Archive for the ‘Tour’ Category

Glorious Korea

October 13th

Hi All

We are now back in respective countries and homes, hard to believe that we were only away for five days! The second show was as enjoyable as the first and earlier….showtime was 6pm! One lady drove 4 hours with her triplets in the car and apparently was very emotional listening to the music, unfortunately we didn’t get to meet her after the show as she had such a long drive. Another ‘young’ man the night before had been on a train for 5 hours to come and see us, quite amazing and we did get to meet and chat with him albeit  with a little language problem. We noticed that there were quite a few younger fans than one would expect, which made the experience even more fulfilling for us! We had the same reaction to the songs, especially ‘Mystic’ and also once again they sang along in ‘Ashes’. We spent time after the show signing autographs, this was a real pleasure as the people were just so nice…I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we would have loved to have stayed and done some more shows and had the opportunity to see more of the country and it’s history. I was told they have beautiful waterfalls, that would have been a real treat. We look forward to going back there, the sooner the better, jet-lag and all! So here are some photos I took, I did do a small video from my ‘Droid’ phone and am hoping I can transfer it so you can see it too. I hope you enjoy the photos….


Annie and the guys

The Palace Band…

Changing the Guard

Palace Guards and Little Girl

Palace Guards

Palace Guard

The Palace Guards in place

First gateway to ‘Gyeongbok Palace’

King’s Palace

King’s Palace..

Palace and Mountains

Old and New

Horse Statue

Palace Throne Room

Throne Room Ceiling

Throne Room Ceiling..

Not sure what this ‘Urn/Pot’ is

Children at the Kings Coffee House

Michael Jason and Rave at Coffee House

King’s Coffee House

Michael, Annie and Jason at the Palace

Renaissance banner at Mapo Arts Centre

Just before set-up

Rave tells yet another funny story!

Mapo Arts Centre Pre Show

Frank Chillin’ out

Michael at soundcheck



Rave and Frank in our ‘Butterfly’ Bus

Photos • Annie Haslam

Chris Capozza – Soundman

Annie, Rave , Michael and Frank at Mapo Arts Centre

Photo • Chris Capozza

October 11th

Hi Everyone from warm and friendly S.Korea….

We  had travelled halfway across the world again in such a short space of time, but the show last night at the Mapo Art Centre in Seoul was certainly worth it.
But to backtrack, in the afternoon of our day off, Si-Wan the promoter of our shows, took us to see the Royal Palace (more details coming with photos attached soon).
It was a lovely late summer day, in the low 70’s. The grounds of the Palace were vast, with wide paving stones, each holding their own fascinating stories I’m sure.
We arrived to the sound of a huge echoing drum, that was calling in the changing of the guards. It was almost like it was planned specially for us. The timing was perfect.
It started with approximately 30 red clad musicians all playing some kind of ‘weird’ sounding (weird notes too) flute type instrument. This heralded the arrival of the guards appearing from another direction through an old palace gateway. This was quite a sight! they marched  in with banners flying in bright vibrant blue, red and yellow, matching their regal flowing robes, carrying ‘Spears’ that had big scary looking blades on the ends.
I got quite emotional, it was a beautiful sight.
As the drum and the procession died down we meandered around the courtyards, peeking in to the main temple to see the King’s throne.
It would have been so easy just to sit down on one of the old stone walls and stay and watch the sunset over the mountains that that were the backdrop for all of this.

Another memorable part to this afternoon were many (possibly hundreds in all) of young schoolchildren, the little ones were very cute. I had little girls that seemed to be drawn to me because of the color of my hair.
Tiny voices saying, “Nice to meet you” followed by giggles and smiles.
The same happened to the guys, I guess we did stand out a bit!
This was a beautiful way to start our adventure in Korea!
I think we all felt humbled and privileged to experience another country that is so far from home and what we know.
There couldn’t have been a nicer ending to our day.

Now to the first show.

The Mapo Arts Center is lovely and holds approximately 850 people.and site in the centre of the city of Seoul. We had a nice big stage and beautiful lighting. The crew at the venue and Si-Wan’s staff had worked very hard to make sure we had what we needed for the show. Our sound man, Chris Capozza also did a marvellous job making sure that our required equipment would be available….this had been a bit of challenge when communicating across such a vast distance.
Of course we were all ‘jet-lagging’. It is quite a challenge to fly half way across the world to perform, and then only have one day to get acclimatised….one really needs a week! In any case we all performed excellently considering all of this and our first show was a resounding success.

When we came out on stage the audience were very loud in their appreciation of seeing us in person for the first time.
We were told after the show, that standing ovations do not happen here, but I guess we have now changed that!
I could see that people were singing along and they were very excited at every song announcement we made.
Once again ‘The Mystic and The Muse’ struck a big chord with ‘everyone’, the crowd went wild and LOVED it and just wouldn’t stop applauding. I was so overwhelmed I nearly fell over…hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
It is quite obvious that this song is very ‘special’

But the real surprise that Michael and I could hardly believe, is that when I did my ‘operatic’ solo at the end of ‘Ashes are Burning’ the fans answered my singing, there was a tumultuous roar of voices completely filling the theater. I could could barely contain myself. We had never thought of ‘Ashes’ as a ‘sing along’ but I guess now, Korea has started a new trend!  🙂

We signed autographs after the show, and some of the comments were very touching, especially because it is our first time in Korea and also that they never thought they would see us perform here. Lovely warm people…

So as I would really like to go to bed now even though it is only 11.53am, in my mind and body it is 10.53pm and time for beddy byes.
So I will go and get myself into show mode. Show time is earlier tonight, 6pm.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh an early night/morning or whatever.

Back tomorrow to give you another update.

Love and Peace from us all   x

October 2nd 2010

Korean poster

Soon we will be on our way to the other side of the world for the second time in two months, to S.Korea! It’s not always easy to route shows/countries together as in this case, even so the need and desire is there, so off we go.  I have done some research and it looks like a very beautiful country, wish we had the time to travel around and see the countryside and beautiful temples. We are looking forward to performing in Seoul and getting to meet some of our loyal fans we have had for many years. We have to brush up on our Korean 🙂

Shows are at The Mapo Art Center, Seoul, October 9th and 10th.

August 21st 2010

Last night the newly created annual ‘Rock Legends’ Progressive Rock Fest’ was born! It was in Tokyo at an open air theater called ‘Hibiya Open Air Theatre’. Very nice venue a little like the Greek Theatre, LA, on a smaller scale on the edge of a park. There were 2000 people there.We had another great audience and of course The Mystic once again was a triumph. The big banner that flew above the stage was by Roger Dean. The soundcheck in the afternoon was most uncomfortable, it felt like it was in the 100’s… but as usual the crew did a marvellous job in getting everything ready in time…we were three major acts playing the same length of time….huge amounts of equipment, three drum risers and also keyboard risers. When the show started we took the stage again to wonderful reception (it was still daylight..5.20pm precisely) I think I was the most uncomfortable as far as the heat goes. It was about 96 but felt like 106! I lost concentration for a split second in Mother Russia but managed to get through. The band did a great show, but we were all still tired from the jet lag. After the show we went for a Japanese meal and drank LOTS of Sake! Perfect ending!


It was great to meet up once more with our ‘sparring’ partners Steve Hackett and his band who of course played an amazing show!

August 1st 2010

Westhampton, Long Island show, 6/20/10. As you can see from this entry into the blog, I will be working backwards to get all the news from the tour in the correct order, so here we go.

After the excitement of the Procol Harum shows it was time to prepare for our tour with the Steve Hackett band. We arrived in Westhampton the day before the show as it was quite a trek for all of us. The show day was sunny and we were greeted by a beautiful Long Island town, quiet and unassuming, flowers everywhere and lots of boutiques and healthy places to eat! The venue was a lovely theatre with very helpful and friendly staff. This was our fist day meeting Steve and his band! What great people and musicians too…..particularly Steve, who I know you will all know from his days with ‘Genesis’. He can make his guitar sing! It was truly a great opening night for both bands with a very appreciative audience. We ended our show with Mark Wood (Trans Siberian Orchestra) joining us on violin, for Mother Russia. It was a great ending to our first night. More to come soon.

Peace  and Love Annie

Here are some photos from that night courtesy of Esa Ahola.

Running Hard at the Westhampton show, NY 6/20/10

Mother Russia with Michael and Mark Wood

David J. Keyes

Taking a bow with Mark Wood, Westhampton

Michael, Annie and Mark Wood

Annie & Michael after Westhampton show 6/20/10

Procol Harum shows

July 3, 2010

The two June shows with Procol Harum went spectacularly well.
The musical combination of both bands was perfect! Audience reaction was very warm and appreciative.
It’s always quite an experience to play in Atlantic City and this time was no different. We performed at the Tropicana which had a huge stage and also great lighting!
The sound system was excellent as were all the people involved in promoting the show (Bill Rogers, Ken Alderfer and all at BRE Presents) who also promoted the 2nd show we did with Procol at the very beautiful Longwood Gardens. The backdrop for this show was similar to a stately home in England, full of beautiful buildings, ornate greenhouses bursting with hundreds of species of flowers and plants, fountains, and arbors dripping with sweet smelling flowers. The stage area was surrounded by tall manicured trees mimicking the ramparts of a medieval castle, or a scene from Alice in Wonderland! The daylight was still with us when we performed, and the promise of imminent rain was not not fulfilled. I was due to play a rain stick during our new song ‘The Mystic and The Muse’, but everyone in both bands including my friend Gary Brooker gave me a look of concern, I knew it would be tempting fate! so I played the piano pins instead. It was a delight to sit out in the audience during Procol’s performance as the fireflies worked their way into the light show. I was very happy to see Gary again, a brilliant singer and songwriter and extremely funny too! Procol Harum consisted of Gary Brooker on Vocals and Keyboards, Geoff Whitehorn on Guitar and Vocals, Matt Pegg on Bass, Josh Phillips on Keyboards and Geoff Dunn on Drums.
They put on a fabulous show, BRAVO!

More to come from Annie and the band….

Soundcheck at Longwood Gardens 6/16/10

Denny Bridges • sound engineer • extraordinaire

SHOWTIME • Longwood Gardens

photos • Krista Wallhagen

Annie and Gary Brooker backstage at Longwood Gardens 6/16/10

photo • Spencer Zahn

May 24, 2010

Thank you to everyone who came to Rosfest, Gettysburg on May 1st. The running of the festival ran smoothly and all involved in putting it together were very gracious and helpful in making the evening a success! Kudos to promoter George Roldan for inviting us to perform. We had a great night and the audience received us with warmth and standing ovations. At this concert we debuted our new song ‘The Mystic and The Muse’, there was a little trepidation but the song was received very well and earned one of the evening’s standing ovations. The rest of the show which included Renaisance ‘oldies but goldies’ hit the spot for the fans that had been waiting so long to hear once more. Joe Goldberger stood in for Frank Pagano on drums as Frank had a conflict with another commitment. Joe, a good friend of the band, and who was in Annie’s solo band played magnificently on all songs, some of which he knew from past years. Here are some photos from the show.

Annie Haslam

Michael Dunford

For one night only • Joe Goldberger on Drums

Tom Brislin

Tom Brislin

Rave Tesar after show signing

Annie after show signing

photos • Esa Ahola

We were all pleased with the show, and now are looking forward to embarking on the Spring/Summer tour very soon. The first two shows will be with Procol Harum, it would seem a perfect match musically. Annie and her solo band opened up for Procul Harum in 1992 at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia, so there is a history there of sorts.

From June 20th we will be touring alongside of Steve Hackett. Some shows we will be the ‘special guests of’ which means we will be performing first, others we are co-headlining, and several we are headlining.

As we go along on our travels we will give updates on how the tour is progressing.

We hope you can make the shows.