27 Jun 2007 - Rod - Graspop

London 10am Wed June 27

When we landed in Brussels we "parked" amidst government jets from all over the EU, loads of them all around us obviously here for the EU summit and by the sounds of it they may be here for a few weeks before they reach any agreement! We got off, put our luggage in the back of the van, got in ........and drove 30m to the immigration area. Yes, just the 30m! and then took the bags off again to go through immigration.

The hotel is in the centre of Brussels. Once in the room l connected up the laptop and spent the day catching up on a load of email.....plus catching up on any and all sports results on Sky Sports website. Bruce had gone back to the UK and Steve had been picked up at the airport by a car to take him to Einthoven where he had a football match. The rest of us along with Ian and Gaddsy went out for dinner in the evening at a good fish restaurant. A few bottles of wine were consumed and we stopped off at a couple of bars on the way back. Dave and Jan went off in search of an Irish bar and the rest of us headed back to the hotel about midnight.

Saturday had a lazy morning, read English papers, then off to O'Reilly's Irish Pub for the Tri Nations rugby, a big one, South Africa v New Zealand in SA. It was quite a scrappy game for the most part with both sides making a number of mistakes and more turnovers than you would expect between these teams. The All Blacks made more stupid errors in this game than in all the previous 12 months but, then again, it is really the first time they have been under intense pressure for some time and they basically weren't used to being competed with so intensely. SA led for most of the game until a ten minute spell of good handling from the Blacks put them ahead and  they stayed there til the end winning 26 -21, though they were 9 points down at one time. Even the usually sound kicking of fly half Carter was off today with at least 3 misses he would normally have put over.

Back at the hotel went for a swim and left for Graspop at 8.30 with the tres amigos.

The show went really well, sold out over 30,000. We always enjoy Graspop and l have no idea how many times we must have headlined it now -- must be at least 3. we were lucky with the weather again. The night before for Aerosmith it was apparently storms and heavy rain. I think A have had a lot of bad luck with the weather on a number of shows on their euro tour, certainly the weather was pretty rotten on Sunday for the Hyde Park show. Although there was heavy rain in the afternoon before us (but funnily enough it was fine all day in Brussels only an hour away) it was good in the evening. The only negative thing was going on at 11pm -- we always try to get on around 9 so band and audience are fresh and up for it. By the time we went on it was very cold and even Nicko said he was freezing up there. Its ok in the crowd and it was packed so everyone shared the warmth but on stage you are more exposed to cold and any wind. Afterwards we had a police motor bike escort to Brussels airport about an hour away, then onto the plane home. The cars weren't there to meet us when we landed so a bit of a pain, then mine took the wrong exit from the first roundabout and had to reverse back. Sods Law there was a police car right behind us and we were told to go to the next roundabout to turn round -- miles away. Fortunately my driver had the balls to wait til they had gone then reversed back all of 40yds, quite safe as little traffic at this time, by now about 2.30am.  I got back to Hove by 4 and hit the sack. More later on Brixton.

- Rod

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