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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

Alte Mühle, Langenthal, Switzerland - 19th May

Linda Simpson writes - Dear Fred - if you could have seen us at 6 o'clock this morning - you would have told us not to bother coming!

After three hoursd sleep we struggled into the conscious world for showers and copious amounts of coffee. We were barely capable of putting one word in front of another. Nacho came to give us a lift to the train station, we threw the cases in the back of the vehicle and fell in after it. Nacho must have wondered why we wanted to go anywhere in that state!

A glimpse of Zurich

I can't remember the train journey at all and, by all accounts, I spent most of the plane journey with my eyes closed and my mouth open in that most attractive pose! So I can't tell you much about getting there!!

Tony was there to meet us at the airport and we were surprised at how hot it was - at least 26 degrees - and rising.

Lucky for us Tony missed a turning so it was nice to find that we were driving through Zurich rather than past it - it is a very nice city, clean and pretty with some very striking arcitecture. We left the town and drove through the countryside with Tony pointing out lots of interesting places along the way. It was a most pleasant and informative journey - thank you Tony.

Just over an hour later we were in Langenthal where we checked into the same lovely hotel as last time.

We put the cases in the rooms and went downstairs to see Fred. He was all smiles as always, brightening up the room just by being there.

I had a problem with our stage clothes - they needed ironing - but I didn't have an iron. Fred insisted that I hand them over to the hotel to deal with.

I had asked if he could find me an iron to do it myself, but all he said to that was - "Why do you want to do this??"

I had to laugh and admit that I didn't, so the hotel took care of it.

We were given an itinery. This was Fred's birthday celebration and he had everything timed down to the last minute - you've got to have a plan.

We had a lovely lunch and then managed to grab about 90 minutes sleep before it was time to sound check.

Chris and Fred having a lovely lunch

I'm kicking myself now because I cannot remember the name of the sound engineer. All I can tell you is that I don't think I've ever had a better monitor sound - and if the 'out front' sound was as good as everyone else's, that must have been brilliant too. He was fast too - what a star!! He also put up with my burbling - I get a bit strung out when I don't have the Trace amplifier because it's my security blanket. My apologies if he thought I was a mad-woman.

The evening started with drinks and nibbles outside - then we came in and sat at the long tables - it was a splendid event.

Fred decided to introduce everyone individually - that was very funny. We didn't understand a word of course but he seems to be quite a racontour - what made us laugh is that the itinery was fast going to the wind and we could see it was going to be a very long night!!

Fred's Stompin' Cowboys gave a good account of themselves and before we knew it it was our turn to go on.

I had been worried that it was going to be an uphill struggle but it was no such thing - it was just great. I hope the audience enjoyed it as much as we did. It was hard to confine ourselves to 1hr 15 minutes and I think we did go over a bit (the itinery was out of the window by then anyway so I don't think anyone was too worried).

The other musicians there were just as nice as they had been last time and they were no slouches either - all good players. We missed the line dancers - I had actually quite enjoyed their performances the last time.

The food was really good, we hadn't had much in the way of proper food down the last few days (not counting the meatballs and 3 hour eggs of course) so it was nice to tuck into the three courses - yummy yummy.

Sadly by about 2am it was looking like Fred's band would not play again... that was a shame becaue they all have such a ball on stage - but all his musical friends did him proud and it was a very good evening.

The audience sat here!

At about 3am we drifted off back to the hotel and fell into bed at about 4am - there was no way we were going to be getting up early!!

Our time with Fred was not quite over - we arranged to meet at lunchtime the following day so we got up at about 11am, packed everything back up again, had showers. Chris had a bath as he always does when he gets the chance because we don't have a bath plumbed in at home yet, although we live in hope.

At noon we were feeling almost back to normal and sat outside and ordered a bit of lunch. It was yet another beautiful day . We drank copious amounts of water, something to do with the previous night's alcohol consumption maybe, and let out a cheer when Fred appeared.

He was a little tired but still his normal cheery self. We were going to Berne in the Stompin' Cowboy's speed mobile.

It was a relaxed trip, Fred is an excellent driver and it wasn't long before we arrived at Roy Osbourne's residence.

Roy and Viv invited us in; Fred thought he should leave; Viv convinced him that he should at least have a drink before leaving. That was Fred's downfall - he said that he would indeed like to have 'A couple of tea'. I would never knock anyone for getting the English wrong - but sometimes it's an improvement anyway. We no longer have cups of tea in our house - a couple of tea is much nicer!!

Fred left - promising to try and come to the concert that Roy had arranged - we were sad to wave goodbye and hoped that he could make it.

That evening Roy told us about the concert and wondered if we might perhaps do a song that he could sing... 'Four in the Morning' complete with key change... we promised we would do our best...

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