On the Road with Jim and Julian - Day 6 - DublinPosted on March 16, 2010 with 1 comment
So, we did the final gig in at The Pendulum in JJ’s and it was a great way to finish the tour – the biggest crowd by far and of course the audience in there has really developed over the years in terms of attentiveness and responsiveness. Playing abroad has often reminded me of just how good the audience at The Pendulum really is – you can play incredibly quietly and do so in the knowledge that you’ll do so in attentive silence. Playing in Odense in Denmark recently reminded me of how difficult it can be to play in the alternative to that – a noisy inattentive crowd.
But this was the opposite of that – a great crowd, really into the music, and their enthusiasm and attentiveness paid off for us, since this was by far the best gig of an already good tour. The combination of the good situation aligned with us playing several nights in succession took us to a new level of of creativity - that combination of tightness combined with looseness which is the place I love to be most in music. It’s a point where you know that you can do pretty much anything in the knowledge that everyone in the band knows the music and each other so well that even the most distant exploration of the material – or even a complete departure from it – will all end happily. And even if it doesn’t nobody minds! It’s real exploration of improvisational process rather than a display of licks or written material.
This was also the first time on the tour where we played two sets, and that was different in itself. As usual we didn’t have any set plan when we walked on the stage – we knew the available composed material and that was enough – no need for set lists or any of that. This way of working also cuts down on soundcheck time too since it’s never the ‘soundcheck as rehearsal’ kind of thing that one so often has to deal with due to limited proper rehearsal time. Tom Rainey once told me that the four most important words at a soundcheck are ‘sounds great, let’s eat!’ and I completely agree. So, it was one of those great nights where all the creative stars were in alignment and everything seemed just easy.
It was a good tour in that we got to play together 6 times (between concerts and workshops) in a short space of time, which is pretty good these days, but it also makes you long for a longer tour. However the reality is that getting 4 gigs in a row is pretty good these days – getting that ‘band’ feeling is getting harder and harder, but at least we managed it this time.
Got some good recordings of the gigs – I’ll post a track or two here soon.