Maggie Reilly Tour Diary Part I

Well, I know that two days away barely constitutes a tour, but we’re about to embark on a longer stint in Denmark and Germany. The two shows we just did in Germany were so eventful I had to start here…
We started off with four days of intensive rehearsals at Ritz Studios in Putney. We’ve added a bunch a new songs to the set from last year and now a have the wonderful Steve Alexander on drums. Steve used to play with Maggie years ago and has since been on the road with Jeff Beck and Duran Duran amongst many others, so we’re really lucky to have him back. He’s a real powerhouse drummer and has already gone down a storm at the shows (Maggie keeps getting the old “Hey.. Your drummer’s really famous!” comments… very funny… still nobody knows who the hell I am though!).
Our first show was the Torgelow Classic Rock Festival, alongside Tony Carey and Ray Wilson & Stiltskin at the Stadthalle in Torgelow, Germany. We were on in the middle (Tony pulled rank and went on first so he could leave early and get an early night!). We had a great show and stayed on to watch a bit of Stiltskin. I was very excited to hear them do ‘Inside’ from the Levis ad…. sadly this was not to be. After their first number, there was some confusion on stage as the band all started checking their gear and in-ear monitors. Suddenly the entire stage went black, and so did the entire building. And so did the whole of Torgelow and the two nearest towns! Apparently a storm had caused a widespread power-cut and there didn’t seem to be any immediate solution. Confusion reigned as band, audience and backstage crew alike were plunged into complete darkness. Luckily Stiltskin took this in their stride and we all used to opportunity to have a chat backstage and have a good laugh at the seemingly hopeles situation! Eventually the fire brigade and local police turned up at the Stadthalle and managed to divert power to the venue from somewhere else, but sadly by this point (about 45 minutes later) around 75% of the audience had gone home. Stiltskin dutifully went back on stage to a smaller but enthusiastic crowd and the show went on. We went back to our hotel.
Now then, our hotel needs some comment. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was attached to an enormous windmill. The owner has obviously become obsessed with this windmill and has made it her own personal trademark as well as that of the hotel. It was run by one ‘Frau Braun’; a rather frightening and larger than life Korean woman who greeted us incredibly loudly in German (she spoke no English and we spoke no German: but both parties were going for the loud and slow technique in multi-lingual communication) wearing some kind of period costume… something akin to a German milk-maid outfit. Every available inch of wallspace in the lobby and restaurant was plastered with photographs of Frau Braun with local dignitaries and various German celebrities wearing what can only be described as an enormous windmill-themed Easter bonnet paired with the various costumes which she obviously has a penchant for. The Japanese kimono was my personal favourite, making her look like some kind of windmill-Geisha.
The second show was 300k down the road at the Brauhaus in Cottbus. We were to be the first ever act on at this newly-converted music venue. We had a great show and the audience were fab. We were really looked after by the staff at the converted brewery, which will hopefully go on to be a popular music venue in the future. It was a pleasure to be first to play such a great venue. The sound was good and the food was even better. Looking forward to going back there next year if all goes well.
Post-show frivolities were sadly rather low-key as we had a bastard early start the following morning to catch our plane back to Blighty. I had about 3 hours sleep…
I’ll post part II of the diary after our next jaunt. Have a look at the gig list to see where we’re off to next. Also, check out Maggie’s page (you can find her in my ‘Top Friends’), it’s more fully-functional than before- I’ve given it a bit of a facelift!
See you soon!
Simon x

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