• Martin Bullard

Svolvaer and Bodo

Once again I find myself at sixty eight degrees north, hoping for the clear sky that will allow a view of the Aurora. But wait, I have a much better reason for being up here than just gazing at the night sky. Smokie’s Norwegian tour dates brought us firstly to Lofoten Kulturhus in Svolvaer, a place in Norway where I’m nearly sure that we haven’t been, and there are not many of those left after thirty four years of constant touring. The beauty of this fishing and tourist town was beaten only by the reaction of the Smokie hungry audience that arrived ready to party. This was the band’s fourteenth show this year and I can say we are very comfortable with our new line up and the excellent musicianship of Pete and Luke. However, things sometimes change in our business and Luke had to leave us for rehearsals with James Bay, starting today. Not to worry because the excellent Jon Clifford Cox is with us until the end of the German tour in May. The way he played last night at Stormen you would think he’s been with us for years, such is the musical excellence to which those London session musicians aspire. Bodo had waited nearly four years since our last appearance here and they showed their appreciation in no uncertain way. It’s easy to be seduced by the wonderful scenery here in Norway and I feel that way every time I enter the country. But more than this, we have a well established audience here, after years of hits and touring, and we know we can come back as often as we like and always receive the same heartfelt greeting. Our next visit will be at the end of June when I’m sure the midnight sun will mesmerise as much as Northern Lights, especially for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced those long hours of daylight. Sleep can wait, there’s much more to enjoy.

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