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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Monday, 20 March 2006

meetings and music (of sorts)

Well, Lenni's chicken pox is a thing of the past; we're all in reasonable health, now, thank goodness. Hopefully as spring approaches, the chill will recede and, so much more importantly, the sun will return.

I've really missed a ramble through the countryside - our trips to Woodside tend chiefly to involve the indoor playbarn, and I'm really keen to take Christopher (and Eleanor!) geocaching - an adventure I think we'll enjoy.

Cowboy boots, champagne and a webcamThe last couple of days have been interesting and entertaining in their own way - Friday night brought a (I was going to say "reunion" but that doesn't really work) convening of a collection of members from the whatshouldiputonthefence.com mailing list, five of whom had come over from the States on holiday, both at the same time. We had a delicious meal at our Indian Restaurant Of Choice (introducing one of our number to such exotic food) and then on to my office social club for St Patrick's Day Guinness and general celebratory champagne, while those across the world who couldn't attend could watch us via webcam. Technology, eh?

Stars at Leonard'sLast night, David from Jude, Suzanne from Monster Gratis and I - from, er, both - went to see Stars In Battledress and William D. Drake performing at the rather neat and quite trendy Leonard's pub in EC1. It was quite an education - the Stars were, as always, intricately divine, but let down by some truly appalling sound engineering and utterly uninspired, pointless lighting (one white and one yellow light on-stage, and a red light in the audience pointing at the stage, each having about five seconds in rotation, meaning that the performers were plunged into rouged darkness five seconds out of fifteen!) which also caused an awful hum on the speakers.

As for the sound... I'm someone who knows his way round live music - hardly an expert, but there's absolutely no way I could have done it as badly as the individual on duty that night. The mixer was a very simple one - not much more sophisticated than mine at home - feeding both the main speakers and three (?) stage monitors. He couldn't get the levels right on any of them, so, rather than subtle nods from the performers that would normally communicate the need for a little more of what they're playing where they can hear it, they had to make requests between songs, requests which seemed to be utterly misunderstood, causing us to be deafened, rather than giving them a little more of what they needed.

(Don't get me started on the acoustic guitar mic, which was billowing like washing, and allowed to be so through at least two songs).

Hmm.. this has turned out to be something of a rant - sorry! Once the two brothers left the stage (one of the songs they'd performed involved a proper footpump reed organ!), William Drake came on and played - quite proficiently - very strange, almost incorrect, songs. Further hampered by even more technical problems (the main speakers almost blew up at one point) we had to leave shortly after he brought the Stars back on stage to sing some more odd songs. Imagine a slightly inflated David Baddiel singing weird folk music, loud and strong. Ooch. To remove that image from your mind, perhaps a brief sample (716kB MP3) of the Stars might help.

Tomorrow night (Monday) brings a set of four nightshifts in a row... that'll be a challenge - especially since Beth and I will be attending our first ever 'parent consultation' (I think that's the modern term) on Tuesday before my second overnighter. I'm young, though, so I'll survive it. It's what coffee's for!

You want links? I've got links...

Links of the day:

Posted by james at March 20, 2006 9:51 PM

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