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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

De Lantaern, Zenenaar - 17th November

Linda Simpson writes - Many people have been asking about my father on this tour and, although at first I wasn't going to say anything, I have found it impossible to keep it quiet that he passed away on Wednesday the 14th of November.

I am grateful that I was able to be there with him and wish him well for the next part of his journey. Sadly I was not able to stay for the funeral and I do not have time or space for quiet contemplation until I get home in December.

I will mourn him when the tour is over - until then I wish only to celebrate his life.

He was a wonderful man and although we all have to die - love goes on forever.

So many Black Peters

The 2nd Saturday in November is a very special day in Holland; it is the day when Sint Nikolaas arrives from Spain.

Every year he comes on a boat with all his 'Black Peter' helpers and the arrival is reported on the national news for the great event that it is.

This morning Matt came rushing down the stairs to put the TV on and we watched the coverage of the boat coming in. On the quayside the faces of children and adults alike were full of joy and wonder. The excitement was infectious and we were glued to the TV set until the man in red stepped onto dry land.

I'm a total sucker for all his stuff - I just love to see kids jumping up and down trying to get the first glimpse of the man who will bring them gifts on the 5th of December.

I'm sure I must have said before how much nicer this is than our own Santa Clause celebration. Over here Christmas is a separate event and I think it works so much better that way.

Having watched Sint Niklaas arrive we turned off the set and got everything ready for the concert (clothes, CDs etc.) then we went out to the local shopping centre to get a bit of shopping - we do have to eat you know!

What a lovely surprise to find that Sint Niklaas had already reached Soest and was parading through the streets with all his helpers, wishing everyone well and spreading a special brand of happiness that is magic for children. I have to say at this point that 'Health and Safety' officials in England would have been running around like headless chickens trying to do something about the fact that several 'Black Peters' were climbing onto the roofs of the shops - no ropes or safety nets in evidence. Dangerous stuff, but gloriously wonderful stunts for the kids and at least these people are still able to decide for themselves what risks they want to take. It was such a refreshing change from the way things are in the UK right now.

The parade went by, the kids were all happy that they had seen him and so were we!!

It was almost an anticlimax to have to do a gig on the end of that - but at least it was one of our favourite venues so we didn't mind so much.

We were going to stay with Matt's Mum and Dad as the following day we would be playing quite close to Borculo so Chis did the driving for this one. We loaded up and Chris put in his new 'I am 65' tie which he had been instructed to wear by the people who had been at his birthday bash at the start of the tour. I can't say that it's the best tie I've ever seen him wear - but it is the biggest and most colourful.

We looked as though we might be a little early so we stopped for one of our 'holidays' in a gas station on the way, where we had a cup of coffee each, huddling around the coffee machine and laughing at nothing in particular (I think it's known as submarine fever).

We arrived at The Lantaern to find that it was already open and the heating had kicked in too so it was nice and warm inside while the temperature outside was dropping quite dramatically.

It's always good to see so many familiar faces, Jan, Hans, Harry, The Mad Chef, Dorothea and many more.

Guess how old I am...

The sound check was quick and easy - the sound-man, Paul, knew what he was doing - and he also did the lights which is not easy. If I have any criticism it would be that he used a little too much reverb for my taste (we like to sound as natural as possible) but apart from that all was well.

Hans, the main man/organiser brought us some pizza, which the boys said was very good. I couldn't face it I'm afraid - I have simply had my fill of pizza and don't care if I never see another one…..ever.

Show time - off we went and it was good. We tried putting 'Perfect Lovers' back in the set last night and so tonight we used it to smooth over Chris' arrival on stage in the 2nd half - it worked very well and so it stays for the rest of this tour.

I had an idea for a new bit at the end of Paradise Row but we didn't have time to rehearse it so it will have to wait until another night.

Matt found me a new Saint Niklaas song for this year but I was having trouble remembering it so I chickened out and sang the one that I learnt last year - it still caused much amusement - I guess my pronunciation must sound silly - but I don't care!!

Harry had brought his video equipment again; I think this is his 5th attempt? Sorry Harry but this is starting to be really funny - we've had a picture but no sound, sound but no picture, half a picture, a camera that kept cutting out and now??? Well, at the end, Harry told me that he had borrowed the camera and he didn't think that it had worked out too well.. We do love you Harry but we don't think that Spielberg is getting worried yet.

It was a lovely evening, fun as ever - and we were happy that we had so much interest in the Carré concert (and the parrot). It looks like the Lantaern will be on the list for the final tour next year and we look forward to that.

Home time and we found that that the temperature had dropped below zero - brrrrrr - the windscreen was iced up and we were all shivering but the sky was beautifully clear and the stars seemed so close that we could almost pluck them from the sky.

Back at 'Barnhoorn Towers' we had a glass of wine and then hit the sack, it's an afternoon concert tomorrow.

Some  of our audience
Left Arrow Amen, Holland Winterswijk, Holland Right Arrow