To the ashes of the cannon - April 10
Hurtling through the Pyrenees
Arriving in Portugal
A moment to draw breath
The Icelandic volcano had delivered its disruptive plume, flights were grounded but as we were booked to appear at the festival in Gouveia, Portugal, we had to find a way to get there...
Our solution was a sudden change of plan. Hastily packed bags met a hastily booked midnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen for an adventure that took five days, two ferries and nearly three thousand miles by minibus driven to its limit, occasionally braking like a screaming Valkyrie that would have made Wagner proud. The trio plus crew and partners left on a Friday and arrived on the Sunday via Britain, France, Spain and Portugal.
At the end of our extraordinary journey we finally wound our way through the rugged Portuguese landscape to the picturesque hillside town of Gouveia. It was fabulous to be met with such warmth as it seemed as if the whole town turned out to greet us, fully aware of our perilous trek. Some bands had not been able to make it. One enthusiastic Spanish fan described our journey as heroic, given the circumstances. He phrased it as fighting "to the ashes of the cannon", but the real heroes I feel were our drivers/tour managers Brian Coles and Richard Buckland.
Although it had been a while since John, Roger and I had done an entirely acoustic show, the gig went like a dream. The pastoral nature of the Trio's music seemed to reflect the surrounding natural elements and the theatre itself held a special atmosphere all its own
Many thanks to our very attentive promoters in Portugal, Eduardo Motto and Alberto Cardoso. We look forward to returning to Portugal soon!
This week will always be a bitter-sweet memory of a proud achievement on one hand and sadness and frustration on the other. I had hoped to subsequently play in Hungary with Djabe for three shows this week but it was impossible to travel from one end of Europe to the other and meet those commitments in time when human resources were insufficient to overcome what insurance companies describe as "an act of God". My profound apologies to Attila Egerhazi and the rest of Djabe whilst I hope to be able to make it up to all my Hungarian friends and fans as soon as possible.
End of gig
Leaving Dunkerque - the final stretch!