Friday, August 03, 2007
Here We Go...
Here we go then - the next to last trip with the Pet Shop Boys. Today it’s Malaga in Spain. It’s been a fun day so far, we arrived last night and checked in late, early lobby call, but no sign of the bus. Eventually we overhear the Tour Manager on the phone to the local promoters, “Well I don’t see how you could mistake 8am for 8pm!”. The bus that was due to pick us up at 8.30 in the morning isn’t going to arrive ‘til 20:30… whoops! Mistake rectified they eventually turn up, only for the drivers to not know where they were going. The first bus dumps the crew in the middle of the car park, the second gets lost. In the end our Production Manager spots the gig and manages to direct them there, luckily he speaks Spanish.
At the venue the problems continue, there is no power in the dressing rooms or to the back-line on stage. Much head scratching and shrugging follows, some thing is unplugged and replugged, time passes. Half an hour later the power returns. Time to try and find out where I’m selling from. Only the man I need isn’t here yet, so I wait.
When he does arrive it’s something of an anti-climax, the selling spot is a piece of bare concrete with two crowd barriers. No table, no power, no light, no change. Can I have a table? No. Eventually I negotiate a stage riser… and I pick up another barrier and carry it over. We’re getting there now, just the power and light to fix. I’m having trepidations given the power debacle earlier. No worries, I’m told, you can get power from the bar. Although the bar has no power. Well no real rush, seven hours ‘til doors.
With about 3 hours ‘til doors, I’m still powerless. But I have my trusty light (see earlier Blog), well I did have it. Right up until I dropped it on the floor and broke the bulb. Now my heart is really sinking, how to fix this one in time? My pleas for help are mostly met with shrugs and blank looks, no one has a bulb (not surprising) and no one seems to know what to do (not too surprising either). Eventually I ask a guy who I know speaks good English, and… he can’t help either. Still at least he could point me to someone who could. I ask again and this time (I think ‘cos he was getting fed up with me) he finds someone who can help and explains in Spanish. Result! This guy talks to two other guys and they set off to buy new bulbs.
Just the power and change to go then. They are setting up a generator at the bar, so that’s looking good. I collar another English speaker at the bar and ask about plugging in, no problem, but I have to wait for an electrician as there are no spare sockets. Okay fine, how about some change. Hmmmm, perhaps when they fill the tills. Perhaps never (as it turns out, never, even though he promises to send someone over).
In due course the electricians arrive and I look plaintive with broken light and plug in hand. My saviour turns out to be a very handsome young Spaniard called Pedro. Even though he speaks no English, he plugs me in, puts one of the two new bulbs in and then proceeds to fix it at a good angle high up the wall. He’s a bit of a perfectionist too, much tweaking later he is happy and so am I.
By this time it’s about an hour ‘til doors, but I’m set fair to go. Of course the Pet Shop Boys are not on until 00:30 (which of course means 00:45 as they are scrupulous about being 15 minutes late for every show), so I have to work through the two support acts. In this case they are a rock band, at least one of which thinks he’s in Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (he even broke into the riff from Whatever Happened To My Rock’n’Roll in the soundcheck to prove the point). The rest of the band aren’t too sure though and it turns out to be slightly better than average pop rock.
[Okay, slight break here as a guy dressed as a seven foot soft drinks bottle has just walked past!]
The next support band are a female singer (blond, leggy, big… you know) and her four semi-naked and buffed backing dancers (male, in case you haven’t guessed) doing disco classics. Gay icons? I wonder. Well at least they played some stuff I knew, ahem.
Well we’re pretty much up to date now. The Boys are on stage now in the middle of Heartbeat, about 3/4s of an hour to go and then it’s the mass exodus. After this I pack up and load the truck, which drives overnight to Belgium! We fly tomorrow, so I at least get a few hours in bed, I feel like I deserve it!
(in Malaga, Spain)
P.S. Back at the hotel now, it’s 04:10 and I really am (almost) ready for bed. Well I will be when I finish this vodka, and perhaps a beer, and turn the computer off… lobby call is 10:45, so time for some rest. Good night!