Matt and Matthew's pictures, Carol's words
Carol Fisher writes to BtP:
We've just returned from Norway and Denmark and have at last recovered from a week of snow, airports, lost luggage, and late nights. The gigs (and the new songs) went down very well. Having watched Procol play this time out, I can only say that this is probably one of the best inceptions of Procol that has ever been (if not the best). The new songs went down well. In particular, Maf's The Signature received a sustained applause every night.
At Portalen So Far Behind received some vocal accompaniment from M&M. In the duty free shops at Oslo airport Maf and I spotted a little yellow plastic M&M doll that records something (touch left eyebrow) and then says it back (touch right eyebrow). Gary bought one and recorded, "So far, so far behind, (etc)... ". At the gig he announced. "A special guest from America ... Eminem!" The little plastic guy did the lead-in flawlessly and only embarrassed himself when he tumbled off an amp afterwards.
It was snowing most of the time we were in Norway (after we left Stavanger). The drive from Sandfjord airport to Skien was a never-ending scene of evergreens and snow. Maf took some beautiful photos at the airport including one of a little prop plane sitting in the snow (we found out later that the airport had to be closed a few hours after we arrived).
Unfortunately the airline managed to lose at least one of everybody's bags except Maf's and mine. When they turned up at Oslo two days later, Matt Pegg's jubilation turned to disappointment. Yes, he finally had the rest of his clothes, but they reeked of Tanqueray. His duty free bottle broke in the bag. When he phoned Tammy later that evening, she suggested he rinse them in tonic.
Maf's birthday celebration in Oslo was something like New Years' Eve. Once we got past midnight, the band and crew celebrated in the lounge of the hotel, watching the snow fall on the silent streets of Oslo outside.
Maf also got a chorus of Happy Birthday from the audience in Portalen on his birthday as well as a bottle of good wine from a very nice Swedish lady named Christina.
Matthew Fisher kindly sent BtP the following pictures, relating to the gigs described above. "Most of them were taken by Matt Pegg but a couple of them were taken by me," he tells us. The captions are his own.
Hanging around in Stavanger airport
Notice that Mark (a non-smoker) is smoking an invisible cigarette.
Taken just after we'd got off it at Sandefjord. They closed the airport shortly afterwards. Brrrr!!
Sometimes the monitor mix is not what is desired
Me and Jules, one of our roadies/techies.
Chris Cooke, probably in the act of making a snowball.
Tony is our new lighting guy. Catchphrase: "Green & Purple!"
Thanks, Carol and Matthew, for sending story and pictures to BtP