After a (well deserved, if I may say so) summer break, we kicked off the new season with a small show in Bolton's Railway Venue.

The Railway isn't a theatre, and as our show is designed for the theatre in every way, shows like these always present us with some challenges. Every theatre has exits on the sides of the stage, one of which always is my quick change area. The Railway had no such thing; the only entrance to/exit from the stage was through the audience. This meant we had to improvise and build a quick change area, using black table cloths, microphone stands and gaffa tape. Because the ceiling was really low, and we obviously couldn't block the lights that were hanging from it, I had to duck every time I went on or off stage to change costumes (which is about 15 times, times 2). And I prayed that the construction would hold, because our first and second construction both collapsed even before sound check.

Sound engineer Ben had a hard time too, due to the shape of the stage. Using a headset microphone in a band is highly unusual to start with. The type of head set I'm using is a lot more sensitive than the ones singers usually hold in their hands. Mine is designed for use in theatres, where there is no drummer slamming his crashes right next to your head. And during this show I had to walk directly past the drumkit for every costume change. In this case, we also had the challenge of the fact that the speakers for the audience on our right side were basically behind me, on the side where my microphone was attached to my cheek. For those of you who might not know this: if you hold a microphone in front of a speaker, you get a high tone we call feedback. I had to be careful every time I turned my head to the right, and whenever I was at the edge of the stage to not make that happen (which turned out to be impossible, my apologies for the feedback tones!).

Another challenge was the lack of Jerney or Arianne being around. Not only are they both great backing vocalists that help me a lot musically, they also help me preparing all the props and costumes on every show day. Without them, my work load is almost double. And during the show, they play some small parts during some of the songs, to keep the flow of the show and to add to the overall performance. Bass player Bobby and guitarist Liam tried to help out with the backing vocals as much as they could during the show, but couldn't play the parts of the violin teacher and the guy who gets shot (come see us in a theatre if you're curious!). As for the backing vocals: they were really happy when the whole audience joined them for the backing vocals in Hounds of Love and Running up that Hill. Well done audience!

The people in the audience usually make up for any setbacks we encounter during a show day. And this audience did it again! The front row was filled with ladies who all knew all the words, and who were enjoying every bit of the show and dancing along. Afterwards, I got to meet a couple of other people from the audience, and they too thoroughly enjoyed themselves, which is always lovely to hear of course. Thanks to all who were there!

1 comment

  • Andy Hulme

    Andy Hulme Stourbridge

    Hey Maaike and the band. I'm available to get shot again if required. Hope you're all well. πŸ˜€πŸŽΆπŸŽ€πŸŽΌπŸŽΉπŸŽ΅πŸŽ·πŸŽΊπŸŽ»πŸŽΈ

    Hey Maaike and the band. I'm available to get shot again if required. Hope you're all well. πŸ˜€πŸŽΆπŸŽ€πŸŽΌπŸŽΉπŸŽ΅πŸŽ·πŸŽΊπŸŽ»πŸŽΈ

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