and without any hassle - that was great. Margaret and a couple of other neighbours waved us off . We just managed to call in briefly to say goodbye to Mum and we were on our way. Holland here we come…

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