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Italy shows

    The Italian tour began today with our show at Stazione Birra, on the outskirts of Rome, where we'd played last year.

Of course, though I dont' mention it every day, we are eating very well here in Italy!

And the show.... very very good, with, again, a great turnout here (even though there's a general strike on today - made traffic a mess and getting to the Stazione Birra even harder than usual.

Pete took a shot of me explaining Fragile As A Song at the piano.

I'm trying to do all the song introductions in Italian here in the tour of Italy, and it's not as simple as in the past - some explanations, like Fragile involving verb tenses I haven't used before.
Of course I make mistakes here and there, but when I heard people laugh in one part, I knew I'd made a big error of some kind. Turns out, I found out later, I'd slightly mispronounced a word, which gave it a very different meaning. Let me explain;

One of the things I find very attractive about the Italian language is that when a consonant is repeated (like the "t" in spaghetti,) you kind of hang on it longer when you say the word. (Try it with spaghetti, you'll right away sound more Italian.) For me this started sinking in when it was pointed out that capelli is said differently than cappeli.) Anyway, when starting an explanation of a song with "qualche anno fa...", meaning 'some years ago', I neglected to hang on the double n's of 'anno', - any Italians reading this are probably smiling already - because what I said meant 'some a**holes ...' That is hardly the start I'd intended to explain that nice ballad.

I will be very careful about that word in the future!

We got back to our hotel late, about 3:30am, and though some of us chose to get online while we had the chance, bed was a good idea because of the 9am checkout time to leave for the island of Elba, and tomorrow's show.

    April 29 - We weren't looking too fresh as we piled ourselves and the equipment into our two vans. But, with Marco and Francesco driving, we musicians could nap in the van (feeling like a pretzel after those naps in small seats is business as usual for those of us who tour a lot.)

And the big treat of this trip; after 3 hours we boarded a ferry for the hour boat trip to the island.

Cameras came out quickly.

And the views were spactacular.

Even more-so from the venue - we went right to the club, called Sugar Reef, to load in our gear and soundcheck.

The show - wow! They had hundreds of people stuffed into a really small place, but it was a great vibe, and, starting late, we played until about 3am.

Alas, packing the equipment and loading out took us until 4:30am, and it was 5 o'clock as we got back to our hotel.

Having great fun on the tour, but we agreed as we met in lobby the following morning, that the fatigue factor is high, and it sure feels feel like we've done more than just two shows so far!!

(Oh, at the Elba show, I pronounced that word, anno as if it had four n's in it! "Annnno"!)

    The show in Foligno was wonderful, and couldn't have been more different than the one at Sugar Reef on Isola d'Elba.
Following the small club, jammed full of people, we found ourselves in a beautiful historic auditorium, once a church, with very high ceilings, and a natural echo which we timed to be 4 seconds long.

The soundcheck was a process of adapting to hearing that echo - we virtually took off all the reverb settings on our pedals and instruments.

And, with the first seated audience of the tour, we adjusted the set to include more ballads (as well as the Italian song I sometimes do.) At the Elba gig the night before, seeing the place would be noisy I'd taken out all ballads but one. Even that was a mistake, because the talking and shouting on the one ballad encore was louder than the music!
Here in Foligno, indeed, the softer, simpler songs were more suited to the acoustics of the place.

After the show we shared a late dinner at a great local restaurant, and celebrated our upcoming day off. Only three shows into the tour, but we need it!

    Day off in Perugia, then Jerry and I did another drum & bass clinic, outside Florence.

A good number of people came, as before - mostly drummers, I think, but we didn't ask. Fun playing as a duo, though.

Next show will be in Torino, and I'll start a new page from then.


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