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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

Jazzpodium DJS, Dordrecht - 7th December

Linda Simpson writes - Well, that was an experience, but not one I'd care to repeat in a hurry.

It didn't bode too well that it didn't start until 10:30pm - but if it's always late then it could be OK.

Actually it was a total mistake - but we didn't know that when we accepted it. It was nobody's fault really but this is how it went...

Peter (now Billy Bookcase) turned up at 5pm and we loaded up. We didn't have to be there until 8pm but Friday traffic is unpredictable so we set off in good time and in fine spirits

The sat-nav took us in but it didn't know about the bollard that blocked the road stopping us short of where we needed to be… good omen number one.

A couple of phone calls later we had our instructions 'go to the railway station and come back in another way'. We passed my favourite shop, Pandora's, several times during this process. Sadly it was closed, but I'm sure there will be chance to go there again some day.

Eventually we arrived but the place was in darkness. We were just trying to decide what to do when our friend Sylvia arrived. Now Sylvia works in the bike club above the Jazz club so we were grateful to be able to have the chance to get the equipment in and grab a cup of tea with them.

That *a**e* bollard

Peter started to back the car into the space in front of the club; it was then that we encountered the booby trap: - a cast-iron bollard, barely higher than the bumper, carefully concealed where it would do the most damage to a reversing car. Peter reversed into it - crunch - good omen number two!

Eventually the jazz club was opened and we started loading in the equipment. The smell of stale cigarette smoke was unmistakeable and rather strong. Matt and I have both had chest infections for a couple of weeks but it was with little hope when we asked if it would be possible to ask people not to smoke - or at least keep them to the back and away from the stage. The answer was a rather uncivil 'No' so we carried on with putting the equipment on the stage... good omen number three.

There was no sign of a sound-man and so, when we were nearly finished with our set up, Matt asked when the sound man might be getting there. It was at that point that we were advised that the equipment was in a cupboard at the back of the stage and we would have to move all our equipment, and the piano, in order to get it out - there would be no soundman and we would have to work it out for ourselves (good omen number four) That was when I thought we would be better off leaving but we decided to phone the agent and see what he made of it - he had booked it in good faith and we knew that he would have made better arrangements than the ones we were experiencing.

The phone went back and forth between the club manager, Johan, and us until it was agreed that they would find someone that knew the equipment and could set it up and in return for the 'mix up' they would try to do something about the question of smoking.

Eventually a nice young man called John came along and helped us to get a sound but he then had to leave. The desk was nowhere near the stage so we didn't have any hope of making any adjustments whilst we were performing - but we would just have to hope for the best…Good omen number 5

By this time it was basically impossible to have anything like a proper meal so Matt went out to get some shoarma - but there wasn't time to eat it before we started - the only good thing was that it wasn't pizza or Chinese!!

Showtime came and we were so pleased to see some familiar faces in front of the stage, Sylvia and her family came down to watch and Matt and I started off with 'Blues for a long road home' - it seemed like an apt thing to start with in the circumstances.

The noise in the place started off at deafening and steadily built up to an ear-splitting crescendo that would have easily knocked down the walls of Jericho without the need for any trumpets.

We started to laugh at the situation and enjoy ourselves, our set changed to include such things as 'Call me the Breeze' - and any other rocky stuff we could think of. Every now and then we would do a quiet song just for the hell of it - but we couldn't hear what we were doing ourselves so we didn't do too many of those. 'Fields of Eden' was a total no-no but hey - it happens every now and then - it does at least keep you grounded.

By the end of the first set Matt and I were coughing like a pair of mine donkeys - not helped by the fact that we were laughing so hard we were making it worse.

During the performance one of the audience went and turned up the sound system. We had no idea what we sounded like before that, and we had no idea if the increased volume helped at all, but we no longer cared at that point.

As with all such situations the end did come eventually and we were grateful to be able to crack down and load out again. The friends that had turned up had never seen us do anything like that and they were highly amused by the way we handled it - even to the point where they enjoyed it almost as much as a normal gig (are they all mad?).

Some people did try to help us by not smoking - or going to the back - some even went outside and we were grateful for that (thank you to those of you who tried to help) but Matt and I were still wheezing at the end. Matt was coughing all the way back and all through the night - it was not good but he was quite a bit better the following morning.

Sorry there's no photo of the audience - I couldn't see them for all the noise!

Never again!

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