With the UK weather having made a sudden U-turn back two months to a hardcore Winter feel and reports of snow falling in Northern parts, Range Rover driver Eike and I set off early afternoon for a trip to Maidstone in Kent. The BBC is a huge and wonderful organisation which has recently been committed to developing the media industry in the North of England. This has meant that the much loved BBC studios in Wood Lane is a thing of the past and many TV shows are now in various locations across the country. A controversial move if ever there was one.
Mr. Saggers ready and waiting for Mark with his Ragpicker….
We arrived to find our production team frantically trying to locate someone vaguely official who had access to the myriad of doors which required swipe passes to open. In a comical episode, they got separated, some having been locked inside the building and were unable to pass on the info about the keys. Clearly the only thing to do was wait outside until our passes arrived, which a short time later they did. We headed for the dressing room, found the rest of the band except Mark who was stuck in traffic and made tea. It wasn’t long before the crews were ready for us to soundcheck so we headed out into the icy wind and across the alleyway and into what would best be described as a small hanger. Kind of like a sound stage but very much not Hollywood scale. Very British in fact. Inside, it looked exactly like any other TV studio with camera and production crews busily setting up. Everyone was lovely and the atmosphere was relaxed and professional. The Floor manager was introduced to me and I got the band ready to do a few tunes without Mark and by the time Mark arrived, frustrated from his journey, the in-ears sounded great. Slightly different from what we’re used to as it’s a completely different PA etc. but really not too bad at all.
Pete was making good use of the additional camera lighting needed for TV to take some pics of the band.
Some interesting tuning issues meant that we stopped a couple of tunes midway, something that a) we would never normally do during a concert and b) has never happened before. Pre-recorded TV allows this luxury and Mark decided to use this. This of course meant there was more chit-chat than usual, in fact, there was loads. All in all it was a fun, relaxed show. No need for a runner meant we all had a swift tipple in our dressing room before loading up the Rangers and heading home.
This concert has to this date remained un-aired.