After Manchester that went really well, even though the load-in has been painful for the crew, I was worried about London, for good reasons..
First, when you have a day off after a good gig it is always difficult to start again with the right energy.
Secondly, the Royal Albert Hall has a reputation of being a difficult venue, its size, its architecture, its lodges, make it difficult for staging a production made for a tour format and getting the right sound. It would require specific rehearsals that we could not have because the venue was busy until the morning of the concert.
And I was right to be worried..
As soon as I went on stage, I felt real good vibes coming from the audience, yet I knew that it was going to be tough. When I started to talk to the audience a big iron chain fell down from the ceiling at one meter from me and I could have been injured badly. Then some of my synths that have been quite stable recently started to be out of tune during the concert.
The sound was allright at the first part but not loud enough further up.
Being meticulous on the audio and visual aspects of the concert, I felt really frustrated not being able to deliver what I wanted, particularly in this prestigious venue, even if the audience was great. The reviews have been really good since the beginning of the tour and if today they are not as positive as usual, I can only agree with them..
Right after the gig, guitarist Brian May from Queen came with Garik, a friend of his, and told me that he and Garik really enjoyed the concert which cheers me up a bit. We then had real good moment together joined by my son David who is a big fan of Brian's.
Brian told me that he recently became a doctor in astrophysics and introduced me to his friend Garik, an astronomer. He showed me amazing pictures of the huge telescope he helped to build in the Canary Islands and told me that he would like me to collaborate on a concert project over there in a near future under the banner of Unesco. I would be delighted to talk about it further and see what we could do all together. Thomas was there as well he took a lot of pictures and videos and I have to talk to him about this project.
Garik also told me that he has strange recordings of sounds of stars that he wants me to listen to. I am really curious to hear that..
Garik is born in Armenia and told me that my music was not allowed for quite a long time in his country but was in fact very popular for being a kind of symbol of evasion and freedom...
Then we went at the Royal Gardens for the aftershow party. I was joined there by my family, my wife Anne, my son Barnaby and wife Chione, my son David and dearest Ara, his girlfriend. Lots of people and friends were there, JF Cecillon and all of EMI UK, Pascal Cagni (head of Apple Europe) with his wife and the european iTunes team, Dan Waite from MTV intl , my friends Jean Louis R., J.M. Wilmotte and Nicole, Mike Mansfield and Hillary, my dear Fiona, also Louis and Thomas, the band and some of the crew, especially such talented people as Ignace d'Haese,the lighting designer, Alain Courieux and Julien Vouillon the sound engineers and the DigiCo people. We all had good time then until late in the night, followed by a day off.