Tour Diary – Spain: San Sebastien and Madrid (Nov 9, 10 and 11)

San Sebastien (Nov 9 and 10)

We were leaving Paris last night when the bus came to a very abrupt halt on the expressway and pulled, suddenly, to the shoulder. Before we could figure out what was happening we saw our back-up driver, outside, standing in traffic, futilely trying to stop oncoming vehicles. The tunnel that we were about to enter was too short for the bus so the only way out was in reverse, 50 yards back up the expressway on-ramp. It may have been midnight, but in Paris the traffic doesn’t stop, it was just car after car after car with the occasional truck blowing by. After spending about ten minutes watching our driver’s failing attempts to stop the flow of traffic, Farns couldn’t take it anymore and forced his way off the bus (yes, Sir John Farnsworth is back on the crew for this run, after the past several years spent in stasis at the Casino-Rama Nirvana). He quickly and forcefully organized the impatient Parisians, stopping and redirecting traffic with the confidence of a New York City cop. It was quite something to see. He actually diverted traffic on a very busy, very fast Parisian street. I think if they gave Farns a chance he could probably solve the Euro crisis…those Greeks wouldn’t stand a chance in the face of Farns’ determination, the Germans and French would become fast friends and move forward with a single purpose, the Italians and Spaniards would be humbled and would quickly get their houses in order…heck, he might even be able to get the English to come join the party. After that he could turn to the US and sort out that mess. What the world needs now is a little more Farns.

We were a little disappointed with San Sebastien. We broke the cardinal rule of touring, which is “No Expectations”. We had way too many expectations for this day off, in this town. We had visions of a small, quaint, seaside town, tucked away in Northern Spain between the Pyrenees and the Bay of Biscay. Well, it’s not that small, it’s not that quaint, and there is garbage tumbling in the surf. I get the feeling that one comes here on vacation to do a lot of drinking and to be seen by others. But it’s the off-season and it’s time for the locals to relax and perhaps let the town crumble for a couple of months. Aside from that, it’s a beautiful location, the weather is great and it’s hard to complain too much when you’re sitting on the patio of a seaside cafe sucking on a beer watching the local surfers take on the waves. No wonder the Spanish were so taken with California, this could be a Northern California coast. This sure is better than spending a day-off in a hotel on a highway somewhere in the middle of the US, but it ain’t no Bruge….man, we’re getting spoiled.

The audience tonight was close to spectacular. Their enthusiasm transformed this show. I think we were in danger of letting this one get away but the audience kept us focused and inspired. It’s very exciting when something like that happens. Chalk this one up as another very good show.

Madrid (Nov 11)
We got in to town at around noon and we all jumped off the bus and tried to take in as much of Madrid as possible in the few hours before soundcheck. Al and I went for a stroll along the magnificent Paseo Del Prado and ended up at the Prado Museum. I spent the day marvelling at the madness of Velazquez, Goya, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, El Greco and the absolute bats-flying-out-your-ass maddest of them all, Mr H. “pish-posh” Bosch. I have only had a few sniffs at Madrid in the past twenty five years. We’ve never had a day off here and we have only passed through town (mainly on PR runs) a couple of times. But I’ve always liked what I’ve seen and now I’m more keen than ever for a return visit. I would love to have a few days to explore these streets. This city has a terrific energy.

This was a very tough day for Jared and John (especially for John). Because of the location of the theatre we couldn’t get the bus close to it, so it meant loading the gear from the bus on to a van and then driving the van to the theatre and loading it into the theatre and then repeating the whole ordeal at the end of the night. Two load-ins and two load-outs make for a very tough day for the crew. It’s hard to describe tonight’s venue…a modern facility built underneath a public square, the whole facility was underground. The theater itself was very bunker-like, low ceilings and large comfortable leather chairs for the audience. It was an odd night on stage…it’s hard for me to judge our performance because I had a tough time with my sound and never really settled in (too many images of dying Christ’s and weeping Mary’s in my head). It definitely didn’t have the energy or excitement of some of the best gigs on this tour, but it had its moments. The highlight of the night for me was Pete heading off on some tangent, in search of Max Roach, during Working On A Building. We definitely need to get back here soon.



Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 12th, 2011 at 7:46 am and is filed under Tour Diary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Tour Diary – Spain: San Sebastien and Madrid (Nov 9, 10 and 11)”

  1. rachael Says:

    November 12th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    You never mentioned the food in San Sebastian ! If this means you didn’t eat the most delicious meals there ,then you really missed out ! Look forward to seeing you in Barcelona…….

  2. Cookie Bob Says:

    November 12th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Farns is back on board? YAY!! Hope it’s not a temporary thing and we get to see him on Spring Tour!

  3. Manuel Says:

    November 12th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    there are some moments that are very difficult to discribir with words, and your concert yesterday was one of theme.
    I traveled from Vigo to enjoy your music live and your company, I got a few minutes before the start and I can assure you has been a great experience to hear you and see you live. For almost 20 years I hear your music and has been a pleasure to be with you yesterday.
    Hopefully back soon.

    Thanks and best regards

  4. Andres Aparicio Says:

    November 12th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Hi to everyone in the band!

    I was fortunate to attend your concert in Madrid and I want to let you know how inspirational your performance was to me. I have enjoyed your music over the years, but this was the first time I have ever seen you perform live. Wow!!! Your performance was electrifying! I am a fan for life! Everyone around me grooved to your music throughout the night and we loved the songs from your new albums.

    I want to especially thank Margo for meeting with fans after the show. She greeted everyone personally and agreed to all requests for autographs and pictures. She signed a CD for my wife, Michelle, which is the best present that I can give her from my month-long business trip in Madrid.

    Thank you for sharing your music and passion with Madrid. I will never forget this amazing experience! I look forward to seeing you in concert again soon state-side.

    Your transmuted fan,

    Andres Aparicio

  5. Pan Says:

    November 12th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Junkies,
    can’t wait for Barcelona’s show! Last time I saw you live it was in 2003 Ontario tour (traveled from Finland)…
    The more SIMM songs you can play the merrier; Sala Apolo is ideal for the energy of this album.
    I’d love to hear “I Move On”

  6. Fernando Esteve Says:

    November 13th, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Hi CJs, I’ll be in the Barcelona show tonight. Probably it’s too late for you to read this as you may be doing soundcheck right now, plus you may have been ripped off in the Ramblas, or even your wallet is gone, or you’re just too tired of the long, tight Spanish trek (no chance to have a day in-between dates?), so I’ll do some easy request of the songs you’ve already played these last days: Ring on the sill (it always made me think of my parents) and Sun comes Up, or the versions of Powderfinger, Sweet Jane or Blue Moon. An in case you may try some songs not played lately, I’d love to listen Crescent Moon, First Recollection, Something More besides you, Come Calling (his song) New Day Coming, Hollow as A Bone, Open. Well, after waiting over 20 years to enjoy seeing you play live (maybe you just played once in Madrid, and I had to cancel some working trip to the UK around one of your shows) I’ll be more than happy with tonight’s show and trying to chat with some of you when it’s over. See you in a few hours!

  7. Paul Says:

    November 13th, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Well yoou may have worried about the sound in Madrid, but it sounded fine ‘crisp and clear’ from where i was sitting…sitting!!! there’s something wrong with comfy seats at a ‘rock’ – if that’s the right word for it – concert. Really enjoyed all 2 hours…10 years since your last trip to Spain, lets hope its not that long til the next.
    Ps It was really enjoyable speaking to Michael about his experiences in China… thanks once again

  8. Ricardo Manzano Says:

    November 13th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Dear all you five CY
    I attended your gig in Madrid on friday evening with a very close friend of mine. Whereas I’ve enjoyed your wonderful music along the years she had never heard a piece of it before. We both were pleased so much of your gig. It was also the first time I heard you alive and it was AWESOME. What a poweful music you develope on stage. Much more exciting that I ever expected.
    We also want to thanks Margo again for greeting us at the hall and got her autographs after the concert.
    Hope to see you soon back in Madrid.