Well, what a year it has been. Nearing the close of 2010, we are out from under the Aussie umbrella and standing in the sunshine. After tears, tours and turbulence, we will end the year looking forwards, enthusiastic about the future and awaiting the launch of Brit Floyd in January 2011.
It has been a time of real change, energy and stepping out of the comfort zone for us over the last few months; from our fabulously edgy show in Hamburg in the summer, right through to hitting the States with what is now our full Brit Floyd lineup, we have worked, adapted and really begun to flourish. The group of musicians, all of whom have worked for the Aussies at some point over the years, have taken something very familiar to us all and started to re-ignite it; the show has taken on a new, more organic feel, with each individual musician going back to basics and building their parts in their own way. Putting it all together, with the fabulously capable Damian as Musical Director, it has been an interesting journey. There were moments in Hamburg when the girls and I were struggling to recognise certain songs - they had been rejuvenated, and sounded, well, different, and if it hadn’t been for Damian playing his familiar lines we would have been lost! The feeling of uncertainty, I must add, was temporary, and kept us on our toes; it also gave us a fresh take on a show that we had performed so many times previously, and we could find new joy in the music.
We headed to Phoenix in October with anticipation and tackled the tour full-on, in our usual style. Arriving to very intense heat (and after the obligatory trip to Starbucks!) the band was buzzing, and excited at the prospect of working together. There was great chemistry on stage, with the guys smiling and feeding off each other’s playing and the crowd’s enthusiasm; a relaxed and almost chilled atmosphere became the norm after the first few gigs. The shows felt shorter and flowed well, and even if we had some slightly smaller crowds than usual they were generally energetic and loud – a real boost for us all on stage!
Aside from the shows, I think we all managed to enjoy ourselves on the tour. There were several ‘trips out’ that were certainly memorable for me, including Rick and I’s walk to the White House (we walked the long way round..!), where we took photos by the railings and enjoyed the autumn sunshine. It is a pleasure on tour when you visit somewhere new and get a chance to have a look around. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama wasn’t available for tea that day, but I’m hoping if we go back next year, he may have a spare half an hour.
Another great day was when Bobby, Carl, Jacquie, Bryan and I mounted an expedition to the Empire State Building. Following my directions (generally, you wouldn’t do that, but somehow that day I got there without getting us lost!), we came, we saw, we conquered. And that view – we definitely picked the perfect day to follow in King Kong’s massive footsteps. A cloudless sky, even if it was bitterly cold, gave us many photo opportunities and I can’t remember how many times I mercilessly used the word ‘Wow!’ It is a bit of a maze inside that building – we were all surprised just how long it actually took us to get into to the not one but TWO lifts that took you to the summit. Security checks, a photo stand, the obligatory gift shop, and some poor person dressed as Kong (and yes, Bryan insisted I posed with Kong for a photo – not my finest hour!); really quite exhausting. Worth it, though. We all came away happy, and the club gig that night was warm and lively with a standing crowd. Thanks, NYC!
Just a couple more shows to mention – the wonders that are Montreal and Quebec...they are always the best. The venues, the crowds, the atmosphere, the fun on stage, each year they don’t disappoint. Quebec was particularly memorable this year, with a large and brilliant crowd, a great show for us and a bit of chat from Damian and Pierre at the end. Sentimental, emotional and unforgettable, it was a night for reflection on what’s gone before and anticipation for what’s on the way. I was proud to be part of it. Thank you, everybody.
So, from freezing outdoor gigs in pretty backyards (that’s you, Boise) to tiny stuffy gigs in old clubs (in your face, New York), to atmospheric gigs in weird old theatres (could only be La Baie!) to more familiar and fabulous gigs in big arenas (shout out to Montreal and Quebec!), we got through the tour and came out the other end smiling. We have made huge leaps and achieved great successes already as a newly-formed (if familiar!) band, and everybody – band, crew, all involved at home and abroad – should be truly happy and proud of the new Brit Floyd. As a team, we’re a force to be reckoned with.
So please, join us in 2011 for what will be a fresh and exciting leg of the journey; we’re really looking forward to it!
Take care, don’t slip on the ice and have a very Merry Christmas.
See you soon!