Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Turin Day Three

Today was pretty much all about the show. We slept late, breakfasted and then slept some more before packing our bags ready for the pick-up for the tech-rehearsal. We were performing at the old Lingotto car factory which is now an arts and shopping centre. The auditorium section is massive and, behind the scenes in the conferences area, it felt very much like a new airport just before it has opened; lots of glass rooms with rows of seats; rows of desks lining the corridors; and miles of grey corridors…

We did eventually find our way around though and the concert was quite the success; we’d sold-out the 1900 seats a month in advance and there were still lots of people queuing for returns. As well as posters around town, we made both the national and local press and had TV cameras at the show to record one of our numbers. We were familiar enough with the repertoire that we could give a really confident performance and the acoustic of the venue was so good that we didn’t really have to stretch our voices. The language probably proved to be the biggest sticking point, as I don’t think the Italian audience appreciated the humour in Keep It Gay and some of the other English numbers. They did appreciate our opener; Va Pensiero, from Verdi’s Nabucco. They even applauded during La Montanara, the popular Italian folk song which I have come to loathe as we rehearsed it.

The post-show feedback was entirely positive; everyone appeared to have loved the performance. The merchandising stall had sold every single CD we had brought with us during the interval and only had four of the tour t-shirts left!

The aftershow party was also most enjoyable – with the exception of the way the bar worked; you had to pay for your drinks, get a receipt and then repeat your order to the person further along the bar and they would make it up for you, in return for your receipt. It resulted in long, unhappy queues.

Apart from that, the club was quite stylish; they had some ultra-modern seating around the bar areas, including three very reclined chairs, which you felt really ought to give you a full-body massage at the same time (but, alas, didn’t!). There was the dance floor beyond with the inevitable projections and flashing lights and, off to the side, was a winding corridor which led to a chill-out room, the unisex toilets and some bizarre little alcoves which were apparently Roman remains, but looked like nothing so much as individual dark-rooms designed under some kind of Zen Garden influence!

I had too much to drink again (for which I blame partly continental spirit ‘measures’ and partly Crouch End Johnny, for starting off by buying a round!) At one point in the evening I managed to fumble my glass and spill it all over my lap which caused much merriment at our table although, on the upside, at least they chose to explain the huge wet patch in my trousers as the result of prodigious sexual function, rather than an old man’s weak bladder! Yet I still consumed not one, but TWO, glasses after that before accepting the fact that I’d had too much and stopping drinking. I wasn’t quite incoherent by the end of the night but I still had to stay awake for an extra hour or so raiding the mini-bar for fluids and snacks before I could safely lay my head on a pillow without a wave of nausea.

Still, it was a good party…

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