29 Nov 2006 - Rod: Barcelona

BARCELONA WED NOV 29 7pm

Firstly apologies for being a bit late on this – its been quite hectic!!! From where l left off we flew into Gothenburg for the show at the Scandanavium – cap 10,500 and again sold out immediately last Feb. we have played here a lot over the years – l was told it was the 10th time and we have played there more than any other act, including Swedish artists! - and the crowd is always terrific. And again this time was no exception. After the show we headed for the airport to fly into Oslo for the show the next day.

Got up early in Oslo to catch up with emails then went off with Pelle from EMI and Janick to go to the Viking Museum. Really interesting – they had the remains of Viking longships from over a thousand years ago. When a chieftain or important person died they were buried with the boat and as they believed in the afterlife _ Valhalla _ like the Egyptians, they would bury with them food, booze and everyday items that may be useful……and of course a few weapons! There are apparently reckoned to be many more as yet undiscovered longships with bodies buried around Norway. Being a fan of the old classic Kirk Douglas film “The Vikings” l always thought the chieftains were put on a pyre on the longboat which was set on fire and sent out to sea!! The lines of the boats were really quite beautiful but l wouldn’t fancy crossing the North Atlantic in one – it must have taken remarkable courage to cross to Greenland and Nova Scotia as they did …..some 500 years or so before Columbus. In Norway they are rightly very proud of this heritage.

And believe it or not the hall we played was called Valhalla. Its actually a massive well constructed “shed” with a flat floor big enough to hold a football pitch. Sold out 12,500 fans on the floor, sort of like an indoor festival. We were presented with gold discs by EMI prior to the show – thanks guys. Another really good gig.

After the show we flew straight off back home and l got home to Brighton at about 2.30am.

I missed the shows in Bergen and the third Globen in Stockholm but the band told me both went really well. I had meetings in London, a wedding on the Saturday and coincidentally (of course) the days home coincided with the first test match at the Gabba in Perth. This has now been renamed the Gabbattoir as we sadly got well and truly hammered. Stayed up til the early hours each night hoping for a change in fortune but to no avail. A couple of weeks ago just before the team set off l had the pleasure of spending some time ….and indeed a few beers…. with our captain Freddie Flintoff and he is as great a guy and drinking partner as he appears to be in the media. Wished him luck of course – he needs to win the toss in Adelaide on Friday. It would be really sad if after such a great summers cricket last year for the Ashes if we didn’t get a close contest down under. Heres hoping. I will be on tour during this period so need to find somewhere in Milan that has test cricket on all night!!! Any ideas??? I wont even talk about the rugby on last Saturday when another miserable performance saw us lose to south Africa. What is happening with English sport??!!

On Monday the 27th it was back on the plane to Den Bosch – 14,000 sold out months ago and the biggest indoor show we have done in Holland. Another really good show and a few beers with Bruce in the hotel bar then my minibar after.

The following day it was off to Paris – that’s yesterday now! Bercy was the first show we played in Europe when Bruce rejoined and has always been a bit special to us as a venue. It really is a fine hall and again it was sold out 16,500. it must be about the seventh time we have played there and the Paris audience is always VERY LOUD!!! No exception here – great show. Our agent John and our publisher from BMG Paul were over so spent some time with them. Also met up with Francois from Neighbourhood of the Beast and he brought along Herve. Herve is a fan and also a really good artist who asked to do our event shirts for some of the dates so if you have the great event shirts from Scandi or Paris you are wearing his very fine art. Thanks Herve, great job. Francois l am sure you will be reading this and l will no doubt see you at another gig soon!! Thanks for all your support with the Neighbourhood guys – you all do a terrific job and its always a pleasure to see you. The quality and commitment of our fans never ceases to amaze me.

After the show we went to a Pub near the hotel for a few well earned beers. Many French and UK fans in there but as always very cool. The band never mind doing autographs and having pics taken as long as they are not over pressured or hassled unduly – but with our fans this is a rare event so l take the opportunity to thank you guys for being reasonable and patient and not overbearing. A great night was ended with Dickie, Jan and myself raiding my minibar

Today l had a reasonable lie in til about 10 – and l needed it – then we left the hotel at 11am to get the plane to Barcelona. Tomorrow will be mad – having a night in tonight to heal the wounds and get ready for tomorrow – maybe catch a pay movie. Will catch up with you guys again soon.

- Rod
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