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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

Radio Rijnmond, Rotterdam - 15th October 2007

Chris Simpson writes - The most important factor to a touring act on a substantial set of dates - and in our case thirty six shows is pretty substantial- is accompanying media coverage. Everybody in the performing arts wants it and there is fierce competition for the sadly too few press and radio slots. I think by sheer dogged persistence; a long memory for those who like what we do; and the inbuilt belief that we are very good at what we do, gets us through doors closed to others.

Radio Rijnmond is no exception.

Lennie - our friend and navigator(?)

It is one of the most famous; longest running and powerful radio stations in Holland, broadcasting out of Rotterdam over a large part of the south- west. We have done it from time to time and I could not help but notice that a slot on Rijmond and some live songs tended to sell out venues in the area.

It was our old friend Nico who set up the Schiedam gig in the Spring who approached Rijnmond in April on our behalf and secured a talk-in show between me and presenter Hans Van Vliet. He has a huge audience for his morning show and I soon found out why. He is incredibly rude.

Celebrities line up for his show determined to run the gauntlet and often fall by the wayside, shocked and outraged.

In brisk succession he asked me if I was gay, (I replied not as gay as him) and what did I think to his shirt. To that one I pointed out that that style would certainly come back. He then tried to get me to read the weather forecast in German. I did after a fashion, and urged all the Dutch love-bunnies to get outside as it was going to be warm and play MC on their i-pods.We had a great time.

A few weeks later we were invited back to play live on the show. He was as evil as ever but I loved it. It was raining cats n'dogs outside and after the show we all went for a coffee. Long conversations about his house in Bali and Sinatra. I failed to notice that he topped my coffee up with salt. Ugh. I waited my chance having refused to react and emptied an entire pot of pepper into his rolled up umbrella when he was in the toilet. We said farewell, and he walked out into a rainy Rotterdam afternoon and erected his umbrella. A dense cloud of pepper erupted around his head and he sneezed his way into oblivion. Touché!

This time we set up the show and headed on down to Rotterdam from Soest, picking up our beloved friend Lenie Dreef in Swyndrecht en route. Of course they had moved to a new building in an inaccessible part of the town near the river (the Dutch are very good at this) but we got there in the end although Lenie took a wrong turning saying, "it's at the end here", but all there was was a twenty foot drop into the North Sea.

Our friend Nico was there to meet us.

Magna Carta being interviewed by Hans Van Vliet

In we went, into an imressive new building.

Luxury, An actual live music studio which made a change from being cramped around one mike like last time. Radio mikes too.

In he came as rude as ever but I do like him. He looked at Linda and said, 'I see you've brought your daughter with you.'We got him back big time but to be honest I can't remember what I said.

We played 'African Theme', 'This TIme Around' and 'Lonely Girl.' Linda hit a bum note that nearly demolished us with laughter and blamed it on excitement. Hans then picked on Matt and wandered over to hold a microphone to Matt's crutch. Our boy had a hard time (so to speak) just making it through without corpsing completely.

It seemed to be over before it started and we adjourned for coffee and my second (Dutch) birthday cake. He actually said he is retiring to Bali in June and wanted one of his all-time favourites 'Airport Song' at his farewell bash. I said if we can do it we will.

Beyond the windows far below, the river sparkled in the Indian summer sunshine and I realised how much I will miss him.

Farewell and off back to Soest again. All in all a good time.

Left Arrow Huizen, Holland Terneuzen, Holland Right Arrow