Vineyards extend in every direction in probably the most prestigious winemaking region in the world. Bordeaux is certainly the heart and hub of wine production in France. Today we found ourselves in another brand new arena, which opened only a year ago. Once again, superb facilities and a beautiful, acoustically designed hall. A luxurious rarity for touring bands. Sound check was lengthy as we wanted to run a few things we’re not currently playing in the set, to keep them fresh. We did, however, insert ‘Brothers In Arms’ in the show for the first time on this tour.
It was soon time for us to vacate the stage so our first support act of the tour could sound check. Juke Ross, originally from Guyana, has a dusky, captivating voice and is quietly making a name for himself in the singer/songwriter world. Backstage, catering was gearing up for dinner service with another selection of unmissable dishes and desserts. In the production office, Manager Paul Crockford had his curiously swollen knee packed in ice and up on the desk. He’s seen the doctor and it’s nothing serious. In true showbiz fashion, it didn’t deter him from his duties and MC at the beginning of the show, kicking off the evening in his own inimitable way.
New technology surrounds us on this tour, none more so than our PA system. Dave Dixon, our Front Of House soundman is at the helm of the brand new L Acoustics L-ISA multidimensional PA array system. It’s a long way from Stereo and unlike a traditional layout, it is based on a horizontal arrangement of loudspeaker arrays that are distributed across – and often beyond – the full width of the stage. This Frontal configuration relies on overlapping coverage so that as much of the audience as possible hears all the arrays. A Frontal System consists of three systems: the Scene System, subwoofers and the Extension System. The venue this evening was the perfect host for such a system and the audience was clearly captivated for the duration. Except, of course, for the encores where they were allowed to stream to the front. There were many familiar faces in amongst the happy audience in the front rows.
Speeding away from the Métropole Arena in Alex’s ’S’ Class with the rest of the band in close pursuit, Mark, Glenn and I all agreed on one thing. We had a great time up there. There were some wonderful moments with Mark enjoying more freedom in his playing than ever before alongside this musical magic carpet ride of a band behind him. Arriving at our glorious country hotel where we’ve been hubbing from for the past few days, I suggested une petite soirée in my room. Pete, AKA Saint Peter, had pre-prepared a couple of bags with wines, beers and glasses for such an occasion. It was a full band turnout, that required some improvised seating. Dr. Fletch is back in business… now fully armed with the new Orbitsound E30 Dock, a studio quality compact speaker with Airsound technology. It has multiroom WiFi, wireless charging and USB-C fast charging, the DOCK is a little powerhouse of technology that looks, feels and sounds superb. Here’s the evening’s playlist –