Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Daintees at The Sage, Gateshead (And Me)

The Sage has probably got the friendliest staff of any venue that I've ever been to, which is miraculous given the thronging activity backstage. Last night, there were an orchestra, a wedding and us; there were boxes of tagged instruments, full catering for millions (the orchestra), an ever-ready coffee machine and dressing rooms aplenty. A bagpiper wailed away somewhere in the distance and at one point when I came off stage with my electric guitar, I hit a crossroads that consisted of streams of women and men in severe, formal black and white garb, heading towards the other auditorium for their concert after their three-minute warning. Cultures crossed but didn't merge; we all had our own destinations, our own dressing rooms and out own sound, lighting and stage management people.
The sound on stage was crystal clear and that always helps; my set was short and I hope, sweet, but it was a story-song set and the Rickenbacker sounded great. It is so easy to play that it almost plays itself, as well as looking rather snazzy. I have the same thing happening that used to happen with the Gretsch, the Green Goddess. People talk to the guitar instead of me, and once someone insisted on photographing the Green Goddess in her case after a gig. Humph.
Thank you Gateshead audience from the bottom of my heart for getting to your seats at 8 o'clock to watch my set. For a support artist, this is true support!
I found my friend Carol after saying hello to Rupert from El Cid, and we sat and watched a great set from The Daintees. I had heard tell that the Glasgow Oran Mor gig was riotous, with a Hen Party conga-ing and all sorts of stuff like that. In contrast, this was a seated venue, but the warmth was still there; every time Martin mentioned a village, the crew from that village piped up. They shouted for Louis' Cafe in Sunderland in particular; even I remember that place, which was a welcome slice of the warm 1950s in grim 1970s Sunderland by the bus station. The vibe coming from the band on stage was tremendous. The band was augmented by Fin McCardle on percussion, Kate and John's cowboy shirts smiled in the lights and Chris was positively dancing as he played bass. They played a lot of old favourites and a very lovely version of Rain, before Rupert and Niles were invited on stage to play Hobo Train. Shouts to Tim Donkin's brothers and to Christine, all from the Songwriting Weekends.
The tour continues this week, with Danielle Howle supporting; information from:
Photo by Andrew Bailey


Fiona Stephenson said...

Martin was the first artist I saw when I moved to Tyneside 22 years ago & I have followed him ever since. It was a fantastic show, full of love & life, & as I enjoy your blog it was great to be able to enjoy your performance too. I started reading your adventures after (I think) a show you both did at the derelict Dome, Whitley Bay, last year.

Helen McCookerybook said...

Thank you Fiona. I feel lucky to be able to see both Martin's solo gigs and The Daintees so much. They are a great bunch of people.