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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Day Five…er…Trieste

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No show in Rome for us :'(

The van isn’t ready and replacement vehicle too late to reach Rome.

On the plus side, discovered a new drink called Amaro Montenegro. Very nice.

On to Brescia tomorrow and back in the game!

Trieste still an amazing place.

Transmission ends.

Day Four – Trieste

Another heavy travel day: Bratislava through Austria and Slovenia to Italy. Some stunning scenery along the way and something particularly awesome about driving through mountain clouds with Black Sabbath playing. Soundtrack of my life.
Rolled up in plenty of time at the great venue. The crew were amazingly hospitable and helpful. Great sound, great crowd, great show. Plus the dinner menu was ridiculously nice!! 

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We planned to head off early after our set to our hotel near Venice to get a head start on the miles to Rome. Of course, the best laid plans….

It seems that the oil cooler on the van decided to commit suicide right outside the theatre. So the van was buggered! Made an interesting spectacle for all the crowd leaving the gig and we made a few friends 🙂 
But…oh shit! What now?

  
To our rescue came Operation:Mindcrime. Between Susan Tate, Ty the production manager and Ingo they offered to take our backline leaving us free to hire a car for the next few shows until the van can be repaired. The awesome local sound man then found us a hotel and here we are still in Trieste until morning. Mark celebrated by the unusual gesture of standing on his bed and going through it, crashing to the floor In his underwear accompanied by some fruity Lancashire language 🙂 But all in all it worked out well…so far. Let’s see what our options are tomorrow. 
Huge thanks to the headliners for being so cool. We would have been screwed without them. 

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Off to Van hospital

Day Three…Bratislava

Excellent venue 🙂

  
Met up with Operation:Mondcrime and the duo Fire and Water (who are absolutely fantastic). Anyway, local crew and promoter were very very nice as we’re all the band people. Ingo is TM; we met before on tour 🙂

 

Fire and Water from Oirland 😉
 
Gig went very well – great crowd who were awesome to us. Everybody here is über friendly.

All in all a blinding start. Plus, the Deputy Ambassador from the British embassy bought me a beer 🙂

 

Mister Ambassador…you’re spoiling us
 
I must be getting respectable.

Brief diary because I’m knackered. Trieste next \m/

Day Two…

Driving…driving…driving.

We left Stuttgart and chewed up the miles; past München to the Austrian border near Passau. Huge traffic jam the other way as the Polizei had a roadblock up, but we sailed through. Then just hammered through the length of Austria to Slovakia. Now in the hotel in Bratislava – cool little place, with a bar that has beer at €1.25 a pint. Nice 🙂

Relatively unadventurous day. My sole moment of mystery was guiding my esteemed I.C.O.N colleagues through a lunch menu. With my limited German I successfully explained what they were buying. Then I attempted to buy a meat sandwich for myself – and left the building with an entire leg of roast pork. I suspect my linguistic skills failed me…

Gig tomorrow.    

Good as a coaster too.

Day One…

Early start from London; 7am out the door – early ferry from Dover to Calais. It’s great to be back in France, though strange to see the extra barbed wire and police units everywhere; not to mention sprawling camp next to the port. Anyway, we hared along the coastal road in France to Belgium, through one brief checkpoint and turned left at Brussels. We decided…or at least I did because I was behind the wheel and so had my hand on the navigation tiller…to head south through the Ardennes towards Germany.

:)
🙂

Yes…anybody familiar with my Second World War historian side will know that this was the hallowed turf of the Battle of the Bulge. Amazing to pass by scenes of bravery and tragedy like Stavelot, Malmedy, Bastogne, and the compulsory visit to Helmut Dollinger’s Königstiger 213 from Peiper’s spearhead attack. Amazing history to be up close to.

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We trucked on into Germany, passed an eight car pile up in the pissing rain and screeched to a halt near Stuttgart, 14 hours after leaving London. So this fact required an immediate beer, or two…or three. An excellent restaurant which was a working  brewery…food, beer, back to the 24-hour bar in the hotel…crash in time for kicking out at noon and on to Slovakia. Apparently we are actually here to play music 😉

Checking out the brewing gear
Checking out the brewing gear