8.45am… up and into the shower. I'm planning a quick Venti Starbucks from the shopping mall a stone's throw from the hotel. Jim is already there having breakfast so I join him. Steve, Merv and Ian turn up. Jem's been shopping in the supermarket and he's over the moon. He's got a few bottles of cheap plonk, "Five euros each! A bargain, they're seven quid at home". We'll have to see how many actually make it back as we have a day off tomorrow.
The snow has stopped but didn't settle which is helpful with the long journey ahead of us. We depart on time at 10am, leave the outskirts of the city and take the autobahn. Here the snow has settled on the trees and surrounding land but the roads are thankfully clear. A few hours later we drive over the border into Holland and the weather takes a turn for the worse, but it's rain now not snow. We arrive at the gig just after 3.30pm.
It's a fantastic, well-equipped venue. Great stage, PA, lights. The load-in is up quite a steep incline. Richard attempts reversing up but it soon becomes apparent going forward would be the wiser option, the smell of a burning clutch was a big clue. The gear goes in and is set up. Richard is having serious issues with the mixing console. It's a digital Midas desk. He loves the sound of them but the software running them is usually problematic. Today is no exception. In his usual calm, methodical way Rich addresses all the issues and soundcheck can resume but we've lost nearly 45 minutes. We do one song for monitors and one song for Rich out front and let the Electric Boys set up. The doors are pushed back 15 minutes and they get a soundcheck.
We have catering tonight provided by the venue and it's so nice to sit around a table to eat. The food is glorious. Thick homemade pumpkin soup, fresh crusty bread with delicious garlic and herb butter followed by pork loin with all the trimmings. After almost three weeks of mostly fast / service-station food it's an absolutely welcome treat. 10/10.
The show goes without any of the earlier hitches and we head down to the merch stand
afterwards to meet up with the fans. It's only an 80 mile drive tonight. I say only
because after some we've done lately it's a stroll in the park. I'm feeling really,
really tired tonight. We're staying in Eindhoven, next to the airport. We arrive
and I'm tucked up in bed by just after 2am.