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Christie – The First Time in Estonia

Forty -one years ago, the people of Estonia, a Baltic state then trapped behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed something very strange indeed via Polish television. They saw their first ever long-haired Western pop group in the shape of Christie, at the Sopot festival. And last week, for the first time ever, Christie played two live shows in Estonia – in Tartu, and the capital Tallinn. Over the decades, a host of Estonian bands have covered Jeff Christie’s songs, as evidenced by the reception all of the singles received when we played them, Iron Horse almost on a par with Yellow River.

Jeff finds something suspicious in Simon's goulash as we while away the hours in Munich airport....Fos is amused. (Simon, Soup and Fos have a long history)

Getting there was interesting, involving flights from Alicante for me, bound for Leeds-Bradford, but diverted to Manchester due to fog! -then we all flew from Manchester to Tallinn via Munich (where we had a five hour layover) – and a mere 2 and a half hour layover in Frankfurt on our return. (although we were in danger of having to stay in Germany overnight as we very nearly fell foul of their noise restriction curfew.)

Simon prepares to board the flight to Tallinn

Our promoters in Estonia looked after us splendidly, with the ever-helpful Laurie making sure everything ran smoothly. It was fascinating to visit a new territory as always, and we were actually very lucky with the weather. Mid-November, Estonia is usually  blanketed with snow, but we had clear blue skies for the most part, and cool, thought not bone-chilling temperatures.

Christie land in Estonia

We explored the old town of Tallinn, which was a mixture of Russian and German architecture, and quite beautiful.  Some of the buildings dated back as far as the Fourteenth century, and the architecture alone silently told the story of Estonia’s chequered history as an occupied people.

Tallinn - The Old Town

The beautiful Old Town Hall - built by The Germans

One of the many churches - clearly Russian in origin. Many Estonians wanted this demolished, but politics aside, it is a beautiful building.

On the morning after our arrival, Jeff was interviewed in the lobby of the hotel by Estonian television, such was the interest in all things Christie, and in particular what we are discovering is the increasingly significant landmark televison appearance in 1970.

Jeff waxes lyrical to Estonian TV (apologies for rubbish photo!)

The first show entailed a three hour drive through the heart of the country to Tartu, where we played in the town concert hall to a wonderfully appreciative crowd.

Backstage in Tartu

Live in Tartu

It was a long day, as we had to drive back to our hotel in Tallinn that night. The following night saw us headline at The Rock Cafe in Tallinn – a great gig and a great crowd. There was already talk of us going back in the summer to perhaps play a festival, and we really look forward to that. A great country, and great people.

Fos and Jeff soundchecking at The Rock Cafe in Tallinn

We still had some time on the final day for another wander around Tallinn, and Jeff and I along with another guy introduced to us by Laurie – I believe his name was Andre – apologies if I have it wrong – gave us an interesting insight into the Estonian mindset, culture and history.

View over Tallinn and the port on the Gulf of Finland

We left the hotel around 3pm, fairly civilized compared to our usual touring standards – which often entail us leaving at 3 am!  But it was still a long day ahead, stopping off in Frankfurt for a three hour layover as it turned out, just escaping the noise restriction deadline and being grounded in Germany for the night. But it was certainly worth all the effort, and we hope to return to Estonia in the Summer.

Jeff and Fos kill time in Frankfurt

"It's not Wayne's coffee, it's mine...."

Kev Moore

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Live in Plauen with Christie

Here’s a few onstage shots of Christie from our gig in Plauen Germany a few weeks back. We had a great time, met up with a few old mates, and Eric and Isabel, two of our biggest fans, kindly sent me some shots from the show, and I thought I’d share them!

Kev Moore

December 4, 2010 Posted by | Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment