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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

Nettlebed Folk Club, Berkshire - 18 June

Linda Simpson writes - This being the first gig since Chris and I made our split public, I was not quite sure how it was going to work out.

We were staying with Viv, Melanie and Lauren in High Wycombe (see last concert in Switzerland to get bearings on this as Roy is Viv's husband). We drove down the night before, as it is not easy to do a 4 to 5 hour run and then do a gig at the end of it. It was great to be with Viv and the girls and we enjoyed a relaxing supper, had a couple of glasses of water (you're right not to believe that one) and then went to see their horses before going to bed. I really love horses - I just wish I wasn't so apprehensive around them.

Paul Stewart left behind

The morning of the gig we got up at a sensible time, I changed my guitar strings, and then we played a couple of songs through to get the juices flowing. We have also changed 'Lonely Girl' a bit and so wanted to run through that too.

In the afternoon we popped into Princes Risboro', a very pretty town, where Matt and I scoured the charity shops! We've found some interesting things in these places and enjoy the process hugely. Chris went off on his own, he's not a big fan of this activity.

I found a couple of things, Matt came away empty handed, and we met up with Chris for a coffee at the top of the high street. Matt had his first ever piece of carrot cake and, judging by the speed it disappeared, found it to be to his taste!

At 5:00 we loaded up the 4 track and set off for Nettlebed. With Doris at the helm we did just fine but it took a little longer than we had expected so we turned up closer to 6:30 than the intended 6:15.

Simon met us in. He often does sound for the club and it was obvious that we were in very good hands. It took no time at all to get sorted out and he also made a great job of the speaking part in 'Fields of Eden' (we've had some very funny moments with that from time to time I can tell you).

The sound-check was soon completed and we went back to the dressing room to get ready. I nipped out for a couple of minutes to listen to the opening act who were rehearsing in the gents loo. It was a great sound and it almost seemed a shame to transfer to the stage!! Natural echo is a wonderful thing, as you will all know from singing in the bathroom??

When I got back to the dressing room I found that Chris' sister was in there - talking to Chris. I have to admit that really threw me. She doesn't often come to concerts and I wasn't sure of the motive - for all I knew she could have come to see if I would fall to pieces.

As it happened she had come as a surprise, but I didn't find that out until the end and that made it a real struggle for me to perform. I was distracted and my throat was so tight that I know I was missing notes.

'Lonely Girl' went out of my head completely, 'Ghost in this House' was certainly shaky but Matt put in a great performance on 'Backroads' and both 'Fields of Eden' and 'Paradise Row' took on lives of their own.

Judging from the response, I think it was a good gig over all. So that's the first one - it can only get easier now and that's a good feeling. Sorry folks you're not getting rid of me that easily.

It was lovely to see so many friendly faces in the audience and we were able to have a good chat to some of them after the concert. Mick, the guy who runs the club (and has done so for 30-odd years I believe) seemed pleased with the result... that's the best we could hope for - except that maybe we will be invited back again.

There was one heart stopping moment when someone asked me where 'Paul Stewart' was. It seems his fame goes before him - and we had left him at home! - oops - sorry - won't make that mistake again!

Chris and his handbag

Eventually it was time to leave. We bid a fond farewell to Vicky and Mick, waited until Simon found his keys in the back of the van and got the engine fired up, and then followed Doris as she guided us home.

We've all heard about Sat-Navs doing strange things; well tonight it was Doris's turn. She didn't take us back the same way that we came - she found another route - a more interesting rout - down a very long back lane, fit only for tanks and tractors.

We bounced all over the place and hoped the springs would survive, but then came our reward... we saw wild deer and, at one point, a badger crossed the road in front of us - now that was special!

There was no one up when we got in so I'm afraid we raided the cheese and biscuits before going to bed (sorry Viv).

The following morning we had to be up in time to get Matt to the airport, it was a lovely sunny day and so we had breakfast in the garden. I suddenly noticed that Chris was emptying out his satchel; he had lost his lighter somewhere. It was a photo opportunity without par as Chris is always complaining that I can never find anything in my handbag! Touché!

We dropped Matt at Stanstead airport and drove home to Harvey - and Paul Stewart, who was waiting in the window when we got back.

I'm going to spend a week in Guernsey and then we'll be on our way to Canada - can't wait.

Our wonderful audience
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