30 October 2013

Camel tour part 3

 click on photos to enlarge...

on the bus

Saturday 26th October,  Amsterdam: the Rabozaal is part of the new complex built between the old Melkweg and the Shouwburg concert hall. I remember the old Melkweg. First time I played there was circa 1974. Opposite the stage was a large raised platform covered with old Oriental rugs where music lovers would lie and smoke joints while you played. Things were more relaxed then. 

Photo: Wim Brouwers

Saturday night, the Rabozaal was packed solid with the first standing audience of the tour. It does

make for a different atmosphere from a seated concert hall – or indeed the old reclining pot-heads of yore. Anyway, once again we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I had a bit of a cold and was worried about my voice but managed to get through it – a little croaky but no major disasters. 

Photo: Jarno Wildner

 Then back on the bus for an overnight journey to London, via the Calais-Dover ferry. Getting out of the tiny street outside the Melkweg took some expert manoeuvering by our driver, Craig - aided by a team of our crew and some Melkweg guys clearing a path through Saturday night revellers and hundreds of bicycles chained to railings and hindered by some unhelpfully belligerent idiots, including a charming couple who threw a bottle of water at Craig while informing him they wanted to punch him in the head and inferring he had improper relations with his mother. Not like the old hippie days, for sure. I blame the internet. 

Soundcheck at Barbican - photo: Lenya Bass

Some way down the motorway one of the inside tyres blew and so we had to pull over and wait a couple of hours for the emergency services. All these delays were worrying as we were keen to get on a ferry across the Channel before the advertised Severe Storm arrived. After all there was a hotel and a day off in London waiting for us. Not only that, if the storm was bad enough to stop the ferries (it was), we were in danger of missing the Barbican show altogether. As it was, all was ok. We came, we did it and it was a jolly good show, I think. Was lovely to catch up with my daughter Lenya who flew over from Berlin. She took this photo of the soundcheck above. And here we are backstage:

photo: Katerina Pavlakis

Unfortunately a strict stage curfew policy at the Barbican meant we had to cut a couple of songs from the set and vacate the premises earlier than we would have liked or incur a large bill for overtime. So no time to do any meeting and greeting, unfortunately.

And we were off again, overnight on the bus to Bochum, Germany via a 3 am full English breakfast on a practically empty ferry. Pleasant night off in a hotel last night. Tonight we play in church.

view from dressing room window Amsterdam


  1. Thanks for the update Colin. I really enjoyed the A'dam show, didn't notice any cold affecting your voice that's for sure! regards, Marcel van Ek

  2. Great update Colin, keep 'em coming, thanks

  3. Glad to hear it's all going well. Really enjoying the blogs, liked the " foot note" ! Thanks for the cd, just need you to sign it now! Best of luck for the rest of the tour, will catch up with you when you get back. Jo and Brett

  4. Thanks Colin. It's great to hear about the behind the scenes happenings like this. Great pic of you with your daughter too...very cool.

    Is there any talk at all about Camel crossing the pond next year to do at least a few gigs in the US, perhaps some of the usual venues on the west coast? It would be great to see you guys again (2000 GAMH w/my son was the last time...great show!). One can only hope...

  5. Fantastic pics and a fantastic show at the Barbican! Many tears were shed in the front row...may be spotted on film!

  6. Excellent stuff Colin, brilliant to hear the goings-on behind the tour - like a beautiful clock effortlessly informing the observer of time whilst oblivious of the frantic whirring of cogs and springs within - keep 'em coming please, and thank's for such a brilliant show in London. We honked the blue bus as we passed - hope it was yours, otherwise there were probably some very confused tourists within !

  7. Absolutely stunning gig at the Barbican, thanks. The Snow Goose was amazing and just flowed so well, what a great band.

    I was a little miffed at the set being a couple of songs short, so thanks for the curfew explanation. One question though - why didn't you start earlier then?!

    Come back soon, looking forward to next year's studio album.

  8. Barbican was a big time for us

  9. Merci colin. As usual, I send you my gratitude, for sharing.
    With my sincere musical love.
    Nice pic with your daghter, nice pic from her.

    Kind Regards to you all, including the crew!

    A bientôt, sur internet....

  10. Hi Colin,was at the Barbican, in a word "mindblowing" concert.Ive been to four Camel gigs and that was the best one yet for me.I was there with Mark Roberts (rhyl) my brother graham was supposed to come but he was too tight to buy a ticket..his loss entirely.Hope you and the boys carry on making wonderful music.

  11. Thanks for the updates Colin. Fascinating. Managed to enjoy 3 performances so far. I have to say though I thought Harrogate was something really special atmosphere wise while everything about Manchester blew my socks off ! Great to see Andy looking so well, and the band just sounds brilliant.