21 Oct 2003 - Rod on the Road: Slovakia
We flew into Banska late afternoon from Debresca. Again the airport was fascinating being mainly a military base with MiG fighters and helicopters lined up along the runway on each side of us, maybe 20 fighters and 12 choppers. Three of the jets took off as we came to a halt. We were met by the military police in uniform whose main interest seemed to be photos and autographs with the band!! Of course they obliged. One even had the back of his uniform signed by all the guys.
We went straight on to the gig (with the obligatory police escort which really helps) – an ice hockey hall. The dressing room was the team room with pennants on the walls and trophies in large cabinets. The facilities were pretty basic but we really don’t care, its always a pleasure getting out to fans in unusual places and we have only l think been to Slovakia once before – but then it is a fairly “new” country.
The show went well and the 5000 fans were on great form. Both the show and the band are already beginning to gel which of course is the point of these “warm up” shows. It always takes a few gigs for everything to come fully together and there is a lot of new material and a lot of things to get right with the new production, especially lighting and intro tape cues. Eddie of course has to look his best too!! But so far so good. Fortunately our crew have been with us for a while and really do know what they are doing and we have full confidence in them. There is just a lot to think about in the early stages.
After the gig we changed quickly and headed back to the airport to head for Prague, about an 80 min flight. Nicko came up with a couple of bottles of champagne which went down well. We are basing ourselves in the beautiful city of Prague for 4 nights, its very comfortable being able to do that when possible, saves all that checking in and out and packing and unpacking. We went on stage early , about 8.15. so we got to the hotel in Prague just after midnight in time for a few drinks in the bar for a well deserved night cap