Day One – UK – Belgium. Friday 26th Feb: We wait outside our studio, a disused Police station in Central Nottingham, waiting for our „tour bus“. It arrives, driven by Stuart from Darlington. It is an ex-Police riot van, but sadly the water cannon has been removed, oh well. It has a DVD player though. We drive to Dover. The wind is really strong and the boat trip to Boulogne is very rough. My sea legs fail utterly and I spend the entire voyage shivering outside on deck, staring at the horizon as it recedes, desperately trying to hold on to my lunch. The relief at getting back on dry land is immense.
Belgium: Conveniently located between Nottingham and Saarbrucken, we stay the night with a friend of Neil’s, Gert, in Geel. He was kind enough to stay up until 2am, and then let us empty his fridge. After an amazing breakfast of poached eggs and a strange sweet cookie spread, we get back on the bus, for Saarbrucken.
Day two : Through the vineyards of Saarland we rode, pausing only to attempt to gain entry to a US air base, which we mistake for a service station. We arrive at Sparte 4, a really great venue. There are loads of people at the show . A slightly nervous performance was met with a rapturous response. A great start. After that we need to unwind, so half of us head out to search in vain for a Gypsy jazz club night. The rest of us end up in a very seedy bar that turns out to be a place to procure „public ladies“ (as the proprietor tried to explain). Embarassed, we make our excuses and leave. The next morning we load the stuff at the club (thanks to Christof and his son Richard!), and it’s on to Frankfurt.
Day three: Frankfurt. Hmmm it is getting really windy. We arrive at the Brotfabrik, and things are flying around. There is a storm brewing. We don’t realise until later that almost the entire transport system in Frankfurt has shut down because of the winds. In the dressing room a window is blown in, sending a table full of food and coffee flying. No-one is hurt. Later on we look out a window to see firemen climbing on to the roof of the venue, because things are now falling from it. But we are not fazed, we carry on and play to the brave souls who made it through. It’s an early start tomorrow so there will be no partying tonight. We are all very tired, and head to bed.
Day four: A long non-stop drive to Hamburg, as we race to get to a radio station in time for an interview. We make it . After that we have another interview at the venue, Knust. Then its soundcheck, and an amazing dinner with some old friends. Feeling good, we play a great set. The sound is crystal clear. Neil’s guitar in particular sounded amazing. After the show we meet Marcel, who has travelled all the way from Amsterdam to see us. We are really honoured. It’s been a busy day and it ends perfectly with a few quiet drinks with the same old friends, and some new friends. We are all super relaxed. The promoter from the Knust , is super pleased with the show, and buys everyone a beer. Good times.
Die weiteren Stationen:
04.03. Chemnitz, Atomino
05.03. Erlangen, E-Werk
06.03. Bamberg, Morph Club
08.03. Köln, Subway
09.03. Dresden, Societätstheater
10.03. Berlin, Magnet
11.03. Karlsruh, Jubez
12.03. Stuttgart, Laboratorium
23.05. Beverungen, Orange Blossom Special XIV