Sofia, Bulgaria 29 April 2013
Sunday the 28th was another day off here in Istanbul and I took full advantage doing little as possible. I did manage a good push down at the gym, a couple of hours poolside with Guy and Ian and later that evening another remarkable dinner with the MK & Co. at a traditional Turkish restaurant by the name of Raika. The top floor of a tall building that serves as a hotel or perhaps offices, not sure. Another picture perfect view over the Bosphorus. After being seated the lights in the restaurant seemed to take on a life of their own ranging from complete blackout to full on mega watt emergency mode. About the time it was really becoming an annoyance they settled down and the wonderful Turkish wine arrived along with numerous platefuls of various delicacies, too many to detail. Everything was a taste sensation. Raika... all thumbs up.
Monday we played Sofia. A 1:30 call down to the lobby which for some reason I had recalculated to be 15 minutes later. Got a call from a slightly peeved (and rightly so) Tim Hook. Fortunately I was ready, packed and made my way down without really hanging anything up. We slid our way through the Istanbul traffic to the airport and finally on board the Legacy for a short hop to Sofia.
We played this venue several years ago, 2008 I think. The mayor of Sofia was in attendance for our lavish meet and greet at that time. We will probably have a few m&g's over this tour, but not quite the extravaganzas of past that included Celtic and Hawaiian music, a stunning version of Caravan that is lurking around on you tube somewhere and even a bit of juggling. In fact that you tube clip was filmed right here at the venue in Sofia.
The National Palace of Culture is a medium size theatre with a capacity of 3,800. I'll wager more than that were in attendance. Jam packed to the rafters and spilling out over the sides. You couldn't ask for a better audience and the band was relaxed and playful particularly on Marbletown. We debuted Seattle from the new album last night and I must say it sounded fantastic... a great big, wide open expanse of a sound-scape.
A runner after the gig back to Istanbul for one last night before decamping and moving on.