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Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

The Golden Years in Antwerp

The three giant video screens that form the backdrop to the Golden years stage

The penultimate gig on the Christie 2009 Tour took us to the huge Sports Stadium in Antwerp, where we performed the two biggest Christie hits “San Bernadino” and “Yellow River” to a packed house of 12,500 partying Belgians.  It’s the third time we’ve played this prestigious event, and it never loses its lustre. This year the bill featured Slade and 10cc, and it was particularly great to see 10cc, creators of such classic pop, fronted by Graham Gouldman, who is surely one of the UK’s leading songwriters, with a lineage you can trace back beyond 10cc to classic 60’s hits such as “For your Love”, “No Milk Today“, and “Bus Stop”.

The Rubettes play to the crowd

....and Alan, their lead singer, finishes with a flourish

With the bands all billeted in the Crowne Plaza hotel, and top class back stage catering in our own restaurant, there was plenty of time to chew the fat with fellow musicians. I reminded Paul Burgess, drummer with 10cc since the days of “The things we do for love”, that the last time I’d chatted backstage with them was a mind-blowing 29 years ago, when they were playing the cavernous Drammenshallen near Oslo, and we were also touring Norway.

I exchanged the usual banter with the guys from Sailor, who, as our drummer Simon pointed out, could all audition for the role of Doctor Who and be confident of getting the part!  (Incidentally, one of the highlights of the evening was taking the stage for the finale with all the other bands and being led in an impromptu tango across the stage by Sailor’s keyboardist, Henry!)

Graham Gouldman - Master Songsmith

A band's eye view of the Finale

All’n’all, a wonderful time was had, and as I wearily headed home, arriving in Turre just shy of midnight on the Sunday, I reflected on how crazy a business I’m in that caused me to take four flights in 24 hours to perform a total of 6 minutes on stage to 12,500 people. Statistics Schmatistics – it’s rock’n’roll!

With seemingly indecent haste, the huge arena empties, and the crew de-rig the stage

Kev Moore

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December 1, 2009 - Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Kev,

    I love the statistical summary at the end!

    Gives a perspective on the whole thing. So many important things in our lives take place in the briefest of moments. Of course, they are supported by the years of effort, not to mention the numerous flights needed to get there.

    I think of the Olympic sprinters who spend 4 years training every day for a race that lasts less than 10 seconds…

    Comment by bob cornelis | December 3, 2009

  2. The sprinters is a great analogy Bob. -and it also highlights the pressure that they (and we, as performers) are under to shine in that brief moment in the spotlight. It might only be 6 minutes, but it’s 6 minutes recorded for posterity and usually broadcast throughout the Benelux countries. What with the monster that is youtube, any mistake or under-par performance is destined to be relived again and again! Needless to say, we do our utmost to get it right!

    Comment by kevmoore | December 3, 2009


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