10 Mar 2008 - Rod in Curitiba


Santiago show day today and trying to catch up with this. But what a day yesterday, England embarrassed yet again at rugby and cricket. Beaten by the Scots is bad enough, but playing lousy again and after such a good win against France. We were 30,000 ft up over the Andes when it was played but I was recording on my slingbox. Luckily a Welsh mate texted me the score (and of course of the Welsh win!!!) so I didn't bother watching it which saved me the pain. And then bowled out for 110 to lose first test to the Kiwis, what a terrible performance. The England men's hockey team are at the same hotel as us here in Santiago -- they play India in their World Cup final today so lets wish them good luck, perhaps we can get one win over the weekend but it will be tough as India is very strong at hockey. And if anyone thinks hockey is a "girls" game think again, I played a couple of times at school and it was far more terrifying than rugby!!!


But back to the story...

Easy flight to Curitiba (stop to listen to Maiden Maiden chants from loads of fans outside hotel here!) but madness when we arrived. We were quickly off the plane and at the airport exit but then confronted by a sea of fans -- took a van back to get a documentary cameraman as had to get these guys on film. Eventually security organised a path through and we were off with the police escort - impossible to even consider any autographs with so many people. This is a real metal city and the fans made us feel more than welcome!! And even more were at the hotel to welcome us there. Madness.

Did some work then met up with CNN camaraman Dave for a few beers and sports talk and Dave told me some great stories about his excursions to various war zones. A very interesting but sometimes dangerous job. Our fans aren't half as scary as some situations he had been in!! we went to -- yes you guessed it -- an Irish Pub, SHeridans. Nice place but packed. Steves football team and most of our crew were there too, singing football chants at each other and checking out the local brews. A lot of fans too and they pissed off Jan literally taking photos when he went to the bog. It can sometimes get too much, the lack of privacy is starting to get to everyone a bit but more of that later. Anyway it was a good night.

Went to the gig late am next day with Bruce as it was our turn to do CNN interviews at the venue and as doors were at 2pm we had to finish by then. I find doing interviews not too easy as unlike the band l am not that practiced but I am always happy to talk about the band and what we are up to!

The venue itself was amazing. Apparently we had played here before in the Blaze days but I wasn't there so didn't know how unusual it was and what a great place for filming. Should look great on the documentary. It is an old quarry, the backstage area is on the upper ground and then you take a lot of stairs or a rickety old lift down to the quarry floor where the stage is. There as a small lake at the back which looked very mossy so probably a few mosquitos in the eve -- hope no fans fall in!! the flat quarry bed holds 18,000 and it was sold out in a few days last Dec, the first time anyone has sold it out in advance, let alone 3 months almost ahead of the date. And this includes major stuff apparently like McCartney and Bon Jovi. So some accomplishment, but I did say it was a metal town!!

The audience were again quite fantastic and I watched the last few numbers from the top level and the sea of arms looked so great -- a really atmospheric venue.


Our hotel was pretty basic and the bar was closed. We didn't fancy taking our chances with the Irish Pub tonight but it was Rosie and Dave's last night so persuaded them to serve us a few beers on the restaurant mezzanine and after a while said farewell and hit the sack, though due to a combination of show driven adrenalin and buzzing ideas didn't get much sleep.

- Rod

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