So, I’ve finally gotten around to writing something about the gig in Geneva but not to worry – when you’ve had a good time it stays clear in your memory!
As is often the case these days, we flew in the evening before. That makes everything really cool and laidback and really takes all the pressure off. The guy who picked us up spoke no English at all but no worries, with the few words of French we had we managed. The weather was nice and sunny so the trip from the airport to the hotel showed Geneva in its best light. We could see posters for the festival everywhere. Seemingly it’s the biggest festival in the Swiss social calendar.
The hotel was real nice, so we had a quick check in and shower and then off to change some money and get something to eat. You get kinda spoiled these days with the Euro, don’t you? We found a really nice Italian restaurant close to the hotel and had ourselves some wonderful pizzas. As there was no hurry on us we ate and drank and yacked on and on for a bit. After that we strolled back to the hotel and had a few drinks in the hotel bar before retiring for the night.
The soundcheck was scheduled for early in the afternoon the next day and again our trusty driver was there to drive us to the site. He’s a real quiet gentle sort of guy and he barely dared ask for a photo or autograph. The gig was in the middle of what looks like a tent city. They have all these stands and bars and restaurants and the stage of course and I presume it’s all set up for the duration of the festival. The weather was a bit iffy at that stage and rain has been forecast for the evening. Pity, but what can you do.
The soundcheck posed no problems and was a reasonably fast and painless affair!! Our good friend Max had turned up from Italy, so now he’s seen us in Switzerland, Italy and Ireland. A real die-hard fan and a decent guy as well. We were a bit peckish so Suzanne did her usual wonderful job of sorting everything out and we ended up enjoying quite a nice snack backstage.
Later, the promoter had booked a real nice Portuguese restaurant for us to eat in and as it was only across the other side of the park we elected to walk but our driver wouldn’t hear of it. We did make the deal with him that we’d walk back after our meal and he wasn’t sure how to deal with that. He did say that if it was raining he’d turn up and we agreed to that. The meal was class (and the wine too) but I only had one glass because I had to work. The owner explained everything off the menu and he had picked out what he thought we’d like and offered us a great variety of stuff. Wonderful!
So when it was time to leave out we went and sure enough, there’s our driver again. It was drizzling every so slightly so he’d decided to take no chances and turn up. Can’t beat that for service can you?
There was a band on before us playing mostly covers (including several Rolling Stones covers) and they did a good job. Then it was our turn. After a big introduction we took to the stage only to have my rental amp (Fender) cut out in the first minute. Luckily enough they had a second amp there (Marshall) so a quick change of top and on with the show. Seemingly, the fuse just blew. I hadn’t played on a Marshall in ages so that kinda threw me for a bit. At the end of the day there’s not much you can do. A Marshall sounds like a Marshall so my guitar sound for the night was a bit rockier/harsher than usual. Such is life on the road with rental backline. It had started to drizzle/rain when we were playing, which didn’t really help but fair play to a lot of them they stayed out in the rain and danced and clapped along. It wasn’t really heavy rain, so I suppose either you don’t really notice it at first or you just make up your mind to ignore it and get on with having a good time.
After the show they had a designated area where people could come to talk or get their CD’s signed and that was nice. Everyone was really, really enthusiastic and complimentary about the show. That’s always nice of course because no matter how nice everything else can be surrounding the show, if the show doesn’t go well then it’s a disaster as far as I’m concerned. It’s all about the show for me. A good show and I’m happy but a bad show (for whatever reason) puts me right down. Renate, who we first met at the Bospop festival and who runs Snowy White’s Swiss fan site, came down to see us so we had a chat with her for awhile. It’s always nice when people turn up like that. Then the dressing room takes on the air of your own living room as you entertain your friends and acquaintances – and she came bearing gifts (Swiss chocolate)!!
Eventually things quietened down and we packed up and were ready to leave. Mr. Reliable was standing by unobtrusively as usual and again as usual he gently packed our suitcases and guitars into the back of the bus. Back to the hotel, where we had another few drinks and an analysis of the show, etc. It always gets played and re-played, from everyone’s point of view. Everyone seemed happy enough with it so I reckon we did alright for our first time in Geneva.
Flight time back was at a very reasonable hour, so we had time to sleep in a bit, get a nice breakfast and not have to rush to be ready. We said goodbye to our driver and Geneva and we look forward to seeing them both again sometime in the future.