Steak ‘n’ Cake
During the three nights here in Amsterdam, our fondness for the city has grown yet again and the hotel has left an impression too. Some of the design features took a little getting used to but overall I think we now adore this place. Apart that is from the ridiculous, insulting, utterly shite so-called music that is blasted unremittingly in the chamber of pain. Speaking of which, with a couple of days in Glasgow on the next pages of the itinerary and recalling Richard’s gym rant last time out, I decided to get one more session of humiliation in. Sure enough, the grotesque music was blaring but there were too many people in there for me to ask to have it turned off and I didn’t fancy going round the room asking if they minded if I did so. I seriously considered the possibility of sabotage but noticed that the ‘gubbins’ are hidden away inside a cupboard under lock and key. Clearly someone despairingly has tried before to vandalize the audio system. Unsurprising. We insisted that Tim, our diligent tour manager informed the hotel management of our exasperation as well as registering our approval in other areas. It’s virtually as impossible for hotels to get everything right as it is for us to please every fan with our choice of setlist. So we don’t try, hotels thankfully, do.
We checked out and Bernie Range Rovered us to Schipol GA terminal where we were escorted airside to our beautiful aircraft. Liz was ready and waiting with a light lunch for our very short flight into Luxembourg. With a thin shiny computer on my lap, Mark and I chatted about the evening’s setlist and we tucked in to a salmon carpaccio salad with crème fraîche. In light rain our pilots gently dropped the Legacy onto the tarmac and we were met at the steps of the plane by a large airport bus which promptly drove us about 40 yards to the terminal building. I know there are health and safety regs. but what a ridiculous waste of fuel. We hopped into Mannfred’s cars and were at the venue about 40 minutes later, Luxembourg traffic and roadworks playing their part in minor delay.
The Rockhal is a great venue. Opened back in 2005, we’ve played it many times and the sound is always a treat. It’s also a ‘standing’ venue which we enjoy. The location is an old industrial site of Belval which has in recent years undergone such growth that it’s almost unrecognizable but the old foundry stands out. One day I’ll get out and take some close-up pics of the place. Not today though as time is of the essence. Soundcheck comprised of running a few tunes we have rehearsed but as yet not played in the set. After that it was time for a dash up to the 3rd floor and catering. On the menu was one of my favourites, simple Steak and Broccoli. Utterly delicious as you can see….
After dinner, lovely Georgina brought to the dressing room a birthday cake for John. It’s his 40th today. We sang our version of Happy Birthday and John blew the candles out, well he tried. They were relighting ones. It’s Paul Crockford’s birthday tomorrow so Happy Birthday Paul. I’m sure we’ll be having a drink or two to celebrate this evening, we don’t need that much persuading.
5 minutes later
There was a real relaxed feel about tonight’s show, possibly after everything that went on last night in Amsterdam with the lovely Ruth Moody, all the preparation etc. The band sounded fantastic and there were some really stellar performances. One to order I would say if you were thinking about a USB stick. Incidentally, I’m not sure the photos of the USB stick quite do them justice so here’s a shot from me. They are really very beautifully made.
Here’s a cool shot from the perspective of Jules, our keyboard tech..
After-show, it was back in the cars and to the plane via that bus again. Liz had drinks at the ready and the 1 hour and 50 minute flight to Glasgow literally flew by. We had some of John’s birthday cake and started our decent into the UK once more.
A flat bed truck was used to collect the baggage and inside the eerily deserted terminal building, we collected our bags from the carousel. well Pete did, we dashed off to the fleet of Rangers this time headed by Gunther, Mannfred’s brother who joins us for this leg of the tour. Within 10 minutes we pulled up outside the Blythswood square hotel and after some scratching of heads, found our rooms and awaited the arrival of the bags. Pete is a master at this and it was a mere 10 minutes before a porter was knocking on my door with my luggage which of course includes all my tea-making gubbins. (there’s that word again) A quick cuppa, phone home and so to bed.