Continuing on the culinary theme, the first and some say most important meal of the day was on my mind as soon as I woke and remembered where we were. It’s true, when traveling almost every day, sometimes you have to look at the day sheet or bedside telephone to discover your location. “Ah yes, still in Newcastle” with distant memories of a hotel which hands-down won the ignominious worst hotel of the tour award…I won’t even name it. No such dubious accolade for the Hotel Du Vin. A lovely one-night stay rounded off with a glorious breakfast in the restaurant with the Breakfast Club (Tim, Mark, Glenn, Pete, Paul) which consisted of a fresh orange juice, a cafe latte and the best Eggs Benedict of the tour so far.
Back in the room, I scrambled to compose yesterday’s diary, if you know what I mean, and packed the bags. Not to difficult as a one nighter means I hadn’t rifled through to the inner depths of the Briggs and Riley, just the toiletries, kettle and tea gear.
We set off for the airport and boarded the magic carpet for another short haul down to Liverpool, somewhere we haven’t played for quite a long time. I seem to remember a DS gig here and a Hillbillies show but that’s it. Maybe there will be more in future as the wonderful, aptly named Echo arena on the riverside is now a very suitable candidate. Upon arrival, as is so often the case if there’s time, Mark asked Gunther to stop the car outside the venue so he could sign a few autographs. Inside the building, production office became the football viewing room as the final games of the Premiership season were underway with Arsenal playing Newcastle and Tottenham against Sunderland. A very tense Paul and Pete were joined by Cod (Millwall). The results were most satisfactory…if you’re a Gooner.
Just time before soundcheck for a wander around the venue to see if there were any ferries crossing the Mersey. There were. Jules came along for some fresh air as the crew had been indoors all day. The sun was out, the wind was blowing a gentle 15 knot Nor’easterly and Jules’s pet Jess posed on the railing.
Back inside the venue, the rest of the band were making their way to the stage for sound-check. No big rush today, a leisurely run through a couple of things and then…to catering. Beef Wellington was on the menu as well as Corn fed roast chicken, Fettucine a’olio and my choice for the evening, Miso crusted cod on a bed of buckwheat noodles, bok choi and chili broth. OMG. Fed, and nourished it was back to the dressing room for a very quick lie down, a few jokes and the vocal warm ups.
Sound boys Bjoern, Gareth and Kerry examine something interesting on Kerry’s monitor desk. A bit of programming I think..
At 7:35, we took to the stage to a warm Liverpudlian welcome and enjoyed a great gig. Nigel came on and played three tunes and we left the venue having experienced another great night, as we have done so far on EVERY night on this tour. The band just keeps on improving and by no means are we going to stop there. So much great music to look forward to. Immediately though, we look forward to a day off in a lovely hotel in the New Forest and it wasn’t long before the magic carpet was whisking us down to Bournemouth airport and Bernie’s team drove us to Lime Wood. I think there will be a lot of band members in the gym and pool tomorrow as I hear the Spa is extraordinary.
South Coast, here we come.