Wiener schnitzel. Need I say more? You cannot come to Vienna and not have this traditional dish, vegetarians excluded. We hadn’t been in the hotel half an hour before plates of it, with Truffle Mayonnaise, were laid out on tables in front of us. More on that below.
In Prague this morning, the weather was perfect, as it has been across Europe this week although in some parts, namely the South of France, it has been dangerously hot. I read that an all time heat record was broken as a temperature of 114.6 Fahrenheit was recorded in Gallargues-le-Montueux. Lucky for us, we endured no such extremes and our short hop to Vienna was as usual, blissfully trouble free. Stand-in stewardess, Sandra from Germany made sure we enjoyed a light lunch before landing at Flughafen Wien, crowded with business jets, Gulfstreams, Bombardiers and Embraers everywhere.
Each time we land here, I’m reminded of the great wealth of Vienna as we navigate our way on a transit bus between the multi-million dollar jets. Our little White Asparagus looks a little out of place but she packs a punch and we love her. Into the cars and vans we get and off to the venue, the old Stadthalle, for soup and sound check. Soup today was Sweetcorn Chowder…‘just so you know’.
Now the Wiener Stadthalle is a charmless venue and with no catering area per-se, the tables are laid out behind the stage in the load in bay, yet it always sends us away with a great feeling. The audiences here are as you’d expect, educated, respectful and on a Friday night, slightly boisterous.
Even in this hall, which is notoriously unforgiving sonically, we enjoyed a great onstage sound, if a little wild. There were a few odd moments but after all, it IS live.
Reconvening after the show ‘runner’, our long-serving German promoter, Marek Leiberberg, with whom we have enjoyed Germany and Austria since the early 1980’s when it was MAMA concerts, had laid on drinks and food in the sumptuous Park Hyatt hotel bar. What a beautiful hotel, what a beautiful bar. We are lucky men indeed.