donderdag 28 februari 2013

Dont drink the yellow water

Right when we got in the bus after the gig in Cologne / Köln we got some bad news. Bad as in really bad! It so happened that somone (ofcourse it was impossible to find out who) had ignored one of the most important rules of the tour bus. As a result our toilet was broken. Now with 18 guys in the bus one toilet is kind of a challenge but 0 toilets on the bus... Thats not very nais! (with Borat-accent) Im surprised that we got to the Swiss venue (Z7, Pratteln) in time despite numerous sanitary brakes. Waking up in Pratteln was great. Everyone was looking out for Z7 because they have this amazing cook. She makes the best food and also there's a washing machine and dryer at the venue. It's the simple things in life that make a musician happy... Although seeing one of our gitarists get out of the bus with 3 bottles of yellowish water, adding: "no water!" was priceless as well :)

We had a great gig in Pratteln and both bands were on fire. The audience loved it even though you could tell that there were quite some people that never saw Neal or the Flower Kings. But thats great!

Touring is about music, I guess. But food comes as close second :) So after the chicken curry (and home made Tiramisu with Whisky) in Switzerland the bar was set for Milan, Italy. We just found out they did a great job with a classic pasta dish: Penne Bolognese. Made us happy :)

That should be a fine gig tonight!

maandag 25 februari 2013

Close to the Edge of Home

After our Swedish adventure in Malmö we got on the bus. Well, around 6 am because we had to wait for the disco night, that came right after our gig, was over. I hang out with Eric Gilette, one of the two guitar players of Neals band and Edgel the tourmanager. Both play drums as well (Actually more than 50% of our group plays drums, it's insane. Everyone is tapping and drumming - all - the - time. But I dont mind, Im glad to be with the like minded haha). The night before we stayed up late as well. We even stayed up longer than Mike, which is always quite an achievement. Mike was in for a surprise though, finding Thomas, the keyboard player of The Flower Kings in his bunk, laying on his special pillow he brought from home. And on top of that Thomas was sort of pyama-less, if you know what I mean. Together with Edgel they found a nice new bunk for Thomas so everyone ended up happy haha...

Driving back to Germany we took the ferry to get there. I got out of bed to find out the whole ferry-experience is actually quite boring. The only thing to do is pay too much for lousy coffee and prepacked sandwhiches. Never again! I better sleep while I can.

We arrived in Hamburg and slept at the Holiday Inn. A decent hotel. Actually its the same wherever you find one. Even the artwork on the walls is the same. But the shower was just heavenly. What do you expect after 3 days in the bus and filthy venues?! I could have showered for hours...

I roomed with Neal to find out that he got himself into a difficult situation. Apart from this whole prog tour he had a musical to prepare where he plays piano. So before going to bed after our day off yesterday in Hamburg, he was practicing on his keyboard. He has to do so an hour per day every day! Haha. He told me next time he'll check the music scores before he actually says he'll do it. I read a book and we watched Enemy at the Gates because going to sleep early is just not rock and roll ;)

Now we're getting close to home having a concert in Hamburg and Köln. In Hamburg we had our first day off so we went out for dinner and saw the Beatles monument they have here. Back in the time before the Beatles made it they played here in local hotels and clubs a lot.

Now the concert in the markthalle is almost at a close so I better line up my cd's to make it extra punktlich and grundlich for my German customers :)

Oh I met some guys from the Mike Portnoy Forum, who follow my blog which was really cool!

zaterdag 23 februari 2013

Swedish love shirts!

Well the first concert in Stockholm went very well. The venue was a sort of local cultural center where you could also have dinner. Nice atmosphere, but not really a rock environment. Still the audience was coming for prog and they absolutely loved it. The set starts with the Flower Kings who have a great setlist. I also like their new drummer Felix. He's great! A weird thing is that Felix and Mike Portnoy both use exactly the same color drumkit (Tama Starclassic Performer Birch/Bubinga in a sort of diamond dust finish).

I was surprised to see how many t-shirts I sold. It was crazy. I really have to go order more! And soon! Otherwise I will run out in like 4 gigs. And thats not a good thing for a merch guy, cause the band needs the money to cover for all the travel and tour costs. I mean a tour bus alone (with 2 drivers) costs a lot! And then there's our daily coffee and cookies... (I brought the stroopwafels so those are from my personal budget ;)

Lets hope I sell everything tonight! Whoohoo...

donderdag 21 februari 2013

On the snowy way to Stockholm

After taking some trains to Osnabruck and Hamburg we got on the tour bus (ok we went to have Indian food in downtown Hamburg first JUMM). Its big and red and has a trailer. Which means we can only drive 80 going to Stockholm. But well, I have books to read and we just stopped to have breakfast at a certain American ehm restaurant. Im gonna post a picture of the bus and the view from the bus (thats as exciting as it gets for now) and get back on the bus :)