Murcia, Spain...24 July, 2010

I did a little recording today for our Mike MicGoldrick who is scoring a documentary for BBC television. One of the cues he'd written is a beautiful Irish melody that he played on whistle and wanted a gut string guitar to double. He first played me the piece a couple of weeks ago and I'd been practising it since, making sure I got all the inflections, trills and turns just right. Mike set up his computer and Pro Tools recording rig in his room at the hotel, hung a microphone from shade of a floor lamp and off we went. John McCusker soon came by to added his wonderful fiddle. To capture his violin we put the mic on a suit rack that was precariously balance on an upholstered foot rest...very wobbly, so I held the the rack while John recorded his part. It all sounds fantastic and I was very flattered to play on something of Mike's.

At this late stage of the tour we had another 'first'...our first bullring show of this outing. We flew from Barcelona to Murcia airport and drove into the city. The airport is on the coast and in a very open, agricultural area. Miles of orchards, hot houses and fields of crops...an arid, flat land surrounded by mountains. After nearly 40 minutes we turned a corner and the city of Murcia sprawled before us, a real metropolis sprung from nowhere. We wound our way through town finally arriving at Plaza de Torros La Condomina. The dressing rooms were hot and humid but I found an area that was air conditioned, pulled up a chair and practised there for an hour or so before the show.

Another late start, 10 o'clock, by then the sun had gone down, there was a faint cool breeze in the ring and a full moon rising above the stands. A crowd of 10,000, standing on the dirt floor of the ring and in the surrounding seats...more deafening than the night before. After nearly 90 shows, it amazes me how fresh it sounds every night and how eagre we are to get on the boards and play music with each other. We're all so lucky to be doing this.

A runner back to the Murcia airport from the gig and an hour flight back to Barcelona. Daniella had a seafood paella waiting and, courtesy of our friend Paul Cummins who joined us tonight, several bottles of a fabulous Ribella del Duero, a bold and delicious Spanish wine. It was very late by the time we arrived back at the hotel in Barcelona and straight to bed for me.

So long,

Richard