Take Me To The Bridge

 A lot of people presume the bridge to Copenhagen to be the biggest in Europe, but it isn’t, the one from Zealand to Fyn (the two biggest islands in Denmark), at around 22 kilometers, is far longer and replaces what used to be a 45 minute ferry journey.

I started the Danish tour with a house concert for Jens and Harriet who live not too far from Copenhagen. A lot of the house concerts I do are for people who have never been to one before, or at least, their guests haven’t. All this makes for a very interesting show as there is a sense of excitement over something new and the atmosphere is great before I even start. Couple to that the fact that a lot of the audience know each other, or have just been introduced to each other, and the fact that many may be neighbors who don’t have far to totter home..well, you get the picture, it is all very conducive to a good evening.

On, the next day to Jutland and the excellent Fermaten in Herning. This club is typical of a certain kind of club the Danes run so well. Partly funded by cultural subsidy, but they also have to make money. The result is a schedule that includes all kinds of music but crucially, it looks like a rock club, and feels like a nice place to be in.

Across to Silkeborg in Denmark’s lake district and a concert for 3f, Denmark’s biggest trade union. They have a training centre there for shop stewards (trade union representatives). They have a very good concert hall and put on a show every Thursday. The audience were in party mood after 2 weeks of training and we had a party afterwards.

On up to Thisted on the north west side of Jutland, a beautiful area next to the Limfjord. The fjord used to run right across Jutland until it silted up. The sea broke through again after a storm although it is still very shallow. So whether North Jutland is actually an island or not is very much a matter of opinion. I remember being in Nibe wondering why all the boats on the beach had flat bottoms. Then I saw a man in a little rowing boat out in the middle of the water with his dog. He got out, and wearing his wellies, took his dog for a walk.

Another house concert, this time for Else and Iben, long term Oysterband fans. Another lovely evening. I had a walk down to the sparkling blue Limfjord next morning, past the biggest bronze age long barrow I have ever seen, thought to be a sleeping giant. By a curious coincidence, that is the title of one of my new songs.

Back down to Skanderborg in the lake district and a house concert for one of the teachers at the trade union training centre. Again, nobody had ever been to a house concert before. One of the nice things about staying in people’s houses is that you really get to see how they live and to talk to them. There is no ‘tour bubble’ as we say. The tour bubble is what surrounds you when you tour with a band and stay in hotels and spend up to 8 hours a day in a dressing room, you don’t see much of the country or chat much to the people except just after the show.

Back up to Aalborg, it may seem like a lot of driving but the roads are very good, there is almost no traffic and it is a small country. It was a lunchtime show in Huset, a place I played a very long time ago. A small but very enthusiastic audience.

And now it’s a day off, a lovely lazy day and time to go out and buy some cough medicine.

Most of the remaining shows are public ones now. Here are some pics.

Thanks to Flemming Scully for these nice pics from Fermaten in Herning. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151546863604570.1073741833.30937174569&type=1

I always look so pained, how did Elvis manage to smile and sing at the same time?

This is an article about the house concert I played in Vipperød. Once on their page, to see all the photos, click on the red letters SE BILLEDSERIE.     http://www.nordvestnyt.dk/article/20130417/ART/130419886/1022/stjerne-i-stuen-#.UW6CBr_irUI

See below for a translation of the article.


“A star in the living room

Last night, in a living room in Vipperød, a closed circle of people were entertained by world star (!) Ray Cooper, who previously has played with Oysterband.

A Tuesday night can be used for many things – going to a house concert with Ray Cooper in Vipperød, for instance.

Twenty-two invited guests did just that and got proof of why Ray Cooper is a legend on the music scene.

For a couple of hours he took his quiet, but intensely listening audience on a trip around his story-telling musical universe.

The songs were mainly his own and told among other things of historical events, graphically described so that all the guests felt drawn into the scenery.

One moment it was about Swedish goblins and elves, next moment it was about how life was for a young girl in the Middle Ages.

– I write about events that have taken place in real life, and even though it happened a long time ago, the same issues are just as real today as then. The way I choose to convey the lyrics, it allows the audience to relate to them and draw parallels to the modern world. The sensation that my audience really listens and understands the words is very satisfying. I would just as willingly play for twenty people as for thousands of people, because it is intense in a completely different way, the charismatic musician says.

Right now he is on a 14 day tour of Denmark, which also gives the audience the opportunity of meeting him at Jyderup Højskole on Tuesday 23rd of April at 19:30. The concert in Jyderup is open to the public.”