16 July 2015

Camel tour 2015 part 2 - the story so far...

On stage at the Be Prog! My Friend festival, Barcelona
The story so far...

It was a great relief to finally get out of our charming but ultimately windowless box in the pleasant, albeit seldom glimpsed, surroundings of Real World Studios and head off to St Albans in the big red bus. It was a good first night methinks and a lot of nice people were out in force to help us enjoy it, setting a pattern for the next two days at Bath and York. All very enjoyable gigs with, though I say it myself, the band in pretty good form. 

sound check at Bath Forum

sound check at York Barbican

After York we set off into the night for the long journey to Barcelona, catching an early ferry at Dover and continuing on our merry way for the rest of the day and night, finally arriving at the site of the unusually named Be Prog! My Friend festival the next morning. Venue was at the Poble Espanya, an open-air museum, built in 1929, with 117 buildings showcasing Spain's typical regional architecture. A large stage was erected in the main square for the festival. 

setting up the stage in Barcelona

It was hot and getting hotter so we were glad to be whisked away to sample the hospitality of the Hotel el Posh and enjoy a welcome night in a stationary bed.
Next day, Denis and I broke free and negotiated the Barcelona Metro down to Barceloneta, Barcelona's beach area. It was Saturday. It was extremely hot. At a likely looking Tapaseria we found an agreeable table in the shade and an enjoyable lunch ensued. Suitably fortified, we headed back to the festival site where, I have to say, we all were rapidly getting the feeling we had got off the bus at the wrong stop, as it were. We do like to think we can, in our role as travelling minstrels, bring some light and positive energy to the people who come to see us, but every other band seemed to be mining the same seam of dark energy, snarling and growling, bent on pillage and destruction (or at least the pretence of it) and playing at maximum volume from start to finish - oh yes and the smoke-spewing guitars and the strobe lights, the strobe lights... 
We felt rather parochial by comparison and were a little trepidatious about facing the audience. I even left my trainers on for the gig in case we needed a quick getaway but our fears were laid to rest by a sizable and extremely friendly crowd who seemed rather pleased to see us, as we were them. It was actually rather a splendid gig and a good time was had by most (as far as I could see).

Be Prog! My Friend festival Barcelona

Be Prog! My Friend festival Barcelona

Be Prog! My Friend festival Barcelona

After the show it was hurry up and wait time, until 4 am in this case, and then off on another fabulous overnight drive, this time to Zurich, where we thoroughly enjoyed the intimate stage set up with the intimate proximity of the standing audience at the Kaufleuten, a charming wood-lined fancy function room. We were treated to some excellent hospitality and had a grand old rocknroll style sweaty gig.

inside the Kaufleuten, Zurich

Off to sleepy old Limbourg in Belgium to once again tread the creaking boards of the old Kursaal theatre. We were cheerfully greeted by the veteran promoter of the famous Spirit of 66 club, Francois Geron. He was as surprised as we were to find that the venue had printed up some posters for the show bearing our name and personnel but matching us with an old photograph of the band Argent. Hmmmm....
who is that band?
Nevermind, it was another most enjoyable gig for another wonderfully friendly audience. 
Then on the bus again for a drive to Holland. It's all go...

At time of writing we are about to take the stage of the fabulous Tivoli in Utrecht, a super concert hall with capacious backstage facilities including a washing machine and a tumble dryer. Much relief all round at getting our laundry done. It's a glamorous life on the road...

more later...

1 comment:

  1. I was at the St Albans show, and i can honestly say that I've never seen the band play better. You all seemed to be having so much fun up there too.

    It might sound a bit naff, but us fans really do appreciate you guys coming out and playing the music we all love - there is nothing to compare with seeing and hearing music played live.

    Hope the rest of the tour goes well.

    Cheers, Bob