Roadie #42 - Blog #72
Sunshine. God's own medicine...
Suddenly the whole world feels like a different place. Hardly surprising, I suppose, given the distance we've travelled. I'm sure we must have been somewhere sunny in our summer last year, but I absolutely cannot remember it. I expect we were rushing around working out how to make the gig work. Getting a second chance at a summer then, is an utter gift. Even seeing the light through the production office window and feeling the warm breeze changes my mood beyond measure. I have a feeling we're in for an excellent few weeks
I remember this place. It's called the Dome, although it looks more like a very large maggot from a distance. Its white maggotty roof is like a huge lilo supported purely by air pressure inside the venue. I'm sure there are other buildings in the world like this one, but I've not been in any of them. The downside of this particular structural system is that to open two doors at once in this air-pressure-supported building is asking for trouble. Getting around backstage involves a series of airlocks (I'm not making this up), to prevent hapless roadies from being cycloned off like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz (obviously kind of fitting, given the location). Even leaving one door ajar when opening another can leave you permanently maimed or at least short of a finger or two.
Indeed, it seems the local staff have been at the mercy of this insane air-lock ritual for many years, but still get caught out. You can actually tell how long a person has worked here by the amount of damage they've sustained. The longest-standing employee is one Bruce "Stumpy" Smith. He's not missed a day in fourteen years. Finds it mighty tricky to keep his watch on though...
Just before the sun goes completely, I decide to go outside - for no other reason than to soak a little up. I bump into Phil as I go (although he's clearly had quite enough sun already...), then wander round the front of the building as the sun sinks and squeezes its last over the crowds coming in. The sounds are of laughter and the smells are a mixture of suncream, perfume and beer. You pretty much forget what going to a gig as a punter is like after a while and milling about with folks out the front has put a totally different slant on the day.
I wander in through the turnstiles and catch Mercury Rev finishing up. They're dreamy, majestic and an exceptionally good choice.
I'd better go readers, I actually feel almost chipper...
I shall leave you with a portrait of a couple of jetlagged mates.