I don't really get bummed out when things beyond my control go wrong, but when I screw up it really drags me down. And though I mess up more than I wish I did, today was one of the former.
Once again we are off on a festival gig without our main gear set.
If you have ever traveled overseas, you most likely have experienced issues with your shaver, hair dryer or cell charger having either the wrong plug, wanting the wrong power or both, maybe you have even seen smoke billowing from something that used to be important. Imagine having a $500,000+ worth of highly complex audio gear that is all US powered and adaptored and going to various countries where every power connection wont fit and is just waiting to blow it up. Typically, when we have all the gear, we carry these giant transformers than make 'nice' power for our beloved gear to sip. On this gig, we had to adapt. Buckets they call them. Heavy things that make the poison Euro power drinkable by our US equipment.
Ten minutes to show time and something is wrong. The power supply for the mixing board reads 83 volts and is flashing in an excited way, both my racks which read 112 earlier now read 96 volts and dropping with each thump of the house music .Typically anything below 105 is scary. I suddenly feel a bit less than exuberant. Turns out the temporary power buckets we got for the day were too whimpy for the task, got hot and were dropping voltage. Low power = bad, especially if when the rig is up to full volume it takes power below the shutdown line. It took a few wind sprints and some spaghetti plugging to build a quick fix and adequate juice and start the gig. It was most annoying. I should have been more diligent in my power checkery, yet these buckets were sneaky, they were twice the physical size of what I have used previously and the connectors well exceeded my max power draw and came up fine earlier. Who would have known they would get sleepy at show time?
4am - bus bunk. Overnight to Ipswitch, is what the itinerary says. It also says something about a ferry. Wow, I love boat rides! Whee! Especially in the middle of night instead of sleeping on a show day. The deal works like this: Bus drives to dock, crew gets evicted, passported, questioned and hopefully released by immigration, crew gets back on bus, bus gets in line, waits for ferry, drives onto ferry, ferry-humans decide whether to cheer up crew by inviting us all to go sit in hard seats under florescent lights up in the top of the boat or to let crew miss out on fun and stay sleeping in cozy bus bunks down in boat belly.
Some amongst us get unhappy feelings sleeping in the internal chasm of an ocean going vessel. Maybe because these ferry things forget to float every so often.That would sure put a damper on load-in tomorrow if we spent the night trying to swim the English channel. I put my life in the hands of pilots, riggers and bus drivers on a regular basis so today my life is in the hands of a captain and I am hoping to float the ride in my cozy bus bunk
**** Roadie Sightings ****
Ok, it's 5am and Shhhhhhh! I spotted some roadies out and about, lets go take a look, be very quiet as they can be quite dangerous at this hour, especially when clustered in a small herd. And look! A rarely captured moment of roadies grazing near an immigration building:
Sometimes at sunrise roadies can be seen frolicking near their nest
And who wouldn't be frolicking with such stunning views such as these:
And then, much to my surprise, I spotted something totally unexpected, a roadie nest full of what I believe may be an undocumented species,
unfortunately they escaped before I was able to research further.