Mellotrons, mummies and monster riffs - February 2012
Photo © Mark Vyse
Keep calm and Mellotron
... And so the Hackett Circus rolled into the sell-out show at Southampton, roaring, rolling and tumbling in every way...
Bath was equally ecstatic, and it was great to see my 92 year old Aunt Rene appear through the crowd with such joy on her face. The Assembly, Leamington was as entertaining for us as well as the audience. Backstage now includes a real Dalek and a pair of Egyptian mummies beside Tammy Wynette's caravan. It was fab to see Steve Hogarth (Marillion) backstage with other friends.
There was an extraordinary crowd at the Robin, Bilston. The place was literally throbbing like the valves on my overdriven Marshall! We just arrived there in time after a fascinating trip out to see the home of Martin Smith where Mellotrons are built. It was like being taken through the Mellotron temple, with all those sounds transporting us to the beloved albums of our youth along with my special Genesis memories... I remember when Tony and I went into the bowels of the earth beneath a cafe off the Fulham Palace Road where King Crimson were rehearsing to buy one of their second hand Mellotrons. Tony started playing it and took to it like a duck to water... that orchestra of disembodied Frankenstein parts brought to life under the magic fingers of Mr Banks.
It was good to engage with family and friends at the beautiful Stables theatre in Milton Keynes, including among others my Mum, Steve Rothery (Marillion), Steven Wilson, Jakko Jakszyk, Mike Lord and Eli from the States along with Mino Profumo and Stefania from Italy.
At the grand finale in Norwich, Norfolk, Jo was able to sign her new book (Fire in the Veins - Norfolk Rebels) alongside me after the show, which went off like a rocket with another fabulous audience. A great place to finish the tour as Jo and I were able to go straight to her folks for the night, where we're now relaxing for a couple of days...
A big thank you to all the fantastic band and crew, to Brian Coles for bringing it all together, to Pod, Mark Shaw, Henry Chesterton, Sharon Chevin and everybody who made all these wonderful shows possible.
Exterminate! | Lee Lies Down on Mellotron
Two Faces of Cairo
Mum June, Steve, Aunt Betty, Gary and Jakko at the Stables