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“EVERY LOCAL IN HOLLAND IS A POTENTIAL DRUG DEALER”

Feel OK get up and have a mooch about, Bruce is taking pictures of some kind of monument
“This is where the Nazis loaded up the trains with Jews for the death camps. They’ve removed the mural with the guards kicking the prisoners onto the train”
There are photographs of the trains being loaded on the information boards. It’s quite chilling looking at the photo’s then glancing to the right and it’s the same place.
I’ve been to loads of places around the world where terrible atrocities have been inflicted by men on fellow men, women, children and babies.
Every one makes you draw a deep breath, thank your lucky stars that it wasn’t you that was being abused, maimed, tortured, killed.
Mankind’s capacity for destruction never ceases to amaze me.
Onto Cologne for a gig and a day off. The Cologne live how the fuck are we going to get 3 bus’s and trailers in there. Looks like I’m going to have to park in the smoking area great!
Get to the venue, there’s a lot of building work opposite, and the kiosk has gone so reversing in should be a lot easier, where’s the other bus’s?
This is a fuckin pain, reverse to let the demolition trucks in, go forward to let them out. After an hour and half of this,I’m a bit fucked off, I can’t park anywhere else unless I go into the compound. I’ll have to come out again when the other bus’s get here. Fuck it.
Odd there’s only one chap here cleaning up load in is in 1/2 hr, where’s the other fuckin bus’s??
OK there’s no posters for the gig, strange but if it’s sold out there’s not much point advertising it. I go into the venue, the cleaner looks surprised.
“Gutten Morgen, toileten bitte’”
My German is done unless I’m ordering beer or a kebab.
“Nein”
“Ja Ja mein bus au musician” (yeah French/German hybrid)
“Nein”
“Nein?”
I show him my laminate with the dates on. He points to Cologne.
“Nein”
Theres a slow dawning going on

Fuck we’re not here!

“Toiletten bitte?”
“Jah, jah”
He lets me use the toilet I go back to the bus, some demolition truck driver is knocking on the cab window.
“Hello, sorry I go” (My Germanis obviously that good he thought I was one, well he was saying stuff in German to me and making hand gestures)
Well I moved forward to let him out, then went upstairs to wake Jon up. Who was most impressed as he had only gone to bed 3 hours prior, and pointed out that the venue had been changed. I know it’s been fackin changed no feckers here only us. I wish someone hadn’t told me about it, as the correct venue was over the other side of town. Still I’m only the driver why the fuck would I want to know or care where we’ve got to go to.
Cologne is cool but in WW2 it got quite a bombing, just not the fucking railway bridges that are nearly all too fucking low for my bus. The city centre is littered with low bridges and narrow streets, you don’t want to be driving through there at all in a double decker.. This information was given to me by a promotors rep Wolfgang 5 years ago.
His exact words when I asked why there were so many low bridges were
“it’s your RAF’s fault!”
“what????”
“Ja if they wasn’t so bad at bombing we would have had all new 4 metre bridges”And the motorway was all snarled up.
“Sorry Chachi this is the wrong gig man, get back on the bus!”
“OK dude I’ll get some breakfast and come sit up front!”
We get to the correct venue, I asked Griff the best way to get in and where they wanted me, parked up and beer and sleep.
Watched the gig as we had a day off the day after.
Me “We going to Tilburg?”
Jon “No we’ll stay here tomorrow and go early hours!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah Cologne’s going to be better than Tilburg” ah Jon you were so wrong. Still it’s all good knowledge for next time.
“OK I’ll have another beer in that case”
Get up Cologne Harley shop’s next door, I’ll go and buy some stuff no I won’t it’s a Sunday and its shut. BOLLOX! Of course why would anybody buy motorcycle stuff on a day you’re not at work, and most bikers are out on their bikes. And would turn up at a Harley shop.
Sod it then I’m off to treat myself to a breakfast kebab. I check out Yelp which recons there’s a good restaurant just around the corner, so that’s where I head.
It’s ram packed so it must be good, I opt to carry on walking its a nice day. I did notice that I am actually the only white person in the immediate vicinity.
There’s loads of Turkish looking blokes just hanging about in the street, smoking fags and doing nothing. What the fuck is that all about.
Fantastic kebab at the Mevlan restaurant. The mocha is taking a bit of chewing through. Turkish coffee is like eating grounds. It’s rough in texture and attacks the enamel on your teeth. That’s why they give you water to drink with it. You ain’t gonna sleep for a couple of days once you’ve eaten it.
Back to the bus, bit of a sleep another mooch about just wasting time really until we are ready to leave. Get a 45hour break in so it’s not all bad.
Off to Tilburg where I knew the others would already be there, I was there December so I know there’s only room in the compound for 2 bus’s.
I park out front of the Venue power up and go find the most important thing for band n crew I the Netherlands if they’re smokers.
“Hi mate where’s the nearest coffee shop, and what’s the crack with buying here, have you got the locals only law here?”
This is followed by one of the best answers ever.
“Yes you need to be a citizen to buy weed here it shouldn’t be a problem.
I went to Russia, the tour manager from the band said that. ‘In Russia every car is a taxi. You wave a few roubles about, a car will stop. You say where you want to go and you just pay.
Similar applies here tell a local what you want. Give them some money they get it.
Every car in Russia is a potential taxi.
Every local in Holland is a potential drug dealer.”
Absolutely fucking genius, I was nearly sick with laughing at the thought of an old granny taking your money, buying a bag of weed and demanding a bifter as payment.
Still when I look at my reflection I see a potential grandad looking back at me so maybe it’s not such an absurd thought. Ahhhhhh shit now I’ve just depressed myself.
Had a beer and a good chat with Chris the bands Manager/Sound engineer/Tour manager about the band, music in general and putting the world to right.
Watched the show, bed then off to Belgium. Same, same good show I bought a European extension lead. Been meaning to start a cable collection for ages, it seemed a good time to start.
Gig was great off to French France and gay Pareé!
Yayyyy no parking so I’m off to BERCY and my favourite bar. Thee such a mixture of folk in there from business men and women, through to Parisian Hells Angels. It also does the best Pizz-ah! Fuck it’s changed hands since October. It’s now a fuckin Chinese BOLLOX!!!!
Off to les Spectacles then for an eye watering priced steak, wine, and coffee. Then it’s back to my bunk to sulk. This is shit! There wasn’t even anybody any good on the skate park which is attach to the coach park. Fuck Paris……Well this time anyway.
Europe done off back to Blighty. G.I.P.

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SIXTEEN PINTS OF LAGER THEN!

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Day off Stuttgard YAYYYY! It’s only bloody St Paddys day as well Yayyyyy! Of course the Germans are goin to celebrate Paddys day. They don’t like the English, the Irish don’t like the English, nor do the Scots, Welsh, Australians etc, etc.
get parked up at the Porsche Arena. I was here not long ago with a big tour. It must have been as we had catering in the arena! Of course my iPads new and for some reason not all of my past calendars are synced. So I can’t see who I was here with. Fucking modern technology, or lack of comprehension on my behalf more like. Aaaaaaaany way where’s the nearest bar. (I am parked up and powered at this point) best plan ask the security guard.
Just up those stairs and to your right. Woo Hoo! Guinness o’clock here I come.
I skip up the stairs to the strains of the Pogues Streams Of Whiskey. There’s people outside the bar with pints (good sign) not Guinness (they are Germans with ways different to our own) and I know a lot of Irish drink lager instead of the stout.
TOP O THA MARNIN’ FRUALEIN. A point av yer best Guinness please. (Notes there’s no shamrocks, twat hats or shaleighleigh’s in sight)
“I’m sorry we don’t sell Guinness! We have lager.”
“What, eh, how the feck am I gonna celebrate St Guinness day with no feckin’ Guinness?” “Excuse my French”
16 pints of lager then. Well actually a singular pint of lager, ill pace myself a steady 1/2 dozen maybe with some food.
“A large lager and a burger and fries then instead please” “Begorrah”
Never lose track of the mission.
Burger and beer demolished, another beer sit in the sun ready for an afternoons drink-aaaaaaaaand sleep!!!!!!
The drive caught up with me. I woke up head in my hands looking at my I pad which I had started to write my blog. Well no I hadn’t I was looking at something, probably donkey porn when I conked out.
Gathered myself up and sauntered down to the bus. Climbed into my bunk for a quick doze aaaaaaaaaand woke up at four A bastard M. Bollox great day off again!
The gig was at the Longhorn I’m sure it was a good one, I just can’t remember it. Ah well, Switzerland the complex tomorrow. I know this one after freezing my tits off because I’d parked in the wrong place on Tricky.
I actually got to see a plan for parking on this as I knew 5FDP’s bus would be in one yard and there wasn’t enough room to get 3 bus’s in there. I was parked in the car park of an Italian restaurant with power. I turn into the car park hello a Crossland bus I recognise.
“Alright Ratty yew fucker how ya doin?”
To which he squinted at me and exclaimed “what you driving now?”
“Same company, different bus”
“I can see that, you’ve still got the same clothes on from when I last saw you”
“Yeah you think I should wash them?”
“That was December, it’s now March so yeah I recon you should. Do you ever wear anything but sandals on your feet, ain’t you cold?”
We sorted the power out which involved a bit of cable prodding with my electric dibber device. It’s got a red glowing end whenever it’s touched against AC power. Real handy for detecting power problems. Reset the trips in the power box and gave it the cursory kick and we got the power!!!
Had a couple of bottles of Rattys beer as we hadn’t got any. Lots of talk about hot rods, motorbikes and Route 66, . Then waited and helped the 5 Finger guys get parked up.
Good gig, good food. Back to Germany later. I’d helpfully told the guys the grief I had when I had to get equipment lists stamped from Switzerland going into Germany. The border guard got right shirty with me, I was going from 1 side of the border to the other trying to sort stuff out. ,
I was quite happy that I didn’t have to do it on this trip, I. Set off before the other guys heading to Weisbaden for another day off.
Jon was up when I got there as he had done the show not too long ago it was a new one on me, and a bit of a shit if you didn’t know what you are doing.

Schlacthof or slaughthouse there’s now a new purpose built venue attached to the old venue. Loads of parking and power outlets. Had a few hours kip then Me and Jon went to find a laundrette, this involved walking all over the town being directed by dry cleaning shop owners to the laundrette, and more walking, coffee, walking, breakfast kebab, walking, beers, more fucking walking carrying a stinking sack of dirty grundies. Jon had run out so he was el commando in his jogging bottoms which he kept reminding me how imperative it was for him to find a laundrette.
We were right by a H&M I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just buy some new undercrackers.
You can never have enough pairs of apple catchers.
Back for a couple of hours kip before going out to get a bit more food and a couple of drinks.
That was my full intention and I’m sticking to that story. The reality is I walked past a bar that was closed earlier in the day. It intrigued me then. Now it was open it looked great. That’s how I’m in an Iranian bar. There’s just me and the bar man and I’m having a real good night. The bar is decorated like a Bedouin tent.
I’m drinking a lethal cocktail of beer and raki. Raki is like Pernod, ouzo any foreign clear short which when added to water goes milky tastes of aniseed and is lethal. And the barman keeps playing what must be like The Iranian Pop Idol some of its great some of its so awful it’s great. Tho’ that could be the raki talking I buy a pint, the barman shows me a bottle of liquor.
“Whiskey?” He asks I answer yes or no, and explain a bit. He gives me another raki. I amazingly remember where the bus is.
I Wibble into the bar by the venue sit down order a beer. I remember talking to a couple of my guys. Seems I was a bit squiffy still it was early and I had all day to sleep.
Griff and Tomy turn up in the morning with the 5 Finger crew.

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“WAIT FOR THE COPS I GUESS”

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So Vienna done off to Fabrik Munich. This was no where near as much fun as last time I was here. We were parked in a sensible place. No stupidly souped up cars. Booooo! The gig was good the food was good. The worst thing about it is we were heading to Italy after the show.
Now I love Italy, the country, the food, the Peroni the roads! Shit I even like the Italian driving in Rome. Completely random, no sense of lanes of traffic, traffic lights are just pretty colours to the Roman drivers and indicators.
They’re an enigma at 1st until you realise the guy in front isn’t indicating which way he intends to go. But there’s a pretty girl on the side he’s indicating.
The problem with Italy is it’s always a CLUSTERFUCK!
It’s almost like the country goes out of its way to not be prepared, drags it’s heels to rectify the problem. And everybody’s out to scam you.
I got scammed in Florence a few years back by a guy pretending to be an official. Resplendent in official looking uniform, officially liveried up scooter and receipt book. You live and learn, he wasn’t happy I could only pay him €10 so I didn’t lose that much. I do hope if he bought some food with my €10 it gave him the shits for 3 days the cunt!
Anyway I rock up 1st to the venue, an enthusiastic guy was waving to me.
“Yeah man I park at the front. I’ve got the support bands is the power in the tree?”
“Yes, yes all good you park here, easy for you to load!”
“No mate I’m the support band’s, the main band has 2 bus’s. They need to be closest to the load in!”
“Yes you park here!”
Ahhhh shit, I go and park where I wanted to, he strolls up all slicked back long hair and mirror shades, Italian cool.
“You no want park by doors?”
“No mate I think they might tho (I pointed to 5 Fingers bus’s who had pulled up a bit behind me. I waved them on), “and also there’s no power”
“No power? Shit I told them to leave it on, I go see”
“What’s all those stalls?” Said Grif (I think)
“That’s the bootleggers mate. They’ll be loads of them later!” I replied.
Gig was good food wasn’t mamma Mia.
And off we jolly well go to Stuttgard.
The journey wasn’t without incident tho……

“This wrong ticket.”
“Yes I know. I turn round.”
“You can’t do big problem in Italy. Real big problem.”
“I managed it!”
Gesticulating like an over fed clown the toll booth operator took my ticket and card. Then put it in the machine. It couldn’t read it.
“Big problem,”
“Yeah it’s always a big problem! How much?”
He took the ticket wrote something on it. Then pointed to the price illuminated on the sign of his payage box.
“€177 you can fuck off. Give me my card back”
Unbelievably he did, I think he was shocked a bit at my reaction.
“I go 1 junction the wrong way, then 1 junction to here. I drive down 1/2 of Italy this morning €60. I not pay €177″
“Then we have big problem, your passport”
“You’re not having my passport”
I’ve no idea what kind of power trip this fuckin’ prick thinks he’s on. Hand over my passport to a fucking toll booth operator. I don’t give anybody my passport unless it’s a last resort. And then they don’t go out of eyesight with it. (If they’re carrying a gun I may make an exception to that rule) not some fat robdogging Toll collector who’s trying to scam me.
“Then I call the police” He says with a shrug
“Go on then” This winds him up more. I’m not too arsed. I’ve got my card back so he can’t scam money out of me.
At this point Jon comes down the stairs.
“I heard all that, what you going to do?”
“Wait for the cops I guess. I can’t go anywhere”
El buffoono then makes a big deal of slamming shut his payage window, gesticulating like an epileptic ape, talking into his phone whilst glowering at me.
Me shrugging my shoulders like a Parisian waiter didn’t improve his mood one iota.
Finally he pulled his blind down so he couldn’t see me.

There was further discussion about wether I should’ve just paid him. If it was €50 maybe €70 I may have just paid to get the fuck out of here. But not €177 that’s just plain extortion. I guess I’ll wait for the law.
Then the light turns green the barrier lifts up and I drive on. I said to Rob expect to be stopped at any moment if Dolmio man has called his mate in the law.
And through the border into Switzerland. Good bye Italy, you’ve lived down to my expectations.

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Honestly it was like looking at a Great Dane chasing a stick from behind. Not at all nice

So I have power said hello to everyone apart from the band. Not spoken to the other bus drivers. Portuguese plates driving for a Dutch company. Bound to be foreigners with ways different to our own.
Got some food and time for a wander back down Reeperbahn. I have an overwhelming urge to purchase some kind of cap or sailors hat.
I visit loads of ‘ahem’ specialist shops. There’s a large variety of plastic fists and funny looking penis shaped massagers in these shops.
The guy serving in one of them was wearing quite a lot of PVC. He had nothing covering his botty. I asked him if that wasn’t cold. He may get a chill. He gave me a funny look up and down and pursed his lips at me like a fish face.
I’ll take that as German for silly boy. He didn’t have any caps but kept showing me stuff from the lower shelves. He really should wear underwear. Honestly it was like looking at a Great Dane chasing a stick from behind. Not at all nice.
No caps so I went to the Aldi and got bin bags and kitchen roll.
Back to the bus for a sleep. Berlin tonight YEAHHHHH! I’m going to be looking over the wall.
Detour to catering to have dinner then bunk. Sitting typing up my blog listening to a conversation about shooting, and the best way to fire whilst minimising the risk of being shot.
It’s not the normal topic of a lunchtime conversation but what the hey. Time for a wee nap!

Seems the band are on the bus by the way it’s bouncing. Jons shaking my foot to wake me up.
Time to roll into Berlin.
Onto the ring road yeaaah, nooooooooo whys the sat nav telling me I’ve got 20 k’s to go. That’s mile say from all the cool stuff! Bugger BOLLOX.
Bugger Huxleys a very strange venue. I watched one of the main bands drivers reverse his trailer into some Herras fencing then I went voter to give him a hand. I didn’t stand by and let him drive into it on purpose. I was in my cab wondering where to park and couldn’t get to him before he did it. I’m not that much of a cunt. Found out his name is Gryff nice chap. He reversed me into a spot between the two busses and we got powered up.
Can’t be arsed fucking about today so went to bed instead of going into town.
Off to Warsaw tonight the roads really smooth. A really easy road from Germany to Poland. No wonder old Adolf got there so fast. I watch the other driver. Dutch Tommy drag his bus down the fence getting into the car park.
Stodola club. Good venue good crowd, metal really goes down well in the former Eastern block. Ooh long drive tonight going to be pushing my hours.
And I was 9&1/2 right up to the barrier. The gasometers gasometer city is 4 old Austrian Gasometers. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasometer,_Vienna Not those pig ugly metal canisters that pop up and down. Which used to black out the 3rd TV staton on my aunties TV set in Wincobank when they were full of gas.
Well the tanks would’ve been the just hidden behind this lovely brick facade. And because the venetian’s care about aesthetics. Whee the gasometers were decommissioned.
The council saved the facade and built flats, and shops inside them instead of knocking them down. And building more ugly boxes to house the minions in.
London take note. On second thoughts London just fuck off!
Had a day off there which means the Greek restaurant where I was last month with Cradle. 1st kebab of the tour life is good.

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HAS AN ANGRY WANK INTO HIS BUNK SOCK CRYING TO HIMSELF

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Right time to see what the crack and who everybody is. Jon and myself go to the venue. The rest of the guys had a started to wake up so we’d better at least find the toilets. Hi his I’m Bruce 5 fingers sound engineer. Toilets are there and there’s breakfast in catering for everyone.
Catering the magic word for drivers.
There could be a crash right by you, your bus on fire, someone kidnapping your child, no power for your bus. ALL OVERRIDDEN BY THAT MAGIC WORD. That one simple word renders a driver useless for 30 mins to an hour.
I think the record is something like 4 days on a Led Zeppelin possibly Pink Floyd tour in 78 or something.
Thom Clancy (Big Thom) went missing for that whole period. Last seen heading towards catering. It was also a standard measurement of time in the U.S. and was only superseded by MIA after Vietnam.
MIC was the standard used for someone who had vanished, possibly never to be found again.
So I evaluated and prioritised my situation. (Something no driver needs teaching, no team building exercises. Nauseating management training by some jumped up ass hole). Drivers have an instinctive ability to forget everything for bacon.
So an hour or two possibly three in catering saying hi to another nice bunch of American strangers. Various stories were swapped, jokes were told, standard taking the piss out of each other. A manly way of sounding out the boundaries of what can be said to each other without causing too much offence.
Find the toilets (nagging thought of I’m supposed to be doing something here?). Then it’s lunch time. More of 1st day hilarities more jokes (nagging feeling) go into town to look at some shops (feel like I’ve forgotten something. Can’t be that important) bought bin bags, toilet roll biscuits. All very important. Head back to bus.
“Hey Steve where you been we’ve had no power all day!”
Checked the time
“Oh yeah guys, sorry bout that it’s not like the US. We’ve not got generators incase there’s no shore power, and there’s no shore power here today. Those wankers there have unplugged my power and nicked it all. I’ll go see if they can run me a lead over.”
Again instinctive driver reaction. We don’t need any management training to know how to blame someone else for your own Indiscretions.
I had noticed another cable leading to my bus. So I swagger up to my bus make a big fuss of getting my electrical tester out of the tool kit.
“Yeah look guys the powers not been switched on. Fuckin wankers”
“That cables been there for hours man!”
“Hey guys chill (Then I hit them with the atom bomb of excuses) I was in catering”
BOOM!
“Oh man yeah sorry it’s really no bother”
The driver band authority hierarchy has been restored.

A quick lesson in driver priorities
1. Sleep as much an as often as possible
2. See above
3. Food as much and as often
4. Power. This is a strange one as at certain points of the day it’s priority can override 1. Mainly when first pulling up to a venue. A driver bravely hunting out power can usually be spotted by his tired demeanour after driving that tough, long Manchester to Glasgow run. 2 planned stops with an emergency chocolate break and an hours sleep interval. Said driver dragging a power lead and knuckles over the ground. His eyes keenly looking for a power socket using his phone light to locate said socket. About 2 minutes of looking at the power outlet and hopelessly looking at the cable plug which is invariably the wrong connection.
Overriding urge for a wee temporarily halting the power hunt.
Positioning of industrial bins to reach power socket, instead of using the safety ladder provided (ladders are for puffs) bins handily double up as toilets. Struggling to drag too old and fat carcass up bin to plug into power supply.
Usually after a monumental feat of hunting out power the driver is rewarded with. The cunts at the fucking venue haven’t left the bastard power on anyway.
Eat chocolate bar to calm down. Draw curtains in temper get into bunk. Fuck everybody the useless cunts. Phone another driver to tell what’s just happened.
The other driver sympathises by saying his tours going brilliantly with no such mishaps. His tour manager is a complete cock, And he had to call the venue in advance.
The bar staff were still there when he got there..They not only left his power on but invited him in, busty Lynda the barmaid plied him with drink, drugs and 2 hours of sex.
Driver 1 gets really pissed off at this (he’s not had sex for 6 months now) Tells driver 2 he’s a lucky bastard. Then goes and has an angry wank into his bunk sock crying to himself.
Priority 3 overrides all other priorities
Shower.
I can’t stop my fucking ipad numbering my sentences so I’ll publish this fucker and start another blog. Oh fucking Hell now what’s it doing. Modern bastard technology.

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“O SAILOR MAN COME TAKE MY HAND!”

To the airport early morning Pop Evil are calling Jon
“Where’s the bus at dude?”
“We’re still 30 mins away we’ve got 15 minutes until we can leave. Are you guys out the airport?”
“We’re just going to baggage claim”
That’s cool we’ve got plenty of time. They’re bound to want a McDonalds. Not American stereotyping there am I?
By some twisted fucked up planning guff Upon A Burning Body fly in 12 hours after Pop Evil.
We can’t park at the venue but we’ve got overnight parking at the bunker. A huge WW2 Gun emplacement used to shoot down American bombers.
Arrive to the bunker and park up.
Get the guys and go for a walk up the Reeperbahn. It’s the guys 1st time in Europe so it should be fun. I’m dressed resplendently in jeans and Turbonegro jacket.
We go into the ‘rock’ bar at the end of the street. Have a beer and some food.. Go for a walk up the street show the guys the sights, sounds and smells of Hamburg. Back to the bus for a chill and wait till it got dark. Then went back again just to show them the contrast.
Did the obvious and took the down no women street. (A street shuttered off both ends, and the pretty display laydeez in the windows are wearing very lovely underwear or bikinis).
They kept opening their windows and beckoning to us to join them. I politely said that they should close the windows, as they would catchy cold. It was freezing.
Got accosted by a gang of fun loving girls one took a shine to the bass player who has long black hair.
“You should join us you look gothic”
Good chat up line. Thou I do think they were just after his money. We walked up to the venue, amused as a poor Stage Trucks driver tried just about every manoeuvre in the book but in vain to get his truck around the corner. He ended up giving in and reversing it up the street and over the main road. I had a walk around the block to see what the chances of getting in myself would be. Hmmmm hit and miss.
Back to the bus for a couple of hours. Some of the PE guys went to bed. Then back to he airport to pick up Upon A Burning Body.
Rock and Indeed Roll.

And I turn round this corner aaaaand. Just as I thought a car in the way.
“We’re on the main street guys, the venues down there I can’t get to it”
I did wonder how 5 finger Death Punch were going to tour. Bus and trailer with no production, my question was answered as I got closer to the venue. Ooh 2 busses with trailers. This could be fun in some of the venues we’re playing. Ah well Pieter Smitt busses as well. I wonder what nationality drivers are going to be on theses babies. Belgian plates on the trailers and Portuguese on the busses.
There’s a power cable laid out to where I am. I test to see if the phases are correct. No signal walk to the venue and my cable had been unplugged and 5FDP’s split their plugs off that. Standard 1st day bo lax. Ho hum!

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BARNSLEY BIG TEASE

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With trepidation I head off down to Southampton. Will the tour come off this time?
“The bus is at Phoenix go round to their yard,”
“No worries mate”
Roll up at Phoenix 16:00
“I take it that’s my bus up in the air?”
“Yeah mate just go to bleed the system your done”
“I’ll go for a mooch about then”
I get back 2 mechanics are in the engine Tim’s looking at a clutch plate I’m not convinced all is well.
“Looks like you’ve got a problem with the slave cylinder Timmy!”
“Looks like I’m not getting away anywhere fast tonight then” I replied.
A couple of swifties in the local pub then back to the bus for a night in the yard.

Up at 05:00 to get out of the yard at 06:00 got to get up to Hull to pick the gear up.
“Alright steve the gears going to meet you in the coach park at Ferrybridge they’re running a bit late.”
Aaagh im on the M18 not the A1 so I swing around the 62 back to Ferrybridge trying to contact the backline guys to say I was going to be a bit late.
Also the original ferry you’re supposed to be on is full. I’ve had to put you on the one a hour earlier to Zeebrugge.
Aaaaaaaagggggh fuck my old boots so I’ve got to make this boat. At this point I decide in my infinite wisdom not to look at the clock, it is what it is. If I miss the boat it’ll put me way behind schedule. CUNTBUCKETS.
I swing into the coach park hoping I’ve not kept them waiting too long. No fucking van, shit!!!!
A silver splitter pulls next to the bus and a big hairy guy gets out.
“Hi steve? I’m Jon”
The another voice.
“Awwwwww man I wish I was going on tour now!”
It was Brad from Band tours in Leeds. So a bit of man hugging male bonding shit going down it the car park. Much to the amusement of the old dears in the holiday bus next to us.
We load up the gear say goodbye to Brad who says he’ll see us in Manchester.
Off to MM’s yard to wash the front of the bus off, as it encountered a drop of rain on the way up.
Off to the ferry, there in plenty of time get some food then bed.
Up and a coffee off down to the quiet room to write some blog!
That’s odd there’s music coming out of the quiet room.
“Tha doesn’t mind a bit of music does tha?”
Says a rather inebriated chap nursing a huge bottle of bierra Moretti
“If you’ve got some music I’m not arsed chap”
“Ah tha nuz it’s music”
Says tattooed big biceps bloke. He then finds some Ian Brown then Oasis. I recon I know what these guys are about.
My suspicions were proven correct when they started talking about the footy.
I gets my ipad out and start making notes. These are strait copy and paste.
2 pissed up fuckers from Barnsley playing music in the quiet room on the ferry discussing football, shagging and fighting. Not reinforcing the Northen stereotype. And as if on cue they start talking about Benidorm.
Aye I don’t understand,I took our Angie to the Manchester game. She wonna interested.
What not in owt?
No I telt ere we’d go for nice food in Manchester
Aye they say they like stuff
Aye but not with same passion
Aye reet knocks yer duck off that do.
They’re now going on about posters in their houses, Ian Brown, Noel Galagher, Oasis.

Get off the ferry in Zebrugge and drive. Drive to where tho?
Pick ups early morning from Hamburg airport. Ideally I’d be parked smack in the centre of town and be in a bar. But that wouldn’t be a great idea so as to do my pick up. What?? By some shitty twist of fate. The 2 bands fly into Hamburg 11 fuckin’ hours apart FUCKSQUIDS!!!!!
Ah well it is what it is.
A quick call to Gaz fro, MM another bus company. Park at Shell autohoff. North Hamburg.
Cool got a 24hr shop that’ll do. Get a few beers n chill for 11 hours.

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