Al Fresco! - July 2013
Playing to a great crowd at Burg Herzberg
Look out Steve! Amphitheatre, Verona
Steve and Jo in front of 'Juliet's balcony'
A week of summer touring with our Genesis Revisited show began at the Burg Herzberg festival in Germany, which has been going since the late sixties in celebration of love and peace. Indeed, it was a really friendly atmosphere, with colourful clothes, lovers embracing, with spliffing herbal aromas wafting up to the stage... And what an audience! It was great to play to a sea of thousands of enthusiastic faces.
The following day we flew to Verona. It was wonderful to see everyone, including fabulous Vania, along with Sergio, Patty and Alexandra of Blue Sky agency, plus talented photographer pals Angéla and Maurizio. With our friend Nick, Amanda flew in for her special guest spot. We all enjoyed a bit of time off together in this magical place. We saw several friends and I also managed a quick powwow with Alan Parsons and team, who were playing in the area as well.
Walking around the wonderful Verona streets was a feast for the senses, taking in Romeo and Juliet's alleged balcony and some intriguing subterranean Roman ruins, where lions were once lead from boats to the huge amphitheatre. This in itself is a spectacular sight and we were given a brief tour of it by the promoters, whilst also taking in the extraordinary dramatic props for Verdi's Aida.
We played in another fantastic setting - the Teatro Romano, an ancient Roman theatre surrounded by poplar trees and Medieval buildings. Our gig here had a tremendous atmosphere, where we felt spirits from antiquity through the ages celebrating with the living. With Amanda on board we played Shadow of the Hierophant, which certainly did invoke a powerful spirit...
The following day show in Turin was enjoyable in front of another appreciative audience, and as in all parts of Italy it was great to hook up with special friends. It's a lovely area too - from there you can see the foothills of the Alps, rising magnificently from the plain...
Onwards to Gavorrano in beautiful Tuscany. The fascinating location here was in an old quarry, once part of a mine. Dramatic cliffs rose above an impressive amphitheatre... a one time hive of industry converted into a centre of creative expression. Playing beneath the stars and full moon, with beams of light reaching high into the night sky, it was a perfect visual feast as "Watcher of the Skies" kicked off the show.
Although we stayed the night in Pisa, I couldn't quite go native explorer as I needed to approve the final live DVD edit of the Hammersmith Genesis Revisited show. I certainly enjoyed it and thoroughly recommend it to all! It'll be out in October.
Last stop - Quimper in Brittany, France - a really picturesque old town with Medieval buildings. Music played on every street corner, bagpipes marched through the streets, whilst men, women and children of all ages danced with Celtic abandon...
The Quimper gig had a great vibe with ecstatic crowd. It was the only under cover show of the whole tour in an impressive temporary structure. It was fab to chat there afterwards with Dave Pegg of Fairport Convention, who regularly attends the festival.
Following a flight to Paris the next day, we missed our train to London, so Jo and I ended up in the same cafe where we had sat right at the start of the Euro tour earlier this year. So, our experience of Genesis Revisited 2013 in Europe began and finished in the same Parisian cafe... A later Eurostar Hogwarts express whisked us back to London. So many amazing experiences packed into a week - it felt as if we'd been away for a month!
A big thank you to all the team, agents and promoters. I look forward to our next show...
The show in atmospheric Verona
Amanda & Steve performing Ripples in Verona
Photo © Angéla Vicedomini
Amanda, Nad, Angela, Steve and Nick in the Verona hotel
Steve with Alan Parsons
Ancient Roman venue, Verona
Lee, Rob, Roger and Gary relax after the Turin show
Steve, Nick, Brian and Vania have a quick coffee together
Extraordinary Gavorrano venue location
Steve in beautiful Quimper