I woke up at home this morning and I had absolutely no idea where I was. Images of several different rooms passed through my mind as I slowly regained my senses. Although slightly disorientating the experience is pleasant once I get my bearings. As you might guess it is not the first time this has happened. I will gladly undergo such minor altered states to have more of the same good experiences I’ve had playing the FDPFAFDW gigs.The most recent version was no exception. I stayed with Tony and Monika Smith for four days and I enjoyed every minute. The weather was strange as it has been. I don’t remember a summer where the wind changed direction so many times in a day.
On the day of the gig a mad man went on the rampage in Oslo, Norway. The wind blew cold and cooled the sun but life goes on.
sound check with nickNick showed up as promised with one of the tiniest pa systems ever. We discussed how micro technology has released us from the burden of carrying largely inefficient and heavy equipment around, especially for a show like the one to take place in the garden that evening. I cannot tell you how marvellous it is when a sound check only takes fifteen minutes. Thanks Nick for top service.
I‘ve known Tony and Nick for some time now. We last met up at the benefit concert I played in Wales last September for Mickey Jones who was the lead guitar and founder member of MAN. Tony and Nick are both involved with the post production of the video of the benefit shows and I got to see some rushes. It brought back happy memories of a great night in South Wales. I had a good feeling watching this video and reflecting on what I had heard about the cottage industry around merchandising and promotion, that these guys have put together as fans. So much can be achieved by honest and committed folk who do what they do out of a genuine respect for musicians and their music. The music industry is changing. The old style record companies and other middle men are destined for total redundancy.
james with son jake - the future
I’d watched the preparations for the show throughout the day. Watching the guys fix a waterproof sheet over my little “paved stage” was fascinating. Though the wind tried to rob them of their plastic sheet these guys were not to be trifled with and the wind lost out. I think as time wore on any trepidations people might have had in the early planning days had receded. It was now fun. Monika who told me she had expected to be nervous and stressed but was very relaxed. Soon the barbecue was underway and Monika’s fabulous German potato salad and other sundry goodies were laid out. I’d been a house guest for a couple of days by now and was totally chilled. I didn’t feel a trace of nervousness that usually signposts an imminent performance and for the next couple of hours I enjoyed meeting and chatting with new people and with some I have known for years.
my hosts tony and monika
The gig went well and as usual it was interesting for me to chat with people who have not seen me before and don’t know my music. The conversations went on long into the night and a small gathering stayed up chatting until very late. This is one of my favourite parts of the evening. It was especially interesting for me to get some perspectives on a variety of topics, including some feed back re my set, from James, son of Tony and Monika and his young friends. When I finally emerged from my bed on Sunday morning every one had left after camping in the garden and utilising all available space. Tony made me a pack up lunch along the lines of the German style breakfasts I had enjoyed in the mornings.
Tony had made T-Shirts for the occasion and I have one. I have collected some cool souvenirs on my recent travels. The shirt is a very nice souvenir of a very happy stay in Lincolnshire. Time was running and so I said my goodbyes, which is always a little sad and Tony drove me to the station. We thought we were short of time but the train was late and so all was well. Thanks to all for happy memories and special thanks to Tony, Monika and James for looking after me and making my visit so enjoyable. I had a ball.
Tony has a couple of shirts left over and has very kindly donated one for a caption contest. So the person who comes up with the best caption for the photo of Nick below gets the shirt. Usual rules – as many entries as you like as comments on this post and when Tony chooses the best caption I’ll send you this unique collectors item.
your caption to win the shirt