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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

Café Cambrinus, Horst - 25th November

Chris Simpson writes - Horst is a small town at the end of the A2 in south-east Holland. The congestion is getting so bad on what is in every respect a fine national motorway system that the Dutch refer to the A2 as 'the biggest parking lot in Holland'.

Jan and Matt on the road

Last Sunday was no exception.

We loaded up at Soest and it never ceases to amaze me as to just how much gear; TA100 amps, stands, guitars, clothes and finally ourselves, manage to fit into the confines of the vehicle.

Off down the lane with the young oaks to our left, planted but a couple of years ago already thrusting powerfully towards the sky; four degrees above and a wicked wind moaning through the sere dried leaves reminding you that it is winter.

On the road there are small insignificant things that rub like a pebble in a shoe. Things that under any other circumstances would barely cross your mind, and if they did would be dismissed as trivia.

For example, I grew up with Fahrenheit, not this Celsius tripe. You knew damn well as a kid that -32F was leading you into frozen fingers and brass monkey territory. Conversely, 80-90 F and the tar was going treacly on the roads.

Gazing moodily out at the flatlands rolling past I check out the huge number of trucks thundering inexorably onwards to destinations far afield. Poland; Rumania; the Czech Republic; Russia; Spain and Italy.

But who dreamed up this 'Logistics' absurdity. What does it mean in terms of trucks? What is wrong with 'trucking' or 'transport'? Why the fancy name?

Sounds like some overpaid bureaucrat has confused trucking with software. It is all a part of the general grovelling malaise. We have to apologise for everything even including things we have not done and dress simple phrases in desensitised verbage. ie. someone who is unfortunately blind now has 'sight impediment'. What is so wrong with 'blind'in the first place?

You did not get Jesus asking of a blind man,'oh, can I help you with your sight impediment', or on the way to be crucified claiming infringement of his human rights.

Ah, well, I guess it is the grumpy old man syndrome but I am not alone for sure, and when I figure the thousands of hours I have spent gazing out at just about every landscape on the planet spinning past the window of plane, train or truck these are the sort of thoughts that run through what is left of your mind after some jolly bacchanalia the night before.

To Horst I hear you cry - and rightly so.

Jan's SATNAV bleats enthusiastically, 'You are arriving at your destination on right'. 'Bleeding obvious', as Basil Fawlty would say, as we pull up outside the Café Cambrinus.

It seems deserted with that initial dreary sadness that continental cafés have when the clientele are yet to arrive. Doors open and Jan and Henny welcome us in. Coffee appears as if by magic. Arrow, the white alsation and my buddy, bounds in ears erect. The air is of stale tobacco and spilled beer; tables cleared away and seats laid out ready for the human onslaught. We hope.

Café Cambrinus

Load in and set up. The kitchen behind the bar serves as a dressing room, hang out place and epicentre, enfringed as it is with racks of CDs, discarded magazines, and all the flotsam and jetsam of a busy café kitchen.

I light a cigar once we have the sound set up and go out play with Arrow in the garden, It never ceases to amaze me how in the grip of winter a garden can look so desolate and yet the first hint of Spring and transformation.

A low hum builds up into a sort of controlled din. Cars are pulling in outside the cafe. I leave Arrow chewing a plastic bucket and we're on, Matt and Linda opening up with 'Who knows where the Time Goes'.

Where HAVE all these folk come from?

It is packed and quiet, Familiar faces everywhere. Fred and Mrs.Fred Stark. Dre' who has engraved a glass for me with the Seasons album design, which, incidentally, was my idea originally anyway. John and Herman Scholten who hardly seem to miss a show.

We have two storming sets and I note the faces in the circle of light before me seem to work like human barometers, registering every emotion on the scale of things.

It all over almost as soon as it began. And the photographs of the musical greats gaze down on another gig gone by, and until the meddling bloody E bloody U bans smoking everywhere, the trails of tobacco smoke drift lazily up to the eaves.

Henny has made us a wonderful soup. There is bread and meat and cheese around the table and the warm feeling of a concert that went well.

We load out, the warm air spilling into the November night. 'Gypsy' is so true in its reference to 'sad smiling au revoir', as Jan, Henny and Arrow wave us goodbye.

On the road again and the whole process one more time in reverse.

C'est la Vie.

Some  of our audience
Left Arrow Papendrecht, Holland Velp, Holland Right Arrow