BLOG: WE'RE ON THE ROAD AGAIN

I like the fact that things never go according to plan. Most of the time that is.
 
With not as much time for rehearsals as we would have liked to, yesterday’s show in Chester was a bit like our production/dress rehearsal. Even though the stage was small, I has insisted on doing as much of the full show as possible. The purpose of having production rehearsals are to see what problems occur and to solve them, so that they won’t occur when you’re actually performing.
 
Without having tested any of the equipment, we arrived in Chester yesterday. Later than planned, because on our way over we lost valuable time picking up some lights and our double bass. And when you’re already late, traffic is much worse than it usually is. After a drive that our engineer Ben described as an advance driving test, we arrived in Telford’s Warehouse behind schedule. I decided to start ironing my costumes straight away while the rest of the band were setting up their equipment on stage, and wait for someone to call me for a sound check. After a while, there appeared to have been some miscommunication between us and the sound company beforehand, resulting in the absence of a receiver for my wireless headset microphone. For those of you who don’t know a lot about these things (like me a couple of years ago): I wear a headset microphone that is attached to a belt pack strapped to my waist. That pack sends out whatever I’m singing to a receiver that is connected to a mixing desk. Without any wires between me and the mixing desk, I can move my arms and run around and be in plastic balls and sing at the same time. I also wear a pack for my in ear monitor (so that I can hear what we’re playing, wherever I am); that pack is on my back.
 
We managed to hire a receiver from a local company, which arrived around 6, just as I was about to finish ironing. With our luck, we should have hired a belt pack to go with the receiver, but for some reason we didn’t think of that. The result: a pack and a receiver that didn’t communicate with each other, so still no chance of a proper sound check. I never realized the headset microphone is uncommon for bands to use, but we had a very hard time finding someone who actually owned one, and this includes sound companies. After we sent out a message on Facebook, Bobby and Liam got into the car to pick up one, and at the same time I got a message someone would be bringing over one from Liverpool.
 
Meanwhile we had decided to start the show as late as possible, with several backup plans in mind if for some reason we still wouldn’t have the mic working by then. At five to nine, the pack from Liverpool arrived (eternal thanks to Zak), at three to nine the audience could hear Ben testing mic, at one to nine we attached the mic and the pack, plus the pack for my in ear microphone. At one past nine or so, without properly checking my mic, we were on stage. At two past nine, I removed one of the earpieces of my in ear monitors: all I could hear was static noise. Apparently I was too far away from the box that sends out the signal…
 
After all these problems, we had a great gig! Little venues like these always make me a bit rebellious in my performance. I had been looking at the two empty seats on the front row ever since the first song, knowing I HAD to stand on them at some point, which I finally did during Them Heavy People. Instead of performing The Man With The Child In His Eyes on the floor of the stage, I decided that might not be the best spot as most people wouldn’t be able to see me there. So I ran off stage, ran to another spot in the venue and climbed into one of the window-like openings halfway, looking at my own band all looking around a bit puzzled because they had no idea what had happened or whether they would even have to start the next song.
 
During the second set, more and more people started dancing, which made me feel good and proud. We have done it! We’re on the road again!

3 comments

  • Ietje

    Ietje Alkmaar

    Glad you've done what you had to do and succeeded. lots of succes with the rest!!!

    Glad you've done what you had to do and succeeded. lots of succes with the rest!!!

  • Big Bad John

    Big Bad John Hebden Bridge

    Yeah, I was one of the people dancing... which is unusual for me but I loved the gig, great performance by Maaike and the band, even in cramped conditions and one or two technical issues. For me, it was great to hear the early songs live from The Kick Inside, Lionheart, Never For Ever and The Dreaming. And I hadn't realised Rubberband Girl was so good to dance to!!!

    Yeah, I was one of the people dancing... which is unusual for me but I loved the gig, great performance by Maaike and the band, even in cramped conditions and one or two technical issues. For me, it was great to hear the early songs live from The Kick Inside, Lionheart, Never For Ever and The Dreaming. And I hadn't realised Rubberband Girl was so good to dance to!!!

  • Comfortably Numb

    Comfortably Numb Connah's Quay

    This was an fantastic gig. Loved every minute. I was the one you gave the flower to during Strange Phenomena. I loved your energy. Singing and dancing at he same time must be so hard, but you did it effortlessly - well it appeared effortless!! I must admit I have a soft spot for Jerney, her backing vocals were excellent. I now can't leave out the rest of the band who were great too - loved the hats. Please come back to Telfords soon. (seeing the real Kate 30th Sept!! Can't wait!!)

    This was an fantastic gig. Loved every minute. I was the one you gave the flower to during Strange Phenomena. I loved your energy. Singing and dancing at he same time must be so hard, but you did it effortlessly - well it appeared effortless!!

    I must admit I have a soft spot for Jerney, her backing vocals were excellent. I now can't leave out the rest of the band who were great too - loved the hats.

    Please come back to Telfords soon.

    (seeing the real Kate 30th Sept!! Can't wait!!)

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