[% META title = 'Jon Lord: Pictured Within' %]
Pictured (with)in Luxembourg
I arrived at the Conservatoire de Musique about 4 hours to early to have a
look at the location and then leaving for town again to do some sightseeing.
Well, that was what I intended... But then I heard some music - nothing
special at a place with several rooms for practicing. When I followed the
sound I suddenly found myself at an open door next to the stage (which later
turned out to be the entry for the musicians during the show...). On stage:
Jon Lord and his musicians practicing. Yes, practicing not "sound checking"
As nobody seemed to mind I sat down and had about 2 hours of a very special "show". I pretty soon realised that most of the musicians are German (only the Ladies doing the vocals never spoke German). Especially the String Quartett (called "The Maurice Quartett") had some heavy discussions (usually in Geman)... Jon was standing next to them waiting for a change to take part in it...
By the way my favourite quote from Jon is: "This was ein bisschen better. Or shall I say a little besssssser?!?"
They never did complete songs but only passages. If they had to wait for somebody who was out to get some coffee they did "jam sessions". E.g. the string section started something and Jon joined in - after a while he asked "what is it we are playing?" (the answer in this case was "Carmen"...)
Jon introduced his pals by the end of the show, but their names were hardly understandable if you didn't know them before.
Well here they are:
keyboards: Martin (the "calm one" at the back) and Dieter (the one that did the male vocals - he did not do a bad job!!!)
Some people that played on the album:
oboe and flute: Ina Stock
percussion: Mario Argondona
cello: Haagen Kuhr
vocals: Sam Brown
plus two more female singers whose names I didn't get (one of them played the guitar on "From the windmill") and the rest of the string quartett (apart from Haagen)
Jon spent his time behind a black grand piano.
Around six o'clock Sam decided that it was enough practicing for her. While Jon was still discussing with the male half of the string quartett (he finally took out a "disc-man" to listen to his own record again...) she went to the grand piano and did a final sound check for her own. With something like "What we can't do know won't work in the evening" she (and the other Ladies) left. About half an hour later Jon quoted her to end the "session".
Now it was time for my "sightseeing": having dinner at the nearest McDonald's - very appropriate for this evening - and hurring back to the venue.
The show itself started with a short performance of "The Vocaleros" (who did the backing vocals on the album). They had a pretty tough job "convince" the audience, but finally it worked.
Jon used to introduce most of the songs, but I won't quote him here (as I expect him to tell basically the same at every show). Some of the "special events":
During "Evenig Song" Sam and Jon suddenly stopped, looking at each other. Jon asked "Are we now 5 hours ago?" the he suggested to start again from a certain point but Sam insisted to do the whole passage again because it is "so beautiful"... After the successful second try she lay down on the stage - pretty nice sight from where I was sitting;-) When Jon introduced the next song ("Sarabande") he ended with "And this one I know by heart"!!!
After the break Sam went to the the grand piano (Jon didn't even enter the stage) and did her brand new song (well for me it was the second time to hear it;-)
I was pretty surprised finding out that Jon didn't even join all of the songs. After "Before I forget" he introduced a "string quartett" performed only by them and his own "Music for Miriam" doesn't feature the piano as well. Talking about "Gigue" he returned to the piano with "When I get lost in this song I'll go home!"
As a kind of encore they played Sam's "Stop" (which was immediately recognized by the audience!!!), again without the participation of Jon who was just snapping his fingers. Haagen played his cello like a guitar - holding it that way!!! When his sheet slipped for his music stand we were watching a pretty spotive action by Ina who was "recueing" it and helt it for the rest of the song.
After some extra bows they left the stage with Jon stateing "Thank you for laughing at our mistakes". As I heard from some people leaving the show nobody minded the "mistakes" it was simply a great first night (after only three days of practicing) and it was clear that everybody had great fun!!!
When it was time for me to leave (after some more chatting with Haagen - and a little bit with Jon;-) I was convinced that I had just seen the greatest concert of my life!!!
See you in Halle or Muenchen,