Tony Penultimate

Snape Maltings

Crossing the river Thames at the Queen Elizabeth bridge
The Ukes are back on the road for two gigs and this week promises to be something of a drive-a-thon. First we have a gig at Snape Maltings in Suffolk (3.5 hours for me) and then the day after, we have a show in Devon at the Sidmouth Folk Festival (4.5 hours). Since Will and Dave are taking time off, we are seven for these two gigs: Jonty, Ewan, Leisa, Richie, Ben and Hester (who I haven't seen since the band came back from China) and me.
Snape Maltings is an old Malt House, which was refurbed for concerts etc and every year they hold a festival, which we last played about four years ago. The complex (an arts centre really) stands on the banks of the river Alde in deepest Suffolk and is truly a sort of picturebook England type scenario.
It has a strong association with the composer Benjamin Britten who was born and lived here; looking out across the reed beds of the estuary, there are statues and sculptures by Henry Moore, tastefully dotted around the joint.
The concert hall itself is totally state of the art with all mod cons. We were welcomed back by festival director Roger Wright who we last saw when he asked us to play at the BBC Proms way back in 2009 - he has been a real cheerleader for the Ukes and it was good to see him.
The hall itself has a geat accoustic and all that beautiful wood has a type of 'sauna' effect on a hot evening - was it hot? Read on reader...
Soundchecking - Rich practices his Chuck Berry duckwalk
All the doors had the artists name on them (I prefer the term arriviste) - here's mine.
Food was pretty good too, from the in house cafe.
Interesting tapestry about the history of the Snape proms. The dressing room also had an original drawing of Niccolo Paganini by the artist Landseer - pretty cool.
The concert went well and many people brought along their ukuleles to play along to 500 Miles. The heat in the hall was pretty intense and I was reminded of the Spinal Tap analogy of an amplifier being turned up to 11 - this was more like an oven being turned up to 11. We also saw photgrapher and musician Alli Burke and her band, the Toots afterwards for a drink, she took some great publicity photos of us earlier this year, which got plastered all over skyscrapers in China.
Going out for the encore
Right Campers, cant sit around chatting - I've got to get into my car - see you........
 

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