Archive for April 2005

(In place of) The Birthday Address.   Leave a comment

Jesus Christ! I went to bed last night feeling right as rain and when I woke up this morning I was thirty-fucking-five! What the fuck is going on? What the hell happened to my pop career?

Then they send me this:

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Ada Pearcy? Elizabeth Winslow? Who’s fucking with whom here?

Here’s a list of things I ought to be writing about right here right now, to quote Norman Cook:

The birthday address.
Finish off the tour diary.
Finish my review of the V/VM gig.
Do my restaurant review of my meal at Midsummer House.
Tell y’all about the spot of luck I had digging in the crates.
Finish my short piece on Bez.
Write about the election.
Share some thoughts on some Um gigs.
Tell you the story of my brother’s visit, highlighting the events surrounding his journey home.
Write a long thing about what Um is or might be.
Write a short thing about where the Um project is currently.

Plus tons more stuff I keep forgetting.

But instead I’m going to be lazy and cut and paste something I wrote to The Trickster concerning our thirtysomething tribulations. It looked like Poppy Teasdale, his infant daughter, hadn’t been accepted at their chosen nursery, but she had. It was just they had her down as Bobby Cheesedale. So:

Dope story.

We’re in a similar situ with BIG SCHOOL, or primary to you and me. Had to take a gamble because his catchment school is a dump. Well, it’s like this:

[NB: in case the following isn’t clear – Syd is due to start Primary School in September and we are subject to a postcode lottery with regards to which school he will attend and therefore the standard of care and education he will receive. Parents are asked to rank three schools in order of preference, including your child’s allocated catchment area school – Ridgefield primary, in our case.]

St Mathews: Middle class area (Gwydir St area) massively oversubscribed.
Quite funky school. 1st choice.
Morley: Pretty good school, but because its in a posh area lots of kids end
up going private so its easier to get a place if you put it as yr first
choice. We put it second.
Ridgefield: Shite, apparently. Syd will emerge in 6 years time as damaged
delinquent who don’t know nuffin’. 3rd choice, but you had to include it.

So we put St Mathews down, going for broke, and he didn’t get in, or into Morley. Sam and I break down and cry with fear and guilt and shame, and
phone up the council to plead middle-classness. Turns out he is no.2 on St.Mathews reserve list, so if two kids out of 30 drop out Syd has some kind of future. It may happen, or not.

And last night we go to the Cambridge Blue, and the kids are playing over the graveyard wall like they do. Loads of Ollys and Mollys running about all Lord Of The Flies style. Syd goes to me “Dad, something pricked my hand.” I’m like “Oh dear let me kiss it better run along etc”. Ten minutes later his mate Oscar comes running up with a hypodermic and I start to freak out bigtime. Syd can’t seem to tell me how or what he pricked his hand on and there’s all these kids running about falling over and crying and fighting and behind us all the bourgeois posse are just drinking white wine and braying and stuff and I’m shaking and sweating. Eventually we ascertain that it is very unlikely that Syd has touched the syringe and the fact that HIV doesn’t cope too well outside the actual junkie calms me down a bit, but
immediately afterwards when I’m having a piss and this totally random stranger who just looks like an excessively normal dude suddenly puts his
face right up near mine at the urinal and shouts “HELLO MATE!!! LIKE YOUR HAT!!! I jump out of my fucking sweaty skin and say:

“thanks very much.”

Perhaps it’s because I’m a neurotic type. Perhaps it’s because it’s a full moon. Maybe there is no reason for anything.

My apologies to everyone at Ridgefield, especially if Syd ends up going there. We are going by unsubstantiated rumour and the fact that it is easy to get in. It’s easy to get into an Um gig, you might counter.

And a pox on junkies who leave things lying about.

Oh yeah, my spies tell me that it wasn’t Coldplay that won the idiot poll, but rather Radiohead. I guess this might make a difference to some people, but not necessarily for me. Actually I better come clean here and own up to the fact that I know precious little about either group, although I do know that neither of them has produced the best album of all time.

Here’s what I know about Coldplay:

Yellow. Decent song. Is it about jaundice? I don’t know.
Trouble. Don’t know what this song is actually called. It’s alright I suppose. When I bought my monitors at Digital Village I had to listen to it several times before bring out some Panasonic I had with me. When I put that on the guy started checking the leads before I put him straight.
Chris Martin. Goes out with (married to?) Gwyneth Paltrow, who tends to blub for nowt. Decent geezer, able to speak eloquently in favour of the abolition of Third World debt. Lovely voice.
Good video where he sings the wrong way round.

However, I’ve never sat down and listened to a Coldplay album, or even heard one by chance. And I don’t give a rat’s arse if I never do. This is because they make tidy music for the norms, and I just can’t be doing with it.

Here’s what I know about Radiohead:

Actually I know more about Radiohead than I can be bothered to write, but I will say this:

Creep sounded like an instant pop classic to me when it came out.
I saw them doing Karma Police at Glastonbury (on the teevee) and it was genuinely spellbinding, because I was that stoned that I could sense they were making a MASSIVE CULTURAL ENERGY TRANSFER with all the middle class kids waving their arms about in the crowd. Right anthem, right time, right 100000 teenagers with hair braids.
However, the rest of the time I see or hear Thom Yorke, he seems to be singing the same song, which is the one where he moans elegaically, or tries to. He alwa
ys seems to be doing the same thing. It’s like he’s stuck in a loop. That’s why when Dimitri and I spotted him in the street in Oxford once we didn’t stop laughing for ten minutes.

I don’t know any of their albums, never listened to them on purpose or by chance. Don’t give a rat’s arse etc.

Right, that’ll have to do in place of the birthday address.

Posted April 28, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

The cunt question   Leave a comment

Oh shit. The diary has stopped again. In the meantime:

Total Eclipse Of The Heart for guitar, voice, fridge freezer and stove.

And briefly:

I was doing a bit of charity shopping this morning (Queen’s All That Jazz and Max Roach’s + 4) and the old dears were on about some paralysed individual who had to explain to his social circle that paralysis was not the same thing as a lack of feeling in the limbs, and so could they please stop punching him for a laugh. Sometimes I think the Nazis had the right idea, they just picked on all the wrong people. Surely it is the cunt question that needs to be addressed?

Sorry. Election stuff is making me increasingly edgy. Also someone told me yesterday that Coldplay, according to a TV poll of some kind, are the band that made the best album of all time. Now, I know for a fact that this is not the case. I don’t know what the best album of all time is, and I suspect that there may not be a best album of all time, but Coldplay aren’t even in the running as far as I’m concerned, talented and decent chaps though they may be. Evidently millions of people can, have and will continue to be WRONGheaded fools for time in perpetuity. I don’t know, maybe it’s me that’s wrong. Perhaps Gordon Brown is the sexiest woman alive and I can’t see it.

Right, I’m going to wash these little bits of froth off my chin. Jesus.

Posted April 19, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Voodoo update. Thanks to Zero for something for nothing.   Leave a comment

Hey, you know that voodoo problem I had with my Tascam MD301-MK-2 rack-mounted minidisk player? I’m sure you do. The damn thing stopped working and blanked a load of reel-to-reel stuff and wouldn’t spit out the disc? Obviously I spent a few days after that forlornly switching the thing on and off in the hope that a miracle would occur, but it didn’t. I even took it round Sam’s flat to see if the different electricity would make a difference. I also went to Digital Village and made enquires about repair, and I even got involved in a failed attempt to buy a new player on Ebay. Then, about a month ago, I switched it on again just in case the gods were taking the piss or something. It’s been fine ever since. I get a little nervous when I’m editing discs on it a couple of hours before a gig though, especially when my PC isn’t working. Jesus.
Oh yeah, and the Technics 1210 has been fixed, and the man that fixed it was Alex Zero. The internal fuse had gone. 35p and a little complimentary weirdness down at Gee’s. Bravo Alex.

Posted April 5, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Day Two (cont) A Night Of Rock!   Leave a comment

OK, I know I’ve been wandering round Berlin all day quivering like paranoid English jelly, but cometh the ROCKING HOUR destiny goes pssst! and I suddenly know what I’m all about again and slip into a PRO-GROOVE. However, Nathan and I arrive at the Schokoladen venue to find that the door staff and management team are unaware of my late addition to the bill, the Um phenomenon in general, and indeed my specific physical existence. Happily we are able to overcome this via sheer force of personality, i.e. Nathan.
A band is soundchecking. The leader of the band, who is also the promoter, knows what he wants but he isn’t getting it. The soundman knows what he wants too. He wants to kill the band bloke. A lot more soundchecking goes on and a lot of tense energy fills the room like evil smoke in a Chinese ghost story. I sit quietly and wonder when the best time is to announce my presence to the uber-livid sound boy. There isn’t a best time. Scenarios involving me telling disgruntled engineers that I represent a fourth and previously unmentioned act on a fit-to-burst bill of entertainment are not new to me, and I can be very diplomatic when I want to get my own way, but when I broke the news to him I swear that he almost snapped his mixing desk in half with unbridled rage. He was a psycho-bunny: not happy. I began earnestly to say soothing stuff along the lines of: This is a cosmic injustice. You are a good and true spirit whose pure intentions are thwarted by numberless fools and cunts and savage combinations of the two. I of all people feel your pain along with you, and I will share your burden, if you just do me this one last thing, which is to plug these two jack leads in those little holes. He breaks down into shaking sobs as I hug him to me like a child. Then I go off and enquire about free beer, which also seems to work. I’m on a roll. At this point Nathan leaves to fetch Dallas Boner from the airport, so I mingle with some local hepcats (we talk about the pressures of tour life) and the free beer mingles with my cold-blooded red blood.
And then, even though I’m only doing a few tunes between the other bands, and I’m standing in the crowd in front of the stage, and there are a few problems with microphone leads, I manage to tear the roof off the sucker, albeit in my own quiet, humble way. People are grinning at the skinny man in the brown suit. Life is beautiful. I must be in Europe. Nathan’s flatmate and her friends have come along too, and it feels good to show them that I am not just a guy who has hangovers in kitchens while Nathan eats all that stuff I might have mentioned a couple of times.
Now the two German bands weren’t too shabby by any means, but The Chap were fucking awesome. When I saw them at Hugo’s Speaker Palace (now no more, or so I hear) they were a lot looser and a lot tighter than I’d seen them before, which is what you want really, but here they were like an unstoppable art-pop hovercraft without any brakes, and the crowd seemed to know it too. Classic rock spectacles such as Iggy and the peanut butter, Carlos Santana peaking on mescaline at Woodstock, or the bit where Hendrix’s fingers seem to fly off his hands during Machine Gun at The Fillmore, must all now rank alongside that of Claire grinning and dancing and rocking to the beat like an English teacher unleashed. Obviously I’m taking the mickey here, but I am sincere when I say that this sight is both life-affirming and groovy. I like it when people have fun onstage. Why the fuck not? Anyway, The Chap are so good that when they finish and someone looks at me to see if I’m going to do any more songs I just shrug as though to indicate the general unecessaryness associated with the consideration of that option. All around are Germans staring in wonder at their own bare feet, trying to work out where their socks might have been rocked to.
Then promoter boy DJs lots of incredibly Pete Um-friendly music like Fela Kuti and, astonishingly, Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens. In fact I go up to him and tell him that that is what he’s playing, as if he doesn’t know and there’s been some sort of mistake. Then I get caught up talking to a slightly fey but really rocked-out old English rocker-boy, the type who’s been blasting away at himself for so long that although he’s retained his intelligence and his decency, he’s also got the dignity to never try and pretend that he’s anything other than a spaced-out loon. We talked about Daevid Allen, whose influence he was able to discern in my work. After this I get talking to the Australian manager lady. I think my opening gambit was something like “You’re Australian aren’t you? I could tell from your voice…” She tells me that CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MADNESS is dwindling in Berlin, but that for a while after the fall of the wall, the former East was a lawless playground for hungry freaks. It sounded exciting, and I felt nostalgic for something I had never known and possibly wouldn’t have really bothered with. At this point the barmaid remarks that “Elvis is crying,” and it is a second or two before I realize that she is referring to an infant somewhere upstairs in the building who needs attention, and is not making a comment about an underground bohemian scene in decline.
Then Nathan and Dallas Boner, who we will henceforth refer to as Patrick, arrive back from the airport and we all do some confused drinking in a happy manner. Then we go and get kebabs. Actually, if I did grasp anything from my cultural survey of Berlin it was that, along with the beer, kebab shops are very cheap in comparison with our own traditional English kebab shops. The one I had that night was a bit gross but the one I had the next with haloumi was the bomb. Next we cross the road to the bus stop and proceed to wolf the economy food. Also at the bus stop are two slightly girlish and unfledged German youths with long hair, one of whom is draped in a kaftan. They are singing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon unselfconsciously and with a quiet intensity in soft German accents. We push food into our mouths for about five seconds before Nathan turns and snarls “Oh give it a rest, for fuck’s sake!” like the punk he used to think he wished he was, and some food flies out of our mouths again. My memory of this section of the evening is a bit hazy, as can sometimes happen, but as I recall they did stop singing but continued to regard us with a sort of camp disdain, as though utterly unthreatened by our English yobbery. There was also another young bloke there who tried to persuade a female member of our party to try and lift up his rucksack from the pavement, just by way of being friendly it would seem. He was refused, but we nevertheless subsequently discovered that he was trying to draw attention to the fact that he was carrying around a breezeblock in a cheapo lightweight nylon rucksack, for some stupid fucking reason that I never fathomed. It was that kind of time on that kind of night. Finally we caught the tube home, which was the same tube that Turkish cleaners go to work on, and I felt ashamed with my snappy suit and my slooshy eyes. Right, see you in a couple of weeks, most likely.

Posted April 5, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

About as rock 'n' roll as The Fimbles   Leave a comment

This is pretty funny:

And has anyone else noticed infrequent and oblique references to the shadowy world of rock ‘n’ roll in the toddler audio-visual mind-gum that is The Fimbles? The other day we had Florrie or Fimbo or whichsoever soft creature exclaiming “…Purple rain…purple rain!” in some wonder. However, the clincher for me was when Bessie admonished her chick Ribble with the words: “Ribble, Ribble – your face is a mess!” But, bored imp behind-the-scenes, why not push the boat out and get a full-on GG Allin reference or something in there?

Right. The rest of Day 2 is on its way, people. I just need to do a couple of bits of fact-checking with Mr. Blunt.

Posted April 2, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Dream on (this was submitted as a proposed article for a music mag).   Leave a comment

After reading Brandon’s blog an anonymous donor sent me this:

The luck of the Irish! Following Tangerine Dream on the 1997
> ‘Tournado’
> UK Tour. (Compiled by Conrad Gibbons)
> This is a detailed account of events which took place during my recent
> trip to three consecutive Tangerine Dream concerts held in Glasgow
> (November 1st), Leeds (November 2nd) and Birmingham (November 3rd).
> Saturday November 1st: Destination Glasgow
> The morning immediately after halloween, myself and my brother Sean set
> off on the start of our successful trip. I drove us in my Volkswagen
> Golf Turbo Diesel from Derry (in north-west Ireland) to Belfast docks
> where where we met up with my good friend Mark Atchison who was keen to
> make the trip with us. We drove onto the ‘Seacat’ ferry and proceeded
> to enjoy the one-and-a-half hour crossing in ideal weather conditions
> for making such a sea-crossing.
> We arrived in Stranraer and were back on the road before 1 pm. I had
> prepared a tape of music most likely to be played at the concerts and
> it
> suited the scenic drive to Glasgow very well. In two hours we reached
> Renfrew Street and our hotel. We freshened up and went for a bite to
> eat at around 3.30 pm. Once we had obtained suitable sustenance we
> made
> our way to the Royal Concert Hall where we sussed out the layout of the
> building, locating the box office, auditorium and importantly, the
> stage
> door.
> I had written to Kennedy Street Enterprises the week prior to the
> concerts in the hope of being able to arrange permission to meet the
> band as I had done back in 1990 (at four concerts). I followed up my
> letter with a phone call to the tour promoter who explained that he had
> passed my letter on to the band’s manager, namely Julia Snyder after
> the
> Bristol concert. He said that if I wanted to come to the stage door
> when I would get to Glasgow that “we’ll take it from there…”. We got
> to the stage door at around 4.30 pm and went inside. I asked at the
> security desk inside if it would be possible to speak to Stuart Hobday.
> Very shortly, by the power of portable phones Stuart descended the
> stairs and I did the introductions. He informed us that we had timed
> it
> nicely and that the band were being picked up from their hotel at 4.45
> pm. I asked him about meeting the band and he said he would try to
> sort
> us out with after-show passes. I thanked him and said that we would
> hopefully chat later and that we were destined for Leeds and Birmingham
> in the coming days. We went outside to wait to greet the band.
> Half-an-hour later a coach with blackened windows pulled up on the busy
> street, adjacent to the stage door. I was standing nearest the stage
> door so I knew the Tangs would have to pass me by! First out were
> Zlatko Perica and Emil Hachfeld, followed by people I later learnt were
> Julia Snyder, Anja Kathmann and Rob Ayling. Last out came the Froese
> family. As they walked by me I greeted them with ‘Hi folks!’, to which
> Edgar turned to look at me and said somewhat surprisedly ‘Hi, to you!’.
> Having been through the motions of standing around stage doorways in
> the
> past (both before and after concerts) I have always found it to be good
> policy not to hamper artists as soon as they arrive. For this reason,
> I waited over twenty minutes before attempting to make contact with
> Julia Snyder. Two people came out the stage door with a trolley and
> headed in the direction of the tour lorries parked round the corner. I
> asked one of them, a lady (who I later discovered was Anja) if she
> could
> pass a message on to Julia for me to say that I was at the stage door
> and was wondering if she had got my letter or not. She looked at me a
> little puzzled but agreed!
> After this Anja and the other chap returned with a trolley-full of
> boxes
> (two large ‘Fruit of the Loom’ and one medium-sized brown box with
> ‘Tangerine Dream Ambient Monkeys’ written with black marker on the
> side) before re-entering the stage door. Ten minutes later I could see
> the lady who I thought was most likely to be Julia standing near the
> desk inside (the stage door had a portal window you see!). She looked
> like she was looking for someone. Me, perhaps? I quickly persuaded
> Sean and Mark to follow me in. I caught Julia’s eye and introduced
> myself. I asked if she had got my letter, and she said she had. She
> asked if we were going to more concerts, and I mentioned Leeds and
> Birmingham. She said that we would be able to meet the band after the
> show. She said that we could collect passes at the box office. I
> thanked her emphatically and shook hands once more. We exited in good
> humour, headed for the box-office only to be told that we were too
> early
> to see a guest-list and he suggested we call back in about an hour.
> It was now after 5.30 pm and we decided to have a browse along
> Sauciehall Street. Mark and myself headed for HMV while my brother
> nipped into Waterstone’s book shop. I had arranged by e-mail to meet
> Armin Thiessen in a pub called ‘The Victoria and Albert’ at around 6.00
> pm. To be in time, Mark and I left HMV in search of Sean in
> Waterstone’s. While in Waterstone’s I spotted an old friend and
> colleague, Siegfried Lindhorst with his friend Peter Stoeferle. We
> chatted for a while. They told me how they had been to the Nottingham
> concert and were going to Glasgow and Leeds before returning home to
> Germany. I asked them not to tell me too much about the Nottingham
> gig!
> They emphasised that the concert would actually start at around 7.30 pm
> and to be aware of this! I explained I had to meet Armin in the pub
> down the road, and that I would see them later.
> Sean, Mark and myself headed for ‘The Victoria and Albert’ pub. Once
> inside I hoped to see Armin (who I had met in ‘The Moon On The Green’
> at
> Shepherd’s Bush in ’96) but also that I might spot some other TD fans
> who might happen to be there. Well, there was no sign of Armin, in
> fact
> he later apologised for not being able to make it. However I did
> recognise Craig Cordrey who had also been at the pre-gig pub meet-up in
> ’96 at Shepherd’s Bush. I reacquainted myself with him before
> introducing my entourage to his entourage. Craig introduced his
> friends
> to us. They included Grant Middleton who like Craig, is a regular
> contributor to the Tadream bulletin board. We had a right old chat
> and
> a few beers. I relayed the relevance of 7.30 pm. I wanted to have a
> look at the merchandise on sale so we departed from the Scottish lads
> around 7.00 pm.
> First stop the box office! No passes! Slight mix up – the attendant
> got on his phone and came back to tell us that the passes were sitting
> at the security desk inside the stage door. Out we went of the
> building, right and right again to the stage door which we entered.
> The
> security man at the desk recognised me and said ‘Conrad Gibbons?’
> before
> handing me a white envelope with my name on it and ‘3 Passes’ beside
> it.
> ‘Thank you very much’ I told the man before we quickly left and made
> our
> way back in to the building. We showed our tickets on entering before
> having
a quick look at the merchandise on sale and locating our seats.
> An announcement said that the performance would start in one minute.
> We took our seats on the left terrace. We had a good view of the stage
> and the crowd. As is usual at Tangerine Dream concerts, the stage was
> covered by two large semi-translucent curtains which met in the middle.
> A number of lights shone from behind onto the curtain projecting the
> TD/TDI logo while the stage itself was bathed in a soft blue hue. The
> hall lights dimmed just before the concert started. The opening piece
> was recognisable as Waterborne from ‘Oasis’. Mid-way through the
> piece,
> the curtains were pulled open but snagged on a row of lights at the
> front of the stage. Two of the crew quickly ran out to free the
> curtains and open them fully. Other recognisable music played included
> Betrayal, Poland, Sundance Kid, Silver Scale, Warsaw In the Sun,
> Stratosfear ’95, Dolphin Dance, Streethawk and for the first time
> performed live on tour, Beach Theme. At one point sounds reminiscent
> of
> Edgar’s ‘Ages’ were played as a bridging sequence. Emil played
> percussion on most tracks and added an awful lot of energy to the
> performance, while Zlatko played guitar occasionally and stood
> patiently
> the rest of the time. Edgar and Jerome looked engrossed at their
> keyboard workstations. The light show complemented the music and mood
> of the concert. Computer graphics were projected onto the screen
> behind
> the band, and this worked very well. Sean and I both had hand-held
> binoculars which allowed us a closer look at string-picking,
> bongo-tapping and keyboard-tinkling. After one hour it was time for an
> interval of approximately twenty minutes.
> Most people who got up from their seats headed for the toilets, but I
> headed towards the merchandise counter as I knew the crowd would be
> small. I was served straight away, buying ‘The Keep’, ‘Ambient
> Monkeys’, ‘Time Square’ and a T-shirt. By the time I was served a
> considerable crowd had built up behind me and I was glad that I had
> gone
> to the booth straight away! During the interval I recognised music
> from
> The Keep being played. I spoke briefly to Siegfried and Peter who
> seemed to be enjoying the show. A quick trip to the bathroom was
> called
> for to ensure an interruption-free second set. The second set began in
> a similar fashion to the Tournado CD with Emil performing a drum solo,
> though it featured an extra very Eastern latter half. This lead into
> Flashflood and then into 220 Volt allowing Zlatko to join in once more.
> The bridge sequence (as featured on ‘Tournado’) before Firetongues is a
> personal favourite at the moment and I enjoyed hearing it live. Zlatko
> played electric guitar for the start of Firetongues before taking a
> seat
> and playing Spanish guitar for the last part. As in the first set, the
> mesmeric computer graphics were easy to get into. Other music played
> included Two Bunch Palms, Little Blond In The Park Of Attractions,
> Rising Haul In Silence, Lamb With Radar Eyes, and Touchwood. The last
> piece of the second set turned out to be a new composition featuring
> interesting sounds and analog synth tones similar to that featured in
> Church Theme from ‘Wavelength’ together with chord progressions more
> akin to the Schmoelling/Franke/Froese era than present day TD music.
> Zlatko joined in too, but reserved his soloing to complement the piece.
> This tune seemed to go down well with the crowd and it brought the
> second set to a close.
> Edgar, Jerome, Emil and Zlatko all left the stage but returned
> eventually at the audience’s enthusiastic response. The first encore
> played was the shorter version of Maedchen On the Stairs. This was
> followed by Thief Yang And The Tangram Seal. Both went down well with
> the crowd, particularly the Tangram and Thief parts. Once more the
> band
> left the stage while the crowd clapped and whistled enthusiastically.
> Finally the band returned for the last time to play Towards The Evening
> Star. Edgar introduced the band members and thanked the audience
> before
> leaving the stage followed by the band. On came the lights and so
> ended
> our first concert of three. We had all enjoyed it considerably.
> Having waited for the hall to empty, we made our way outside and round
> to the stage door expecting to find a small crowd gathered, however
> there were only three people – Craig, Grant and their friend. Mark,
> Sean and myself went inside and asked the security man if we could
> speak with Julia Snyder. Very shortly, Julia came down the stairs and
> told us that she would bring us upstairs to the band. We followed her
> back up the stairs and to the dressing room area. In the corridor
> outside the main dressing room Edgar appeared and both talked in German
> before Julia beckoned us in. We shook hands with Jerome, Edgar and
> Emil. Siegfried Lindhorst and Peter Stoeferle were already seated.
> Edgar offered us seats which we took, and asked about us coming over
>> from Ireland. I explained how I had met with them before in 1990 at 4
> of the concerts. Initially my brother Sean sat with Edgar and spoke
> with him about the concert. We then swapped seats and I asked Edgar to
> sign some items for me. I had happened to bring enough items for three
> nights of signing and Siegfried and Peter joked about this at my
> expense! I divided the bundle of cd inlays in two and handed one half
> to Edgar. Even he joked about it and asked me not to shock him when I
> handed him the second batch, but then told me that ‘I forgive you!’.
> Jerome signed the appropriate inlays too. Zlatko entered the room and
> I
> shook hands with him. Emil and Zlatko were friendly lads. They too
> enjoyed signing stuff. Mark and Sean took some photographs for
> posterity. I asked Jerome about a schedule for next year and whether
> or not they would be likely to be touring the States. He seemed
> uncertain but said there was a possibility that they might go there in
> March. Edgar asked us about which other concerts we were likely to be
> going to, and invited us to come backstage in Manchester where there
> would be a get-together of sorts. I thanked him for the invitation and
> explained that unfortunately we would not be able to go to the
> Manchester concert as we had to travel back due to work commitments.
> He
> joked about ‘Sometimes it is necessary to have to work!’. After a
> while
> we decided to leave the band and said our goodbyes, explaining that we
> might see them again in Leeds and Birmingham. As we left the dressing
> room I spotted Monica Froese who I recognised from the time I met her
> in
> 1990. We made our way back downstairs to the stage door. Once
> outside,
> I told Craig and Grant how the band were in good humour and would
> probably be coming out soon. Armin Thiessen and his three pals turned
> up around this time and we had a short chat. They didn’t hang around
> too long though…
> Siegfried and Peter emerged from the stage door and we continued
> talking. Five minutes later the tour coach pulled up once more so I
> knew the band were coming out and that Craig and Grant would have a
> chance to nab them! Sure enough, out they came and made their way in
> the direction
of the coac
before being greeted by the lads. It was
> good that they too had a chance to greet Edgar and company.
> I said farewell to Craig and Grant before heading off with Peter,
> Siegfried, Mark and Sean in the direction of our hotel. It turned out
> that Peter and Siegfried had found accommodation next door to ours.
> We
> talked for a while before arranging to meet them in Leeds at 5 pm the
> next day at the Town and Country Club.
> Sunday November 2nd: Destination Leeds
> Having got up early and had our breakfast we left Glasgow at 10.15 am
> heading south for Leeds. We stopped off for half an hour after
> Carlisle
> for a lunch break and a refuel, before continuing south. We reached
> our
> accommodation in Leeds in good time (around 3 pm). The venue was less
> than a five minute walk away. We left for the Town and Country Club
> after 4.30 pm. As we approached the last street leading up to the gig
> a
> certain coach drove past and we were able to follow its general
> direction up to the stage door area. Just as we got there Edgar and
> Jerome stepped off the coach and looked our way saying hello before
> going for a sound check. At this point Peter and Siegfried turned up
> and we decided we should go for a meal in advance of the concert. The
> five of us had a very pleasant meal chatting about all things
> TD-related
> and generally becoming good friends. Siegfried explained how they
> would
> have to leave relatively soon after the concert as they had to drive
> south to Antony Ainsworth’s house where they would get a few hours
> sleep, before getting up at 5 am to drive to Heathrow Airport to catch
> their planes home. Soon it was 7 pm and time to head for the concert.
> Once inside I asked about a guest-list before being handed a white
> envelope similar to the previous night. The gig was standing only
> (apart from two small balcony areas), but this had the advantage that
> it
> allowed mobility during the concert. ‘Ambient Monkeys’ was played as
> the pre-concert music. The running order of the tracks performed
> proved
> identical to the Glasgow concert, right down to the encores. In my
> opinion, the computer graphics did not work as well in Leeds as at
> Glasgow, as the projector was too close to the screen; they were even
> shining directly on the band’s faces. At the interval as I spoke to
> Peter, Anja came up to him and spoke in German. He introduced me to
> her
> and she remembered me from Glasgow.
> Being right up at the front (and in the middle) allowed an excellent
> vantage point for the second set. The band were about six feet away
> and
> we could follow the band’s movements – particularly that of Emil’s
> percussion and Zlatko’s guitar playing. The only drawbacks of the
> concert were the presence of a few intoxicated individuals at the front
> left who in their misguided enthusiasm persisted in shouting
> uninterpretable babblings at Edgar, and the presence of the idiot who
> decided to jump up on the stage, wave at the crowd and attempt to shake
> hands with Edgar before being swiftly removed by crew and bouncers.
> There seemed to be a smaller than expected crowd and later one of the
> house staff told me that there were only 420 tickets sold. Pity, it
> was
> a good concert.
> Backstage, Siegfried and Peter said their goodbyes as they had to set
> off on their return journey. I went upstairs to chat with Stuart
> Hobday to thank him for his co-operation. I returned shortly to find
> Mark and Sean on their own waiting for me. They told me that two fans
> (only) were in with the band. I led the way to where the dressing
> rooms
> were. Julia Snyder sat in the first room we met and she told us to go
> on down the corridor to the next room, which we did. I poked my head
> in
> the door, said hello and explained that we were not staying and that we
> just wanted to say hello and goodbye. Edgar said ‘Come in, you would
> like a beer?’ pointing to some beers held in ice. I said ‘No thanks!
> Its ok!’ (as I don’t drink beer). Edgar wasn’t having this though and
> pointing to my brother Sean jokingly said ‘He looks like he would like
> a
> beer!’ Needless to say Sean took him up on the offer and we entered
> the
> small room and began chatting. Jerome, Emil, Zlatko, Monica, Anja and
> a
> German couple were all present. I seized the opportunity to ask Edgar
> about something I had puzzled over for the last few years. I asked if
> he knew anything about Linda Spa playing as part of the Austrian entry
> in the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Dublin in ’95. He
> said that this was correct and that she was asked to play by some
> people
> in Austria. So folks, it was Linda! Anybody still got this on video
> tape? I think I still have it somewhere. I asked Edgar about the new
> track played at the end of the second set. He explained that it is
> Time
> Square from ‘Dream Mixes II’. Sean talked at length to Emil about his
> energetic performances. Emil explained to him how he enjoys playing
> percussion and that he could go for a few months playing live and that
> this tour is too short for his liking! I spoke to Jerome about the
> computer graphics accompanying the show. He explained that they are
> done by a Japanese animist and that the music for the video project has
> been finished in Berlin hopefully to be released in ’98. We talked
> about the graphics at last year’s Shepherd’s Bush gig. Jerome told me
> that most of the footage is on The Video Dream Mixes. I explained the
> difficulty I had experienced in trying to order it and how after a year
> and a half of trying to order it I still did not have it! He shook his
> head in dismay and said ‘This video! So many problems!’. Having had a
> second successful evening we once more said goodbye to the Tangerine
> Dream entourage and began to make our way back to our accommodation
> very
> content. Before exiting the building, I spoke briefly to Rob Ayling
> of
> TDI who thanked me for taking the trouble of coming over for the three
> concerts.
> Monday November 3rd: Destination Birmingham
> With two concerts down and one to go we prepared ourselves for the day
> with a tasty continental breakfast at our hotel. We had a look round
> Leeds before setting off for Birmingham at 11.30 am. By 2 pm we
> reached
> our next B+B in good time. It seemed like a good idea to head into the
> city centre for a browse of the shops and of the venue. We did some
> shopping before heading to Symphony Hall to get our bearings and our
> after-show passes courtesy of Stuart Hobday who we met there. On our
> return journey to our accommodation, rush hour traffic combined with
> necessary tricky lane-switching manoeuvres (which didn’t always go to
> plan) meant that it was well after 6 pm by the time we got back. Time
> for a quick freshen-up before leaving to go to Symphony Hall. A lucky
> encounter with a bus going our way allowed us to get to the gig with
> ten
> minutes to spare. As we went to go upstairs to our seats I recognised
> Antony Ainsworth in the queue waiting to buy merchandise. I spoke with
> him briefly. He told me that Siegfried and Peter had stayed with him
> the night before and had got up early to head off to get their flights.
> I was glad that
things had gone according to plan for them. We had
> seats in the right hand side of the circle which meant that we were
> about 20 feet above overlooking the stage. Symphony Hall is a
> beautiful
> purpose-built venue – much nicer than Leeds, Shepherd’s Bush, or
> Manchester Apollo for that matter. The acoustics are very good as one
> might expect from a venue that hosts an orchestra on a regular basis.
> Once again the concert was identical to the previous two nights. At
> the
> interval we went to the cafe to grab a bite to eat. On our way back I
> visited the merchandise stall to purchase a few items for some friends.
> Anja recognised me and we chatted a little. I could hear Emil’s drum
> solo starting so I returned to the circle. I moved right up to the
> very
> front seat overlooking the stage as the seats there had been unoccupied
> during the first set. I was actually far enough forward to be in
> behind
> the main speakers beneath me so that the sound I could hear was coming
> manily from the stage monitors. The computer graphics were even better
> than in Glasgow and worked extremely well. Towards The Evening Star
> finished the show.
> Afterwards we went backstage for the last time. The attendant at the
> appropriate doorway used his mobile to contact Julia on our behalf.
> Very soon she appeared and greeted us with a big smile. ‘Is this your
> last night??!!’ she asked jokingly. ‘Yes, it is’ I joked back. We
> followed her into one of the lifts. She asked us which of the three
> concerts did we prefer? Sean and Mark enjoyed Glasgow the best while I
> enjoyed all three!! Once out of the lift we could see Edgar standing
> in the corridor. Julia beckoned us over and Edgar extended his right
> hand through the doorway. We said hello and went in to the room.
> Julia
> and Edgar followed and closed the door. There was a piano in the room
> so I tried to lift the lid off the keys but unfortunately it was
> locked.
> Edgar also asked us if this was our last concert to which we assured
> him it was. We talked about the possibility of Edgar coming to
> Ireland,
> to which he recalled being in Dublin and Cork in the early ’80s. I
> clarified that if he ever wanted to holiday there that he would be very
> welcome to visit us. He said that perhaps someday he might! He then
> got up from his seat and apologised for the fact that he had some
> things
> to take care of, so we thanked him for meeting us each night and shook
> hands. We left the room and Julia escorted us back to the lift. I
> thanked her very much for letting us back-stage and shook hands until
> next time. I asked the attendant if I could speak with Stuart, so he
> kindly got on the mobile for me. Stuart came downstairs and we had a
> fairwell chat. He introduced me to Rob Harris of Voiceprint. Just as
> we were about to leave, Zlatko and Emil appeared and it was slightly
> amusing because they recognised us and they shook hands with us (rather
> than vice-versa). They too were now leaving the building (via the
> front
> door). We chatted with them on the way out, wishing them luck on the
> rest of the tour, and of course inviting them to Ireland!
> I was surprised by the lack in numbers of lingering fans. Are we too
> shy to hang around? Surely not. I was glad to be able to meet the
> band
> after the shows for the simple reason that very few others were making
> a
> similar effort, and in a way we were able to represent all fans.
> Similarly that is why I have written this account, so that other fans
> can share some of the events which took place.
> Next morning we set off for home. Our return sailing was at 6.30 pm
> which allowed ample time to get back to Stranraer. After our return to
> Belfast, Sean and I said farewell to Mark before driving on to Derry.
> Sean and I had driven over 920 miles.
> Hopefully some of you will enjoy this record of events, I certainly
> enjoyed preparing it. I must sincerely thank the following for this
> successful Tangerine Dream experience: Julia Snyder, Stuart Hobday,
> Edgar Froese, Jerome Froese, Emil Hachfeld, Zlatko Perica, Anja
> Kathmann, Monica Froese, Peter Stoeferle and Siegfried Lindhorst.
> Cheers!

Posted April 1, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized