on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2021 5 Aug

Peter Chilvers‘ report on the Athens Concert

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

I can’t quite believe we actually played at the Acropolis last night. There were so many, many reasons why we might not have. Any of the band or crew could have tested positive or been told to self isolate any time in the two weeks up to the gig. Brexit makes moving musicians and equipment profoundly challenging. And then there was the heat! It hit 43 degrees in afternoon on Tuesday while we were setting up, the highest Athens has experienced since the 1987. Even with shade and fans running, laptops became unusable, and we have a lot of them. They only started cooperating at around 8pm, chopping out set up time to pieces. To add to the drama, wildfires burnt out of control to the north, and ash started to fall on stage.

But it did go ahead! A particularly exciting concert for me, as mid way through I switched from being an on stage technician, and started playing keyboards on some wonderful new material from Brian, plus some classics like By This River, Julie With, And Then So Clear. I realise I’ve worked with Brian for 15 years, but getting to play those songs live was extraordinary.

Despite of all the disasters – or perhaps because we spent so much time anticipating them – everything went without a hitch. There was a nice family feel on stage with Roger playing a set from Mixing Colours with live treatments from Brian, followed by a some beautifully atmospheric songs with Roger’s daughter / Brian’s niece Cicely. Leo Abrahams, who’s been playing with Brian for 20 years also provided beautiful guitar soundscapes from halfway through.

Lovely as it was to play, I’m very glad that it’s over, and that I don’t have to spend every waking minute expecting equipment to melt.

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