Monday, September 03, 2007

Royal blues

Third show-in-a-row and it's one that I've been really looking forward to- a Blues Brothers show at The Theatre Royal in Windsor. I always enjoy the atmosphere of a place such as this, the fact that everything about it feels as though it's from another time- my Dad's uncle Dan performed in theatre and music hall back in the day and I like the idea of looking out from the stage and seeing what he would have seen. And what a splendid venue this is, with the corridor walls covered in pictures of performances going back to the 1940's, and rows of seats reaching up to the sky. Wonderful.

Myself, Shirley and East (the latter witnessing his first BB's show and bringing a video camera along for good measure) arrived just as things were coming together on stage. It's another unorthodox band set-up, with myself and Squirrel stage left and horns (Richard and Dave) and keyboards (Ian) stage right. John's drums were at the back as usual and Tracy joined on backing vocals- unusual for a show such as this. And it's Mike's first theatre show with us- he looked a bit nervous as he helped me in with my gear. Legendary soundman Ian Bond still looks exactly as a soundman should, and even talks exactly as a soundman should- I managed to say hello to him before the lectures began- BadCat amps, which microphone to use with my Peavey combo, buying Jeff Beck Stratocasters in The States and more- great to have him back. I'm just recovering from the onslaught when lighting man Dave Bunting is shouting my name from the back of the stalls; suddenly there's a spotlight in me- 'stand there for your solos or no one will see you'. That's me told then.

Being theatreland (dah-lihg!) it's 2 sets starting at 7.30- and it's all but sold out. And it's a GREAT show with Pete and Mike sparking off each other from the word go and the band rising to the occasion accordingly. 'Stand By Me' made an unscheduled appearance, 'Green Onions' gave us boys in the engine room a workout (good job we ran through it in the soundcheck though- we found we couldn't hear the keyboard intro loud enough in the monitors which would have been, shall we say, interesting on the night) and no one I spoke to afterwards could believe that it was indeed Mike's first go on the theatre stage. Big Tel (of Re:View fame) and Simon from The Barflies were still there by the time I made it to the bar (thankfully still open- I told you it was a good venue) and East caught the whole show on video. A fine evening all round.

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