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Beki Tour Diary July 2008
Tuesday 15th July
Band arrive at my place about 3pm, we loaded the van and drove to Dover. Actually arrived at the ferry with time to spare (we missed it last time!). On board we had a few jars before arriving in Calais and driving to the hotel in Antwerp. This is the same hotel we stayed at when we played Hooifeesten back in May. Surpisingly, the receptionist lets us in. I say surprisingly as last time we were there we went to the 'Kids rhythm and blues pub' after the festival, cleared the dance floor with our amazing dancing, drank enough good Belgian beer to floor Girlschool and Motorhead combined, and emerged into the morning sunshine at 6am. On arrival at the hotel Kev decided to give the wedding party in reception a thrill by staggering in in his underpants (several decades old and a dodgy brown colour) and boots (ditto), the receptionist was not amused and bundled him into the gents demanding that he put his trousers on.
Anyway, they let us in and we decided to be good and stay in and sleep.
Wednesday 16th July
Drove to St Niklass and hung about for several hours drinking good Belgian beer.
Played the set, went down really well,drank more beer and met up with our friends Pat and Sandra, who brought one of their friends along who loved our show. We eventually left the venue about 2am loaded down with more beer, cakes and Belgian chocolates, thanks to Pat and sandra.
Took hours to find the hotel but we got bedded down as the sun was rising.
The van was playing up, wouldn't accelerate properly etc. Luckily Kev builds race cars for a living so is a dab hand with a screwdriver and gaffa tape. I used the remaining gaffa to hold my shoes together.
It was along drive to Stuttgart but we arrived at about 8.30pm, too late to eat. We played the set and went down really well, the organisers were lovely and really looked after us, putting us up in a nice hotel in the city. The man on reception kindly opened the bar for us. Kev drank most of the bar and kept Wayne up most of the night staggering around the city demanding kebabs.
Friday 18th July
Drove to the Czech Republic, found the Mighty Sounds festival site and then Lumpy and me were driven to the hotel. The hotel looked like the sort of place Van Helsing would have stayed at whilst hunting Dracula. Mist hung over the grounds and it was all a bit spooky and depressing. Someone had screwed up on the rooms and bunged us all in together.
We were told that someone would be back to collect us at about 11.30pm to take us back to the festival. We waited and waited but no-one came, and we couldn't get our phones to work so couldn't contact anyone. The hotel reception was closed and the owners were sitting outside in the dark listening to some awful musak.
Eventually we got a text from Wayne saying that they were loading the gear on stage so we texted back to say no-one had come for us.Eventually a minibus arrived and we made it back to the festival just in time to go on stage.There was a huge crowd fully fired up and ready to go so we really enjoyed the gig in spite of the long drive, lack of sleep etc.
After the show we loaded the gear and drove to the hotel, getting lost several times on the way. We eventually found it as the sun was rising. Kev insisted on sleeping in the van as he, like me, doesn't like sharing rooms with people of the opposite gender who he doesn't know in the Biblical sense. He also has a snore as loud as his bass drum and keeps everyone awake!
Saturday 19th July
Only slept for about 2 hours last night, tired but not bothered as no gig tonight so no need for a well-rested voice.
Lumpy, Wayne and me staggered out of the hotel to the van. The grounds looked beautiful in the daylight, which is typical as we were going home!
We drove to the nearest garage only to be informed that they didn't take euros or credit cards, so decided to drive to a bigger one. Alas, the van ran out of petrol about 4 miles down the road. Kev and Wayne volunteered to walk back to the garage and attempt to get petrol. Luckily a motorcyclist who spoke English overheard them trying to get the woman in the garage to accept euros and bought us a can of petrol with Czech currency in exchange for our euros.
While this was happening Lump and me were sat in a field next to the van and I got bitten by mosquitos.
Kev and Wayne returned after 2 hours, how Wayne managed to walk that distance in his leopard print brothel creepers I'll never know, I suppose they were more comfortable than my gaffa tape Goth sandals.
After 3 or 4 hours we crossed the border into Germany and found an Indian restaurant. The food was nice but strangely mild, just shows how 'hot' the British (and Kiwi!) palate is I suppose.
Got to our hotel in Cologne about 2am.
Had grub in Cologne, van still playing up. Got to Calais late so missed our crossing, paid a bit extra to go on the next one. Still managed a few jars on the ferry.
Arrived in Blighty about 10pm, and back in the smoke about 12.30am, thoroughly knackered.
The trip cost a small fortune but on reflection was worth it as we met some great people and got asked back to all the gigs.
We'll be back....!!!!
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