Wilhelmshaven to Calais

  
Wilhelmshaven – great venue and excellent gig. Was nice to be back in that town. Reece and Mark did a radio interview and then it was time to do a four hour run to our hotel in Antwerp. Got there by 2.30….up at 6.30 for the final run in the Falcon to Calais.
 
Border police – check.

Park the Falcon in correct bay – check.

Ensure we have all our crap when we leave – check.

Check in – check.

Lose keys to the Falcon – check.

Run back to car to find them in ignition – check.

Drop keys off – check.

Have nervous breakdown – check

Awaiting ferry. 

Knowing us it’ll probably get torpedoed by a U-boat.

Hamburg

The Falcon got us here in record speed as we outpaced the GPS and shaved plenty of time off the trip. We could do the Kessel Rin in less than 12 parsecs in this machine.

Anyway, got here from Nüremberg on time and set up in the awesome  Markthalle – what a venue!

imageSet up and sound checked in no time as the crew guys really know their stuff. Very helpful.

Great stage, great crew, great food, great beer 🙂

All in all the gig was a blast: all three bands did well. Fire and Water and Operation:Mindcrime were both predictably brilliant.

Hung around after the show chatting for a while and Susan supplied an Operation:Mindcrime cocktail which was superb.

Cocktail- pictured on its side, or was I on my side...can't remember.
Cocktail- pictured on its side…or was I on my side…can’t remember.

Great to see some old friends: Mick, Gabe and Meik and Roger from Motörhead. Will be seeing him again in January 🙂

Onwards to Wilhelmshaven in the morning.

Operation:Carcrime.

Travel day from Zagreb to Nuremberg. The plan is simple: we drive to Trieste airport to drop off one car and pick up another which we use until we drop it in Calais on the way back to the UK shows.

Simple!

No.

We reach Trieste (or Tourette’s as Reece pronounces it) and drop off the car. Job done?

No.

The car is in Venice

Okay….how about bringing the car here or taking us to it?

No.

Okay…how about we hire a different car? Simple!

No. “We are a car hire firm…but we have no cars”.

Okay.

Does any car hire company of the seven here have cars?

No.

Okay…

Finally after nearly three hours we manage to hire a car to get to Venice.

Hurray!

Phone goes en-route: “We’ve cancelled your car because you are at the wrong airport”.

“Okay….so we’re fucked?”

“Yes. But for an extra €700 we can find a car.”

“No. Let’s just get unfucked while we are driving to Venice.”

“Okay sir”

So we are on the way to Venice. I’m expecting the town not to be there when we arrive…

(Later that day)

It turns out that the two ladies at Venice airport could not have been more helpful. We got our car without any hassle. It will by known as the Millenium Falcon because it doesn’t look like much but it’s got it where it counts. It made .5 past light speed through Austria and Germany. Long border hold up…brush with the undercover Polizei hunting for escaped POWs…and six hours later we are at the hotel. Hamburg tomorrow!

Show day Croatia

Not much to report really today. Slept in; had coffee; broke iPod; tried to fix iPod; swore at iPod; abandoned iPod and went to the gig which is a very cool venue with equally cool staff. Sound checked without problems and then feasted on ridiculous amounts of awesome food.

Fire and Water were predictably fantastic and we had an absolute blast on stage. Much tighter than last night I reckon, just a few tweaks here and there made a difference.

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Now enjoying Croatian beer while listening to Operation:Mindcrime – these guys are fucking brilliant.
The European shows have been great for us; the crowds really seem to get what the band is about and the promoters have been awesome to us. We have three shows coming in the UK too. It’ll be good to see how they go. Shame we’re not doing London but the promoter wouldn’t let us. I will be diplomatic about that. For now.

Travel day to Croatia

We had a great time in Brescia at the show, and the whole Operation:Mindcrime and Fire and Water crew have continued helping save our bacon by hauling our gear. After the show we stayed in an awesome hotel half an hour into the countryside, staffed by people so ridiculously happy that they belonged on a TV show with the Fonz. Great place.

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Day Six…Brescia

So…the adventure continues.
Up early to sort out the van which was supposedly repaired. Managed to get to the garage in good time for then dropping the hire car back at the airport and then off to Brescia. All part of the master plan.

Of course our master plan didn’t include the garage only having gone as far as lifting the bonnet, declaring it dead until we pay them the equivalent of Grenada’s national debt. Bastards! They hadn’t even begun to fix it.

Four unhappy iconites were back in the car and back to see the manager of the hotel we had been in, Andreas. He had already told us they were a bunch of thieving pricks and, alas, he was correct. However, this fine gentleman then helped us get the van sent to another garage. The sole remaining problem being that it wouldn’t be ready until Monday.
So…into the hire car and off to Brescia. We missed a turn and ended up going up a steep one horse track where Reece had to get out and clear rubble off the road at one point, but we made it in good time.

The gig was great. All bands played s blinder. On to Croatia tomorrow \m/

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