Jo shares some final thoughts about her work experience at Sage Gateshead:

Week 7 - Front of house, Oceans Colour Scene 

A 6.30pm start I made my way to the hall corridor this is the space where briefings and de-briefings take place for both halls. You sit in a line and are given instructions for that evening's event it reminded me of Hill St Blues.  Anyway Angie thought we were there on the Wednesday so when I got there I rang her and then panic set in; she made it ten minutes before the start. Ocean Colour Scene were great I'd not heard of them but I knew some of their songs.  The lead singer asked for the smoke machines to be turned off as he likened it to sitting in a pub full of 'E smokers'. As the night went on the fans got bouncier and bouncier, one guy sat on Angie's seat because he couldn't remember where his seat was a couple took over my seat as they couldn't get back to theirs everyone seemed to enjoy it the lighting was brilliant too what a night to remember. Angie and I did alright on the doors directing people to their places but once the lights went out I struggled to find the right rows to put people in I was trying with not much success to remember the alphabet backwards mainly because bags had been placed on the letters on the floor the guys who had gone out for more beers had the same problem it was funny to watch. The crowd got very loud and bouncy as the night went on but a good time was had by all.

Week 8 - Front of House, Duncan Chisham 

7pm start again back in the Hall corridor for our briefing; tonight we were in Hall 2 and I found it really difficult to direct people to their seats for some reason I couldn't find on the levels on the  tickets and at one point I sent a family into level 1 fortunately Kerry rescued them and found their seats on level 2 I suppose I do well as a register blind person. I spent my time with Val who was lovely and I fumbled my way through the rest of the night. Duncan Chisham is a fiddler and a very good fiddler indeed he came with pipes and his guitarist too. I enjoyed the night.

Week 9 - 6.30pm start, Adam and Richard supported by Emma 

Back in Hall 1 with John again Angie and I were on the ball but 30 minutes before they were due to start someone had moved the grand piano and we couldn't open the doors to the public until they had returned it. We had three minutes to get everyone in I'm so pleased it wasn't a full house Adam and Richard are opera singers who were on Briton's got Talent they were good their Nan was in the audience and their dad sung on stage with them Emma sang a beautiful version of a song from the Walt Disney film Little Mermaid I could have cried. Watching the whole performance reminded me of my Primrose Valley days when you were waiting for the star turn mid week to come on and I mean that in the nicest possible way. When we went back into the Hall corridor staff were asked if anyone wanted sifts for Sunday night Angie and I put our hands up... We enjoyed the night, looking forward to the next session.

Week 10 - Front of House, Joan Armatrading 

Well I thought it was folk music from the local area that's what I had listed maybe that was in Hall 2; so when I was told it was Joan Armatrading I was excited not that I wasn't excited about the folk music... I got in on time despite the traffic problems only to find Angie stuffing her face with what looked like a lovely baked potato I sat with her while she finished her meal which made us both late so when we attempted to enter the Hall corridor we were told to wait outside until the briefing was over because we were to late to hear anything useful. I told Angie I'm blaming her in our blog for being late and here am I blaming her... We were put on separate doors with Linda who give us our own brief briefing before the concert started. Angie asked if I had heard of Joan Armatrading I couldn't believe that anyone of our age would not have heard of her? We were on the quietest doors ever, so there wasn't a lot to do i did listen to a lady who complained about how loud it was then I discovered she was right underneath the speakers, she then complained about her seat and said she was told the hall was sold out but there are plenty of seats I then explained that most people would come in for the main act that's why it looks like there are lots of seats I was right by the time Joan came on stage the Hall was packed the support band who played in the first half were called Seakings and they were excellent. Joan was brilliant at I had forgot just what great musician she was she had three maybe four guitars and a keyboard on stage and played them all beautifully she played the song she is most famous for 'Love and Affection' then Angie knew who she was bless. Great night loved it.

Week 11 - Front of House, Royal Northern Symphonia 

5.45pm start today earlier than normal there was a talk before the performance which the audience could attend if they wanted to. After the break at the start of the main performance we got everyone settled down and I decided to sit down on the seat attached to the wall as soon as I sat on down it squeaked and head did turn in my direction, I froze then at a loud part I got off and found a seat that was squeakless. It would seem the audience are regulars so don't need to be shown to their seats which made the night easier for me anyway. I like some classical music but this was my first experience of live classical and I keen one of the pieces they played and before you asked for the name of the piece don.t forget I'm not good with names.

Week 12 (last week boo woo)

This was a very loud female rock band called...? With an even louder support band called Garden I think. There was a pit at the front of the stage so people needed pit tickets to get into that area I guess that's where you could head bang and air guitar if you felt inclined some did and the beer flowed well. Garden were running around the stage swinging the mic one jumped into the pit with the crowd it wasn't so easy for him to get back up... The sound system was at max but Angie and I were saved by some earplugs which help a lot except when Linda needed to say something to us we had to remove the earplugs and they are not the easiest thing to refit. I'm sure we were meant to do front of house with a string quartet in hall two that's what I had in my diary anyway. We left that night with our hearing still intact and saddened.

Review  - with Debbie Little

Angie and I came in together for the review but we were meant to come in separately but Debbie was very good she managed to fill in our review forms in together I don't how she kept them in order as Angie and were throwing things we wanted to say at her left right and centre. Overall Angie and I really enjoyed our time at the Sage And if we got the opportunity we would do it all again. All the staff we worked with have been fantastic and very supportive and a big THANK YOU to them for being so kind. I would like to work at the Sage paid or voluntary I don't mind. Sorry for not disclosing my sight problems Debbie as I explained I miss out a lot if because people think I can't do because I can't see.  

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