Celtic music is very much a part of Galicia and Asturias, two regions in the North Western corner of Spain and La Coruña is a beautiful town in the Galicia region. Mike McGoldrick knows more about that than anyone in the band as he regularly visits the region playing shows and festivals. Unfortunately, the band didn’t get to explore the area as we chose to spend our days off in Lisbon. Our intrepid crew, however, did stay in town enjoying a well deserved rest up. A few of the boys are pretty handy with a golf club too so they organised a round at a local course.
Exigently, we said our goodbyes to the much loved Four Seasons in Lisbon, a hotel we’ve luxuriated in so many times especially as each room has a balcony. We headed for the GA terminal once more where ‘Joy’ our Bombardier CRJ-200ER was fuelled and ready to go. Flight time was 1 hour and 3 minutes so a light lunch of Pulpo a la Gallega and a heavenly Pastel de Nata was perfect. Coming in across the beautiful fertile green landscape of Galicia, we landed in a light crosswind and were in the vans and on the way to the gig in no time.
Load in for the crew was not an issue as they had no travel the night before and we arrived to find them ready and waiting for the scheduled 5pm band sound check. We, however, were far more concerned with the coffee machine in the dressing room, unloading our bags of stage clothes from Lisbon, sorting laundry or getting completely distracted by the soup in catering which today was a quite ridiculous Potato and Onion concoction. Laurence, our keyboard tech rolled his eyes as I apologised for our slow appearance.
Tech note (please skip to next paragraph if easily upset by geekiness). My iPad issue has now been resolved. I’m running Lemur as a program changer and trigger app and we couldn’t find a midi interface that would charge the device whilst in operation. We tried several. The iConnectivity4+ delivered to us in La Coruna has done the trick. Still a little concerned by the occasional stuck note from the RD-2000, might swap it out for the spare next show although this evening’s gig was flawless.
I bumped into Stage Manager, Dave Hall and Rigger, Johnny ’Hotpants’ Ashton in one of the production offices. Johnny was doing something with three rather large tape measures. He explained to me how he measures the rigging points using these three colour coded, rather analog, devices. Fascinating. In the dressing rooms, we have many areas for the band to relax and as there are now eleven of us, this is no mean feat for any venue. Today we had two, quiet rooms with inflatable beds, a tuning room, two lounge areas and a ‘communal’ area where the wardrobe cases reside. We have one of these each, with drawers and hangers. Once Mark and I had decided on the slightly shorter set list for the show, enforced by a strict airport evening takeoff restriction, I headed for catering for a very healthy steak and then to a quiet room where I drifted off for at least an hour.
Cups of freshly prepared Honey, Ginger and Lemon tea were waiting in the lounge area courtesy of John McCusker who fulfils this ritual every evening an hour prior to show time. The healing, cleansing infusion is the antidote for all weary, creaking and wheezy musicians in search of an uplift before stepping onto the stage. At Ten PM precisely, we did exactly that and were greeted by one of the most enthusiastic audiences anyone could wish for. The Coliseum was full and the majority were standing on the floor. A wonderful, emotional night, lovely people. A very thoughtful fan left a lovely bottle of Ribiera wine with one of our drivers, which was handed to me during the runner to the airport. We made our slot and were en route to Bordeaux and it was Adios Spain, for now. Up next….Pamplona.