June 13 — Tech Day

IMG_4188On a cloudy, sultry morning in a Paris suburb, The Winning Team makes its way to a double-secret rehearsal facility in another Paris suburb where two sea containers have arrived, intact from their loading in Regina all those weeks ago. We have plenty of local hands to help us get all the gear into our Parisian residence and by noon, it’s beginning to look like a Leonard Cohen setup. We’ll have no band today, nor will we see the face of the man who sponsors this whole affair; this is good for us, as it allows us to check over all the equipment with no deadline requiring it to be put into general use. There are amps to be maintained, strings to change, cables to loom and solder; vacuuming, tidying, troubleshooting, and sandwich-making; chucking out, pow’ring up, sorting out, and marking up.

The doctor will see you now — Chris is in dissection mode

The doctor will see you now — Chris is in dissection mode

On this, the first day, a ‘tech day’, as well as getting everything into performance order, I managed to swap out the power valves of and re-bias two amplifiers, change eight sets of strings (those nylon-stringed things are a bugger) and clean all the audio connections of the pedal-boards; It looks like we’re good to go. I’ve still a list of things to do, but the above was enough for one day; we’ll have a few hours each of the next few mornings to finish the little projects.

When 7pm rolled around, after the rains, after the sustained period of rumbling thunder in the sky, the air had cooled, and many of us were itching to shut up shop and grab a bite to eat. We left our double-secret nuclear test facility for the the single-secret accommodation facility after a productive first day of dotting is and crossing Ts.

Tricks of a mysterious trade

Tricks of a mysterious trade


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10 Responses to June 13 — Tech Day

  1. Anonymous says:

    Leif, welcome back! Re. the nylon guitar strings … How do you keep the guitars in tune? My new nylon strings take about a fortnight to settle ..

    • Leif says:

      Cheers Annie.
      Lots of pulling and stretching helps to settle things in; meticulous detail to the tension at the bridge loops, and at the pegs — wherever there’s a possibility of movement, lock it down and stretch it out. That’s the current philosophy anyway. I’m so used to electric guitars; changing nylons strings so rarely has yet to yield the muscle memory required for quick changing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Leif –
        You make it sound so easy …
        Hope your readers appreciate your skills.
        The quality of sound in the concerts is so worth the effort. A mega thank you!

  2. Wendy says:

    Great photo of Chris but you should have got him to take one of you Leif!

  3. Diana Dahart says:

    So good to have you back, Leif! A mysterious trade indeed, however if it weren’t the likes of you, Chris, Mickey, Dan etc, we wouldn’t hear that perfection of sound! Although I’m sure a mini-nightmare for you, I always enjoy reading when something goes awry….and you make it work. Amazing. Enjoy Paris!

    • Leif says:

      I know what you mean — it’s the quirks that add an extra dimension to the show. Believe it or not, when something does go awry, it alters time, and it all goes by a bit quicker for us. Not that we invite it, but hey, there’s a perk!

  4. Kayli Green says:

    Hey,,, it’s good to see you’re on the road again! We’ll be watching from afar as you and the merry group tour Europe.

  5. Joan bynum says:

    So happy that Chris posted this because I am a big fan of your writing. Love the facts mixed with an amazing since of humor. I of course also loved seeing a pic of my delightful son! Joan Bynum

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