An Engraving from 1770 of Uppsala’s Linnaean garden, and present day…

In the wake of poor Dave Grohl’s recent mishap, much of the talk this afternoon was about stage jumping, the risks and perils. With the Edge meandering his way offstage in comical fashion to suicidal leaps across rock’n’roll chasms, we all have to watch where we are going on stage. For us it’s merely a case of ensuring we don’t trip over the myriad of guitar cables and floor pedals and boxes. We stopped using radios for guitar signals years ago as so much is compromised in the sound quality. Stumbling over a guitar cable is remarkably easy to do and I always seem to get the thing caught up in my feet during Privateering as I need to reach for a keyboard volume pedal at two points during the song whilst playing. I recall John Illsley once falling backwards and badly gashing is wrist during a Dire Straits encore song over a flight case which was wheeled onto the stage by one of our crew. In those days we used to simulate the stage breakdown to signify the end of the show, the crew would come onto the stage and start packing the gear away whilst we were playing. Hilarious (the concept, not the mishap).

I digress…. Our only show in Sweden is in a town called Uppsala where my brother used to live for many years, so I in fact have been there before. For the rest of us, it was a first visit. Uppsala is a huge university town and also the ecclesiastical centre of the nation. Who would have thought? The botanical gardens was our location and a typical outdoor venue for this run of outdoor shows. The weather played a role once again with heavy cloud and a cool breeze ensuring thermal under-gear was once again ‘de rigueur’. For the first time on the tour, our beloved catering wasn’t in action as the journey distances for these few shows are too great. Catering usually is the first to activate and shopping has to be done and with trucks only arriving mid-morning, local catering services were employed. Whilst it was adequate, it wasn’t our boys. This is Dave’s secret recipe book, no-one is allowed to peek inside!..I love “I eat my cake in my pants”

The botanical gardens here date back to 1655 when they were built focussing on educating and supplying physicians of the day. They evolved into research centres and as museums showing the diversity of life. At one point in 1802, a live Lion named Leo was gifted from King Gustaf IV Adolf. It was housed in the Orangeriet (where our dressing rooms are), but did not thrive, not even when offered (according to the best scientific advice of the day) live chickens.

I digress again….Eight and a half thousand strong, the audience were fully up for it from the get go. It’s really quite a treat for the band as we spend the entire show looking at faces of the crowd, something that we cannot do on an indoor show as the lights block out any prospect of that. It’s really great to bear witness to the emotion, especially during songs like Romeo and Juliet, the sight of couples singing along with the lyrics whilst gazing into their partners eyes brings with it the first pangs of real touring homesickness.

Once we’d played the encores and waved our goodbyes we headed back to Stockholm airport where the lovely Legacy was waiting. On board, Mark took a picture of our traveling shoes..

A one hour flight through some quite bumpy weather took us back to Copenhagen and the luxury of our hotel. We have yet to find anything wrong with this hotel, unlike our last stop, the historic D’Anglattere has had a recent re-fit and it fully a match for even the harshest hotel critique. A long day with a gym session at the beginning of it meant a deep sleep was about to….zzzzzzzzzzz