We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Woke up about 8.30am, didn't sleep that well, kept waking up during the night, but feel refreshed. As we're flying Ryanair again luggage is kept to a minimum to avoid surcharges. I thought I wasn't bringing any hand luggage until, on leaving the minibus last night Steve asked "Whose is this?" holding up my carry-on case. Marvellous! I'm flying with a case containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. Now that's what I call travelling light. I get a call from Adrian, breakfast's included. Rich and I head down, it's a decent buffet-style affair, splendid.
We walk across the road to the airport terminal. If you're ever looking for a hotel close to Liverpool Airport, then Hampton by Hilton is the one. We go straight to security. Mr Overland goes through and then forgets to pick up his bag containing his stage gear and only realises about 10 minutes later. Luckily we're nice and early and he's reunited with his stuff.
We collect the hire cars and head straight over to the venue. Our crew are here,
Journey's crew are beavering away. Then it dawns on me... bloody hell we're sharing
the same stage as Journey and Foreigner, how cool is that! We head backstage and
into catering and who should wander in but Journey's manager John Baruck, our old
manager back in the Tough It Out era, and what's even better - he remembers us. We
have a great chat, he hasn't changed a bit. Journey and Foreigner have both finished
soundchecking so it's our turn to get up there and get set up. There's not a lot
of time before the doors open but we manage a song so all is good. I've got 15 people
coming as guests tonight, Dublin is my wife Suzanne's home town so I've the Connolly
clan and friends turning up.
Time to get changed. The doors haven't been open long but the arena is filling up. The lights go down, the sirens on the intro tape wail, here we go again. Our onstage sound is average to say the least but we plough on regardless. The growing cheers at the end of each song tell us Richard must be doing the business as usual. He really is such an integral part of our live shows, the sixth member of the band. Our 35-minute show is over in, well 35 minutes actually. We've received a fantastic response. Thanks Dublin, my second hometown. You rocked big time.
Back in the dressing room, the main topic of conversation is the horrendous onstage sound. Adrian comes back and has filmed the show on his iPad. It sounds amazing. Yes, Richard has done it again. The rest of the band head off to watch Foreigner while I have a quick chat with Steve Price on ARfm Radio.
Interview over I head out into the arena to see if I can find the family. Suzanne's
brother has sent me a text with his seat number and I find the Connolly clan no bother
at all. It's the first time they've seen us and they all seem really impressed with
the English fella in the family and his band. Cool. I get a tap on the shoulder,
turn round, and I'm greeted by Mr Kieran Dargan, the man who lit the blue touchpaper
for our reunion. Look at us now! It's great to see him and his lovely better half
Evelyn. I'm necking the Bud at a fierce rate of knots and by the time we leave for
the hotel I'm - to coin a Jim K phrase - a tad "leathered". Still, it's the first
time on the tour for me. I kind of knew I would be in Dublin though…
Pete with his brother-in-law Peter and
Peter's fiancée Karen