Feb 14, 2015 Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7
Hands down our best performance to date. Sadly, possibly the worst day of the year to be doing a gig here. Carnival is on, plus it is a national holiday. So attendance was piss-poor. And couldn't have been otherwise. But again everyone there was crazy enthusiastic. There is no doubt that every single person in the room with us, for every single show, has become a fan for life.
We somehow pushed even deeper into the material tonight. “Lay Your Hands On Me” – stunning again. Getting even stronger. “Here Comes The Flood” is taking some interesting twists, as Brian and I are getting very comfortable with the phrasing of each line. In our first few shows last year there was a kind of baby-stepping through the phrases to make sure we were together. Now we just flow with it. Sometimes slowing the end of a line, sometimes leaving an extra small gap. Like real music. Actually playing music! Not tapping out notes on a continuum.
This reminds me of something amusing John Paul Jones said to me once. I was at his place in London discussing his recordings, Zooma, that I ended up playing on. This was 1998 and I was crazy hot on Radiohead and their CD “OK Computer.” John said “It's very musical....for music.” The subtext being most music wasn't. Sounds absurd? Nope.
The sound was shockingly good tonight. For a big enormous rock club like this the sound could have been awful. I chock that up to our sound-massager, Rob Witterick. Rob is Brian's regular touring sound guy. But he's far better than Brian deserves! A super great and low-key guy. And stunning mixer. Especially considering that we threw this new Berhinger mixing system on him. Many engineers would have balked and done their best to sneak their way back to the normal way of doing their job. And subvert our plan. Rob didn't at all. He just dug in and learned the new system. Now he is walking around the room with 2 iPads mixing us like a demon.
And, from the pictures attached, you can see that the lights were stunning. Again, Brian's lighting guy, Alec Morris seems to walk into any venue and make us look amazing. In my opinion, this is purely down to taste and technique. Not the tools at hand.
And the true sustaining blood of this tour is Graham Ireland. Merch, gear, cheer, repair, you name it Graham knows something about it. Though all of his many talents pale in the face of the morning cup of tea he can brew up.
LAUNDRY DAY! First day to do laundry since I left home.
Overnight drive across the alps and into Italy this evening. This particular trip has been quite stressful as my son is flying in to meet us the morning of the 15th. Yet, we don't know exactly where we will be. I made his travel plans based on us getting to Florence early in the morning tomorrow. But the European bus regulations may conspire against us. That and:
the original bus we had booked was hit by a car and now we have a different, smaller bus and tow a trailer. The trailer makes us drive slower
bad weather crossing the alps
so much snoring on the bus at night drags the whole system down
I was asleep at the time, but coming out of the big tunnel in the Italian alps our bus hit a major blizzard. Complete whiteout of snow and about 18 inches of fresh powder on the road. No snowplowing had taken place and it seemed that we were the first vehicle to go through this. Our trusty driver, Chop, almost had to pull over. But, instead, crept along. And now, the best news of the whole tour for me was that we were going to make it into Florence just about the same time as Ezra.
Friend of friend who lives there agreed to meet him at the airport in case I couldn't. Which, I couldn't. But we did all meet simultaneously at the AirB'nB place that Jerry and Michael and I had booked for the two days in Florence. Amusingly our AirB'n'B host was a big fan. Of myself, Crimson and Gabriel.
previous tour diaries