After our wonderful jaunt in the Scandinavian countries playing to amazing audiences in occasionally inclement weather, it is great to be back in Germany again, host to so many fabulous shows in the past. The dramatic temperature change has been most welcome although the change hasn’t been gradual in any way. From cold to hot virtually overnight. The temperatures in Frankfurt have been in the mid 30’s every day with the show day topping 35degC (95F). It’s hardly the end of the world though as we are in possibly our favourite hotels in Europe, the Villa Kennedy. The gym in particular is just about as good as it gets, perfect size, airy, cool, with good machines, no crap music blaring and plenty of chilled, bottled water on hand. The indoor pool area too is perfect with a small courtyard with a few sun loungers for us sun worshippers. The staff here too strike a perfect balance of familiarity (they get to know the guest names) and efficiency. The service is sublime and if you can stretch to it, spoil yourself and make it your place to stay in Frankfurt.
After some pretty pathetic gym experiences in the last week in terms of machinery, it’s great to be able to at least make an effort to keep on top of the occasional lapses in self control when food is nearby, which seems to be quite often at the moment. Also, I hasten to add, no need for any in-room air conditioning surgery as the system functions perfectly.
The run was good, the pool cool and the sun hot. Very Hot. With another splendid band dinner on the evening of the day off, I felt rather that I’d undone all the good work. It’s a constant battle but no-one is complaining too bitterly.
The show day was hotter, too hot I decided for anything other than Villa Kennedy luxuriation, that is until 4:30pm when we all assembled for the drive to the Festhalle. Truly one of the most iconic buildings of any European tour, it’s always a thrill to play even if the acoustics are typically challenging. We walked into the venue and immediately realized it was going to be a bit of a cauldron later. The temperature just kept on rising and when the audience were in and we took to the stage, I reckon it was 35 degrees up there. Out of all band members, I probably sweat the least but tonight I was drenched. It was imperative that we all took on board as much water as possible. We did and it was a fantastic show, a reminder of all the great German shows of the past.
Mark’s guitar array..
View from my midi bass pedals under the Hammond…
Back at the hotel, our esteemed Konsertagentur, Marek Leiberburg and company treated us to after-show drinks and yet more delicious food in the hotel courtyard where at midnight the temperature was still 30 degrees. Marek is an extremely successful promoter and a very likable chap who’s relationship with us goes way back to the days of the Straits and for me, my days touring with Roxy Music. Marek had a selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres laid out on the long table and two huge plates of pasta, one pomodoro and one lobster. Resistance is futile and ensures another trip to the gym in the morning.