16 Nov 2006 - Rod: Stockholm

STOCKHOLM THURS NOV 16 4PM

Been a busy time since last diary – sorry its taken a while but will try to catch up now and if l don’t get up to date will finish tomorrow. Am in a hotel room in Stockholm and it’s a day off though we are out with promoter and record co for dinner and a few drinks tonight.

Anyway to pick up where l left off - Aalborg. We left hotel and made the short flight down to Copenahagen arriving at the Valby Arena at about 6. Valby is the smallest gig on the Euro tour capacity 4700. Denmark has never been as good for us as the rest of Scandanavia and we have played here before and its an OK hall. The larger 10,000 capacity venue there wasn’t available when we booked the tour but we prefer to stick to up to say eight thousand for warm ups which these were inititally, as you know. And in many ways still are of course as all the PA and lighting equipment and some of the related crew are different as are of course trucks, buses, catering etc etc. So although this was not strictly the start of the tour anymore some smaller gigs do help to get the show refined for the major arenas and test out all the new gear. We originally considered doing 2 shows in Valby – this one sold out in an hour last Feb - but thought it would be good to go somewhere new, hence Aalborg. Its always good to play to new people who probably haven’t seen us before – although it can backfire!! (see later)

Arrived there and checked in with Dickie in production office as usual – all ok – and had a wander round the stage to get the feel of the hall. I always like to have a quick look around from onstage when l get to a show – you can sometimes (if some audience is in) get a real handle on how good the audience will be that night and l like to get into the vibe of the show as l enjoy it more. Had some dinner then – we carry the same caterers 'Eat to the Beat' around this whole euro tour so we have consistent food for everyone and can cater to personal tastes. In the winter – and it is up here just about! - its important to eat well and keep your energy levels up, particularly for band and crew of course. I often get involved with stuff backstage talking to people or whatever or just don’t feel like eating cos of the “stress”/anticipation so don’t get round to having a proper meal and l really feel it later in the evening and the next day. I have been making a real effort to eat properly this last few days as l was feeling really knackered a few days ago due to skipping proper meals. The band are actually pretty disciplined despite the pizza after the show!! Just as well with the performances they put in. you cant live on beer and cigarettes and l smoke way too much on the mixing desk during the show. This will be the New Years resolution – have to stop, its really stupid – hope few of you guys do – so will try again in a few weeks after the tour finishes. Wish me luck.

(My god just read the last paragraph to see if it makes sense – last bit’s not very rock and roll is it – more like a bloody New Labour minister in Parliament – don’t to this , don’t so that, eat five portions ad nauseum. Still you can get more into stuff if you are healthy l guess!)

Less of this or l will never get to today and Barry our main mercher and old mate just called to say he has arrived from airport and will be in bar in 30min so for next bit speed counts so don’t worry about the spelling mistakes.

Gig went fine – it’s a decent sounding hall – band had a few problems hearing themselves on stage but you always get this first show or two as all equipment is a little different even if it’s the same, if you get my drift. It can affect the tightness of the playing a bit of course but there is little you can do about it. You always want to put on the very best performance but sometimes the technical aspects can get in the way – remember the lack of our tank in Philly which fortunately, touch wood, hasn’t occurred again. Mainly of course as because it did our crew have better back up systems. I would hate to miss the tank again as its just great and l see it every night so it’s a right drag for fans who only attend that one show if it doesn’t show!! I am always nervous just before it is due to appear!!!

Lauren was supporting again and again did really well, so well that steve is now asking me to put her on a lot of the tour playing before Trivium who joined us at the nest gig in Tempere. The Trivium guys like the idea of someone before them so they don’t go on cold so l will check the timings and hope we can add her to a lot of the tour. As most of it is already sold out l think it gives the fans a bit more and gives all you guys who get straight to the barrier something good to watch in that first period. We will see. By the way Lauren is very attractive so you guys at the front watch what you yell out if we do – l will be watching!!

Band got quick showers after gig and off straight to airport to fly to home. We do this fairly often – fly in and out to a show – its not because we don’t like where we are (we do in fact like Copenhagen a lot) but it means you don’t have to travel on a day off and can have a full day free or that you get back to your own bed for a couple of nights and see the family. Got home in Brighton at about 1am uk time – not bad!!

The day off was a Saturday and the day England played Argentina. I didn’t realise when making plans that we were flying back from Copenhagen so gave my 4 twickenham tickets to my eldest boys Tom and Ben – big rugby fans and decent players - for them to take a friend each to the game . It’s the first time they have been allowed to go by themselves but they have just gone 16 and 15 and rugby fans are extremely friendly so it was great for them. I hit the couch and watched 3 games, England and Wales v South Sea Islanders and Ireland v South Africa. Ireland were superb but sadly England were terrible and lost for the first time ever at home to Argentina – who played very well – and it was a record equalling 7th successive loss. I was at the world cup final in Sydney in 03 but its been all downhill since – very sad. Amazingly sky didn’t show All Blacks v France but l think my long suffering wife Kathy thought this was a good idea as 3 games was enough. Stayed in in the evening which l was quite glad about - though l did offer to take Kathy out – and watched a movie with the family and heard the stories of woe about England's performance when the boys got back

Anyway Barry had just called – he is in the bar so have to go but it is an appropriate time. The next day we were off to Tempere for the last of the warm up before the big gigs started. So hopefully will catch up on all this and more tomorrow for you.
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