Milan. Well, it seems there’s hardly time to draw breath before we are on the move again. With this incredible touring machine now in full swing, we find ourselves in Italy once more and in front of the fabulous Milanese crowd. The evening concert at the Mediolanum Forum was another night to remember. We don’t often applaud each other in the intervals between encores but tonight we did. There is an emotional thread running through the band these days, for obvious reasons.

Incredible as it seems, this team of people (band and crew) is the largest we’ve had since the heady Straits days and in view of what this tour means, we are frequently reminded of those early tours, nearly 40 years ago. Of course Mark started touring before I did and I’m sure he lost count of the numbers a long time ago. I know I did.

Late breakfasts are now a regular theme and the morning Dolder treats were delivered to my room. Having had my ‘breakfast club’ membership revoked (for under-use), I breakfast alone every morning. Mark, Glenn Worf, Paul Crockford, Tim Hook and St. Peter Mackay are the core of the morning club. I did once venture down to their combined shock, funnily enough, in Milan, in 2013.

At 2:45pm the band met the drivers and we left the Dolder, only for a couple of months though as we’ll be back in July (hooray). At the airport, Peter alerted us to the fact that every suitcase had been searched by security. Unsure as to why. Maybe they were bored. It didn’t delay our departure and we were soon in the air again, heading over the snow-capped Lepontine Alps towards Milan where the weather was a balmy 73°F.  We ‘deplaned’ and headed for the venue in some quite heavy traffic. 

No time to waste, a horde of soup dragons were crowded around the pot for our customary pre-sound check, pre-dinner treat. Today it was Cauliflower, Caraway and Shallot. Dear God! Nothing to report from sound check, just another boomy hall from which we are mercifully protected by our in ear monitors. It was an after show runner for all this evening and the van dropped us off at the hotel whereupon most in the entourage gravitated to my room for an evening of beautiful Portobello Gin, courtesy of Mark, music, celebration and laughter.

Out on my hotel balcony, Mike and I embraced the Milanese evening air and raised our glasses to this moment in time. This tour is a celebration of so many things and we all cherish every waking moment… as my morning headache will doubtless testify!