It’s first day of rehearsal today. This last was a year for family and I think I’ve played live only twice within it.
We have just three rehearsal days before the tour, both to install our new band member, and to find out what cues I’ve forgotten, which lyrics have vaporised; and to remind myself that this is an actual job and it’s perfectly legitimate.
I’m off to Holland and Germany for a couple of weeks.
Stretch out my gig spine to then spring board onto a short, albeit Arena tour, with Tears For Fears.
I’m mildly anxious. My stomach is spasming .Too long off the horse and riding seems the most ungainly activity. I mistrust my seat.
This afternoon I’ll go to the rehearsal studio where my cohort will already be deep in notes and coffee cups.
I will circumnavigate the young fellow working there who barred my progression to our room at our last sessions, in order to tell me that the special choir for unhappy mature ladies were meeting in fact at the other end of the building.
I may have stared blankly at him at that point.
I will walk in today- boss, looking to these sleepy young men of the rock and the roll counter every inch like their old mum at a car boot sale.
I will don my monitor pack and take to my stand like it is a perfectly natural thing to do and I will go ‘Waaaaaaaaaah’ for a couple of hours and then I’ll fuck off back home to my old man.
I have made fairy cakes to take in.
My MD from our last outing, John Garden, has decided to put live tours on the back burner for the forseable. We shall miss him. He is mighty.
Tweedy Sean McGhee, he of the beautiful voice and Technical
Wizardry, steps up from co MD to Musical Director entire.
Rather than attempt to recreate our last line-up and facsimile John, we have gone for a different dynamic.
Enter Paul Jones.
Paul is a drummer of great repute.
We have not met.
That’s how seat of the pants I am.
Sean brought in Paul and everyone is very excited by his arrival.
I’m always nervous meeting new people. I will try not to show off and wanker my voice. I’ve a cold threatening but I’m heavy-duty loading up on Berocca. I’ve decided I’m not letting it in and that’s that.
I hope Paul likes it in this with us.
I meet him on the stairs.
We are band.
This must be what an arranged marriage feels like but without a guilt trip or the requirement to change address.
We have two small rooms.
Stage manager, also my longest serving crew member and ally, Dougie, is sat in the sound room with Essex Dave who is doing our out front mixing. Dave is on his second outing with us. I love his microscopic observation. He’s a good fit.
In the other room Sean and Paul have their rigs set up. Brilliant James is at the monitor desk, Backline computer marvel -Martin, is settled on the small sofa making notes.
My stand is set with water, a book of lyrics and ear monitors, and so we begin.
Transpires I can still sing.
That relief never gets tired.