We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
7am... the alarm goes off. I've been waking up periodically all through the night, it's one of those things when you know you have to wake up at a certain time, a bit of a pain but never mind. So today we're heading to Portugal, Lisbon to be geographically precise. It's been a while since we played there, probably getting on for 20 years. We've had some right tear-ups on past trips. Now we're older, but are we any wiser? We'll find out in the next 24 hours or so. The cab is booked for 7.30am and it arrives on time. I meet Steve and Jim and we're dropped off at South Ealing tube station. As it's rush hour we've decided the tube will be quickest this morning.
We arrive at Terminal 3 a little after 8.15am, check our luggage, clear security and have breakfast. It's scrambled eggs on toast and an Americano for me. The flight is on time, we have a gate, happy days. The flight boards and we're soon rising into the blue skies above London, flying west looking down over Windsor Castle and the winding River Thames, lovely. The flight time is about 2 3/4 hours, thank heavens for Angry Birds.
We land on time, through passport control, all the bags arrive, sorted. We're met by Emanuel the promoter, and we take a couple of minibuses to the hotel. On the journey to the hotel "That Girl" comes on the radio, how cool is that? We arrive at the hotel, it's another Goldsworthy winner, we even have bathrobes in the room. It's been decided we'll head to the gig as soon as we're checked in just to suss out the venue and the hired-in backline. Bloody hell it's a sports hall, I never expected that. The show has done 1350 advance tickets, sweet. I remember years ago we did a show in, I think Oslo... we'd never played there before and we asked the promoter how many advance we'd done. "Six" he said. "Six hundred?" we asked. "No, six" came his reply. Not our finest moment.
We get taken out for lunch and dine on some fantastic seafood. I'm not the world's biggest fan but this was good. Starting with massive shrimp/prawns, is there a difference? As you can see I'm not a connoisseur. Mussels/oysters, again not sure which. What I can tell you is it was stunning. This was followed by some fish of various types, grilled to perfection. I couldn't eat it every day but it made a fine change. Adrian's phone goes, our soundcheck has been brought forward, the guys are ready. The soundcheck goes without a hitch. It sounds good from where I'm sat, splendid.
Right, next on the agenda: do-it-yourself merchandise stand building. In true Blue Peter fashion Merv, Adrian and I cobble together a fine makeshift al fresco T-shirt emporium out of various bits and pieces we find lying around. Richard and I head back to the hotel for a freshen up. We're on at 21.20h. We decide to walk back to the venue as it's such a lovely evening. The streets around the gig are buzzing with people, I think this could be rather good tonight. Into the dressing room, bloody hell it's hot in here. The first band are about to go on. A pizza has arrived for Merv. It's shrimp, anchovy and pineapple, probably not his first choice methinks. Time to get ready, showtime is fast approaching.
For the last time on this European tour the house lights go down. A huge roar goes up as the intro tape sirens begin to wail. The place is packed, the heat stifling, come on boys, let's do the business one last time. The crowd are amazing, going crazy. We find out later there are just over 2,000 people in, that'll do nicely. We end the show to the whole place cheering en masse. What a great way to end the tour.
Back in the dressing room everybody is on a high. Time to hit the "Super Bock", we crack open a few ice cold bottles. You can't beat an ice beer after a steaming hot gig, come to think of it you can't beat an ice cold beer period. We really have been looked after in a spectacular fashion by Emanuel, Nuno and the crew… treated like kings. Thank you guys, we've loved working with you.
We have to leave the hotel at 6am tomorrow morning. I've thoroughly enjoyed every last minute of these shows the past few weeks but probably could have done with a few less early mornings to be truthful. I'm not complaining though... well not much. We're tucked up in bed a little after 1am and collectively dreading the 5.30am alarm call.
Well there you have it... My Euro Tour blog comes to an end in Lisbon. I hope you've enjoyed reading the witterings of the "Man on the Tubs"...
We'll have to do it again sometime. xx