Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Deano does Morley

Ten days to go before Deano plays the Alexandra Hall in Morley Town Hall. I'm his local man on the ground and we had been in regular contact until he left for Ireland. (He's playing Wexford tomorrow).

I suggested he play Morley originally for his Leeds venue (he has previously played the City Varieties) but I assumed that it would be a dry hire with him touring lighting and sound. He was hoping the venues were geared up for low key tours...

Fortunately, the Town Hall has recently invested in a new sound system but I have had to arrange to get it augmented beyond the minimalist provision of one mic stand and two lectern mics. Similarly, the lighting is somewhat inadequate being intended for Brass Bands (indeed most of the lamps had blown when I checked there recently). It helps when you have a friend who is one of the best Cover Band noise boys around and another with a hire company who likes Lucky Stars!

I also had to track down a suitable electric piano for him & suggest decent Digs but that is all organised now.

One problem I have had with Dean is communication- whenever I've asked him questions he has only answered one or two of them! I appreciate that he has a 25 date tour to worry about and he is a creative type but a couple of things have become a bit difficult and I've had to be evasive with the Press on fairly basic things like how much the tickets will be on the door (or indeed who will be organising it).

I've also come to realise some of the pitfalls of a Concert Hall over a regular Theatre apart from the obvious one of having a Platform rather than a Stage. The first one is ticket sales- no Box Office. Deano has been taking bookings online but a walk-up window for technophobes shifts tickets from casual and targeted trades. Box Offices also have Mailing Lists whereas independent Musicians from Peekskill New York only have a Fan base and funds for small Sunday Paper Ads.
The second one is a Theatre Bar. Somewhere to go to at the Interval, but the Town Hall does not have a license so it is necessary to apply for one. It doesn't even have regular Usherettes and Tea Ladies- most shows are staffed by volunteers from the various Clubs and Societies.

Anyway, it will be a great show and I hope there is a big enough crowd to make him comfortable. In the meantime, here are a couple of snapshots of the alexandra Hall with the glamour turned off.
The view from the Stage- looking surprisingly intimate for the 650 seat capacity.

The Platform, mostly bare. Notice the Piano just in shot to the left? I it is a large Grand and I looked to see the maker. I was very impressed to see it was a Steinway, then subsequently puzzled to notice it was (or had been) a Player Piano

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