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David Meadows Profile
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The Fountain Of Useless Knowledge

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 5670
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Reading 10/11/03 - Review


I'm writing this sitting in the theatre in Reading -- this is up-to-the-minute journalism emoticon

The support band, "Geyers", was very good. Two Germans, Albert (who was support on the May 2000 tour) on pipes and horns plus another guy playing a very cool renaissance violin-thing (must find out what it's called). (I actually preferred last night's support, Italian quartet La Zag. But Geyers were very entertaining and musically very accomplished.)

A quick word about the efficiency and organisation of the Reading theatre staff: it's crap. First they forgot to search half the guests for cameras and recorders, only remembering after half of us were in. Then they forgot
to close the hall during the sound check and had to chase out a bunch of us who were listening to the band running through Queen for a Day (part 1 & 2) [a song they didn't actually play tonight, that take *that* all you people
who went straight to the bar!]. Then the band's mixing desk was much bigger than they expected, so they took out a load of seats and had to hustle to fit everybody in alternative seats. Then they were so inefficient getting people through the doors that three-quarters were still queuing up when the
Geyers came on. Huh.

Anyway... 20 minutes to band time, and what can I see?

The stage is a painted mediaeval village scene with a hill in the background and a road leading up to a castle. Spoiling the effect is the lighting rig and some modest speaker stacks.

On the left, the keyboards are tastefully hidden behind some barrels and hay bales. Centre stage, the drums are tastefully hidden behind fake foliage. More foliage grows up and around the various microphone stands.

A lot of the audience, more than at Birmingham, made an effort to dress in costume (which I would never have the nerve to do), including some young kids I can see on the balcony waving plastic swords and Halloween-type broomsticks. Cute.

(I can see a lot of Mostly Autumn t-shirts in the hall. Cool.)

On the right I see four (or five) guitars, lute, a mandolin I think, and a hurdy gurdy.

I can't see the strat.

But I know it's there.

The piped music is from the Geyers, and I know the main event is approaching because I recognise the tune they've played at every show just before the band comes on: Quatre Branles (I think), with the horns interpolating some
suspiciously familiar riffs... Black Night... Smoke on the Water... it's almost time... I'm putting the notebook away now...

 . * . * . * .

I didn't have the greatest seat in the world. Oh, I could see well enough and the sound (right in front of the mixing desk) was perfect. What spoilt it was the LOUD MORON who sat next to me laughing, scoffing, mocking, and wondering when Ritchie was going to play rock music again.

Apart from that... the set was a perfect mix of up-tempo and slow Blackmore's Night tunes, beautiful instrumentals, dazzling solos, and a little bit of rock... which...

Ok.

I've got to say right now -- I'm one of the biggest supporters of Ritchie's current musical direction. I love his pseudo-mediaeval compositions (I have several albums of real mediaeval music -- of course I love this style). I'm
happy with what he's playing now. I love every song in the set and his solos are just as good as they ever were with Purple or Rainbow -- maybe even more beautiful. I don't care if he's not playing rock any more.

But still...

When he comes on with the strat for the extended (40 minute!!!) encore, I feel my chest tighten and my heart race. When he plays the first two notes of Difficult to Cure, I'm all misty-eyed. When he wails his way through
Rainbow Blues, I think I'm forgetting to breathe because it's all gone grey and blurry. When he hammers out a riff to introduce 16th Century Greensleeves, I can't see the stage for tears.

I don't know how he does it.

Ritchie Blackmore still rocks. It's not all he does, but damn it's still an important part.

And the LOUD MORON left the hall before the encores and missed it all. Oh, how I laughed.

It doesn't get any better than this...


And this WAS the best concert I have ever seen.
11/11/2003, 18:53 Link to this post Send Email to David Meadows   Send PM to David Meadows
 
David Meadows Profile
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The Fountain Of Useless Knowledge

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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


Forgot: an even better joke from Candice (the best joke I've ever heard) --

Ritchie had a reputation for being difficult in his old bands. He's much better now he's a minstrel. but that's why he was always in a bad mood before... that was when he was pre-minstrel

emoticon

Oh, well, I liked it...
11/11/2003, 20:03 Link to this post Send Email to David Meadows   Send PM to David Meadows
 
Milan Fahrnholz Profile
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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


quote:

David Meadows wrote:
...the best joke I've ever heard...
...that was when he was pre-minstrel
emoticon



You really should stop talking in superlative too much, Dash!emoticon

Last edited by Milan Fahrnholz, 11/11/2003, 20:08
11/11/2003, 20:07 Link to this post  
 
David Meadows Profile
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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


But that's the ABSOLUTE BEST way there has EVER been to talk! And there's NO other way to talk after a concert, until I've calmed down, which will take AT LEAST a week.

Did I mention that this was the best concert I've ever seen?
11/11/2003, 20:09 Link to this post Send Email to David Meadows   Send PM to David Meadows
 
Milan Fahrnholz Profile
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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


Well, my best concert was on saturday, but I´m sure you didn´t read my (rather lenghtly) review, as you always want to avoid reading the setlist.
11/11/2003, 20:12 Link to this post  
 
Nighthawk Profile
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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


quote:

David Meadows wrote:

But that's the ABSOLUTE BEST way there has EVER been to talk! And there's NO other way to talk after a concert, until I've calmed down, which will take AT LEAST a week.

Did I mention that this was the best concert I've ever seen?



I'm almost tempted to believe that you enjoyed yourself David! emoticon Never heard of Geyers, but on their site it looks like there are four of them - did you get short-changed??

http://www.geyers.info/englisch/index_frame.htm
11/11/2003, 20:32 Link to this post Send Email to Nighthawk
 
RitchiesHair Profile
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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


quote:

David Meadows wrote:
plus another guy playing a very cool renaissance violin-thing (must find out what it's called).



That was a Swedish Nyckelharpa, it's similar to a Hurdy Gurdy except instead of a handle turning a wheel that rubs against the strings it's a bow.

11/11/2003, 22:30 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
David Meadows Profile
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The Fountain Of Useless Knowledge

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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:

quote:

David Meadows wrote:
plus another guy playing a very cool renaissance violin-thing (must find out what it's called).



That was a Swedish Nyckelharpa, it's similar to a Hurdy Gurdy except instead of a handle turning a wheel that rubs against the strings it's a bow.



Ah, thank you. Yes, I can see that similarity to the hurdy gurdy. The sound is a bit different, but I assume that's because it doesn't have an equivalent of the drone strings.
11/11/2003, 23:33 Link to this post Send Email to David Meadows   Send PM to David Meadows
 
RitchiesHair Profile
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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


From what I've read it does have drones, I think the difference in sound is down to the fact that a hurdy gurdy has a wheel continuously rubbing against the strings so as long as consistent force is used, the note has a constant pitch and no decay whereas a nyckelharpa is bowed, causing the notes decay as the bow is drawn across the string.

Last edited by RitchiesHair, 11/11/2003, 23:38
11/11/2003, 23:37 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
David Meadows Profile
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The Fountain Of Useless Knowledge

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Re: Reading 10/11/03 - Review


quote:

Nighthawk wrote:

quote:

David Meadows wrote:

But that's the ABSOLUTE BEST way there has EVER been to talk! And there's NO other way to talk after a concert, until I've calmed down, which will take AT LEAST a week.

Did I mention that this was the best concert I've ever seen?



I'm almost tempted to believe that you enjoyed yourself David! emoticon Never heard of Geyers, but on their site it looks like there are four of them - did you get short-changed??

http://www.geyers.info/englisch/index_frame.htm


Yes, they told us there was normally "vier" of them. I suppose they wanted to cut down on travel expenses emoticon But if they hadn't told us, I wouldn't have noticed -- they worked very well as a duo, playing a lot of instruments between them and both singing (very good harmonising).
11/11/2003, 23:40 Link to this post Send Email to David Meadows   Send PM to David Meadows
 


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