Another episode of Alex's soap box is upon us! We've finished the French tour now, and have just made a start to the UK leg... which perhaps explains why Colin (who is in the bunk below me on the bus) reported I was shouting “au revoir” in my sleep the other morning.
I'm happy to report that the past week or so has been accident free: I've managed not to maim myself in any bizarre fashion, and as yet I haven't lost anything of value: which, for me, counts as a highly successful week! Although I'm possibly tempting fate by even saying that...
Thought I'd share a few things that have amused me since the last blog. One thing that jumped out at me was this simply awful picture that adorned my hotel wall back in Dijon:
I was literally sitting there typing away when it caught my eye. The eyes on those guys are seriously creepy, and I think it's fair to say the women in this picture are in imminent peril of some sort. I posted the picture on Facebook to see whether it was just me who thought so, and the general consensus was that yes, it was indeed a very dark piece of art work! In fact, friends pointed out to me a few things I'd missed myself: the most sinister of which is undoubtedly the face surveying the scene from behind the trees in the top/middle. Others included the theory that both of these men are the same person, or in fact the Devil himself, which I found to be a very interesting idea. There also seems to be some fairly suggestive fruit littering this “demonic picnic”. Either way, the bottom line is I found it quite an unsettling and inappropriate picture to put in a hotel room; were I a superstitious and/or religious person, I'm not sure I'd want to be sleeping under the gaze of this monstrosity!
While we're on the subject of art work, this was a picture of Jimi Hendrix on the wall at the venue in Toulouse. Very cool indeed... I'd even have this on my wall at home! (Although I doubt my Mrs would be too keen.)
Here's another great photo from our last French gig in Lille... as many of you will know, the lovely Emily has been granted the gift of being very tall and slender: which is usually a good thing, unless the catering area at the venue you're playing turns out to be a cross between Santa's grotto and the Mad Hatter's tea-party...
The girls and I have been flexing our musical muscles over the past couple of weeks during the day, working on some “a cappella” material that Emily introduced to us. (For those of a less musical persuasion, that basically means voices unaccompanied by instruments.) A close harmony group in America called “Pentatonix” recently recorded a song called “Run To You”, which really is beautiful. (If anyone is interested to hear it, it can be found on YouTube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp7PS_UN8Lo.) Although rock music will always be my first love, I pride myself on liking many different types of music (after all, one rarely wants to eat the same food every day), and this is a great example of a different style I'm drawn to. As dedicated vocalists, it's been great to work on some challenging material that tests our sight-reading and aural skills to the limit! The only bugger is that it's five-part, and there are only four of us... although it did mean I got to do both the baritone and bass parts, which was an added challenge. I think the idea is for the four of us to record it at some stage, in which case watch this space: as if it's good enough, we may end up posting it on the website, you never know!
My background in theatre is something that I get a fair bit of stick for on tour. It all started with my second gig with the band back in 2011, when I didn't make it on stage for the start of the second half because I was sitting there in my dressing room waiting for a “call to stage”: which is how it's done in the theatre world! I've never quite lived that one down. However, the reason I mention it is that in Guildford (our first gig of the UK tour) we actually heard down the Tannoy system: “Ladies & Gentleman of the Australian Pink Floyd Show company, this is your call to stage”. For a minute I thought I was in the twilight zone. I poked my head out of my dressing room door with a big grin on my face, and unfortunately our production manager Chris just happened to be outside the door. Of course, when he saw my joy at such an announcement, it led to numerous calls over the course of the evening specifically for me, which may have included choice terms like “lovie”, “wafting”, “princess” and “darling”. Ah well... this is the cross I bear! (Plus it was quite funny, to be fair.)
In closing, here is a picture of the band's youngest fan... my daughter Poppy a few months ago, dressed in a tailored Aussie Floyd outfit made for her by some very kind fans. No reason particularly, other than seeing pictures of her on a daily basis helps to keep my spirits up!
Until next time peeps. In the words of Jerry Springer, “take care of yourselves, and each other.”