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 descent whilst everyone was in awe of the rugged landscape, I found myself monitoring the strength of the breeze by the intensity of the white caps on the sea below, an unconscious artefact of a windsurfing past.
The crew have spent their day off in Stavanger and appear to be well rested if not a little shell-shocked at the prices of basic crew sundries, ie. beer and burgers. Norway has always been a bit pricey but thankfully that doesn’t deter tourists or touring bands.
As the Embraer pulled up on the airfield apron, our VW fleet were waiting alongside and we stepped straight from the plane to the cars with seemingly no immigration checks deemed necessary. This is always great news and these days sadly quite rare. It meant that we were at the venue in plenty of time for an extended soundcheck to run a few tunes we haven’t looked at for a while now that we are Nigel and Ruth-less. Incidentally, earlier today thinking about changes in the show, I felt compelled to look up the lyrics today for the song ‘Piper to the End’ and to my (and Mark’s) horror, discovered the internet is riddled with mistakes. Mark’s website seems to be the only reliable source for his lyrics.
Yet another truly fabulous audience, with general admission on the floor, 2 hours and 5 minutes is a long time for anyone to stand but they remained both unmoved and moved by our efforts. When we left the venue for our customary runner to the plane, we wished we had left our sunglasses in the cars as the early evening sunshine was intense. At this time of year of course, it doesn’t get fully dark which takes a little getting used to at first.
Once more, the cars pulled up alongside the plane and we boarded, Gin and Tonics at the ready for a 50 minute flight to Oslo and band debrief session. Exactly 50 minutes later, we were in cars once again and soon at our creaky hotel destination.