Registered: 1175646809 Posts: 2,082
We arrived at the site about 3:40pm.
There is always so much going on at one of these multiple artist events.
The dressing rooms were like indoor marquees with black curtains instead of doors.
It was all perfectly comfortable and at the same time had a nomadic feel to it.
As if you just knew it would all be gone in 48 hours.
I have to say that the event was very organized.
The backstage staffers were friendly and more than accommodating.
It can't be easy meeting the requirements and desires of so many individuals but they did a great job.
There are no soundchecks at these things because, let's face it, everyone is already out there, waiting for something to happen.
It becomes very internal and done thru earpieces and headphones.
The onstage crew were also exceptional, making sure everything and everyone ran like clockwork.
If one set change is delayed or an act runs over their allotted time it can all topple like dominoes.
We were scheduled on at 6pm.
Before us was The Village People, who were in full garb and regalia from the minute they left the hotel to the time they said their goodbyes backstage and got into the transport van back to the hotel.
After them was Roland Gift, former lead singer with Fine Young Cannibals.
We went on exactly at 6.
Because of the many acts on the bill we had only 45 minutes, strict time, to do our show.
I have to say I lost sleep deliberating over what not to play.
For a group that does well over two hours every night it's not easy to cut that down to less to 3/4 of an hour.
There are songs I wish we could put into our regular show that are omitted simply because the venues have curfews.
These festival sets, usually between 45 and 60 minutes long, are a real exercise in restraint.
Hook has such a varied catalogue, stylistically speaking, and we always like the show to be a healthy sampling of our wares.
The set we decided on was designed to accomplish that.
Someone asked me before the show if I was 'raring to go'.
I said 'Hell, I'll still be raring to go when we come off!'.
Anyway, we were given 45 minutes to strut our stuff and were told a few times that it had to be 'no longer than that, please'.
I'm proud to say that we went out there, did what we do, had a wonderful time, provided the same for the huge crowd of people who were only there to have a great time, said our farewell and walked off the stage having been on for forty five minutes and twenty three seconds!
Damned near perfect as far as what they needed from us, logistically.
And it never hurts to leave the people wanting more I guess.
There was a very communal feeling backstage.
Like everyone was there for the same reason, whether that was the case or not.
I had an interesting chat with Louis Walsh.
He was there with Shane Filan (formerly of the boyband, Westlife) who he still manages.
I saw him standing in the dressing room corridor, talking to someone, and wondered if I should bother him with a hello.
Before I could make up my mind on what I should/would say, Louis surprisingly took the initiative.
He was very complimentary about Hook's body of work, mentioning some of the more obscure songs we recorded and saying he still had all his original vinyl albums.
Funny how you never know who might be paying attention.
It was a very nice little exchange.
A while later I had a pleasant encounter with Mikey and Jon from Culture Club.
They were very nice fellas, again saying some sweet things about the music and also commented on how well I was wearing.
So are they, by the way.
After our set there was a lovely catered meal.
And it was still early enough to eat and not feel like it was the last thing I did before I laid down for the evening.
I didn't get to see or hear anyone's show.
A few strains of sound wafted thru the air but the stage was a trek from the backstage area.
We left the site about 9pm and headed back to the hotel, knowing all too well we had a 6am lobby call the next morning.
The saving grace of the short set was knowing that we will be going back to the Olympia in Dublin in December.
As a matter of fact, the tickets went on sale at 9am this morning.
There are a few days off now and Thursday we leave for two festivals in Norway.
The summer schedule will pretty much remain like this, with a couple more in Norway and three in Denmark.
Then the UK tour begins, taking us, breathlessly, into December. ~