We arrived in Budapest on Friday evening and were immediately summoned out for dinner with friends at a traditional Hungarian restaurant. The food was terrific, but what really caught our imagination was the gypsy band of weird and wonderful characters (one chap looked as though he’d escaped from the local morgue) playing weird and wonderful music on weird and wonderful instruments.
It might have been the effects of the strong Hungarian grappa we were drinking, but Matt and I thought they sounded so awesome we immediately started concocting future projects to try and find a way of working with them.
Wonderland rehearsals started bright and early the following morning. The venue was a huge, modern, whale-like building by the Danube. We were slightly nervous about how it’d all work - Louis’ script had been translated into Hungarian and all our familiar cues were now missing. Thankfully, our narrator - the Hungarian actress Anna Gyorgyi - was super-professional, and much eye-contact and frantic nodding ensured it ran pretty smoothly.
Then, after the rehearsal we did a series of TV interviews which made us feel ridiculously important.
The hall was packed for the gig and there were lots of children in the audience. Although we hadn’t been able to bring our props (the giant tea-cups just wouldn’t fit into hand luggage) the venue compensated by providing some super-funky lighting and dry ice. I’m not sure it really added much other than making our music hard to read, but it still felt cool.
And Matt was now so confident about his glock solo he insisted on having it mic’d.
All went well and we had time for a post-gig stroll along the river. Budapest really is a beautiful city; if you haven’t been already, I highly recommend it.