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Sala Heineken

Madrid, Spain

16 April 2011

FM Tour Diary: Madrid Sala Heineken - 16 April 2011


It’s been 25 years in the planning, possibly longer actually, but we’re off to do our first show in Spain at last, Madrid to be exact. We meet at London’s Heathrow Airport at 7.30am for our flight to the city. Our flight is delayed by an hour so we have a leisurely breakfast before heading to the gate.

We arrive at Madrid Airport and what a confusing place to get around it is. A marathon walk from the gate before heading up a couple of floors to get to passport control, then back down again before taking a 5-minute train journey to the baggage hall. Baggage collected, through customs and into arrivals where we are meeting a driver who will take us to the hotel, simple. Actually no, he’s broken down apparently. Not sure if it’s his vehicle or him that’s broken down but there’s no sign of him. We grab a brace of taxis and head into the wonderful city of Madrid.  

Our showtime has been brought forward an hour due to Real Madrid and Barcelona playing in Madrid that night, the kick-off is 10pm so we want to be all done by 9.45pm latest. So with the hour or so flight delay and the non-appearance by the driver we’re getting tight for time, the doors open at 7pm sharp. We arrive at the hotel around 3pm, dump our bags and head to the venue on foot in the Spanish sunshine, lovely.

We’re using hired backline / drums tonight and you never know what you're going to end up with. Robert Mills the promoter has done us proud, it’s all good gear, pretty much as requested. The venue is great, Richard our soundman is happy with the PA, good backline for us. I’ve a feeling tonight is going to be a goodie.  Soundcheck goes very smoothly and the guys head back to the hotel while I stay to do an interview before heading back myself for a quick shower.  

Back to the venue and we’re all primed and ready for action. The lights go down, the intro tape starts, a huge cheer goes up and the long wait is over. We launch into Wildside and the crowd goes nuts, the place is packed despite the football.

Every song is greeted with massive cheers. After Other Side of Midnight it’s impossible for Jem to start Hard Day in Hell as the entire crowd are singing “Olé, olé, olé… It’s another one of those moist-eyed, lump-in-throat moments for the drummer. We end the set with Burning my Heart Down and leave the stage to wild cheers and applause.  

I head back behind the kit and the "Olé, olé, olé" starts again but this time even louder than before. I decide to start conducting them, making them go really quiet and then really loud again - another one of those brilliant, unforgettable moments. I kick into the intro of Frozen Heart and we finish with Grapevine.

We take our bow and leave the stage with the Madrid crowd’s cheers still ringing in our ears. What an exceptional night in a club full of exceptional people. It may have taken a long time for us to finally come to Spain but we’ll be back and I promise you won’t have to wait another 25 years.

Spain rocks big time!

Pete xxx


Hi all,

What can I say about Madrid, other than I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people, and the reaction of the fans.

We all had a fantastic time and next time want to stay longer.

Thank you all for everything.

See you very soon.

Steve O


This Madrid trip was extra-special for me because not only was it the first time I’ve played with FM in Spain but it was also my 7th wedding anniversary!! Yep, 7 years ago I was in sunny Vegas with my soon-to-be beautiful wife Lynn, Merv was best man and we had the fattest, coolest Elvis lookalike you could get. It’s also worth mentioning that we got married in the same wedding chapel that Jon Bon Jovi did!

So Lynn and I flew out stoopid o’clock the day before the boys, and had a splendid day in Madrid. We did a lot of walking, eventually settling at a bar that did pints for 2 Euros!! This meant we both got completely hammered, and why the hell not!!

The day of the gig we wandered round the corner to have breakfast at a café called Nabraska’s and as we tucked into our Spanish omelettes ole Ralf Hirse, big fan and friend of the band, walked in. It was nice to see a friendly face.  

The gig on the night was fantastic. I hadn’t played Madrid since I was with the UFO boys and the fans made us feel very welcome. I did have a few tech problems with my Mac at the start (missed my trusty keyboard tech Jo) but I soon sorted them out and was able to relax and enjoy the gig.

To sum up, it was a fantastic weekend, brill gig, great Anniversary and the fans were amazing so we all can’t wait to return soon.



Writing these diaries is a bit like Groundhog Day in the sense that with all of the gigs we do, we seem to get a brilliant response and we’re all a bit shocked by it all. Madrid was no exception.

Another brilliant crowd, great crew at the venue and a top night for all. As always though, it all goes by in a bit of a blur, although a particular highlight for me was my old buddy Chip Wickham playing sax with us. I hadn’t seen him for four years since he (conveniently for us) moved to Madrid.

We’re all looking forward to returning to Spain sooner rather than later.  Barcelona I think next.

Cue Freddie...



In 1983 Black Sabbath and Diamond Head were on tour in Spain and that is where I first met Robert Mills, he was promoting the tour. He paid FM a visit when we were recording the Indiscreet album in Ibiza in ‘85, we talked about doing a show in Spain...

Finally 26 years later we got it together... Better late than never!!! Trust Robert and I to choose a date when due to a re-arranged fixture Barcelona were in town to play Real Madrid!  

We had to schedule the gig to end before the match started... it worked. The fans all turned up early and up for it, they sang their hearts out, it was a pleasure just to be there. After all this time FM finally play in Spain, all I can say is the FM fans in Madrid were bloody amazing, they didn’t let us down.  I hope we went some way to returning the favour.

I would like to thank Robert for his patience.



At Heathrow

…the flight’s delayed

FM arrive in Madrid

FM soundcheck

Showtime… FM with legendary promoter Robert Mills and sax player Chip Wickham

…and they're off!

Steve Overland
Madrid, 16 April 2011

Face to Face

Over You

Jem Davis
Madrid, 16 April 2011


Jem & Lynn

Jim Kirkpatrick
Madrid, 16 April 2011

Pete Jupp
Madrid, 16 April 2011

Chip Wickham

Merv & Jem

The Encore

Thank you…

…and goodnight

Stiv gives Madrid the thumbs up

Aftershow FM Madrid fans
team photo

Sala Heineken Madrid Spain Sala Heineken Madrid Spain 01_FM_heathrow.jpg 02_FM_flightdelayed.jpg 03_FM_arriveMadrid.jpg 04_FM_soundcheck_SalaHeineken.jpg 05_FM_soundcheck.jpg 06_FM_soundcheck.jpg 7_FM_Showtime_Robert MillsChipWickham.jpg 08_FM_andtheyreoff.jpg 11_FM_stiv.jpg 09_FM_facetoface.jpg 10_FM_overyou.jpg 12_FM_jem.jpg FM_Madrid_16April2011_Metropolis_JD.jpg FM_Madrid_16April2011_JemLynn_JD.jpg 13_FM_jim.jpg 14_FM_pete.jpg 15_FM_chipwickham_harddayinhell.jpg 16_FM_mervandjem.jpg 17_FM_theencore.jpg 18_FM_thankyou.jpg 19_FM_andgoodnight.jpg 22_FM_stivgivesMadridthethumbsup.jpg 23_FM_Madrid16april2011_aftershowwithfans.jpg Top