Synergy Vocals represented by

Heather and Micaela

Heather Cairncross (left), Micaela Haslam

“I flew to Aberdeen the night before the concert to take advantage of the cheaper flight + extra hotel night combo, rather than the more expensive (very early start) flight on the day.

Johnston Hall set up for Drumming

Little did I know that I would have the noisiest room in Aberdeen – right next to a busy pub on a Friday night. When the drunken exchanges outside my window finally petered out at around 2.30am, I had about 3 hours peace before the bin lorries and street cleaners started up!  So, the morning of the concert, instead of feeling refreshed after my bonus lie-in, I was absolutely knackered!  I crawled down to breakfast, where I met Aidy looking a bit like I felt.  He had a better excuse though – he’d been propping up the hotel bar until 2am with Tony.  I would have joined them if I’d known!

Heather and several of the players arrived on the day of the concert and we all headed out to the University.  Johnston Hall is a big square room, a bit like a gymnasium, giving plenty of room for the instruments to be spread out across the “stage”.  Our in-house sound engineer (Aled Edwards) did an excellent job, and we worked through the piece until the balance was sorted.

Joby (left) and Colin discussing phasing tactics

There was nowhere to go really between rehearsal and concert, so we all hung around chatting, eating sarnies (kindly provided by the Festival) and sharing silly You Tube favourites on Iphones.

During the rehearsal I enquired about advance ticket sales.  I think they’d sold about 30 which was a bit worrying, but on the night not only did the concert sell out, there were more people than there were seats in the building – even after they’d raided our dressing area for every chair they could find.  It was packed!

As Steve Reich always says, “you play better when you play with friends”, and this concert was proof of that statement.  There’s not a dull moment with these guys.  We’d had such a laugh all day, everyone was in the mood for a concert and this performance was excellent.  The speed was just right, the pacing was spot on, the players were all relaxed, and they gave each other plenty of room to “breathe” during the phasing and transitions.  It really was great – and the audience absolutely loved it.  I’m so pleased that we’ve already got 5 more of these Drumming concerts in the diary for 2011.  I’m looking forward to them already.

Left to right: Tony, Owen and Aidy trying to look cool

After post-concert drinks and food at the venue (very much appreciated), we were led off to a dodgy pub on Union Street by Owen.  Apparently women weren’t allowed in at all until 1975, and there was no female toilet until 1998!  To be honest, I’m not sure it’s a pub I’d frequent on a regular basis.  It was mostly full of rowdy blokes drinking whisky (500 malts to choose from, apparently) in a very stark room, shouting at each other at the tops of their voices.  The lighting seemed more conducive to interrogation than a chilled night out with mates, and chatting at 100 decibels left my voice in shreds the following morning – but none of that stopped us having a good time – always guaranteed on these gigs!”


Compulsory grease and chips after a night on the whiskies. From left to right: Tony, Richard, Aidy, Colin, Joby, Tom, Alex

Compulsory grease and chips after a night on the whiskies - Left to right: Tony, Richard, Aidy, Colin, Joby, Tom, Alex

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