Sam played a short set with his live band to support Armed Forces Day in Nottingham.
Ahead of the show he spoke to the Nottingham Post: “The majority of my friends from school are now in the Armed Forces… If friends and people close to you are in peril you naturally want to support them”
Fans travelled far and wide for the show, including Sweden and South Africa!
Great Vine from Record Clubber Megan Seekings:
Final tour stop was in Padua. Sam performed an intimate set in a local Padua record shop, Beczar Rare Recordings, including ‘Call Me The Loner’. Its one of those songs that has developed through being played a lot this week, and is really coming in to its own:
We walked through the ancient city markets. Padova has the second latest square in Europe (after Moscow Red Square). Next to the venue was Galileo’s Observatory tower – gateway to the stars!
The venue was called La Mela Di Newton, or Newton’s Apple, and they had a great way of serving bar snacks:
Sam ran a few songs during soundcheck – the venue was like a funky room with quirky decorations, sofas stools and a library. The owners Simone and Enrico said they wanted a front room feel to the club, and they certainly achieved it.
The venue was packed, but I had to pause the show after a few songs as people crammed in, and were queuing out the door. Everybody moved forward, and Sam took this snap of the audience. The show was great, with fantastic dynamics from Sam, and the audience were spellbound.
Some songs that have stood out for me this week are ‘Half as Awake’ and ‘Loner’, rousing versions of ‘Bust It Loose’ and ‘Red Green Gold’ (a new live favourite?) and Can You See The Lights is just simply stunning. Here’s the set list from the last show:
Good Natured Child
Lie Low Lie
Jeckyll & the Man
Half As Awake
What You Look For
She’s Not in Love
Bust It Loose
Rain Down On You
Call Me The Loner
Under the Fence
Trouble & Strife
Can You See The Lights
Red Green & Gold
After plugging back in for the encore of ‘Red Green & Gold’, the jack crackled intermittently, so Sam went unplugged and stepped into the audience to deliver a spellbinding final song. After selling out of all the CD’s we had brought to Italy, we had to take addresses and send the CD’s to the disappointed ones who didn’t manage to get their hands on a signed one. A great end to a fun, if exhausting tour!
We had an interesting night staying in a haunted farmhouse in the mountains – we arrived late, seeing nobody but a dog tethered outside, awoke to find the lights and heater turned off during the night, and in different positions. All very spooky.. and nobody to be seen at all. We quickly took the train from Bossano via Mestre and Treviso to Vittorio Veneto. Sam chose The Beatles to accompany him.
Vittorio Veneto is a town named after a victorious battle between Italy and Austia-Hungary at the end of the First World War. It was also a strategic town in the defence of Venice. The vineyards are famous for producing Prosseco, and we were greeted with a Campari/Prosecco Aperitif. This is the view from the venue – we later took the opportunity to sample the very vineyards we had travelled through on the train.
The venue Spazio Mavv was a bar/ Arts Centre run by a local team of guys, Thomas, Marcus and Marco, who were passionate about music, drink and food. We were treated to local cheese, ham and deep friend Veneto polenta – perfect!
Main course was a delicious Radicchio risotto – made with the red leaved local Veneto vegetable. Bitter and spicy, it complimented the pepper rice perfectly. We were discovering plenty of local produce!
Sam performed to a packed bar. The guys had built a purpose built stage, and the audience wanted more and more.
The crowd wouldn’t let him go after an hours set, so Sam started pulling both new songs out the bag, and some old classics such as ‘Trouble and Strife’. After a three encores we finally got to try some more local Prosecco!
The venue have a gallery of images here. Here’s Sam’s view of the packed venue:
We took the bullet train from Roma Termini to Padua and then a town called Breganze, near Thiene, west of Venice. The main line from Rome to Padua was pretty fast, up to 250 mph, and very comfortable. Overall the state run Italian trains are pretty impressive – certainly compared to UK service.
We were welcomed by Giulia and her two sisters – our hosts for the show.
The show was located in a beautiful region between Venice and the mountains. This was the view from our hotel. In the valley between us and the mountains was a floodlit church.
The show was full again, and very attentive. Patrick thought they might have a good grasp of English, looking like the great and good of Venice. This is my “not a word” look to him after my first chat.
For some reason I always stand on tip toes when playing the harmonica.. or maybe its because the stage is on fire behind me..
The next day we took in some sights in the nearby town of Bassano, with our tour guide Giulia. A famous medieval bridge, where there is a traditional to drink a campari/prosecco aperitif and throw the glass into the river below. Apparently a chap is employed to swim in the river and retrieve the glasses in the summer!
There were great views from/of the bridge!
A little refreshment and we were on our way. The freshly pressed orange juice was a much more spectacular choice than Luigi’s coffee!
There is so much to see in Rome, so we set off for some more sightseeing by foot, ending up in the Vatican City and St Paul’s square. Couldn’t decide on which Pope memorabilia to buy, so we invited him to the gig just in case. In passing the dry cleaners, it was good he was getting his outfit ready for the show:
Didn’t realise just how vast The Vatican was as a church – at least 10 adjoining cupolas, and a massive central nave. The marble, gold leaf, frescos and sculptures were pretty breathtaking.
It was very good of the Pope to grant us an audience (!):
The Rome venue is called Black Market and the night is promoted by Alessio and Emanuele under the name of ‘Unplugged in Monti’. Most shows don’t start until 11pm, so it was amazing to have a packed room at 9pm, with everybody seated quietly, and listening to the whole hour’s show without going to the bar – very different from London audience’s! Photo from the soundcheck:
The room was so full that we couldn’t get close to film, and at one point a particular harmonica – left in the dressing room out front – hand to be handed forward row by row! Look forward to coming back there!
Storyteller live in Rome: