Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dean does Morley!

Well, Dean Friedman played Morley Town hall on Friday, making a tiny bit of Morley history in the process. He surprised us by touring light, all he had was a guitar, a Ukelele and his merchandising. He used the venue Piano that was just about up to the job (although a bit jangly when played with gusto) and the PA sounded sweet, due to the diligence of Jack the sound man who spent ages equalising the room as well as he could, (mainly by counteracting the settings of the gear behind the locked panel!).
As I was working the lights and I only really had start/interval/finish/encore cues, I discreetly milled about the venue, snapping shots for posterity. In reviewing my snapshots, this one struck me as suitable for Liz's Photo Hunt "Tiny" theme, from the back of the circle with Camera in wide angle. He was a well behaved "turn" and made sure he stood in the light! When he was seated at the Piano, the open lid cast a bit of a shadow on his face but I was somewhat restricted for locations to hang the lights and it had been fine before we moved the Piano round at a more jaunty angle in the sound check.

Out in the entrance lobby, this events board showed the vast array of shows to be enjoyed during the month of July ;-> Sadly, the Alexandra Hall is somewhat underused in the showbiz stakes. It is highly regarded accoustically and lots of Brass Band Concerts are recorded there, for which purpose the Town Hall Clock is muted. The local Operatic Society produces an annual pantomime and they have also started doing their summer shows there. The Grey household is looking foreward to the Musical Extravaganza in September, the last one was excellent.

Backstage consists of two dressing rooms under the stage, one for Men, the other Ladies. The rooms are also available to the smaller Morleian Hall below. At the top of the sub-stage staircase is this cupboard which still contains all of these Gas valves. The building is Grade 1 listed so this sort of thing must not be removed without permission for historic value. Although the Town Hall had a dynamo back in 1895, it would appear that gas was still widely used as it was probably more reliable!
These are the light switches for the hall. No dimmers, apart from the two I brought for the two PAR cans. There are four spotlights front of house, but none of them worked. Five of the six stage circular floods worked but I consigned them to Workers as they do what they say on the tin- flood light all over the place.

This is a snippet of the sound check- at the Piano playing "Ariel"... the Guitar Mic playing "Woman of mine"...

...and being put off somewhat by an enthusiastic and somewhat out of tune audience member joining in with the chorus while Dean was still singing the Verse!
This is a snap of the crew outside after the Gig, just after we had cleared the Hall. We thought Dean had gone but he took the trouble to seek us out. They are:- Shades (Stage Management, Lighting, Announcer & refreshments) Dean (The Turn), Stewie Mac (Box Office and Merchandising) Jack (Noise Boy extroadinaire), taking the picture was Caroline, Jack's Personal Assistant and Cable Coiler.

It was a remarkable evening and the only thing that would have made it better was more people. There were a hundred or so in the Stalls and it didn't look too bad. What it lacked in numbers was counteracted by enthusiasm and there was much between-song banter back and forth. Dean enjoyed it as well and was somewhat bemused to be invited up to the Mayor's Parlour and get the grand tour. Here he is with the Mayer, Deputy Mayor, Caroline and Jack in the Council Chamber.

He said he'd like to come back but he'd prefer to see it full. I now have two treasured possessions- a signed poster that he insisted on giving me (I had asked for one for Lincoln who had loaned me the Mics) and a very sincere thank-you Ansafone message when he thought that he had missed me.

Thanks Dean. Now where is this new Album that I paid you for in advance last year? Don't give me any more excuses about being busy with radio scotland!

He still has a number of dates during July and August- see


Liz said...

Cable coiler: that's a job I could do.

Yes, it's a very good photo for the theme of Tiny. You should join the Hunt. Go to tnchick's blog (on my sidebar) for details.

Lord Straf-Moran said...

Sometimes travelling light is the way to go. Not exctly unplugged but close enough. It must be interesting from where you sit.

Shades said...

Liz- I might occasionally join in if the whimsy takes me.

James, he could indeed have performed it unplugged but it would have been hard to hear the between-song chat as the room is rather lively. With the old PA it made it louder but no more intelligable!

Had we moved down to the small hall in the basement it would have been accoustically fine- although we couldn't have got the Steinway down there!

Lord Straf-Moran said...

And the chat is something I appreciate in live music.

Richard Havers said...

A pal of mine has been working with Dean on the Radio Scotland show, so I'm going to Glasgow to see him in ten days or so. Really looking forward to it.

Shades said...

If you see him after the show (and you should, he goes to the CD stand) tell him Ian from Morley says "Hello". Glasgow is where the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets are on as well...