Tales from the Road – Lightning, powercuts and encores

After being shown some of the wonderful sights in the city Cerri, Siggy and myself found ourselves under a glass shelter on Friday evening caught in the most violent thunderstorm I’ve ever seen. When we got home we heard that it knocked out the electrics in Vienna blacking out the transmission of the Turkey/Germany football game. It was awesome to be outside, the raw power of Nature constantly roaring overhead. Lightning and thunder nonstop.

The night of the concert arrived and Siggy took us to the venue. Cenario is a great little cabaret theatre, and the perfect location for an acoustic performance. When I saw inside I was so pleased, and couldn’t wait to see how many people arrived. We have a venue very similar in Brighton called the Komedia. I’ve seen Show of Hands play there and it has a great atmosphere. The seating is around tables, not the usual rows you find in most music halls. I was due to start playing at 7.45, and with about an hour to go people began to arrive, and by 7.45 when I took the stage the place had reached capacity, which really took me by surprise.

I’m used to having three instruments on stage with me. One guitar in regular tuning, a mandolin, and another guitar in DADGAD tuning. This means I don’t have to keep retuning the guitars. I’d only brought one guitar with me (my Taylor), so the two sets had been split into one set of regular tuned songs, and the second set of DADGAD tunes. I’d tried this once before and it hadn’t quite worked, but I have a lot more songs now, so I was more confident. I opened with Song of Awen, then went into Pipes of Pan and by the third song I could hear people singing along with me, and that set the scene for the rest of the evening.

I opened the second set with Hills they are Hollow, and ended it with the new live favourite, Wild Mountain Thyme – it’s a great song to sing, and everyone knows it. Two lovely encores followed – I’m sure I could have played all night! When I suggested a return concert next year the response was a very positive “Yes!” To be so far away from home, and find people who knew my songs was amazing. What a ride this is!

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