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Woke up at about 8am which was a bit annoying to be honest, and dozed fitfully, serenaded by Richard's gentle snores till about 9.30am. I got up and decided to start the day in a quite health-conscious manner. Unfortunately this thought quickly disappeared when I remembered spotting a McDonalds on our arrival last night. Sausage & Egg McMuffin meal it is then for breakfast. We leave the hotel at midday. I'm travelling with Richard and Jo, Jem's keyboard tech. We've got to do a quick detour into Peterborough to pick up a lead. No, not one to tether JK when he's off on one - an electrical lead. Then again if we spot a pet shop a dog lead could be a worthwhile purchase for the young scamp.
Our shopping trip over, Download here we come! Oz has just called, he's on his way too. Weather is looking good. We arrive, park up and while walking towards the backstage area I see Download event organiser Sir Andy Copping on a golf buggy. So we hitch a lift and arrive backstage in style. We spend a while doing interviews. I can't make any calls, I've got reception but I guess the networks are overloaded here, I'll persevere. The weather and vibe back here is great. Had a chat with Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy, what a lovely fella. Steve Strange is here, so the full management team is in da house.
Time to head to the Pepsi Max stage and see what's going on. I head up onto the stage and Charlie, my tech, has everything under control. The kit is up and ready to go, good work. Back to the dressing room, a quick change and we hit the Download stage for the second consecutive year. We open to a healthy crowd but just like yesterday the audience swells and swells. We have Carl the sexy sax man with us tonight for "Hard Day in Hell". It's 40 minutes tonight for us and just as we're getting into our stride it's over. Shame, we were having fun up there. Download, you rocked!
We head off to the dressing room, get changed and pack our bags to put on the truck. We're on a Ryanair flight to Dublin tomorrow (the world's least favourite airline) so it's hand luggage only. We head out into the main arena to watch the start of Def Leppard and the first raindrops start to fall, nothing too serious though. We meet some of the guys from Classic Rock magazine and they give us the thumbs up. Good reviews in the next edition then lads?
The Lepps hit the stage, the sound is very good and the staging amazing. We can only watch a couple of songs as we have to get Carl B to Keele Services so he can be picked up by the Aussie / British / Siberian Floyd, whatever they're called now. Carl's doing the Isle of Wight festival with them tomorrow. Have a good one geeze. We drop him off and head to our hotel which is right by Liverpool Airport. All is going swimmingly well until we hit junction 18 on the M6 and those helpful souls at the Highways Agency have, in their wisdom, decided to close two lanes of the motorway. No work being done on it of course. So for the second day in a row it's traffic jam hell for us boys.
We arrive at the hotel at about 12.30am. I'm feeling pretty tired. In last night's
hotel my pillows resembled a couple of sandbags, only not quite as comfy. The hotel
tonight is a very newly-built, modern affair, very nice. We check in and Richard
and I head off to our room and hit the hay after another successful day's work.
Scott Gorham says 'hi' to Steve
Jim, Merv, Pete and Steve with Sir Andy Copping
Carl B and Jim K in the dressing room
How to sing like a Satanic Viking - gargle with TCP
FM - Live on the Pepsi Max stage at Download