St Austell, England

St Austell is a town in England where The Alarm have played

12th April 1991 : The Alarm – Raw Tour – Cornwall Coliseum, St Austell, England
With support from Looking For Adam and Toby Bourke

Toby Bourke has been writing about his experiences in music, this is an excerpt about this gig …. The soundcheck at the Coliseum was really interesting for me. I hadn’t done a soundcheck in Derby because I had arrived too late for that but tonight I was going to be able to spend some time getting used to my surroundings before the lights all went out. Dave and the boys’ soundcheck lasted around an hour as every possible combo of instruments and musicians was tried out. Looking for Adam took less time but they needed to set up their own drum kit on the floor of the stage in front of Twist’s riser. So, when The Alarm are on stage, it looks really big and open up there because it’s just their kit and amps etc. When Looking for Adam are on stage, they have all their gear around them and the The Alarm’s as well. And when I’m on the stage… well you get the picture. When the time came for my soundcheck we were about 10 minutes from the doors opening.

I stood in the middle of the fully lit arena, seemingly alone apart from the guitar around my neck and started playing to get a sound up. I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned to see Dave’s smiling face.
“Can I give you a tip that was a game changer for me?” he asked me and I nodded enthusiastically.
“Play less” he said.
“That’s for you to say” I countered with a smile “I’ve only got this guitar and my voice, how can I possibly do anything less?”

Dave asked if he could take my guitar and show me what he meant. He pointed to the corners of the massive room we stood alone in and told me I needed to make the sound of my solitary instrument fill every crevasse in the auditorium. The more frenetically I played, the less likely I was to do this. “Only hit the strings if you absolutely need to in order to accent the song. This will make your sound so much bigger. This will give you 3 instruments: your voice, your guitar and the silence and space in between”.

Dave was doing that speaking profoundly thing from the car journey the day before after a period of prolonged quiet. And then it struck me. This amazing critique or tip was how he lived his life too. I was blown away. I sang a song in that moment with Dave standing next to me, using the technique I had just been taught and in doing so I walked through a door in my own level of performance that I had, up to that point, been unable or unwilling to open. I have never forgotten that moment and I think of it every time I pick up my guitar to this day. As with everything we do in our lives, we are not just measured by the things we do and say but also by things we do not do and the spaces we deliberately leave in between.
The Full article can be read at The Eejit …..

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