ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

FIRST ONE DOWN...

Show day.

We all had problems sleeping last night, due it seems, from jumping time zone to time zone. I didn’t fall asleep until 12:30a.m. yet was wide awake by 4:00a.m.

 “Me? Tired? Nah, don’t be silly.” 

“Me? Tired? Nah, don’t be silly.” 

When I headed down to an early breakfast, everyone of us had the same complaint of not being able to sleep, which makes for a very looooonnng day ahead especially when we have soundcheck and then the actual show on this day.

 “Art is the most intense form of individualism the world has ever known.” ~ Oscar Wilde. 

“Art is the most intense form of individualism the world has ever known.” ~ Oscar Wilde. 

Headed back up to my room after breakfast and spent the next several hours writing my blog, as well as working with my friend and partner in L.A. via text, on something pretty darn cool that I hope comes to fruition and you all get to witness and enjoy. That’s the strange thing about the business of “art”, you work on a 100 things to get just 1 to the finish line. How many songs of mine or of Glass Tiger’s have you heard? Doesn’t really matter what the answer is because the “How many have I/we written”, dwarfs the answer. Anyway, this project is incredibly cool and we will give it our “all”, to bring it to you.

Since this acoustic performance format is new and tonight is the first one, it was imperative that we had a good soundcheck and so I attended it (even although I don’t like ‘em 😩). As I have mentioned many times, I like to rest my voice for the actual show but when it’s absolutely necessary, then I do soundcheck........this one was necessary. Once we get into a groove and get our levels set, I will back off and skip them.

 “Oh soundcheck, how I hate thee.........” 

“Oh soundcheck, how I hate thee.........” 

So to soundcheck it was and basically we DID THE WHOLE FUCKING SHOW!!! 😂😂 Man, singing it at 4pm only to sing it again at 8??? What’s THAT all about? The band love to tease me ‘cuz they know I hate it, but I take it all in stride (sssssh don’t tell them 🤫;)

The $32-million, Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre in Medicine Hat, Alberta opened in October 2005. It consists of a museum, a 150-seat studio theatre and the 700-seat main auditorium. beautiful little theatre. The acoustic sound within its walks is superb. One could sing “A capella” so easily in there. Well done guys, I love it! 

 What a lovely little theatre can do for the voice.  

What a lovely little theatre can do for the voice.  

There was not a lot of time between the end of soundcheck and having to be back ready to go for the first set. We had about an hour and a half. I was ready in no time and actually sat on my phone in my room looking at some socials when I came across a review of our show in Nottingham, England, at the Rockingham Festival. Now you have to remember that this festival is one that celebrates HEAVY rock with bands like WARRANT and NELSON on the bill. I mentioned in an earlier blog written while in the UK, how strongly I felt about our performance and that I was proud of Glass Tiger for “knocking it out of the park!” Here for you is the review of the show from writer Andy Nathan;

The curveball in the original Rockingham line up announcement, that few could have predicted, was Glass Tiger. On paper they were one of the biggest names on the bill – joining only Nelson and Warrant as holders of a top 2 USA singles hit back in the day.

However the Canadians had not played the UK since 1991, and more seriously against the Rockingham strapline of ‘melodic hard rock’ they failed the second definition and arguably were on the fringes of the third. They played a masterstroke for anyone who feared they might be too poppy, opening with ‘Animal Heart’ whose strong choruses allied to some suitably AOR keyboards from Sam Reid was one of their rockier songs.

The likes of ‘Someday’ and ‘I Will Be There’ may have lacked crashing powerchords, but were agreeable songs expertly delivered and on top of that Alan Frew, recovered from serious illness and with a Scottish accent betraying barely a hint of his adult life in Canada, was both a pitch perfect vocalist and a frontman with an almost comic sense of timing- indeed it was no surprise to learn that he makes a living outside the nostalgia circuit from public speaking.

Worlds Crumble’- was a duet between Alan and curly haired backing singer Carmela Long, while highlights that broke the Rockingham mould included a drinking song they wrote with the Chieftains, ‘My Song’ when a bouncing Nottingham students union was turned for four minutes into a convivial rural bar in rural Ireland, and the equally celtic flavoured ‘My Town’, preceded by some hilarious remarks by Alan about how the song had given an ungrateful Rod Stewart his big career break.

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Rhythm of Your Love’ got into a great groove, people picked up on the ‘love gives life’ chorus of ‘Diamond Sun’  and ‘The Thin Red Line was another with a celtic, almost Big Country-ish flavour. Despite joking earlier that it wouldn’t be in the set, Alan ended with ‘Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone’, whose melodies had the crowd bouncing and he led a protracted but very entertaining audience participation section.

These seasoned pros knew exactly how to deliver a set and I marked them as band of the weekend, allied to a sense of shame that back in the eighties I returned a couple of their albums to the Record and Tape Exchange as they hadn’t been rock enough.

Not too shabby at all, if I say so myself. Things could have been a lot different for a band of our genre being inserted into another genre much “louder” than our own. Well done GT!!

Our show here in Medicine Hat, our first of about 17 or so, was a smashing success. Although for us on stage, it wasn’t without a few little “hairy” moments. Mainly with timing and coordinating that timing with what we were hearing in our in-ear monitors. Nothing though, that an audience would really pick up on and it’s all part-and-parcel of working out the cobwebs from the rock format to learning the new feel of the acoustic one. The audience was fabulous and the band received a very warm and enthusiastic encore.

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On this tour Glass Tiger is proud and honoured to support CAMH (Centre For Addiction and Mental Health) in their efforts to raise money and awareness to not only be able to keep moving forward with state-of-the-art research and hopefully a cure but also in helping break down the stigma attached to being an addict and of suffering from mental health disorder. Of course many times both addiction and mental health disorder walk hand-in-hand. It was my honour therefore, to speak from the stage just prior to intermission asking the people of Medicine Hat to sign up in support of CAMH. I explained how in the spirit of community they would be helping “their own.” Yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbour, this is what CAMH is about. Cutting edge research and treatment.

Five people signed up and we were delighted to invite them back stage to thank them, take photos with them, and give them a little gift of a signed Glass Tiger 31 CD.

After the show we went for a cold refreshment and a bite to eat. We then returned to the hotel and it was my intention to have a last-call beer with Sam in his room. We opened the beer......I sat down on the sofa......and we turned on Jimmy Kimmel Live and zzzzzZzzzZzZZZZZZZZZ!! ”HEY ALAN!......BEDTIME!!” Night, Night Guys 

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Remember.