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My eyes open, I see daylight peeking through the curtains. I check the time. It's 7.30am. I try to get back to sleep and doze fitfully until Adrian calls to inform me it's 10am at 9.50am. We meet in a coffee shop and leave Koblenz for Loreley. My satnav has never even heard of the place so we'll have to keep up with the others and go in convoy. After going back and forth over the same bridge a few times we're on our way. Wow, it's so picturesque, lots of castles up in the mountains, quaint villages, gorgeous.
We arrive at the site at 12.30pm, we're on at 15.40h. We head backstage and into catering for brunch. The weather is very overcast with foreboding grey rain-laden skies above us. The festival site is in an amphitheatre overlooking the Rhine, as spectacular a setting as you're ever likely to find. The sun is being very reluctant to appear. There's light rain falling, nothing serious but it really is a shame. Our gear is up onstage. No rolling risers today, the other bands' gear is in front or behind depending on their billing, it's cramped. We're on second today, the first band finishes and we have a 20-minute turnaround.
It's 15.40h, showtime, but there is a problem with the out-front desk, no point going on until everything is 100% right. 15.45h... we may have to drop a song, we're not sure yet. Backstage we hear instruments being checked and re-checked. 15.50h... our intro tape finally goes on. We have to drop 2 songs, we decide on Face To Face and Don't Stop. Despite all the chaos it sounds great on stage and the audience are with us from the start. The gig flies by and again we leave the stage to "Zugabe! Zugabe!" which means "We want more! We want more!" for you non-German speakers.
The guys from Night Ranger have watched our set from side-stage and they congratulate us on a great show and are saying "We've never heard of you guys but you're awesome!" How cool is that? They're a really nice bunch, really friendly fellas, we have a great chat with them. I love my job. We have an impromptu meet and greet with some fans, which is great, lovely to meet you good people, we must do it again. We have another long drive tonight so it's decided we'll watch Night Ranger and then head off to Dusseldorf. I have a quick bite to eat in catering and head side-stage to watch our new buddies. These guys are one of Steve Church's favourite bands so he is in his element. I've never seen them before and they put on a great show. The guys from Foreigner have arrived so we say our goodbyes, thanking them for the fantastic treatment bestowed upon us. As I said earlier, we've a long drive ahead of us tonight, about 260km. We're flying out from Dusseldorf early in the morning, 7.15am to be precise so our bass-playing travel agent has booked us into a hotel at the airport.
Into the cars... Dusseldorf here we come. We arrive at the hotel - another cracker by the way - about 9.30pm and decide to convene, surprise surprise, in the hotel bar at 10pm. We have been joined by our good friend Ralf and when I get to the bar Merv, who is not normally a big drinker, is on the cocktails. The beer flows, we get friendly with the barman, more beer flows, a round of shots appear... more beer, more shots, toasting a very worthwhile, fun and successful outing. I don't have a clue what time we headed off to bed but it was definitely way past should-know-better-o'clock. What is it with us? We're like a bunch of over-excited teenagers, we just throw the switch when we go away.
The thing is we're having the time of our lives so what the hell...
So here's to much more of the same... I'll drink to that!