Anyone for tennis?
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 was every chance of a smooth flight today. Dresden was our ultimate destination with a gig in a place called Halle/Westfale on the way. Once checked out of the Koln Hyatt, we were whisked to Cologne airport and the vast GA terminal where once through security, we took a 5 minute bus ride to the plane. Liz is away this week so we have Christina taking very capable care of us. A short flight and a snack and we were coming into Münster/Osnabrück airport. The 65km hike to the venue in Halle was dispatched with consummate ease courtesy of the four Range Rovers headed by Bernie Klein.
We pulled into the venue which is in fact a tennis centre. Not just any old tennis centre. Gerhard Weber founded the Gerry Weber open tennis tournament held in this venue every year since 1993. I hear that inspired by the grass courts at Wimbledon, Mr. Weber wanted a German equivalent. I would say he succeeded at some level. It’s a great facility although its location is hardly central as Wimbledon is.
Nigel waits in the Halle-way!
The Centre court was where our show was set up. It’s an open air arena with a fixed, marquee-style roof. This meant that the show would take place in broad daylight. Only mildly disconcerting for us as we can see every face in the building during the show. An what a show it was. Another great evening in what could be described as a challenging room, sonically. Thank to our in-ear technology, we were soon unaware of this disadvantage. Dave Dixon at the FOH sound desk had a tricky time of it during sound check but I’m sure he tamed the building’s over-eager reflections and got the room to sound decent. By the end of the show, the audience were up on their feet and we could hear the huge roar as we drove away in the Rangers. It always seems a little harsh that we zoom off into the sunset leaving the audience wondering if we’re coming back on for a third encore. The reason for this diversion is simple. If we wait for even a couple of minutes, the roads get blocked with gig traffic and we miss our slot at the airfield. It’s a tried and tested solution to an age-old problem. Sometimes of course we do stay at the venue and have an after show drink but usually, we’ll run.
And run we did, Bernie expertly whizzed us back to Münster on the Autobahns and we were back on board the jet within an hour. Destination Dresden, a city we haven’t been to for a while. Much anticipated. In the hotel by 12:30, bed beckoned after a fairly long travel day.