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That pesky alarm goes off at 6.30am, here we go again then. Tonight we're in Holland, Kerkrade to be exact. Ablutions over, the cab is booked for 7.10am, got some Euros, Sterling, phone charger, I'm ready to rock and roll. The cab arrives on time and it's off to pick up Steve and Jim. We hear on the radio Kew Bridge is closed, that will cause a bit of rush hour chaos and not help us getting onto the M4. Forewarned, we take a different route and arrive at Terminal 1 right on time and meet Merv.
Adrian has called. He, along with Jem and Richard, is delayed on the M25 but it's moving slowly. The four of us head to Costa to await their arrival. The guys arrive halfway through my coffee and breakfast loaf (original). Adrian distributes our boarding cards and we go through into departures and security with no dramas. Into Giraffe for some breakfast proper. Scrambled eggs on toast and an Americano pour moi and very good it all is. We check the board to see if we have a gate yet. No is the answer. Richard and I head off to the duty-free. I try some Boss aftershave imaginatively titled "Man". It must have taken months and probably huge marketing budgets to come up with that one. Richard mistakenly (so he says) goes for some women's perfume. So smelling like a couple of old tarts we return to the fold to find there's still no gate on the board. Dixons it is then.
Finally our flight is called and we head to gate 39 just in time to wait some more.
The flight finally boards at its scheduled departure time. We're flying into Cologne
which, as you may or may not know, is in Germany. I was sure we're playing in Holland...
We are, but Cologne is very close to the Dutch border... aah me now understand.
We collect the hire cars. Jim and I have brought our satnavs. Now, mine was very
kindly donated to me by Bob Skeat, it's probably close to eight years old and has
never been updated. We tried a few times... failed a few times... we gave up. So
needless to say the old girl has a few quirky moments occasionally. I fire her up,
put in the post code. She can only match a part of the post code, but that's pretty
good. Apparently we're 535 miles away and it's 23.05h. Bing Bong! She's found
the satellite, you go girl. Now we're 50 miles away and will arrive at the venue
in an hour.
The roads are so good over here, UK Highways Agency take note, you useless shower of muppets. As proved here you don't need mile upon mile of cones, average speed cameras, bus lanes on motorways etc. to get anywhere quickly and safely. We cross into Holland and are at the gig in minutes.
The Rock Temple is a cracking little venue. The crew are all here safe and sound and loading in the gear. I make my way to the dressing room and find a pot of freshly brewed coffee, top work. The gear is up and it's going to be soundcheck time very soon. We've plenty of time before doors and everything is nice and relaxed which is lovely after all the manic craziness of the festivals last week. Soundcheck goes without a hitch. Marcel the monitor guy is spot on, we're going to take him to Graspop tomorrow if we can wangle it. Tonight we're staying at a hotel nearer tomorrow's festival so it will be a shower at the gig for me today.
Food arrives in about 30 minutes, all is good. I've found some Wifi so I'll get the story so far sent off for your delectation...
Bye for now!
Our gear goes up at the Rock Temple in Kerkrade
Richard at the controls
A very happy Merv with
his new Peavey rig