Grand Hotel get togethers happen more often than you’d think. The event that was in full swing when we got back to the hotel after the Stockholm show last night was in fact the Polar Awards after-show party. By wonderful, ironic co-incidence, the person heading up international PR for the event is Claire Singers, wife of Phil Manzanera with whom I toured with Roxy Music in 1982. Danny sent me a text to say they were having breakfast downstairs and that Phil would love to see me. It takes an awful lot to tear me away from the room early in the day but I was excited at the opportunity to catch up with Phil. He hasn’t changed a bit, still the nicest man one could ever wish to meet and it was lovely to meet Claire too. We have 25 years of catching up to do and promised each other we’d continue the conversations soon.
Öld friends are never far away, and Phil Collins’ band arrived in town last night also so it was a big catch up for many of us. Phil’s tour has been following us around too, well it’s hardly surprising since there are so many acts actively touring these days. Sadly, it’s now one of the few ways an artist can gain genuine revenue since records simply do not thanks to streaming. Phil is out playing big venues, bigger than ours, I sure hope he’s filling them. I’m sure he is.
Tonight’s show was in Sweden’s second city of Göteborg, Sweden’s gateway to the North Sea, and once again, a little historic search reveals another city burned to the ground. In this case in 1611, only 7 years after the city was founded. This information is utterly irrelevant yet strangely intriguing as one tries to imagine the geographical landscape back then. Also interesting is that the town was heavily influenced by both the Dutch and the Scots. Well they did get about back in the day. We get about too, and with the benefit of our White Asparagus style, magic carpet ride we were able to leave Stockholm at 1pm, do a sound check in Gothenburg at 4:30pm, have a sumptuous dinner at 5:30pm, go onstage at 7:30pm and be in Copenhagen before midnight…weather permitting!
After another great show we ‘ran’ to the jet, buzzing from a fabulous Gothenburg reception. This band is still improving in every department and we comment on this and discuss after every show. There’s something about running and boarding the plane immediately after show that solidifies us not just as a band but as a group of mates. Which serves as a gentle reminder to never underestimate the importance of friendship. Just as we prepare to descent into Copenhagen, a slightly nervy Captain came over the plane’s tannoy to announce we would be holding as planes weren’t landing at the moment due to a huge storm. All thunderstorms huge don’t they as they have the power to humble, especially when you’re 10,000 feet in the air, right next to it. There was a moment 20 minutes later when it seemed we might have to return to Gothenburg as we cannot circle indefinitely. Just then, we descended and headed into Copenhagen and the pouring rain. The Captain came in quick and stuck the bird to the ground like it was about to get away from us and we were all naturally relieved. Gin and Wine induced, spontaneous applause broke out. Then it was into the cars and off to the hotel. Just another day in the life of a tour.
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