31st July 2015 – Barcelona

July 31st, 2015|0 Comments

    PERFECT STORM   To say this tour of all tours has ‘flown by’ is understating a plain and simple truth. The end of this leg, or journey has come all too quickly for all of us sailing on this magnificent ship. [...]

28th July 2015 – Lisbon

July 28th, 2015|0 Comments

              NORTH WIND   Lisboa has a rich and fascinating history which has been mentioned in previous diary entries from here. It truly is a unique city, the oldest in fact in Western Europe and has a [...]

26th July 2015 – Sevilla

July 26th, 2015|0 Comments

PERFECT HEAT                 You know that wonderful contrasting feeling, after you’ve been in a bad way but you’ve now climbed the hill and made the recovery, been good to yourself, ate all the right things, stayed away [...]

25th July 2015 – Avila

July 25th, 2015|0 Comments

                    DUST BOWL   We left the beautiful surroundings and headed back along the path when came a few days before, pack into France and to the airport at Pau. We then flew to [...]

24th July 2015 – Lanuza

July 24th, 2015|0 Comments

WILD WIND At the border... The Pyrenees is a new destination for most of us, well this particular part of them. Our travel day commenced, leaving Rome quite early, heading out of the heat towards Ciampino airport and flying 2 hours to Pau in [...]

22nd July 2015 – Lucca

July 22nd, 2015|0 Comments

Another searingly hot day in Rome and another air-conditioned one for me in a hotel bed. This was by now starting to get very tiresome, not least for my lovely wife Laurie, who had flown out to the most romantic of cities to [...]

21st July 2015 – Rome

July 21st, 2015|0 Comments

CARABINIERI RESCUE                     There cannot be much to report from our show day in Rome as I simply wasn’t a part of it. The whole day was spent in bed with a fever which by [...]

20th July 2015 – Barolo

July 20th, 2015|0 Comments

              The searing heat continues in Italy and on the day off in Rome, it was unusually quiet on the streets. It seemed most people had left the city for the nearby beaches. I knew this as [...]

18th July 2015 – Padova

July 18th, 2015|0 Comments

HOT HOT           Italy continues to feel the high temperatures of an African anticyclone that has sent temperatures soaring. The remarkable heat is now reaching epidemic proportions and with no sign of it letting up, the next few days are [...]

17th July 2015 – Sion

July 17th, 2015|0 Comments

INTERNAL UNEASE           Geneva was hot this morning and with a line of angry looking clouds in the distance to the North East, thunderstorms were in the daily headlines once again. My Blitzortung app. was flashing away and our very [...]

16th July 2015 – St Julien

July 16th, 2015|0 Comments

HIGH SUMMER   Checking out of the fabulous Park Hyatt in the heart of Vienna this morning, I realised that due to illnesses, very few of us actually got out and explored this wonderful city. A real shame, but that’s touring. The temperatures were [...]

14th July 2015 – Sankt Margarethen

July 14th, 2015|0 Comments

FIT STATE       "TALK TO THE HAND" The big question on the lips of the band today was who was in a fit state to play a show. The answer as we discovered when we met in the hotel lobby at 3:25 [...]

13th July 2015 – Krakow

July 13th, 2015|0 Comments

SOLDIER ON It’s almost inevitable that any tour of this size and length will include days where band or crew members aren’t in top form health-wise. No matter how fit you keep yourself, extraneous bacterias and bugs will at some point make themselves known, [...]

12th July 2015 – Saxen

July 12th, 2015|0 Comments

CLAM FEST             Today’s travel logistics looked too complex to comprehend yet somehow everything ran like clockwork today. Saying our farewells to Munich, we headed off in the cars to the airport to fly onward to Linz in Austria where [...]

11th July 2015 – Munich

July 11th, 2015|0 Comments

PERFECT BEER Arriving in Munich for a day off was never going to be a particularly bad experience especially as true to form for this tour, I had pre organised a round of golf. This time our host would be the head green-keeper, a certain [...]

9th July 2015 – Leipzig

July 9th, 2015|0 Comments

MAI TAI Leaving Berlin as swiftly as we arrived not 24 hours before, the band entourage found themselves on another station platform eagerly awaiting the almost silent arrival of another ICE train this time to Leipzig. The first class carriages are really not too dissimilar [...]

8th July 2015 – Berlin

July 8th, 2015|0 Comments

KNIFE TWEEZERS   A one night stay in one of the most exciting cities in the world always seems insufficient but we made the most of it with a splendid session in the Augustiner bar after the show. Our 1 hour train journey on the [...]

7th July 2015 – Hanover

July 7th, 2015|0 Comments

AUTO STADT       Another day off and we found ourselves in the extraordinary town of Wolfsburg situated between Hanover and Berlin. Wolfsburg ‘is’ Volkswagen headquarters. It was founded on 1 July 1938 as the ‘Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben’, built to house workers [...]

5th July 2015 – Stuttgart

July 5th, 2015|0 Comments

AIR CON               “I thought all Porsches had air conditioning” Mark quipped to the audience after a couple of songs in what can only be described as sweltering heat. The crowd fanned themselves as best they could in the [...]

4th July 2015 – Bad Kissingen

July 4th, 2015|0 Comments

DECEPTIVE CLOUD After a fabulous and well timed mid-tour break, it is time to regroup and get back down to business on the road. The weather in the UK and indeed the whole of Europe has been pretty wonderful, and hot. The British contingent met [...]

21st June 2015 – Cologne

June 21st, 2015|0 Comments

LONGEST DAY With Summer’s Solstice upon us already, today was a day of trains, planes and automobiles. Another Gym, Swim session and a repeated attempt at getting online in the room was a dismal failure. I would normally charge down to the front desk and [...]

20th June 2015 – Mannheim

June 20th, 2015|0 Comments

XYLEM TECH After the eventful day yesterday, today was the calm after the storm. The only real concern was discovering which pieces of equipment had time to consider their soaking in the truck to Mannheim and decided not to work after all. My mixing desk [...]

19th June 2015 – Mainz

June 19th, 2015|0 Comments

WETTER WETTER In Dusseldorf this morning, caught out by a brief but heavy shower I sped around the corner to a great little camera shop to look for a few bits. I didn’t think to check the weather for the outdoor show in Mainz this [...]

17th June 2015 – Dortmund

June 17th, 2015|0 Comments

BEER BRATS 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 [...]

16th June 2015 – Hamburg

June 16th, 2015|0 Comments

SALIVA MIX Well we’ve done it a few times in the past and often right here in Germany. I am of course talking about 4 cities in one day. Waking, breakfasting and gymming in Copenhagen, we left the D’Anglaterre at 1:30 and drove to Copenhagen [...]

14th June 2015 – Copenhagen

June 14th, 2015|0 Comments

TIVOLI TARDIS The Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world dating back to 1843 and in all the years we’ve been coming here, I’ve never visited. It’s a bit of a Tardis to be honest. Once inside, it opens up into another [...]

13th June 2015 – Uppsala

June 13th, 2015|0 Comments

TRAVELING SHOES 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 [...]

12th June 2015 – Trondheim

June 12th, 2015|0 Comments

SPEEDY RECOVERY A day off in Oslo in the Summer sunshine should have been a day to get out on a boat for a Fjord cruise, however, that didn’t happen so a very late afternoon stroll with Ianto taking in the sea breeze sufficed. Time [...]

10th June 2015 – Oslo

June 10th, 2015|0 Comments

NORWEGIAN WOOD The mêlée outside the hotel as we departed for the venue. The Norwegian Wood festival is held at the Frognerbadet ("the Frogner Baths”) in Oslo every year. We played here 5 years ago and it was chilly. Today we were prepared, like yesterday, [...]

9th June 2015 – Bergen

June 9th, 2015|0 Comments

GALVIN GREEN Our ‘hub’ city for these Scandinavian shows is Oslo and today’s journey saw us leave our hotel rooms at 3pm for our 9pm showtime in Bergen, 462km to the West. We drove in the usual VW convoy towards the inconveniently located Oslo airport, [...]

8th June 2015 – Stavanger

June 8th, 2015|0 Comments

UNMOVED MOVED On a sunny, chilly afternoon in Amsterdam, we fly Northwards for four shows in another most civilised of countries. Norway’s appeal is essentially very simple, it’s one of the most beautiful countries on Earth and flying in to Stavanger in a fairly steep [...]

6th June 2015 – Amsterdam

June 6th, 2015|0 Comments

XXX A three night stay in one of Europe’s finest cities, what can be bad about that? The overnight storms have now passed, washing away the searing heat of the last few days to leave cool and sunny conditions, my perverse obsession with weather temporarily [...]

5th June 2015 – Antwerp

June 5th, 2015|0 Comments

ROLLER DERBY As predicted, the temperatures soared today in Paris and the Benelux countries and with a serious prospect of some heavy storms, today’s travel plans were meticulous. The airfield in Antwerp cannot be used for landing in an Embraer Legacy if it’s wet so [...]

3rd 4th June 2015 – Paris

June 3rd, 2015|0 Comments

BELLE EPOQUE We’ve never been on tour and not played Paris and naturally, it’s a city to look forward to. The audiences here are generally some of the best in the world and the two shows we have just played in ‘Zenith’ arena were exceptional [...]

1st June 2015 – Zurich

June 1st, 2015|0 Comments

HAPPY BAGS As has been requested on more than one occasion, here is some inside info on Mark’s guitar rig. Glenn Saggers station. As anyone who has seen the show will realise, there are a lot of guitar changes not only for Mark but for [...]

31st May 2015 – Salem

May 31st, 2015|0 Comments

It’s clichéd I know, but sometimes you wake on tour and you really have no idea where in the world you are. You HAVE to remember if only to find the switch or button to open the curtains. This morning it was a case [...]

29th May 2015 – Nice

May 29th, 2015|0 Comments

NICE ROSÉ The hotel Palazzo Parigi is clearly a brand new renovation project with little expense spared. ‘Haute Cuisine is the rule here’ states the blurb on the hotel home page but with unfavourable breakfast reports coming in from several band members yesterday, it was [...]

28th May 2015 – Milan

May 28th, 2015|0 Comments

AL FRESCO Somehow it is only now that the tour really feels fully underway as we head onto the continent and the UK contingent finally detach ourselves from home and the bags are fully loaded, teapot, teabags and kettle safely on board. We met up [...]

25th 26th May 2015 – London RAH

May 25th, 2015|0 Comments

INTIMACY AND GRANDEUR I’m going to let you into a little secret, the Royal Albert Hall is a wonderful place. At the risk of repeating myself, I must re-iterate a few things. As time passes, one does forget just how wonderful and privileged it feels [...]

23rd May 2015 – Birmingham

May 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

FLYING RIZZLAS Another Bank Holiday weekend in London and the city seems busy beyond belief. After a sumptuous breakfast (almost perfect) at the Beaumont I found myself on the streets and a quick visit to a camera shop before we met up with the VW’s [...]

22nd May 2015 – London O2

May 22nd, 2015|0 Comments

GARDEN GNOME Leaving home at 1pm should have left ample time to get to the venue for 4 o'clock but the mistake was to not factor in the bank holiday weekend traffic. Coming across London from the West was nothing short of miserable. Nigel and [...]

20th May 2015 – Newcastle

May 20th, 2015|0 Comments

LOCAL HERO After a humble breakfast at the hotel du Vin on the quayside, I think most of the band vegetated in their rooms until sound check call time. I know Mark and Glenn went for a wander in the crisp sunshine whilst I napped, [...]

19th May 2015 – Glasgow

May 19th, 2015|0 Comments

GIE IT LALDY The first day off of this tour and we found ourselves in the home of golf and I wasn’t about to waste the opportunity. On the face of it, the weather looked pretty miserable but in-depth analysis revealed that North Berwick might [...]

17th May 2015 – Sheffield

May 17th, 2015|0 Comments

ROBIN'S LEGACY As I exited the lift to meet the band in the lobby for departure, I was greeted by a hoard of roped-off Manchester United fans inside and outside the hotel waiting eagerly for their young, skinny idols to leave their rooms and head [...]

16th May 2015 – Manchester

May 16th, 2015|0 Comments

PUDDING PORN The older one gets, the more value is attached to health and wellbeing…or at least with the whole tour ahead of us, it is at the moment. The room of pain, torture and humiliation awaited me this morning and pulling the new Brooks [...]

15th May 2015 – Dublin

May 15th, 2015|0 Comments

GUINNESS CAKE No amount of preparation can ready you for what lies ahead on that stage on any given ‘first show’ of a tour. We rehearsed, well I think, and even did a warm up show in Elstree but stepping up onto the stage in [...]

Rehearsals – London – 2015

May 1st, 2015|0 Comments

Fourteen years have passed since I first put tentative finger to chunky laptop to bring to you a glimpse of our world of music, fun, food and travel. Since 2001, the internet has become a huge part of all our lives and that objectionable word [...]