9am and it's time to wake up. After a shower James and I go in search of some morning sustenance. We find a Starbucks. James has a hankering for a curry wurst. Two doors up from Starbucks he's in luck. He returns with curry wurst, chips and bread for €5 - a bargain. We have a 10.30am departure. We meet up in reception, load the wagon… next up it's Switzerland. At last it's a lovely, sunny day.
We arrive at the Swiss border around 2.45pm and we're told to park up and wait… And wait… They're obviously on high alert after the goings on in Paris. We had to pay £400 for a carnet to enter Switzerland as it's not part of the EU. A carnet is an official list of all the equipment we're carrying. It get stamped when you leave the UK, stamped in and out of Switzerland and stamped again when you get back to the UK. The only thing they're really interested in is the merch… We have to pay €280 as a kind of deposit with the balance being adjusted when we leave the country. So we're down around £600 before we've even done the show. We factored in about an hour for all the above shenanigans and that's about what it took.
The venue is about 20 minutes from the border and we're there in no time. Woah! What a fantastic gig, it's amazing. The crew load the gear in, it's a big stage. Ooh, there's a washing machine and a tumble dryer, we'll have some of that. James is leaving the tour this evening and Richard is coming out. James is doing the soundcheck and Richard the show. The soundcheck goes smoothly but a fly in the ointment appears. Tomorrow's show in Florence has just been cancelled, the promoter was worried about ticket sales. We're not shocked, we always thought that playing there was risky as we've only done one Italian show in our entire career and that was in Milan. Still, it's a disappointment and we're sorry for the people who bought tickets but the decision was out for our control. Apologies. We say our goodbyes to James, we'll be seeing him again in Belgium and France.
We eat and get ready for the show. Richard arrives… Phew, we have a soundman. Showtime approaches, the lights go down… It's that time again. It's great being on a big stage. We're playing for 90 minutes, something we haven't done since the UK shows. All too soon the show comes to an end… I really enjoyed it. After a quick rub down we head out to the merch stand and meet some fans.
Due to the Florence show cancellation we've had to change our travel plans. We're
now travelling to and staying for two nights at Lake Lugano, Switzerland. It's a
three-hour drive across the Alps in fog. We arrive at the hotel just after 4am… The
last thing I remember is seeing the clock on the TV reading 04.27 before drifting