MK European Tour 2013...

31st July 2013 - Cap Roig

1st August 2013

Homeward Bound. The task of writing this final tour diary entry from home is now becoming quite familiar and as always, I will take my time over it so apologies if you've logged on a few times expecti....

31st July 2013 - Cap Roig

30th July 2013 - San Sebastian Donostia

31st July 2013

Running Out. San Sebastian or Donostia as it is known in Basque must be one of the most beautiful cities of this tour. Situated on the Northern coast of Spain near the border with France, its beaches ....

30th July 2013 - San Sebastian Donostia

29th July 2013 - Gijon

30th July 2013

Dinosaur Toes. Our final day off on this wonder tour was spent on a very quiet Sunday in Madrid. Everything seemed to be closed, I suppose because it's the end of July and therefore holiday season. Th....

29th July 2013 - Gijon

27th July 2013 - Malaga

28th July 2013

Muchos Abrazos. The incredible, if not fortunate Juan José Padilla... There was a brief respite today with the weather in Madrid as it rained. I'm not sure I recall ever seeing rain here. It me....

27th July 2013 - Malaga

26th July 2013 - Madrid

27th July 2013

The Touring Cookbook Avid diary readers will recall a few diary entries ago (12th July) I mentioned I was working on an end of tour project? I can now reveal what exactly that was as the big day is up....

26th July 2013 - Madrid

25th July 2013 - Barcelona

26th July 2013

Poble Espanyol  As well as having one of the best football teams on the planet, Barcelona also happens to be one of the most exciting cities in Europe, if not the world. I guess I've been here ma....

25th July 2013 - Barcelona

24th July 2013 - Carcassonne

25th July 2013

Hand Picked Today's short flight took us back into France after a glorious day off in Barcelona, one of our favourite stops on any tour, more on that tomorrow as we play there. Our final show in Franc....

24th July 2013 - Carcassonne

22nd July 2013 - Saint Julien en Genevois

23rd July 2013

Heating Up Reluctantly checking out of the favourite hotel of the tour (official) we prepared ourselves for the journey ahead. A short hop down to Geneva and across the nearby French border to the tow....

22nd July 2013 - Saint Julien en Genevois

21st July 2013 - Lörrach

22nd July 2013

More Heat More hot weather and today's trip was a relatively short drive to and from Zurich across the Southern German border and on to the small town of Lörrach which is famed, if that's the rig....

21st July 2013 - Lörrach

20th July 2013 - Zurich

21st July 2013

Dolder Delight The delightful Dolder Grand Hotel was every bit as pristine as we remembered from our brief visit nearly two years ago at the tail end on the first 'Bob encounter'. We now recall with m....

20th July 2013 - Zurich

19th July 2013 - Lucca

20th July 2013

Victor Bravo After what was for me an incredible day off in Malta, we headed North and back into mainland Italy for our final Italian show of the tour. The day off yesterday was spent doing my favouri....

19th July 2013 - Lucca

17th July 2013 - Malta

18th July 2013

Abort Takeoff With virtually no sleep in the last 36 hours, the crew arrived at the city square in Floriana. It was as you'd expect any Southern European show, hot and dusty but at least there was pow....

17th July 2013 - Malta

16th July 2013 - Taormina

17th July 2013

Moonlit Arena  Most tours reach a point where it feels like you have arrived at a summit, Taormina in Sicily has that feel to it. Certainly the most beautiful location of the trip so far, the pic....

16th July 2013 - Taormina

14th July 2013 - Naples

15th July 2013

Napoli Night Mike's Uilleann pipes... Any show day in Naples is eventful and today was no exception. Southern Italy is truly beautiful, but this land is also terribly burdened by economic and social p....

14th July 2013 - Naples

13th July 2013 - Rome

14th July 2013

Bellissima Notte With the tour fast moving towards its final stages, the desire for exploration and general sightseeing activity is all but diminished and when your hotel room has a balcony and the su....

13th July 2013 - Rome

12th July 2013 - Piazzola sul Brenta

13th July 2013

Amiamo l'Italia Occasionally, I have to really sit and think hard about how the day started, the memory banks being what they are and all that. This was one of those days.  Breakfast in Milano wa....

12th July 2013 - Piazzola sul Brenta

11th July 2013 - Locarno

12th July 2013

Hail Milano Back in Italy almost two months after first coming here on the same tour the weather is noticeably warmer. In fact it's hot. Hot enough for storms to bubble up the afternoon of our day off....

11th July 2013 - Locarno

9th July 2013 - Nimes

10th July 2013

Beast Fighters I couldn't quite make up my mind if we were moving on into France or Italy today. Everything about the final destination, a second visit of the tour to the Four Seasons, Milan, said Ita....

9th July 2013 - Nimes

6th July 2013 - Stuttgart

8th July 2013

Farewell Nigel The final show in another run of five-in-a-row took us to the cradle of the motor car, Stuttgart. Home to Mercedes Benz and the beloved Porsche, Stuttgart is a densely populated area in....

6th July 2013 - Stuttgart

5th July 2013 - Bad Mergentheim

6th July 2013

Teutonic Knights It's 2pm and as is so often the case when touring, we have to leave, just when we're getting to know the place. Our stay in Dresden has been all too brief but we're on a tight schedul....

5th July 2013 - Bad Mergentheim

4th July 2013 - Dresden

5th July 2013

4th July It was with much anticipation we arrived in Dresden last night. Slightly earlier than planned, we luxuriated in the Kempinski, a 'proper' hotel right in the heart of the old town. The area in....

4th July 2013 - Dresden

3rd July 2013 - Halle

4th July 2013

Tennis Anyone? I opened the curtains this morning to a torrential downpour, you could barely see the cathedral across the river through the gloom but the clouds were moving swiftly and I thought there....

3rd July 2013 - Halle

2nd July 2013 - Cologne

3rd July 2013

Pixel Window The recent trend for fixing padlocks to bridges or 'love padlocks' has clearly spread and looking out of the window at the Hohenzollern Railway Bridge I can see the walkway railings glitt....

2nd July 2013 - Cologne

30th June 2013 - Dijon

1st July 2013

Farewell Ruth I can't say I'm not happy to be leaving Paris this morning. Paris is one of those places which you always look forward to visiting greatly but are always ready to leave and whilst the Ma....

30th June 2013 - Dijon

29th June 2013 - Clermont Ferrand

30th June 2013

Michelin Clad Our final day trip from, and to, the city where butter poisoning is a common complaint takes us to the town of Clermont Ferrand. 210 miles South of Paris and 150 miles from la plage, it ....

29th June 2013 - Clermont Ferrand

28th June 2013 - Rennes

29th June 2013

Competition Time Having no prior knowledge of this town in Brittany, most of us had no idea what to expect. Mike has played here many times however and mentioned the great cafes and bars in the centre....

28th June 2013 - Rennes

27th June 2013 - Caen

28th June 2013

Nos Excuses Our flight in and out of Paris today takes us to the Normandie town of Caen, the closest we'll get to the UK without actually being there. Situated 12 km inland from the English Channel, C....

27th June 2013 - Caen

26th June 2013 - Paris

27th June 2013

Jours Heureux A day off in Paris should always be cherished and relished and the high point will usually be the evening meal. The choice of cafes, bistros and brasseries can be bewildering so recommen....

26th June 2013 - Paris

24th June 2013 - Salzburg

25th June 2013

Cats and Dogs One of the danger zones in Europe (cities I colour, red) in terms of finding fresh milk at midnight is Paris. Luckily, I have a habit of grabbing the spare milk from the flight from the ....

24th June 2013 - Salzburg

23rd June 2013 - Bratislava

24th June 2013

Spatial Planning Another beautiful sunny day in Vienna and the temperature is about perfect, still not quite enough to get me out on the streets as the gym is calling yet again due to the recent colla....

23rd June 2013 - Bratislava

22nd June 2013 - Budapest

23rd June 2013

Barge Pool Although we've noticed extremely high water levels in the past couple of weeks, recent flooding throughout central Europe seems now to be easing. The city of Budapest was recently on high a....

22nd June 2013 - Budapest

20th June 2013 - Vienna

22nd June 2013

Curry Night The outside temperature has been in the mid 90's for a while now and sun lotion is applied as a matter of course before venturing out but venture out you must in Vienna as it's quite a pla....

20th June 2013 - Vienna

19th June 2013 - Regensburg

20th June 2013

Tuna Carpaccio Feeling the full effects of last night's over indulgent midnight feasting, I woke late and planned my final visit to the Villa Kennedy gym and pool. Still just enough time to order the ....

19th June 2013 - Regensburg

18th June 2013 - Frankfurt

19th June 2013

Villa Kennedy After our wonderful jaunt in the Scandinavian countries playing to amazing audiences in occasionally inclement weather, it is great to be back in Germany again, host to so many fabulous ....

18th June 2013 - Frankfurt

16th June 2013 - Copenhagen

17th June 2013

Axle Grinding Sunday morning in Copenhagen and as I draw the curtains I'm temporarily blinded by the bright sunshine streaming in. I decided to call down for some room service. This proved to be more ....

16th June 2013 - Copenhagen

15th June 2013 - Malmo

16th June 2013

Lovely Liz Once checked out of the Elite hotel in Gothenburg, we piled into the cars and Gunther headed the convoy to Gothenburg airport once more where we were met at the GA gate by our escort car to....

15th June 2013 - Malmo

14th June 2013 - Gothenburg

15th June 2013

Under Dressed  Home to Volvo automobiles since 1927, Gothenburg is a bustling University town known for its large festivals and annual cultural events. Once again, geography is key to the existen....

14th June 2013 - Gothenburg

13th June 2013 - Stavanger

14th June 2013

Improvised Swag This morning in Bergen I opened the curtains to see rain like I've not seen for a while and thought to myself, those mountains are really doing their job today. Rain seems 'wetter' her....

13th June 2013 - Stavanger

12th June 2013 - Bergen

13th June 2013

Fjords and Rain Bergen, also known as the Seattle of Europe is surrounded by seven mountains and rejoices in 275 days of rain per year, caused by a weather phenomenon known as orographic lift whereby ....

12th June 2013 - Bergen

11th June 2013 - Hamar

12th June 2013

Finnish Milk With two days off in Helsinki in quick succession, I wasn't about to waste any time in getting my broken camera looked at. The hotel Kamp concierge was most helpful in directing me to a C....

11th June 2013 - Hamar

9th June 2013 - Helsinki

10th June 2013

Seagulls Attack Even though Helsinki is probably the most North Eastern capital city in Europe, incredibly, its climate is still influenced in some way by the Gulf stream. This means that Winter tempe....

9th June 2013 - Helsinki

7th June 2013 - Zwolle

8th June 2013

Northern Light After a truly amazing whirlwind week at the Royal Albert Hall we all welcomed a five day break from the schedule. For the Brits it meant some valuable time at home with the families and....

7th June 2013 - Zwolle

27th May to 1st June 2013 - RAH London

29th May 2013

The Royal Albert Hall In 1851, encouraged by the success of London's Great Exhibition which was held in Hyde Park, Prince Albert, the Prince Consort proposed a new building for the 'enlightenment' of ....

27th May to 1st June 2013 - RAH London

25th May 2013 - Brighton

27th May 2013

Cherry Cheesecake As this UK bank holiday weekend gets into gear, finally the weather takes a turn for the better. The sun is out and in 24 hours, the temperature has risen about ten degrees. For the ....

25th May 2013 - Brighton

24th May 2013 - Birmingham

25th May 2013

Jerk Lamb The weather this year in the UK has been unusual to say the least and the Northerly airflow is now making it feel like mid winter but at least when the sun DOES come out, it is warming. The ....

24th May 2013 - Birmingham

23rd May 2013 - TV special recording

24th May 2013

With the UK weather having made a sudden U-turn back two months to a hardcore Winter feel and reports of snow falling in Northern parts, Range Rover driver Eike and I set off early afternoon for a tri....

23rd May 2013 - TV special recording

22nd May 2013 - Cardiff

23rd May 2013

Unclaimed Sock The shows are coming thick and fast now, and that impression is probably enhanced by quick visits home as the touring routine is temporarily altered. There never seems to be enough hour....

22nd May 2013 - Cardiff

21st May 2013 - Bournemouth

22nd May 2013

New Forest Bournemouth is probably the closest venue to home for me and although the lure of the Lime wood Spa hotel was strong, after being away for four weeks, I headed home to the family for the da....

21st May 2013 - Bournemouth

19th May 2013 - Liverpool

20th May 2013

Echo Echo Continuing on the culinary theme, the first and some say most important meal of the day was on my mind as soon as I woke and remembered where we were. It's true, when traveling almost every ....

19th May 2013 - Liverpool

18th May 2013 - Newcastle

19th May 2013

No Fries We drew the curtains this morning in Glasgow to a bona-fide Glasgow deluge and by the time we had checked out of our quirky Blytheswood Square hotel and were on the road to the airport, the r....

18th May 2013 - Newcastle

17th May 2013 - Glasgow

18th May 2013

Fine Art Amidst a flurry of birthdays we kick off our UK section of this extraordinary tour in Scotland's fair city of Glasgow. But first a day off. If it wasn't for the simple logistical fact that ge....

17th May 2013 - Glasgow

15th May 2013 - Luxembourg

16th May 2013

Steak 'n' Cake During the three nights here in Amsterdam, our fondness for the city has grown yet again and the hotel has left an impression too. Some of the design features took a little getting used....

15th May 2013 - Luxembourg

14th May 2013 - Amsterdam

15th May 2013

Ruth Moody Not normally one to take in heavy doses of culture when on the road, this stay in Amsterdam was a little different due to the location of our esteemed hotel. Bang opposite the Van Gough mus....

14th May 2013 - Amsterdam

12th May 2013 - Antwerp

13th May 2013

Short Runway The Antwerp Sportpalais was at one time the largest indoor arena in Europe, but that was back in 1933, the year it was completed. Clearly the venue has seen better days but it is well lov....

12th May 2013 - Antwerp

11th May 2013 - Bremen

12th May 2013

Shatner Nicks 60 kilometers from the North sea mouth of the Weser river lies the Northern German town of Bremen, our destination for today's 'play and stay'. This morning's checkout of the Berlin Hote....

11th May 2013 - Bremen

10th May 2013 - Berlin

11th May 2013

Best Wurst It's always great to be back in Germany and the more we tour, the better it seems to get. Berlin is unique in many ways but every time we visit, it's more and more difficult to imagine the ....

10th May 2013 - Berlin

8th May 2013 - Lodz

9th May 2013

Yerba Mate  The city of Łódź (amusingly pronounced "woodge") is often referred to as the Polish Manchester because the huge textile empire that thrived here owing to the favourable chemi....

8th May 2013 - Lodz

7th May 2013 - Prague

7th May 2013

Jiggery Pokery There's no doubt that this city is one of Europe's finest and in its 1100 year history it has been a political, cultural and economic center, but there's something about the huge volume....

7th May 2013 - Prague

5th May 2013 - Zagreb

5th May 2013

Brown Trousers The temple of humiliation, the room of ignominy, the chamber of pain, the basement of belittlement, whatever you prefer to call it, hotels put a sign on the door which says 'GYM'. Havin....

5th May 2013 - Zagreb

4th May 2013 - Ljubljana

4th May 2013

3 in 1 Milan - Only the second 'pack' of the tour as I successfully manage to cram my stuff into the Briggs and Riley, most of which is completely unnecessary and should have been left at home. Luckil....

4th May 2013 - Ljubljana

3rd May 2013 - Milan

3rd May 2013

Poncey Hotel Strategic geographical advantage plays a huge role in why cities are where they are across the globe and Milan is a fine example of this phenomenon. Situated in what is clearly the gatewa....

3rd May 2013 - Milan

2nd May 2013 - Turin

2nd May 2013

High Speed Pasta It's lovely being back in a part of the world where coffee shares the same level of importance as a good cup of tea in England. I'm not saying for one minute that the coffee in Turkey....

2nd May 2013 - Turin

30th April 2013 - Belgrade

30th April 2013

Border Swag One of the great joys of hubbing, or basing from a city is the minimal packing. After a final 'Crème brûlée' style singeing by the pool, it was time to take on the firs....

30th April 2013 - Belgrade

29th April 2013 - Sofia

29th April 2013

Bulgarian Bendy-Bus By 2pm we were on our way to the GA terminal at Istanbul airport for our day trip to Bulgaria. After a light Meze lunch/snack and during our approach into Sofia, I thought I recogn....

29th April 2013 - Sofia

27th April 2013 - Istanbul

26th April 2013

Lost at Sea Istanbul is the only city in the world which spreads itself across two continents. The official population here is officially just under 17 million but there must surely be many more as it....

27th April 2013 - Istanbul

25th April 2013 - Bucharest

22nd April 2013

And we're off. This morning we faced a familiar scrimmage through rush-hour traffic to get to Northolt aerodrome where we were to be re-united with the beloved Embraer Legacy luxury transportation-tel....

25th April 2013 - Bucharest

Rehearsals - April - London

24th March 2013

There has been a certain amount of reserved excitement in the rehearsal room this week as we return to Bermondsey for a much anticipated week of preparation for our latest tour across Europe. The firs....

Rehearsals - April - London
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