Across the water - November 11
Amanda, Steve, Phil, Rob and Roger backstage, Zoetermeer
Gary, Oliver and Steve backstage, Aschaffenburg
Steve and Amanda, Stuttgart
Our musical Euro-wave began with a tour bus trip of a mere thousand miles. With that giddy feeling you get after a boat journey, anywhere that isn't actually moving seems like heaven, which that night was indeed darkest Stuttgart, Germany, home of Porsche and Mercedes. In the hotel bar drunken locals seemed to fall over rather a lot whilst we Brits sat eating peanuts and keeping a low profile. It was a nice efficient hotel, but they would insist on dragging fallen bodies around corridors at about 3am...
The following day's show took place within a disused underground rail tunnel, both spooky and atmospheric. A funky tunnel's mouth of a gig, where the crowd went wilderbeast, especially for the new stuff from Beyond the Shrouded Horizon.
Next after a simply fantabulous cavern of a show in Cologne, we hit Basel, Switzerland. At the splendid casino where we played security was tight, as they'd suffered a robbery a year earlier when we were told ten masked gunmen helped themselves to the evening's takings in true James Bond style.
Back in Germany after another long road haul we arrived in beautiful Grimm's Fairytale like Aschaffenburg where I was thrilled to spend time backstage catching up with my son Oliver and several friends after a memorable show.
A foggy day off in Verviers Belgium followed the next day. Jo and I joined Amanda and her husband Paul for a delicious bistro meal and a much needed trek on foot into town...
The show in Limbourg down the road was in a favourite regular venue for all of us, where the locals are warm in the extreme. It always feels like playing to the family at Christmas, reminding me of Friars Aylsbury and early seventies heady days playing with a certain British beat combo of distinction.
Zoetermeer was the last show of the tour, with a packed return to the Boerderij. The band went bonkers, the audience mental!
Alas all too soon the party was over and within a beat we were back in Blighty, with a cup of PG tips, a round of marmite on toast and custard all round.
What a fab week it was, with the band on fine form and with extraordinary audiences and not a duff show in sight. Like Zorro, I'll be back at the drop of the hat! Many thanks to all the band and crew, Brian Coles, Winfried Volkien and everyone who keeps the engine stoked and the ship afloat...
Funky Stuttgart venue