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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

The Studio, Hartlepool - 20th January

Linda Simpson writes - The first gig in 2007 and it felt really strange.

It's not that long since our last concert in Holland, and Matt had come over to do this one so we brushed up a little on the songs and found that it's just like falling off a bike, sorry, riding a bike. Actually falling off and riding are one and the same thing to me - not so the Dutch - they all ride bikes from being four months old!

I digress!

We were hoping to get a rehearsal with Lee, but he didn't have the time to come over. We sent him a CDR of the new songs for him to have a listen to and work out what he wanted to play. Lee's taste is excellent - he fits like a hand in a glove with all Magna Songs and it's wonderful when he can join us.

We have a 'new to us' vehicle and it took a little work to find the best packing arrangement but we got there in the end.

Next job was to tell Doris that we were on the road again. She wasn't very happy at first - she thought she was still in Holland, but once we had established the change of country she came out with her customary 'Please drive to highlighted rout' - and we were off.

A couple of times we disobeyed her orders and got a terse 'recalculating' but the trip was trouble free and we arrived - EARLY AGAIN - this is doing our reputation no good at all.

Mr. Bassman - Lee Abbot (photograph Dave Mountain)

Phil met us in - he was already sorting out the equipment and we were pleased to get in out of the cold - it was getting a bit nippy out there. We asked if it was possible to record the gig. It took a bit of effort to find a minidisk recorder but Phil triumphed in the end.

Lee rolled in shortly after us, along with Dave (a great guy who also knows his way around a sound desk). It was smashing to see them and after the usual round of 'Happy New Year' we got on with the sound check.

Dave was lovely, really helpful; I think he also had something to do with installing the sound system in the place. We played through the new songs with Lee and they sounded great. It was a bit strange for us at first; not having had bass while we were in Holland. Lee's timekeeping is 2nd to none and at first I had to concentrate a little to stay with him but once we were all pulling in the same direction the magic kicked in and we were off.

In the dressing room, after the check, Lee gave me a present from his lovely wife Shirley; it was the cutest apron with pigs all over it. I was so impressed I almost wore it on stage! It now has pride of place in my kitchen, but I doubt I'll use it - I might spoil it!

I'm not sure how big the audience was, we're not very high profile here in the UK and it's a struggle to get back into the swing but it was a decent turn out and they were certainly enthusiastic. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, fortunately Dave Mountain (another smashing bloke who had come with a friend to see the concert) had brought one, but as I didn't find out until it was too late - I still didn't get an audience shot.

I did meet up with some very nice people afterwards - but a lot of people had already gone. I think we left it a little too long before coming out of the dressing room - we were being a bit self-indulgent and catching up with Lee's news - I hope no-one thought we were being rude.

The people behind the bar were great, all very friendly and chatty, so we packed up and then stood around talking for a while before leaving.

Lee had mentioned that he was going for a curry the following evening and that had set our juices flowing - we hadn't had a meal since lunchtime so we were feeling a little peckish - a curry seemed like a great idea. Phil told us that there were three really good curry places just around the corner so we decided that we would treat ourselves.

As we turned the corner onto the main road, at 1am, we couldn't believe our eyes. There were police everywhere. So many loud, drunken young people falling all over the place and being abusive to no-one in particular. It was awful. We spotted the curry house but there was no way that I would have even got out of the vehicle - let alone park it long enough to buy a take-away.

Even Matt was shocked; he couldn't believe it either. He said that you might see a few drunken stragglers at about 4 or 5am in the cities on Holland - but certainly not at 1am and certainly not out in such force.

In a way I was glad that he said that as I thought perhaps I was turning into a grumpy old woman. We were high spirited when we were in our late teens/early twenties and I guess we 'tied one on' every now and then - but it was never like this - this was threatening and unpleasant and I couldn't wait to get out of town. Doris seemed to be equally pleased to be on her way again as we gave up on the curry idea and headed home.

3am we were back home. Chris had a junk food frozen prawn curry, which was no substitute for the real thing. Matt and I had a sausage sandwich each - which was equally un-curry scrummy - but at least we still had all our teeth and no broken bones!

Harvey was pleased to see us back - Margaret had seen to it that he was OK - but he always thinks we're going to disappear when we load up the vehicle so we always get a great welcome when we land back 'unexpectedly'.

That's it now until next month.

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