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Ayns’ Ramblings 26th Jan

Yes, I’m blogging again…., “Ehh??...What’s wrong with him?” I sense you wondering since I don’t normally write this frequently…. Well with the forum being so busy following last weeks start to the tour I thought I’d write and give you my version!!! The week started for me and the guys on Tuesday morning when we all met just outside Devizes for our second full day of rehearsals. Now, not being one who enjoys rehearsing… in fact I hate it actually…. the first one the previous week had actually flown by and so I was looking forward to this. Hmmm strange.. I NEVER look forward to rehearsals! Maybe it was the excitement of having the new line-up, I don’t know. So anyway off we went playing through all the songs again and deciding on a set. We decided to call it a day about 7pm after retiring to the pub for a meal and realising the reality of doing more work after a large plate of Pie and Chips was just never going to happen. So up again on Wednesday morning to tidy up loose ends before a good nights sleep ready for the first show in Chislehurst. So, after a relaxed set-up and sound check at Chislehurst we ate some burgers and toasties courtesy of Mr Feenstra (Promotor) and then all sat backstage waiting…..that last half hour before stage time seemed to take forever!! It’s funny but as much as we’d rehearsed the set, so many things go through your head just before you go on: would we all remember what we had rehearsed?… would I remember the words?.... then the adrenaline kicks in and you’re off! For the first night of the tour, it went swimmingly: a really decent crowd who made us feel very at home. Everyone played well and we all came off stage feeling… well, relieved I suppose is the word! The first one was always gonna be the hardest. Fast forward to Friday night in Sutton. Another cracking turnout instantly made us feel at home as soon as we walked on to Mr Feenstra’s lovely introduction! The set felt really good and much more relaxed than the previous night which I suppose was inevitable really. Already I felt more at ease to try things and mix it up a bit more. With me never working with a keyboard player, it has introduced a whole new dynamic to the sound and certainly from my point of view gives me a lot more freedom to play. In a three piece set up there is always a thing of filling out the sound so when taking a solo for instance, you do… or at least I end up playing in a particular way. Now there is keyboards in the mix, I feel a lot more free about what I can play without the worry of it sounding empty. Also, on sound I had my friend Laurie, so I knew we were in good hands. Overall another good night a notch or so up on Chislehurst. Then came the last of the first three gigs. We were all so much more chilled for this one…. even if sound check did take about an hour and a half!! Did somebody mention something about a deaf sound guy?! Anyway…nevermind…. They made us some nice food and so all was forgiven wink and by the time we went on the place was packed. This ended up being a cracking night with a very enthusiastic lot in there making plenty of noise!! So there you have it… the start of the tour. Of course over the next months, the sound will continue to adjust as I get used to playing with a keyboard player and the band tightens up as everyone gets to know each other musically.... but it’s all good ya know so come and check it out! So right now, I’m off to change my guitar strings and make a cup tea wink TTFN Ayns

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