08 Oct 2006 - Rod: Quebec

QUEBEC OCT 8 – 4pm EST

So we went off to the Boston Airport to pick up out new transport for the next week or so – and what a beauty it is – 9 seater Gulfstream 200. We started travelling by private plane a few years ago and it makes a massive difference to the comfort and ability to tour. We really don’t want to be crammed on a tour bus anymore- did enough of that in the past – and as we all know with all the security aspects flying commercially is a real pain. The first time we toured over here by private plane was when Bruce flew Steve, Nicko and l in his own Cessna and that was great fun as we got to see USA and Canada from coast to coast at 1500 feet. Dave, Jan and H – the tres amigos – went scheduled as the Cessna was only a 5 seater!! Since then we have gone by jet. We need a 9 seater for whole band, myself , our tour manager Ian and his assistant Gaddsy. So anyway got on the plane to be told there was an hour delay due to the amount of air traffic heading for Philly so we sat back and had something to eat and drink. The pilot used to fly F16s which of course fascinated Bruce and l have to say the take off and landing was by far the fastest any of us (except Bruce!) had experienced.

Got to gig at about 6. checked in with Dickie our Production Manager – everything fine. Had a look at hall – we have played here a few times but not in winter with the lawns closed off. In America the “sheds”, as they tend to be known, are permanent auditoriums with large stage and generally good backstage facilities . They have a roof covering anything up to 12,000 seats with a lawn behind which can hold up to another 10,000 or so quite often. The Camden one holds about 7,300 seated and in the winter a wall is put up behind the seats cutting off the lawns and enclosing the venue. This was the same at Hartford which was also a shed. Verizon in LA coming up Oct 21 is a shed too but because of the good Californian weather the lawns can remain open to give it a total capacity of about 16,000.

Anyway this show has been sold out for a week or so. I walked round outside with the audience and had a beer just getting the feel. You can often tell how a gig will be by the atmosphere of the audience beforehand and here there was a very good “up” vibe – so l reckoned it would be a really good night.

Watched all of Bullet for my Valentine who went on at 7.30 and did 40 min. They played really well and went down well with the crowd, the majority of which was in to see them. Check them out if you get chance.

Anyway we went on at 8.35 to an enormous cheer. It really was a good gig – thank you Philly. Even better l found out after that the band were really happy with the onstage sound so what the crew did must have worked. The onstage sound from monitors and to some extent PA is crucial – if you cant hear yourself play or sing it is very tough and hard for the guys to enjoy it. So that was great news. Unfortunately the major “special effect “ didn’t work due to power problem which is a real shame as its just brilliant. I wont specify so as not to blow it for the rest of you (although no doubt the whole detail of our show is probably on the web somewhere by now!) but l felt sorry for the Camden audience to have missed it. But they sure seemed to enjoy it a lot anyway.

After the show it was straight off stage into the cars and off to the airport to fly up to Quebec though we had to land in Montreal on the way for customs clearance which fortunately at that late time was pretty quick. This way we can have a full day off without travelling – a Sunday too which is always good. We had a bit of wine on the flight and as the onstage sound was so improved the band were in great spirits and we had a good laugh between us on the 2 hour flight. I guess we got to the hotel at about 2am but not so sure.

Had a good lie in then got up and went to breakfast at the top of the hotel – beautiful views of the city, the Heights of Abraham and the St Lawrence Seaway from there – this is such a beautiful city, we really like it here. I told you about the audiences yesterday – mad for it!! And if you are reading this hello to the Quebec Beaver club and yes l will be wearing your “Where Beavers Dare” T shirt for the gig!!

Got problems again with IT. Its wireless only but l can get on with a vodaphone G3 card. Can get on internet and open VPN but my Outlook which l use for emails just wont bloody well open so frustration again. So this and the photos may be a bit late though l am going to try and use a portable hard drive and get Gaddsy to send them. Here's hoping.

Enough for now. As no gig til tomorrow you wont hear from me til sometime Tues at the earliest.

- Rod
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