Rolling All Over The World

Rolling All Over The World
Rolling All Over The World

Rolling With The Quo

Hello and Welcome to my little Blog,
What is it all about I hear you ask ? Well I am in a very privelidged possition, Thanks to my Bosses at Transam Trucking I am now the Back line tour driver for the Legends that are Status Quo.
I wont be telling you anything about band history, as I am pretty sure any Quo fan out there would be better informed about the band than me!
However I will share my life on the Road with these Legends of Rock, but more inportantly I would hope to introduce you to some of the people who work so tirelesly behind the sceans to make The Mighty Quo look and sound fantastic and give all of the fans a great experience every time these Legends of Rock walk out on to the stage confident that there crew behind the scenes have it all covered !!
I will say at this stage that all opinions and comments in this Blog are mine alone and do not represent opinions of any of the Managment or members of Status Quo.
This is just life on the Road from my perspective,I will tell you about gigs how it all went and some of the day to day dramas that me and the crew face before during and after the show.
This is not an official Status Quo Blog.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Rockers are ready to Roll & Drama at the Sound Check !

OK so after two days parked in an Auto Hoff (German Services, nice home cooked food, showers and loos) I move to the venue in Munchen,Venue is probably not right ,location is better Konigsplatz is primarily a junction off of a large central square with a museum on the East & West side of the square,Western side Greek art Eastern side German art,at the Northern end of the square is a massive pillared triple arch way the southern end is where the road enters the central square the it is exited left or right of the central arch way.

But when Status Quo are in town the roads are shut off effectively cutting off the square allowing it to accommodate a huge stage with banks of PA and extensive lighting,Pat Marks lighting supremo for Status  Quo was like a child in a sweet shop, once he arrived on site unable to disguise his total excitement at the site that now greeted him.

 Me having arrived the day before I had not sat idol, I had been busy working until eleven 'o'clock the night before getting the carpet down and fitting spacers,brackets and wheels to our risers so the on gig day we can assemble Drums,keyboards and the bank of Marshall amplifiers, which have become a trade mark of The Status Quo's stage set. 
So once the other bands clear the stage we can simply roll all our equipment in to position,its then just a matter of locking it all off and connecting everything up to the monitor desk and front of house.
The work stations where the Drum tech and Guitar Tech keyboards and Bass work from, are all ready on wheels so will be rolled in to their world, as they like to refer to the area of stage that they occupy during the show, when they hand over guitars on change overs between songs, monitor,tune, tweak and be on hand ready to act in the event of any dramas.

But what a site for a concert, it was truly amazing and once the sun had set and Pats lights were then bouncing off, of marble colonnades pillars and frontage of the museum buildings either side of the square, it seemed to rise to a completely different level,the sight of 10,000 people all moving as one is also a sight to be seen, every one just enjoying that moment in time as one massive single throbbing entity, "Amazing" there really is nothing like a live open air Rock concert.

Andy May the master of the PA and the ruler of the front of house told me that they where only using a fraction of the wattage that was available to him "less is more you know " all I know is it was still deafening in a good way of course.
Pat Marks after having spent the day on his laptop tweaking the lighting plan, the video screen and  the visual lighting screens which filled the entire back drop "was I think the happiest I had ever seen him".
It was like a top chef being given any ingredients his heart desired and then told to "go create a master piece" and believe me create he did ..
The whole night had an incredible wow factor and every one connected to it was very happy with the end result,the fans.... well they absolutely loved it.

We then all move to ULM which was only ninety mile drive "nice" this was in a Messe or a big hall to you and me like an exhibition centre and the weather changed. It was for the first time bloody sweltering, I mean really hot in fact the next day in the UK was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK,so it was not just Europe that caught a mini heat wave.

So all was well. Loading although sweaty, went with out a hitch.
So its time for the sound check. Francis Rossi  is on stage strumming and tuning before any of the other members as he had had some problems with a wireless pack at the last gig.
Not enough for the fans to notice but Francis does not miss a thing, the offending pack which sends a wireless digital signal from his guitar to a monitor which in turn sends it to the amplifiers and speakers,occasionally would just drop of a minor inconvenience.

Rhino joins him on stage then Andrew, Matt and Rick, every one is laughing and joking and in general good spirits.
Rick Parfitt then put his ear piece into his ear only its not sitting right,so he extracts it and notices that the rubber grommet is missing from the ear piece.
This is not a problem and is soon replaced.
When Rick then pushes the ear piece back in he realises to late that the missing rubber grommet had come off in his ear and now he has pushed it right in, deep into his ear.

Rick attempts to remove the offending object himself much to the amusement of Francis and Rhino, then Francis giggling wanders over and takes a look.
Now the laughing stops as Francis exclaims "Fuck me you ain't half pushed that in deep,"a look of real concern now occupies his face Rick is pretty impassive at this point but is starting to get a bit concerned it must be bad as no one now is laughing and extracting the urine.

Lloyd Gilbert Guitar & Ear Tech

The cry goes up "WHO HAS GOT SOME TWEEZERS" Lloyd Gilbert replies "I have" and with the speed and agility of a young gazelle being chased down by a pack of starving lions, sprints to his work station,returning seconds later with a gleaming new set of tweezers,which he then sets about informing all assembled that he had brought them because, they are closed and you squeeze them to open so release and they grip ! "GET ON WITH IT "

So with Francis Rossi peering over one shoulder and Rhino peering over the other
(No Pressure)  Lloyd standing on tippie toe with Rick rooted to the spot, having been told "DON'T MOVE."
Lloyd proceeds to insert his gleaming set of self gripping tweezers in to Ricks ear !! After what seemed like an age, may be a minute a cheer nearly lifts the roof and Lloyd emerges with the offending rubber grommet in the palm of his hand.
He ask Rick "Do you want this?" holding forward said grommet, it may be in all the excitement Rick did not hear him but I think Lloyd could work out from the look on Ricks face, what he might do with the offending item.
"I must ask him what ever happened to the grommet" so drama over the sound check went off with out any further hitch, as did the show. 
Apart from the fact that it was very very hot for the band,and I mean very hot, but that said a great time was had by all,apart from Mr Andy Tompkins who has some pin problems with Lesley (to be continued ).... and poor Pat Marks who after the previous nights extravaganza was a little under whelmed with the lighting rig with which he had to work with.

Storm Euro Style
 So now I have the long drive back to the UK, after driving through the night and through the most amazing electrical storm I park near Rimes in France, but there will be no sleep for me today as the temperatures soar in to the 100+ and that's out side of my BLACK cab.

So four days at home then its The Cornbury Festival out side in the UK what could possible go wrong ?    

No comments:

Post a Comment