Day off – Brussels. Another jewel in the Rocco Forte crown, the hotel Amigo is one of those which never lets down. Great staff, food, rooms and bar. Late to surface this morning after a long run from Paris last night, interrupted by some ridiculous traffic as those naughty French transport chappies decided to close the Periferique BEFORE midnight. Carl, our driver said that they never do that, well I guess now they do. Luckily, Carl knows that particular area well, which was just as well as there seemed to be no diversion signs and a less experienced driver could so easily have become lost and we could still be there trying desperately to get out of France. We arrived at the hotel in Brussels at around 3am.

Breakfast was delivered to my room swiftly and courteously. Looking out the window, I could see that the weather had taken a turn for the worst and upon opening the window, I realized I would need to think again about what to wear before going for a stroll amongst the quite grey streets of the city. It was freezing. Well almost. Pete, Ian and myself went for a wander, half looking for somewhere to eat and as has happened here on past visits, by the time we’d actually made any sort of decision, everything was closed.

The sights of Brussels –

…these coloured dudes are everywhere…pissing all over that lovely Belgian chocolate…..!

Couldn’t resist  (batteries, apparently)

Some Belgian architecture…

and some older stuff…

Back to the hotel then and for me, a light lunch of cold toast and leftover breakfast goodies ordered for this very reason. Then a wave of tiredness overcame me and I was back in bed and the next thing I knew it was 6pm, three hours of mid-afternoon sleep. Must be the weather! There were moves afoot to meet for dinner with the boys so I soon found myself in the bar with Richard and had a delicious draught Stella. Dinner in the hotel Italian restaurant ‘Bocconi’ was a real treat and afterwards, Jim, Mike and I nipped out for a nightcap or three. Literally across the road we glided into a bar and partook of a Leffe, then a beer with a pink elephant as a logo and finally a highly recommended glass of Kwak. I think I now know why it’s called that. I had no trouble falling asleep.

Mike took some pics, just in case we forgot about it tomorrow…

Show day – Antwerp.

NHT speakers, what would I do without them? I seem to have spent most of the day looking for cool music and made a few discoveries too. The Chess Soul Box set for one and a band called Cat’s Eyes. Diggin’ that. Oh by the way, Jim’s playlist last night included these gems – Indian Wedding – Roy Orbison, Searching for My Love – Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces, I’m Nobody’s Baby Now – Reparata and the Delrons, Omaha – Everly Brothers, Coconut Grove – Lovin’ Spoonful
You Can Stay (But the Noise Must Go) – Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Memo From Turner – Rolling Stones, Try Me Baby – Bob Kuban and the In-Men, Come on In – Music Machine, Bring the Curtain Down – William Bell.

After last night, breakfast was a welcome start to the day and it was Eggs Benedict that I had in mind. as it turned out, it stayed in my mind, I got two poached eggs on white toast with Hollandaise sauce. No meat. And no salt on the tray. Clearly a mis-communication. Note to self – ‘stop complaining and eat it’.

The day whistled by and before I knew it, I was running late for 3:30 bags and a 4pm checkout. I made it to the bus in time for the 90 minute drive to Antwerp and the Sportpaleis.

Glenn find little time to practice on this tour, maybe ten minutes or so during the changeover before our sound check..

Laurence Stromski the lighting tech and Tom TC Calcaterra, Richard’s guitar tech doing some ‘stuff’ before our soundcheck…

Another fabulous show tonight, a huge arena filled to the brim with happy Belgians. Well they seemed happy. Bob’s band were looking pretty sharp tonight all wearing light cream suits. After they went on, we waved our goodbyes to the crew boys who were busy wheeling flight cases up the ramp to where the buses and trucks were, and set off in our two buses for Rotterdam. I had made a playlist for the journey.

Off to bed.