Number of posts : 758
Age : 50
Location : Paris, France
Registration date : 2007-01-02
|Subject: Talisman tour diary – the Italian continuation 14-15/12/2007 Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:05 am|| |
Hey guys!!Marcel has written a looonnngg tour diary for the Italian shows. I hope you'll enjoy the reading.And thanks a lot Marcel!!! It so happened one day not too long ago that the question was put: would we be willing to do some shows in Italy in December, in connection to JSS already being in Europe. Without any hesitation both JSS and I said yes, without any consideration as to solving the numerous problems that could, and did, arise. One of the issues was the guitar player, since we don’t have one really attached to the position. In the end we saw the return of Howie Simon, who made a heroic journey across the ocean to arrive only just in time and with little preparation actually pulled it off.Another issue was travelling, getting the logistics to work. This wasn’t helped by an announced air traffic control strike on the very day JSS&Howie was supposed to arrive, or the truckdriver strike that started that same week. But, thanks to our friends Stefania & Novella (Varisco) who laid the foundation, and promoter Emiliano (Bologna Rock City), in the end all problems were overcome. As usual (it would seem) Jamie and I travel ahead, only to sit around wondering if our compatriots will arrive. A stressful day before our flight I had no time to sort out certain things, for example I had postponed shaving my head for some days. And arriving in Pisa Thursday the 13th I asked for a supermarket, to which the girl responsible for picking us up replied with a grimace and said I was out of luck. At 20 00 there is no way to buy shaving cream and toothpaste…she took us to a My Hotel which was ok, did the usual checking in, and discovered that the internet was free, the connection speed was topnotch…but of course the programs were very limited with very little in the way of certain necessary applications installed. Like somebody handing you a Ferrari free but with some sort of built-in thing that stopped you from going faster than 15km/h. Thanks but I’ll walk! Oh well, Jamie and I found our way to the hotel restaurant, it was actually quite decent. Our friend from the airport returned with a homemade bottle of red wine made by her grandma, which was a nice gesture. Next day (the 14th, day of the show in Pisa) me and Stefania woke up too late get breakfast, which meant going into town for double purposes – food and shaving cream :-). We found Jamie and Nath who came with us in a taxi. The free hotel shuttle only made trips in the morning or late afternoon ;-). As we were walking in the center of Pisa I got the text from JSS saying in effect that the airport in Pisa had been closed and the flight had been diverted to Genova, where JSS&Howie were trying to locate the (3 hour) bus to Pisa. Funny thing was that Nath’s plane had landed only 20 minutes or so before theirs was…only happens to JSS!Well, eventually we met up in the lobby around 18. Where utter confusion ensued. There was no real itinerary, and everybody had conflicting agendas. In the end it was decided the opening act Markonee would do the soundcheck, while me and my guys would first run through the setlist in Howie’s room and then go for food after which some would go back to the hotel. So, into town, where we went to a restaurant a few blocks away from the club. When we got in I did a doubletake because one of the cooks looked like a character from a swedish tv-show from the 70’s, Tårtan. Made me slightly hesitant :-)…as we were sitting down JSS made us notice a picture on the wall – everything else was normal stuff you’d not be surprised to see in a restaurant, but this picture was a slightly blurry pic of one man with some sort of cane moving to strike another man on hands and knees trying to get away from the first guy in front of him. And they were both smiling !The club was a bit small, and extremely non-heated. It was like being outdoors inside! The staff was working in t-shirts, totally insane. And the dressing room :-)…it was very small, even colder, and full of stuff with noplace to sit. So I spent most of the time before the show in the club with a bunch of people talking about this and that. Which I most of the time prefer to do nowadays anyway.Markonee did their bit. It could be said Talisman is a funnylooking crew, but theirs was a crazy mix. The drummer looked like he was a fugitive from some asylum, one of the guitar players was a total attention junkie, and the singer looked a little like a speed metal guy but sounded like an aor singer…but they were allright, I liked their version of a song from Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Let’s do the time warp again” or whatever the title is.Our turn, pretty much went all right like it was supposed to, a little too hard to get some of the instrumental things right because of the lack of rehearsal, but what could you expect. Highlights for me was the different versions of “I’ll be waiting”, cracked me up, JSS doing the Jamaican…as well as Howie walking across the stage for the intro to “Break your chains”, doing both his and Freddie’s thing from back in the day (see the DVD!), that was hilarious.Next morning we all had to get up, well, me anyway since the ladies were taking the train and had to start early. Then more confusion for me, since I had to do some things on the internet. I tried cajoling the hotel into letting me install some things, then I tried to find someone with a laptop, after that I tried asking Markonee to let me use one of their cars to which they replied with a worried voice “let’s discuss this with Emiliano”…who of course was nowhere to be seen until 15 minutes before departure. Why not ask Mr Gadgetman some of you would ask? Well, he’d broken his screen some days prior, so :-). Eventually it was understood that Emiliano, Jeff and I, would go into town to locate an internet point while the others proceeded ahead to Gualtieri. Of course the location of this internet point was not where the receptionist had informed me, and we were just lucky to eventually locate an english speaking person downtown who knew…The trip to Gualtieri took longer than we’d been told , no surprise there. And when we finally found the club nothing was ready for soundcheck or anything, so we left for the hotel, supposedly 2 miles/a few minutes away. Again no surprise that we after several phone calls and misdirections found the hotel 30 minutes after leaving the club :-). At first I was suspicious of this Albergo, because the reception was very small, pretty much like a little desk in the corner of a regular cafeteria, which was being run by a very sternlooking little old matrona of 65 or so…but to my surprise when walking around the front the actual hotel was newly redone and very nice.After taking a shower it was made clear that not everybody could find rides back to the club for the free food, so I stayed at the hotel with Nath, Maura, and Stefania for dinner. It was an experience, the little old lady had a sister or friend same age that would be our maitre’d and the waitress, and I’m not entirely sure she wasn’t the cook too! But it was ok…the wine was actually very nice.After a while we heard from some friends that they would stop by and pick us up on the way to the club, thanks G and everybody! As I walked in the club I heard the first opening act, a Europecover band with the name Europroject. I swear, if I didn’t look (and if I hadn’t known better) it was as if Joey was in the house. That singer had it down to a t, if Europe ever wanted to replace Joey Journey-style ;-), that’s their guy. They’re on MySpace (Markonee too of course), check ‘em out. Later there was some sort of confusion at the end of their set, I think they were promised to do a certain number of songs, and then that got cut and they were told “one more”, and then when they started the last one, that got interrupted 20 seconds into it for the changeover to Markonee. I felt really bad about that, especially since Europroject were originally going to be the opening act for both nights. Nothing I could do but shake my head and mutter, for the 1000th time this weekend: TII !We got on stage, and man, the sound was totally fucked up. I could not hear the drums properly, which made me feel I was off the entire show…and I’m usually never wrong about such things. We did our best anyway, but it was uphill…especially for poor JSS when he got competition from the disco in the other part of the club during his piano-medley…imagine um-tis-um-tis-um-tis-um-tis (the sound of discodrums, try it :-)) almost as loud as you are except you’re trying to sing and play something softer in a slower tempo…of course we lot were laughing at his difficulties backstage :-)!And, since we like to have our fun on stage we went a little late (not entirely our fault, we didn’t or couldn’t start in time), and they wouldn’t allow us to do any encores at the club. They had to start their teen rockdisco, which they did, at a tremendous volume. But hey, they had a bar, and some of us hung out there, of course Howie proceeded to get plastered and very Howie-ish :-). I’m sure eventually there will be photos…And, Howie and Jeff had to leave at 4 30 in the morning from the Albergo in Boretto (or whatever the name was), so we had to say good bye, meaning it was a long day and a late night indeed…Jamie was transported around noon to Venice (or Treviso) by Europroject and their manager Novella, for a late Sunday evening flight home…and I stayed behind one more day, the occasion being Stefania’s birthday. I think I got the long end of the stick!
Talisman #1 Fan
Number of posts : 322
Age : 45
Registration date : 2007-01-07
|Subject: Re: Talisman tour diary – the Italian continuation 14-15/12/2007 Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:28 am|| |
Oh yes!! I surely enjoyed it!
The old woman serving us dinner in Boretto scared him, it seems!!!
And I can't forget OUR faces as soon as we saw the reception of the Albergo
Luckily, the rooms were unexpectedly very nice.... even if that night noone really slept, right?
It was another unforgettable hotel! Thanks to the guys craziness and to all the Talisman family!
Love you all!