We started in Karlsruhe, a somewhat bizarre method of getting to the gig for me. Thereís a Zoological Gardens next to the hotel, with those kind of punt things that are all towed along on a chain about 2 metres behind each other, you know, thrilling if youíre under 5 or over 90. Anyway, went on one, reading me book, look up and thereís a herd of elephants on the left, and some flamingos and pelicans (havenít they got big mouths? OK OK) on the right. Then I saw the gig pop into view, knew I could only be in Germany, the land of erbsentopf and red cabbage with apple. With the MMMEB (mighty Manfred Mannís Earthband) theyíre beginning to worry me, serious players, in fact getting a bit too good, a great ticket I think, us and them. Oh mígod, itís the beginning of the XS all areas tour, so let me tell you the news about the new set... Itís coming OK? Things donít move that fast in the most aptly named band in the world.
Back to the show. Mighty fine audience, 3000 odd of them, a bloody noisy lot, intent on having a ruddy good time and drinking a few pints of the old German Lager, eh what Mr. Cholmonldy Warner? They ruddy well know how to enjoy themselves, these EU members that are German.
Nice start to the tour, on to the Gerry Weber Stadium, normally a tennis venue, sliding roof and all that. Thought it was going to be freezing, until the Gommorr said to me to look up to the roof, never seen so many heaters, bet theyíre not sponsored by Greenpeace. MMEB great again, great guys, more about Rick and Noel the MM singer busking in Brussels later. Great gig, helped by the fact that we had to play quiet, so the in-ear monitors can do what they were primarily designed to do, eg make bands hear themselves a lot better, as opposed to trying to have everythinglouderthaneverythingelse and in fact having a treacle sponge (for our Egyptian readers, in case you donít know what treacle sponge is, itís a sponge made from treacle. Just donít ask about spotted dick...) for a sound. Good to hear that when you can REALLY hear what youíre doing it sounds REALLY good. IíM NOT SHOUTING! OK! Mind you if it donít sound any good by know, then giving up should be the order of the day.
New opening act started in Berlin, Paul Camilleri band, pretty good, all Swiss dudies, and youíre going to have the pleasure of their aural (yes AURAL ladies, even though I do agree the singerís pretty good looking. Look, I donít fancy him OK? Yes he does have a nice bum, but I am NOT gay!!! I am just a common or garden w***** Anyway, heís too short for me) experience. Good bluesy Robert Crayesque (to me) stuff, sure youíre really gonna enjoy it folks, for Paul whassisname, opportunity knocks!!!
Berlin gig, Columbiahalle, quite a regular one for us, hot and sweaty as ever, bloody management turned the AC on half way through, thus taking the edge off a good night, some luverly ladees there. Why are German birds so good looking? Or English, or anywhere else for that matter? - by the way, lap top just crashed, and with it shed loads of prose (mine actually) CTRL+S needs more work. Had a bit of a beano en route to Berlin for the day off. Yeah, lost the day in Berlin. I blame Parfitt. Tell you what though, itís a worry, the weather, so warm it could have been June, global what? Parfitt and me were not really into any form of conversing that sounded newer than Neanderthal, and I donít even recall if we had a good time or not the night before. Enough of my yakkin...
Lemgo, Sounds like a town in a cowboy filmÖ "Whereíre ya headed boy?" Guess Ahm headed down to Lemgo" "Lemgo? Thatís a mighty rough place boy" Does to us anywayÖ Gig OK, tad on thin side, however during the afternoon me and de Rock finished a noo toon, well bluesy, called Bella Vista Woman. I read on the message board about my inane ramblings, houe daure yoiu, OK, I am a bad influence on anyone under the age of 14 and a half that chooses to read my INANE RAMBLINGS (by the way I totally agree).
My advice (not that Iím in a position to give any but will anyway to anyone in education in this day and age is to WORK HARD AT SCHOOL, itĎs not a rehearsal... Itís going to affect the rest of your life, give it your best shot. Trust me I did nothing at school, and like everyone in this band. Iím a lucky bastid to be sitting here doing this. Iím sure I wouldnít be the best brain surgeon in the world, but Iíll never know Ďcos I didnít take the exams. I was driven by the music, as we all were, but, trust me, get your results, they mean a lot... Sorry, slight deviation there.
I just forgot where we went after Lemgo, know we did Stuttgart, with loads of Brits, stood out for us as the best one, Cologne, in a real ROCK venue. You know that the day after your show there isnít going to be an under 10 netball tournament beginning at 10 oíclock, which I think about sometimes when weíre playing sports halls and leisure centres, or worst of all, the thought of being on stages that Margaret Thatcher (dis)graced Margaret Thatcher at Blackpool and Bournemouth. I went to 10 Downing Street recently, privately (and Iím not telling you why. Cue evil laugh from Sir, oops, sorry, silly me, Rhino). All the departing prime ministers leave a book in the cabinet room library. She was the only one to leave a book with a dust jacket, with her picture on it Yuk! Imagine that looking at you when youíre trying to run the country. Bush just won the election. Sheet (got told off by a punter for swearing in this at last nightsí gig).
Thatís what we are now, fun for all the family ladiesandgentlemenborzandgirlsandofcourseyouknowwhoxxx I bet you know who (who else but the mighty QZ. Bet he loves Thatcher, as I hear heís a miner, did she muller them or what?) Actually, itís always great to see all the different age groups at concerts.
Moving swiftly on, the gig at Cologne was velly velly nice as well as being a ROCK gig, Furth, in Bavaria, where I had the pleasure of being manipulated by a blind chiropractor, which was different. I canít remember any of the others in Germany to be Frank (furt. har har).
I do however remember whereveritwas in Holland. Actually it was Groeningen, up north I think, big rock show, Promotersí dilemma. You want to promote a band in a town, you know itĎs a good idea, but the only venue available is the equivalent of an echo chamber. So you go ahead, and the show sells out with very little advertising, great. ItĎs a difficult decision to make, but as a promoter it obviously makes sense. I also donĎt think the billy is getting ripped off, as most of them being local will know the venue. I suppose half of the reason Iíd go to a concert of a band like us is to be in the same room if you see what I mean, get a bit mashed and let your hair, if youĎve got any, down. But I donít think that the music would have been very listenable in a room like that. We could have left the building 20 minutes before, and if you had your eyes shut and were standing at the back youíd still be getting on down... Anyway, everyone seemed happy, at least I think so, just donít blame us if the gig you come to sounds shite. Dutch are great to play to, mentale mentale... I just hope next time the room will be better.
Brussels. Not as packed as normal, apparently last time they advertised our show on a late night adult channel and sales shot up... I was feeling like a bag oíshite, coming down with a fluey cold, of course, we must be going home soon, however I was mightily cheered during the Oriental, it was a scream. Start playing, and a pair of chopsticks appears. And another one, and another one. Then Chinese face masks and hats start showing up in the crowd (see pic), Francis was looking at one woman in the masks going oh yes oh yes, youíre lovely you are when she took off the mask, and was a geezer!. Great one folks, I think it was Patrick who organised it, nice one you 40 year old walloon you.
Went back and did Beverungen. Went home.
Anyway, thatís this edition of war and peace done and dusted, seeya,
love from yer old uncle Rhino OB (oops, done it again) xx
P.S. Rock Parfait and me got extremely dreunk (French for pissed) in Brussels, at one stage Rick and Noel from MMEB started busking accapella in a shopping arcade, they got moved on in about 30 seconds, who said the Belgians have no taste?
The woman in front of me in Brussels with the glasses, black hair and loads of silver on, ooh! Suits you madam!!
Cindy baby! You rock my world!!!xx
Photos by Dave Salt except Chopsticks in Brussels by Patrick Cusse.
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