Web diary by Mags June 2, 2001

Hello in the fog…. It’s the day after the night before, and we’re in transit to Neurenberg for our second ever european festival experience. Yesterday at “the Ring” was a real  trip – the unfilmed part of Spinal Tap… I remember as a kid, staying up through the night to watch “Rockpalast”, so it was with real anticipation we entered the stage. (Mind you it was all we had in the ways of musical entertainment on TV in Norway at the time – once a year folks!)

Stage right:
It was 3 degrees of biting cold, gale force wind, and raining sideways.
The fingers numbed up immediately and refused to accommodate anything, not even the simplest of manoeuvres.
The keyboards was all covered in plastic to keep the rain from shorting them out, so I could not see the display or check the quicker soundchanges + the monitoring was horrendous… and then my guitar numbers came up.
(An image sprung to mind on stage: Grete Waitz, the Norwegian marathon-runner, was leading the New York marathon, and realized mid-run she had a bad case of diarrhoea. What do you do?? Do you break for the washroom or do you shit your pants and move on? She went for the last option – and won the marathon! Admittedly, with a less than flattering new design on her tracksuit.)
So it was thinking of this kind of historic Norwegian “brave-in-the-face-of-adversity” stuff that got me through the set. I don’t think we’ve ever been so cold on stage before. Even playing Lillehammer at the opening of the Olympics was a mild summer night by comparison. The only thing giving off warmth was the audience.

Personal highlights:
The rain starting to pour down on cue on “Crying in the rain”. Nice.
Paul claiming it was actually colder on his side of the stage.
Morten never leaving his sleeping bag on stage.

After-show was a loooong ride back to Frankfurt, for some reason. It’s called creative management, I guess.

Later (much later)…..
I figure I owe it to you all to finish off this incoherent report from the Ring and the Park, although there have been a few days inbetween. (Which have been spent working long hours on a rather large commission-work for glass murals in a Copenhagen workshop with no access to e-mail, I’ll have you know! Just so you don’t think I’m too lazy to bother finishing off these entries…. (My only projects this summer are: new a-ha album, film-music for movie, (“Dragonfly”) two commissions of artwork, ( 11 stories of glass paintings and large ceramic jars + one House of Worship for all denominations – (tricky)) and 4 more festivals / live shows, a modicum of family holiday – Hey, I’m explaining – not complaining,)

The second show (Rock am Park) was quite a good show – we all enjoyed ourselves on stage, I think – it’s amazing what a few more centigrade will do for you.
Looking back on both shows I must admit I really enjoyed the whole festival thing. (Reminder to self: must do it again.) I was really surprised at the audience reception.
It did not feel all that different from a normal a-ha show, but I think we’re all starting to miss a few songs from our past – songs like Scoundrel Days, I Call Your Name, Move to Memphis, Swing of Things etc. are numbers that would probably go down well in a festival-setting. I mean, this show was originally made as a comeback-show. I think it works well, but it is obviously heavy on audience-reminders ( ..remember this one..?). Time to be more adventurous.


Books read lately:
Sick Puppy (bought it for the cover, but it was pretty entertaining)
White Teeth (bestseller, but still – recommended)

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