I think I alluded last week to the fact that we’ve been doing a lot of Meet & Greets on this tour. It’s interesting to meet the people before the show and to hear their stories about why they’ve come, how many times they’ve seen us before – if they’ve seen us before etc. etc. During the last week we’ve played at a venue for the very first time; Leeds Arena; and at some venues that we’ve played many times before, like Liverpool Echo Arena, Cambridge Corn Exchange and today, Ipswich Regent.
Leeds Arena is a brand new, purpose built venue and is not unlike the Zeniths that we play in France. The good news is that they’ve got it right in Leeds! For the first time in quite a few years we were able to bring our whole show to Yorkshire, and the near 5000 strong audience made us feel very welcome. Nearly all the Meet & Greets that night were people coming to experience our show for the first time, so it was great to be able to put on the whole production and for it to have gone down so well. The staff at the Arena couldn’t have been nicer and the facilities were second to none in the UK – well done Leeds – we look forward to visiting you again.
After the show, we met with some of our old associates – Kevin Charnley our sound engineer for a spell up to 2003 and Zoe Stafford, one of our first backing singers. It was nice to see them and find out what they’ve been doing for the past 10 years, and it got us into a slightly nostalgic frame of mind. Jason and I spent some of the next day in Liverpool reminiscing a little about different places and shows over the years. Liverpool itself holds a lot of memories, both good (and not so good…-Ed), for us as a band, but one thing that is guaranteed is one of the UK’s most enthusiastic audiences! Ever since our first visit at the Royal Court Theatre back in 1993, we’ve been coming to Liverpool and have built a very strong following. Many of the Meet & Greets that night were people who have seen us 10 or more times over the years, which to us is quite a humbling fact. One young lady, however, was at her first show of ours. I asked her ‘Have you been dragged here by your partner?’ to which she answered, ‘Yes, I’m missing “Dancing on Ice” for this!’ I’m very happy to report that at the end of the show I spotted her down at the front of stage left, hands in the air, huge smile, cheering her lungs out! I think it’s safe to say we gained a new convert!
Today we are in Ipswich at the Regent Theatre – a venue we’ve been coming to every year for 10 or more years. To say it’s a challenge for our crew is an understatement – there really isn’t much room to move or manoeuvre and it definitely wasn’t designed for a 3 truck, 2 bus tour. As usual though, the guys work away quietly and the show will go on as usual.
This morning a chap emailed our website with some scanned images of an old flyer of ours from 1999, and a mailing list letter from 1998. Seems perfect timing to fit in with mine and Jason’s reminiscing the other day! It’s great to see this stuff again, so I’d like to ask all of you out there who have ever followed us in any way to search through your drawers and see if you can find any ticket stubs, flyers, posters, press ads or even merchandise from years gone by. We’d love to see scans of any of these things, and you never know, if we get enough of them we may find some way of using them in future. At very least a gallery on this website could feature these kinds of curiosities. Even better, if you’ve got any photos of our shows – the older the better – we’d love to see them. Or maybe you met one or all of us somewhere and have the snaps to prove it? Send them in!!!! (Attach scans to emails please and add ‘nostalgia’ to the subject line. -Ed)
OK – soundcheck is getting close, so bye for now…