So, with rehearsals behind us and most of us still at best a little unsure of what’s going on, it was departure day – something which had come as a bit of a shock to Snowboy, who thought we weren’t leaving until Friday! Not bad. Only two days out…..
Having said that, I personally was about as unprepared for a month away as it’s possible to get without being totally unaware that it was happening at all. I hadn’t packed a thing. I hadn’t even thought about packing a thing. I still had tons of business stuff to take care of …. ooh and the minor matter of a VAT return to do!
The plan was to get up REALLY early and whip through everything but, to be honest, I lay awake so much planning this I thought I may as well get up and do it.
So, at 1.00am I turned on the office light and began my quadrannual missive to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. (I may have just made up a word)
Two hours and several thousand pounds later I crawled into bed painfully aware that the alarm would be going off in under 4 hours.
To be honest, I’m usually pretty relaxed about travelling and within an hour of getting up I had everything packed and was ready to rock.
First stop on the trip though, was a TV Studio in South London where we were to record a couple of songs for the Aled Jones Show which would air on Saturday (while we are in Hamburg).
Anyone who has ever done a TV show will tell you that it’s possibly the most boring thing you could ever do. It makes waiting for a bus feel like white water rafting!
Talk about “Hurry Up and Wait”
The day’s tedium was briefly broken by a last minute Change of one of the songs (there’s a hint there!) but other than that it was the inexorable crawl towards losing the will to live. Endless run throughs for no apparent reason all interspersed by platitudes from relentlessly cheerful telly people.
On a side note though. Aled Jones. What a nice bloke!
What, again? (The Aled Jones Show)
Finally, it was all over and we were free to go.
The bus arrived around 5.00pm and there followed the usual unseemly scramble to get the bunks furthest away from the snorers (you know who you are!!). Over the past year of touring with this band a natural order has established itself and the two bunk rooms have gravitated towards a quiet, peaceful room and a noisy, smelly room.
I, naturally, am in the more tranquil and fragrant of the two (….what?) but I nevertheless have to run the gauntlet of hell to get to the TV room. Not much TV gets watched!
So, the fighting over, we settled down for the 16 hour drive to Zurich and the first show.
Not much to tell of the trip really. A few drinks and then off to bed at a reasonable hour so as to at least start off well.
One other piece of business:
Anyone who knows me well will recall that I have, for many years, said that I think that every man should see his own bald head at least once in his life. So, as we are away for a month I thought it would be a good idea to complete what mother nature has been working on for the past few years and get my money’s worth out of that hair trimmer.
Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the result:
I quite like it……..