May 22nd, 2014
Last night’s ‘quick’ pre-bed bath turned into a bit of a marathon soak I’m afraid, with several hot water top ups and the chapters dropping like flies. The upshot of which was lights out at 3.00am
Johnny whacks off another chapter
Next morning rendezvous was at 12.00 in the lobby from where we were taken to the venue – Theater Am Tanzbrunnen, a rather unusual affair in the middle of a park.
The theatre is a sort of hybrid design, somewhere between tent and dome, with a roof which looks like the canvas roof of a large marquee but which is actually made of steel.
Lovely, reflecty, rotten acousticy steel. Looking forward to tonight!
Theater Am Tanzbrunnen – German for “Great big tin can”
Sound Check: Snowboy enjoys the acoustics
As it was only a few minutes from the hotel to the venue we had a fair bit of time to kill before soundcheck at 4.00pm so we filled it in the usual fashion.
Back in the day when I was touring with Level 42, we used to carry our own caterers with us. Everywhere we went, the lovely Alison would take care of us and make sure we had all the favourite foods we liked.
At each location the crew would unpack and repack cookers, fridges and all manner of appliances necessary for catering to the whims of a coterie of spoiled musicians.
These days that seems like extravagance bordering on madness. It surely can’t be that hard to find a decent caterer in the major cities of Europe, can it?
So far on this tour, the standard of local caterer has been generally high – with the odd exception – and in some cases, exceptional!
Zurich particularly was a high point, as was today here in Cologne. Lunch was Tomato and Coconut soup, followed by Pasta something-or-other but Dinner was the most beautifully tender Roast Beef with Roast Potatoes and sautéed vegetables.
It was absolutely delicious and I’m sure I got through close on half a herd before finally admitting defeat and retiring for a lie down.
Mick fine tunes the mix in his monitor…..
The show was as expected really. The sound was pretty difficult and it was very hard to hear anything on stage with any kind of clarity. Walter (Front of House sound) and Meado (Monitors) are, to my mind, the best in the business and without their expert knob twiddling (ooh,er missus) things could have been much worse.
Poor Lisa was suffering from a very bad bout of Hay Fever which was making the high notes difficult but, as usual, she just pushed through it and is always focused on giving the best show possible for the audience. Judging from the audience reaction, they didn’t notice a thing, even if we knew she was struggling a little.
A trip to the doctor tomorrow in Munich will hopefully help sort it out.
After the show, we had a 9 hour overnight drive to Munich so plenty of time for post show celebration/recrimination/ambivalence (delete as appropriate) and a decent night’s sleep to boot.
Mick discusses the finer points of something or other…….
On the subject of sleep. We have ‘Temperature-gate’
Poor old Andrea is struggling a little with the temperature in the rear bunk room (the quiet, fragrant one you may recall). It would seem that the only way she can get comfortable is if the thermostat is turned up to ‘Hotter than the Sun’ – which is great when you go to bed but means that the rest of us spend the night dreaming of the Kalahari and wake up looking and feeling like the mummy of Tutankhamun. And I don’t mean his father’s wife.
So, there has been much experimentation with the thermostat, which has been up and down like a bride’s nightie. The whole affair has, however, culminated in some spectacular ad hoc modifications to Andrea’s bunk. A spare duvet, some heavy duty gaffer tape and a determined mind have turned her bunk into what can only be described as a miniature Sangatte, with barely the tiniest chink through which precious heat can escape!
This, my friends, is determination on a different level.
Hibernating bears go to less trouble………
So, with Andrea hermetically sealed into her bunk, the rest of us either drank, watched a movie, talked shit or a combination of all of the above until they could take no more and climbed into their respective bunks.
Next thing you know, we are parked outside the wonderful Circus Krone in Munich – a real, permanent working circus where we will be bringing our particular brand of thrills and spills tonight.
Send in the clowns…….