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Anfiteatro Arena Di Verona

We’ve made it to lovely Italy, to the huge, sold-out, show that is called the Anfiteatro Arena Di Verona. Italy is one of our favourite countries to play in, the crowd can go nuts. This show will be a good test for them as the first half is a quiet sit-down contemplating experience.

It’s a very old place as it was built by the Romans .. There should be some great pictures of it
as finally our great photographer York Tillyer was flown in with PG to shoot the show. My brave new assistant Scott Barnett came over to assist the recording of the show. Because we were filming it we needed the extra help. He had done a great job already prepping our gear when I was on my yearly Cambodian break, so it was great to have him over to see the show and work on it.

We played all of the songs that have been heard on this tour as we were filming! Which was a treat for the audience we hope, it was a long show!

The show started very late as PG wanted to have some make up done. Two makeup ladies came into the dressing room to do exactly that. Our normal procedure is for Peter to introduce Ane then quickly go back to his room and put on radios and do a fast translation run through, then get back to stage to start the show. Myself and our long suffering tour manager Mr T, waited and waited and waited as more and more make up went on to PG’s face. It made us very late, and the audience was getting very restless. I could hear them through my headset. But we made it on stage in the end started the filming.

During the show I fell over trying to follow PG on the dark, we have these orchestra chairs that are black. Dan Lavi was sitting on one of these in his normal place next to me. On stage they become invisible. I took off after Peter when ‘Solsbury Hill’ had finished, but ran right into Dan’s chair. It hit my knees and I went flying like a clown in a circus, and laughed. Dan came up to me and pulled me up making sure I was OK. I was laughing, I think I recorded it so will try yo post it here in the next few days.

The orchestra played to it’s best tonight and did the boss proud. They all now are getting friendly and saying hello, I guess it’s an English classical thing that we needed to get used to.
They are a great group of people that are really making the show perfect. An orchestra take time to blend and work together and this is getting better every show.

The audience had to be the best overall. Though Brussels and Madrid are coming a very close 2nd and 3rd. They did sit still for the first half quietly and then got really noisy in the second. By ‘Red Rain’ they were on their feet and by ‘Solsbury’ they went crazy, the whole Roman theatre all on their feet.

This was a great venue for us. It looked stunning, so I’m sure Anna Gabriel will get a great edit out of it for the DVD. Peter left very happy, the happiest I have seen him in a few shows, so all is good right now. He was smiling a lot during this show, he kept dropping his mic, and kept laughing about it. It was funny, he twice tried to cooly place it back on his stand and it just would drop off the clip, and bang on the stage, which is really loud when its going through Josh and Jerry’s huge flown pa hangs.

So it’s a good place to be saying goodbye to Commander or Admiral James Monkman. He is going off to do Jean-Michel Jarre and we are getting the very able and organised Klaus Hoffman to take us through Zurich and the remaining German shows.

We are now on a roll, let’s see how it goes for the last week. If you have not seen this show, try to come, as I think this could be it. It’s such a different way of hearing a singer do what he does best – it’s exposed and has a very unique look that will influence other tours in the future. Just check out a current classical type tour as an example of influence – me thinks a few things were copied there.

Again a tough load out is still going on and its 4.45 am, we still have a way to go before we get out of the old roman amphitheatre here in Verona.

Good night.

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