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Oh my Lord is it that time already as Richard's alarm bursts into life at 7am and just to make sure we're definitely awake a chuch bell starts clanging away in sympathy. Surely it can't be time to get up already? Last night's male bonding beer-drinking session doesn't seem quite such an inspired idea as it did last night. Oh well, you're a long time dead, we'll survive! We meet, have breakfast and leave at 8am as planned. It's only 8 miles and we arrive just in time to do lots more waiting around. The stage is huge. The Scorpions are headlining today. The weather forecast is not great, overcast with rain.
It's 10am and the sun has just appeared, peeking through the clouds. If it can stay like this until about 12.15pm we'll be sorted. We have a new addition to the team - Marcel - he did the monitors last night at the Rock Temple and did such a fine job he's doing them for us today. Bloody hell I'm weary, hopefully the adrenaline will kick in nearer showtime. Things are running behind onstage which is bad for us, a soundcheck is looking unlikely. 10.28am F**k it's p***ing down with rain. All our backline is set up and on rolling risers, all ready to go. Wahey, the sun has come out just as the gear is going onstage. We'll get a linecheck at least which is great.
Everything is working, the sun is out, it's 11.30am, time to rock and roll people. Despite being first band on and playing at this ungodly hour there is a sizeable crowd for us and droves more heading our way in the distance. Marcel has a great onstage sound going on. We finish Wildside and a huge cheer goes up. The appreciative audience increases song by song, this is 'kin great. We have 40 minutes today, it's flying by. We finish our set to massive cheers of "We want more, we want more!" To hear that at about 12.15pm on a Friday afternoon, I think that goes down as a bit of a stormer in my book. Back in the dressing room everyone is well pleased with how things went. We go over into the catering tent for some lunch.
Everyone is pretty tired and we have a 160-mile journey to our next hotel so the general concensus of opinion is we'll watch Foreigner and then make a swift exit. Steve C comes into catering... the van has a water leak apparently. Richard goes off with Steve to see if he can locate the problem. We head out front and stand at the mixing desk. Foreigner's intro tape is just beginning, that's cool, I haven't seen the start of their show. Halfway through the set the heavens open, it absolutely buckets down. Kelly Hansen does brilliantly, he walks right out front and is literally singing in the rain totally drenched. It's a masterstroke, the crowd are loving it. What can I say, it's another incredible live performance from the guys.
Steve C has a mechanic sorted and the guy is lying in the mud under our stricken
van. Good work Mr. Church. The mechanic thinks it's a radiator hose but can't be
100% certain so a tow truck is called and the van is taken away for a more thorough
investigation. We hit the road for Germany, it's 165 miles away according to the
satnav... let those wagons - oh ok Ford Focuses - roll. We arrive at the next hotel
about 8pm, another winner by the Merv The Swerve Travel Company. We're in Germany
but to be completely honest I don't have a clue which town. We're all knackered but
we meet in the bar about 9pm and decide on tonight's cunning plan.
I've found out we're in Koblenz. Steve C has got the van fixed and has just pulled up outside, good work sir. I was going to take a walk while waiting for the crew boys to freshen up but The Overlord is buying a round and you can't pass up a rare opportunity like that. :-) We're heading out towards the Old Town, a 15-minute walk apparently. We arrive in a lovely old town square, pick a restaurant and have dinner.
Surprise surprise, after dinner we decide to help the already thriving German economy further by hitting some licensed premises. We find a bar playing Rockabilly music, frequented by arty-looking, bearded, beatnick weirdos. I get a round in for the troops and we settle down. After about 15 minutes the music is driving me insane so Richard and I leave and find an Irish bar. Aah, this is better. We have one more beer and decide to head back to the hotel for some much-needed shuteye.
We walk back to the hotel, it's just after 1am and we end another long but successful
FM live at Graspop 24 June 2011. Photo courtesy of Franky Bruyneel at Rock Report