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Italy. Milan. Fabrique. 17th Dec.

December 20, 2017

I had the worst night last night.
Couldn’t sleep before 2 and was awake again at 4:30am and that was it. My lot.
I tried, but my alarm is set for 6am and I’m tired and anxious I will oversleep and miss my 8:30am flight to Italy, so my head will not be still.
I pack instead and wait for Vinny in the trendy breakfast bar come reception, and think I will not eat bread and ham and fucking cheese again for months.
Or eggs.
Not for months.
Charcuterie can shit right off.
Continental? Not likely.
I think I may skip breakfast entirely when I get home.

Or have soup.

I’ll have soup.

We made the airport and flight in plenty of time and got to our hotel in Milan by 11.

What a difference.

The woman behind the hotel desk was a delight who couldn’t have been more hospitable.
Most wonderfully, she had rooms available and let us check in straight away.
I went directly to bed.
Well, after finishing my Vienna blog, at least.
I shan’t be sad not to miss this commitment either, as much as I will glad to have something to remember it by beyond a tour mug.
It has stolen hours from Candy Crush.

An hour or two accomplished
z-wise, I meet Vinny in the lobby and we head to the venue.

It’s a beautiful day.

We’ve played here before.
Sean reminds me that the audience were really going for it last time.
We had had a small audience but an impassioned one.
It again is not a big ticket but we have increased.
That’s always an affirmative thing.
The auditorium looks different to me from the one I remembered back then, at soundcheck.
The risers have set us very high.
I must remember to tell Dougie when the stage itself is tall in its own right, maybe to skip them.

A Dougie photo. John, Eric, Sean. Sound check.

I vaguely remember the dressing rooms for this very dark that I find myself in.
Bleak dark. I feel my eyes are cowled.
It is cold backstage.
My dressing allocation is a suite painted black.
It has a couple of black padded benches.
Plenty of mirrors but each reflecting back a grim reaper.
The lighting is so ineffective, I have to do my make up in the fridge light.
This is what I remember from last time.
If beers had eyes they would have the best make-up.
It is a comfortless space.

Dinner in catering is well provided, no one need ever bitch about food in Italy, but the eating room is set up by exit doors and there blows a winters chill.

A kettle is on our rider.

Sean and I need it for our Throat-Coat teas that he prepares for us in warm-up, but there is none here.

Sometime around 4 they have left a jug of hot water in my room covered with a piece of paper kitchen towel as means of filling that requirement, but remarkably it is not still warm come 7pm and catering seem to have packed away and gone, taking with them the coffee machine which might have provided us more.

Sean texts John who kindly trundles in from the bus, bring us theirs. Lucky.

Warm up is text book.
Half way through the promotors rep asks if I’d like to say hello to the British Consulate who has tonight come.
I know that’s the name of the establishment itself, and I am not to be saying howdely doodlely to a building or some such.
I forget the job title, it would be good if I got it right, but anyway, it’s the fellow who represents us in our embassy in Milan,
and who you contact when things go tits-up.
You know what I mean.
Tim.
Either way, I met with him and his partner briefly and very pleasant it was too.
Both charming.

We go on and now I do remember the room.
It has the capacity to be very large indeed but we have it curtained.
What was concealed in sound check, however, is now open.
It is a long bar, a good way off to the left, that runs at an angle and is raised by a few steps.
It is well placed because any noise that is bound to emit from there, does not reach the stage.

The Milan people make for a hearty audience.
They shout their approval mid song and applaud big notes or moments of touching tenderness.
They shout out ‘Brava’ when they are moved or you have made a noise that seems tricky.
It’s like the films you see of Callas, only not quite so rapturous, and it is rather thrilling.
I would rather not be this high up and I feel too well lit.
The air conditioning, that is better required in these hotter countries, though it is this month far from hot, has thinned the Haze (That’s the name of the benign smoke I couldn’t remember in my last blog) from the atmosphere, so I feel less
Intimately draped.
It messes with the mood Eric has created for the stage and I feel more ‘standard’.
I don’t know how better to describe it.
It feels lacking in drama.
I don’t know how we are viewed from front of house.
We have only these house lights to work with, and the configuration here is not optimum, I’m thinking.
I could be wrong.
It’s all smoke and mirrors.

Saying wise.

There’s not enough smoke and out here, no mirrors that I can see.

This is our third show from the end.
56 shows done.

Offstage, while performing, our dressing rooms have been stripped of provisions.
The towels that the boys laid out for their showers have been removed and everyone has gone.
The band dried themselves consequently with a couple of toilet hand towels.
Darren, I am told, had to use a beer mat.
I left quickly.
I still have two gigs left and it is not time to be drop my guard.

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