"We lost an antique organ somewhere between here and Quebec," Andrew Barr (left) told his audience at Tonder yesterday. "Which is terrible because it means a lot to us. Plus we lost all our clothes. But the festival said 'That's OK. We have underwear for you.' So I would like to congratulate the festival for being that on it that they anticipated someone here would lose their underwear."
Instead of his missing guitar slide Barr improvised with a cigarette lighter. "The missing instrument is a kind of pump organ, like a harmonium," he said later. "They used to use them on battlefields during the civil war for funerals. We came by Air Canada with a final leg on Lufthansa and I don't know which of them lost the gear.
"So Brad and I received a toothbrush each and two medium sized pairs of white underpants. Now it looks as if the organ has turned up and will be with us in time for gig number two tomorrow, so that's OK. We still don't have our clothes though."
Jing Haase is the middle of three generations of her family to volunteer at Tonder - her parents are among the festival's founders - and is the lucky lady with responsibility for The Barr Brothers' crisis pants.
"Me and Eric are the panic team," she explained. "We are the kind of crisis task force and we have a large red bag of supplies to start us off. We do tampons but not condoms and there's women's underwear in there as well - though it's not very sexy stuff.
"The weirdest thing we ever had to do was when Taj Mahal arrived and his suitcase disintegrated."
That's a reason to sing the blues.
"Yes. Especially because it was a Sunday and all the shops were shut. But Tonder is a small town - fewer than 10,000 people - and so I rang up the man who runs the suitcase shop and he opened up so Taj Mahal could go down and pick one out. I've also got a dentist on standby, for emergencies.
"The Barr Brothers have been unlucky to lose their luggage... their clothes still haven't turned up, have they? We gave them a festival T-shirt each, which they wore for today's gig. But I have a feeling that they may need to buy new knickers tomorrow."
* Yesterday's post from Tonder was about Billy Bragg and the EDL's irony-free expat branch.
* And Friday's was this about Admiral Fallow having some exchange rate difficulties.
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