Losing a close friend is something we all eventually experience. This morning, I was shocked to be feeling so low and a few of our crew boys were shaken too. Alan Rogan was such a gem, one of the very few ‘really good ones’ as my pal Glyn Johns put it. A trip to the gym surely would put me back on track. Spin bike, the legendary outdoor jacuzzi and cold dip had little effect but back in the room, bags needed to be packed. Time to get moving. I also noticed that my Orbitsound Sub was missing, the hotel had misplaced it the night before. Tim, our tour manager got on to them and it was soon found. The Orbitsound S4 sub is a luxurious addition to the E30 Dock although it’s not used very often in hotels as it is really rather loud!

Extraordinary…the hotel had offered to pay the entire band extras bill as compensation for poor service the day before. The Dolder Grand is currently our favourite hotel but the internet had repeatedly kept going down as well as other un-Dolder-like things occurring. I hadn’t noticed since I was out playing golf with a golf-pro friend at the lovely Golfpark Oberkirch, Dave Lewis. Dave is also a long-term fan of the band and had offered the round. He was happy to A. get out on the course (teaching pro’s don’t often get the time) and B. play golf with me, with my mildly epileptic swing. For me it was essentially a free lesson. Always needed.

In terms of music, Leipzig has a rich legacy from composers such as Bach, Mahler, Wagner and Schumann to the modern darkwave genre comprising gothic rock, gothic metal, EBM, industrial, noise, darkwave, neo-folk, neo-classical, medieval, experimental, deathrock and punk. It is also rated as the second-most liveable city in Germany with future prospects looking rosy. Startups appear to be very popular here. It is also a major centre for Porsche, BMW and DHL.

Piling into the cars, we said cheerio to the Dolder once again and headed for the airport. We were soon on the plane hearing that our slot had been missed. This can in some places, be a cause for concern as the air traffic control centre in Brussels is not the slightest bit interested in the fact we have a sound check and show to get to. It usually works out, as it did today and we were soon airborne and back in the Joy Jet, fully functioning after a brief spell for repairs in the hanger.

Zero time was wasted once we were at cruising altitude and Tijana brought out trays of our favourite afternoon jet fodder, Sushi. Landing in Leipzig, Team ‘Alex’ collected us airside and we sped off to the venue we visited almost exactly 4 years ago to the day. I recall it being quite a warm venue and even though the weather wasn’t all that stifling, it didn’t disappoint.

In catering this evening, Steve, who usually takes crew and band food orders and serves, was getting a treatment for a sore back so Pete and I stepped in to make sure no-one had to wait for their dinner. Steve’s ‘Post-It note’ system is thankfully efficient. It was however comical, especially when, to take a photo, I reversed into Pete who was carrying two hot dinners. Thankfully, Steve soon returned and normal service was resumed.

Going onstage we knew it was going to be warm but it was more the lack of air that made it feel that way. Nonetheless,the gig was great, the band were electric (and acoustic) and the audience was, well, amazing. Again. We were at our Leipzig hotel in a very short time, most of the guys graduated toward the bar, as did I but only for a glass of fresh milk. For the room. For tea.