On tour – Day 3/4/5 and 6

I was almost lulled into a false sense of tranquility with a few days in Sao Paulo. NOW the tour has started! The past few days have been, as was expected, somewhat chaotic. My promise of writing a post everyday after the gig was foolishly hopeful. Of course, when we’re really on the road, then spare time isn’t quite as forthcoming as one would like – and what spare time there is, is usually reserved for either sleep or eating!! Anyway, here is a summary of the past few days.

Day 3 – Sao Paulo

A relatively relaxing day, up until the sound check. The usual arguments ensued …. The sound guys saying that we need to mic everything and not to pay too much attention to the sound because when people come in it will change (like we’ve never done this before!!). However, we believe (and I am extremely vocal in this!) that if the audience is given the choice of having to listen or not be able to hear, then they will listen. If you force them to listen by turning up the volume, then they talk louder …. thereby making the sound engineers turn up the volume more, and so on. If the band is acoustic and the audience is listening, then a very intimate atmosphere can be created. Far better than shouting, right?

The gig was great. The audience did listen, were very attentive and really dug what was going on. I love being right!!

The only food available after the gig was in the hotel foyer. After an eternity of waiting, it finally arrived allowing us to get to bed around 3.30 am. Ready for an 8 am wake up call.

Day 4 – Brasilia

And we’re off! The flight check in wasn’t too early so there was time for breakfast at the hotel. Then the rush started. We we’re delayed leaving Sao Paulo and arrived in Brasilia to ……. no-one. The bus wasn’t there, so we waited another 20-25 minutes until someone arrived. They’d been waiting at another gate – oh really! No time for lunch, just straight to the hotel with enough time to check in and then drive to the venue for a sound check. At which point the driver informed us that the traffic would be SO bad when we left the sound check that we would have to turn around and come back to the theatre to make the show on time. Sound check went well – still no lunch. By now it’s 5.15. As promised, we had about 30 minutes to have a shower and change before having to rush back to theatre – where finally there are some sandwiches. Lunch at 7 p.m.!!

Show was great. Very nice venue (the memorial to former Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek) with very responsive crowd. We were taken for a meal after the gig and finally got to the hotel around 1.30 am. As it was an Express hotel, there was nothing available there anyway, so off to bed. Up at 6 am for check in.

Day 5 – Belo Horizonte

Flight was, unsurprisingly, delayed and we arrived an hour or so later than expected. You’re beginning to see the trend, right? Popped home for lunch and then straight out for a sound check. Back home for shower and change and off we go again. The gig was a fund raiser dinner for a local charity. People paid a fortune to come, and then talked and ate throughout the entire show. Which was a shame, not least because we played our asses off – perhaps because we were beyond caring by then? We had a ball, sod them!! We knew that would be the deal anyway … it always is for these kind of events. Got home around 3 am.

Day 6 – Belo Horizonte

Day off, although there was a workshop planned. It went very well – Judy is very good at talking and explaining things and for her, as for most of us, workshops like these are an opportunity to get younger people interested in jazz and try to explain a bit more about what it is we do. Another unannounced TV crew turned up – without a translator!! How retarded can these people be???? So, I have to translate for them – including on the TV show. Neither Judy nor I are particularly well dressed for this. It would have been nice if somebody would actually TELL US about these things!!

Night off tonight, so we’re all going to a Churrascaria – a Brazilian steakhouse where the meat is brought out on skewers. Cooked however you want it (if too rare, than back it goes to the flame grill to cook more) and flavoured only with rock salt, the meat is the most succulent you’ve ever tasted. That’s made my mouth water, so I’m off.