The North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany is its most populous state and includes several large industrial towns including Dortmund, Dussledorf, Essen, Bochum, Duisburg, Cologne and Bonn. The consequence of this is some quite horrific traffic. There seems to be an abundance of road works and today’s drive from Dusseldorf to Dortmund fell foul of some of these. A journey that would have taken 45 minutes 10 years ago now sets you back over two hours. Our driving team headed by Lars took in a few back roads and at least we kept moving unlike those who stuck to the Autobahn. On our drive I spotted in the shadows, Heino is back….

We arrived a little late at the Wesfalenhallen, an arena we last visited ten years ago. A quick trip into catering where fresh Chicken Noodle soup tided us over until ‘Pie night’ dinner. Chicken and Leek, Steak and Kidney and Fish Pies were crusting up nicely in Chris and Dave’s ovens. Glenn Saggers readies himself for sound check…

Uncle Mum, as Pete Mackay has recently been named will be leaving us temporarily tomorrow as one of his sons is getting married back home in the UK. This means that his job will for the next few shows be done by Colin Barton (official title – crisis management). Colin spends most of his time fixing stage problems such as radio interferences, hums etc. but for todays show, he’ll be Pete’s work experience trainee. About an hour before showtime, the band will start getting into ‘show mode’, Ginger, Lemon and Honey tea, prepared by John is available for those contributing vocally and vocal warm ups commence. Usually, this will clear the dressing room immediately except for those partaking. Pete will call 10 minutes to showtime which is a kind of hint that it’s time to insert the in-ears. Then it’s “5 minutes, urinations”… self explanatory, then he takes us on a ‘slow amble’ to the rear of the stage where he hands over control to Robbo, our Stage manager. Robbo calls Dave Dixon on FOH to request he ‘roll the Wolf’! I hit the remote sequence start over which Laurence holds a torch, and we’re on.

It was worth the ten year wait as this Dortmund crowd was phenomenal. Back in Dusseldorf, another day off beckons. Altbeer and Brats anyone?