The task of writing this final tour diary entry from home is now becoming quite familiar and as always, I will take my time over it so apologies if you’ve logged on a few times expecting it to be up. The blurry final touring 24 hours seem like a distant dream yet I can still feel the last remnants of adrenaline from last night’s show, our 70th of this champion tour. What a day it was, from the blazing heat of San Sebastian via the warm Mediterranean coast to the milder, gentle South-Westerly breeze now coming off the English Channel, cooling the South Coast of the UK. The temperature in San Sebastian this morning rose quite dramatically and when we walked to our plane for the last day of travel, after saying our fond farewells to Gunther and his driving team, the air temp. was 38ºC. 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We boarded the pre-cooled tube and were soon away, tucking in voraciously to a kind of Spanish Chicken Caesar salad that Ilze had presented. We landed at Girona airport and then loaded up the team of cars headed by our very own loveable Dr. Bernard Klein. The venue and Cap Roig festival was an hour’s drive away and Bernie guided us there expertly and as ‘fluster-free’ as always.
The festival has been running here for 13 years and it’s billed as the biggest music festival on the Costa Brava, set in a beautiful area known as Calella de Palafrugell. In 1927, Colonel Woevodsky and Dorothy Webster bought the land of this estate in Cap Roig where they began building a castle and a magnificent park. The works continued until 1974. The garden runs down in terraces from the castle to the sea. The first ones (Nuns’ Terraces, El Bassin Terrace, Lovers’ Garden) are connected by the Cypresses Staircase, and have a marked architectural character. From there on, the paths descend gently towards the coast. This area is home to the Spring Garden, Cactus Garden and Geranium Walk with stunning flowering seasons.
In total contrast to the rest of our incredible and raucous Spanish shows, we played to a relatively small, seated audience of 1,800. The scene before the show was one of champagne bars and fine dining as the well dressed guests chatted and dined in luxurious surroundings before finding their seats for the show. Few were willing to get off their seats (even at the very end) but that was the nature of the venue, it didn’t mean for one moment that they didn’t enjoy the set, that was quite clear. As far as enjoyment goes, from the stage, there was more than ever with various musical ‘moments’ and many laughs.
Our faithful crew had their work cut out once again as the trucks were never going to arrive here before 1pm and with another ‘cross-load’ the back-line wasn’t being set up until 4pm! After 69 shows, they managed this feat without a worry and still found time to make their way to catering at the top of the scenic hill for a final tour dinner. The menu tonight was simple and superb. Pan fried steaks, Fresh Lobster..etc. etc.
It was time of course to say our farewells to the crew and at every opportunity we hugged and thanked them as when we would come off stage, we were scheduled to run. The runner that would take us back to the UK and that most ill-reachable of all airports, Stanstead. Of course for the Americans it was a drive to an overnight stay near Heathrow and a flight home in the morning but for me a two and a half hour drive to the South Coast and I was home by 4:30am.
Without getting too gooey and reminiscent about it, I will say that all those involved and who have been touched by this tour in the past four months will know how special it has been. It is a great team led by a great man, having been along-side Mark now for 30 full years, I feel qualified to say that. Each and every member of the touring party has given one hundred percent, consistently and combined with a wonderful spirit of camaraderie, this is a tour that I believe, will never be forgotten. The bar has been raised once more and something inside tells me we’ll get the opportunity to push the limits once again.
As ever, thanks to all who have followed my daily ramblings and for the support and comment offered. I was so pleased by the response to my little end of tour gift, it seems everyone loves food just as much as I do. I look forward along with most of the crew and band to trying out a few recipes in the coming weeks.
Until next time.