We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
The alarm goes off very early at 7.15am, straight out of bed to get Freya ready for
school because I have to meet Steve and Jim at 9.00am. I'm dropping her off at a
school friends who will drop her at school. Freya dropped off, I collect my bag from
home and head off to meet the lads. It's pouring with rain and can I find an umbrella?
That will a big fat no! So out I go into a very wet Ealing morning. I meet the boys
and we walk to South Ealing tube in the rain to catch the train to Heathrow Terminal
5. On the way Jim gets soaked by a passing 65 bus, we shouldn't laugh but we did.
We catch the tube and arrive at Terminal 5 right on time at 10am, the flight is at
11.am so we've plenty of time.
We meet Merv and Adrian, Jem is going under his own steam, we go through security
without any grief and decide a spot of breakfast would be in order. During breakfast
the weather has cleared up a treat. Heathrow is bathed with blue skies and sunshine,
now that's more like it. Breakfast over we begin to head to the gate only to discover
the flight has been delayed by 30 minutes... balls! The gate finally opens and we
board our British Airways flight to Newcastle and we're off up to The Toon. Lordy,
we're being offered complimentary drinks on board! I haven't had that on a European
flight for a very long time. We land at Newcastle Airport, collect the hire car and
head towards the city centre.
We find The Academy no problem, park up and head into the venue. All the gear is
pretty much up and we soundcheck. I meet up with my good friend Jick, and Steve,
Jim, Adrian myself and Jick head out for a bite to eat at Pizza Hut. Stuffed full
of pizza it's back to the venue and I have a shower and get ready for the show. The
lights go down and we hear The Toon roar.
It's great to be back in Newcastle and the fans don't let us down, the gig is sold
out and rammed. The audience are in wonderful voice as usual and the gig passes without
any disasters. It's good to be back. Before I leave the stage I say a few words and
get three massive cheers in tribute to Steve Lee from Gotthard who had tragically
died the day before, such a waste.
As I came off stage I realised I was deaf in my right ear, not good. During the show one of my in-ear monitor earphones had come out and I saw that the rubber grommet thingy was missing and thought it had fallen on the floor. The penny dropped, could the missing thingy be the cause of my deafness? Adrian got a torch and discovered, to my relief, said thingy nestling deep in my ear. He went and got some tweezers and tried to remove it but not being an expert in Otolaryngology (look it up like I did) he didn't want to cause any more harm and aborted his retrieval attempt mission. So it would be a trip to A&E for me before we get to the hotel.
We get changed and head upstairs for the Meet & Greet. I know I've said it before
but we really do enjoy meeting you lovely people.
Jim spends most of the Meet & Greet defacing peoples CDs etc. by writing daft comments and justifying his behaviour by telling them "This will be worth a fortune in a few years 'cos I've done that". Poor deluded child.
We're staying in Wetherby tonight which is about an hour or so away and I'm travelling
with Richard our soundman. We decide to try and find an A&E on the way and discover
there's one in Darlington. Richard drops me off and parks the car, luckily it doesn't
seem too busy, I give my details and take a seat in the waiting area. It's not busy
but it's two hours before I'm finally called and the offending object is removed
in two minutes. Ahh that's better I can hear again in glorious stereo. Back in the
car and we finally get to the hotel at 4.30am. Yawn!
Newcastle photos courtesy of:
Little Linda @ The Mayfair Mall Zine
Philip Bennett @ Philip Bennett Photography