15 Dec 2006 - Rod: Manchester

MANCHESTER AIRPORT FRI DEC 15 2.30pm

Sorry about delay in my diary – been a bit of a blur this last week or so. I am sat in the bar at Manchester Airport. I arrived here about midday to get the 13.05 to London Gatwick to go home to Brighton following the show here last night. The flight (so far) has been delayed to 3.35 – pathetic isn’t it. No explanation given at least that l am aware of. Should have taken the train. By the time l get home l could have been in New York!!! At least its giving me time to catch up here!!

Anyway lets go back to where l left off – Stuttgart Dec 7. Met up with an old school and uni mate Cookie in the bar at 5 – haven’t seen him in years so great to have a few drinks and catch up. A bit of a day off for me. Went to Schleyerhalle in time for Maiden and took Cookie and his wife and friends up on the desk.

We have played the Schleyerhalle (capacity 13,000 – sold out) a number of times before and always been great shows. But there l am on the desk and getting this weird feeling. The band don’t seem very focussed and a bit out of phase. Also Bruce hadn’t got his usual power which makes it tough for Dougie to get a great sound as he has to push to keep the vocal above the band. With all this it made the audience a bit subdued. And that is unusual for Stuttgart.

Went back to see band straight after show to see if there was any problem . there was. Appararently it was freezing on stage. You know from my diary how distracting it is when there are cold drafts across the stage – this particularly affects Bruce and is never really a problem for Nicko say as he is well hidden and obviously doing a particularly physical job. But tonight they all complained that it was bloody freezing – even Nicko said he was so cold he didn’t even break out into a sweat at any stage – and that’s with all the physical exertion and all the lights!! The Schleyerhalle has built an ice rink behind the stage and it must have been that. It was reasonably ok on the desk otherwise l would have emailed back to Dickie to check it out. It was so cold on stage as l guess the stage area backed on to the ice rink. Bruce had real problems with vocals – you try singing those songs when you are bloody cold – and everyone had problems concentrating as they were so cold. In a way l was quite relieved to find a real reason for the strange gig. It’s a shame for the audience as although it was a guess still a good show. It just wasn’t right on due to the circumstances and the Stuttgart audience deserved more. If we are to play here again will have to check this out carefully as to us it really ruined the gig. Reaction after from people l saw and talked to was still very very positive but l always then think what it would have been if the band and Dougie had been able to be full on!!

Had a few drinks in hotel bar with friends and band after show – pretty lively there!!!!

Following day Dec 8 we flew up to Dortmund – this sold out weeks ago about 11,500. Before the show EMI Electrola and our old mate Erik the head of marketing presented us with gold discs for Dance of Death, promising gold for AMOLAD very soon. A gold disc in Germany is 100,000 (and for EMI that is over the counter sales as opposed to ship out) but it used to be 250,000 just a few years ago – it just shows the decline in record sales. As everyone knows record sales worldwide are considerably down for all sorts of reasons too complex to go into here (but yes including illegal file sharing, piracy etc etc) but Germany has been hit harder than most for some reason.

Anyway the show was terrific and so was the audience so we all felt a bit better about the night before as at least our second show in Germany was a cracker. The promoter ensured that the hall was draught free following the “discussions” the previous night – not that we could fault the promoter for the iciness, wasn’t his fault they built an ice rink.

Flew home straight after the gig getting back to Brighton about 2.30am.

Day off on the Saturday – well for some. Caught up with emails in home office, tried to do this but didn’t get time, caught up with some personal stuff. And of course saw some rugby on tv.

On Sunday it was back on the train to London for a C4 TV recording Live at Abbey Road. We don’t do much TV as you know - indeed we don’t get offered much !!! – and there is not a lot we would want to do anyway but this was a bit special and it was good to have metal included in a show like this. It was recorded in the big Abbey Road studio but more with a documentary feel than video. The list of artists appearing is very impressive and we are to close out the whole series being the last band on the last show. We did 2 songs both recorded fully live as if we were in rehearsal – most others did 3 but our songs are a bit longer than most!!! Also a bit of interview stuff. I wont go into it more as Val will soon be putting the full news of this on the site so you will get all the full details but we think it will come out really well.

Had a few drinks with Nicko after the recording and stayed in London that night. Off to Cardiff the next day - Mon Dec 11 – for the first of the UK run. I will leave it here for now as l need to go to the gate – if its still more delayed l will come back to it!!
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