Oxegen Festival, Ireland - Show Day

7am bus call from the Dublin hotel. 2hr ride to the festival site. Wake up at gig and its raining, buses are parked near production, which is nowhere near the stage. Great. Take the shuttle bus to the stage, takes over 10 minutes.

Load in, the stage is almost completely wet, and the rain is coming in sideways through the front. Setup my guitar world in the dry stage right wing. Change strings, etc. And I'm done by 10:30am. Stick around to see the first band, The Stands. Great band out of Liverpool, reminds me of a cross between Dylan and The Beatles. Make the muddy walk back to catering for lunch, not bad for Irish food. Then it's back to the main stage to see the Kaiser Chiefs play another fantastic set. Another walk back to the buses for a nap.

Up around 5pm and trek back to the main stage, where Snoop Dogg is still onstage, even though he should have been done by now. Wait to catch Queens of the Stone Age, another killer band. The next band, The Frames, is renamed by Kenny as 'The Bummers'. They're not exactly an uplifting act, this trudges on for an hour and fifteen minutes of pure hell.

We're up next, the skies have cleared and we play yet another amazing set to 75,000+ people. It's punter city in the wings, and I keep having to run people out of guitar world. One guy almost knocks one of my guitar racks over. Idiot.

After we load out, catch some of the closing act 'Bjorn Again', an ABBA tribute band. They've got the moves and the sound, just can't help thinking there's a frat party without a band tonight...

Trudge back to the bus in the dark, after the shuttle gets stuck in traffic. Take off around 2am.

Rotterdam to Dublin - Travel

Off at 3am (late) from Rotterdam. Get on the train for the Chunnel around 7am. 40min and we're in the UK. Ride through the countryside and wind up at the ferry in Holyhead, Wales around 3pm.

Boat doesn't leave until 6:30, so Joff and I walk into town to try and get a Curry. Two Indian places, but both are shut until 5:30. We hit a pub instead, beer for Joff, Coke for me. We also shoot a couple of games of pool.

Back on the bus by 4:30 and wait in the parking lot for the ship to arrive. While waiting we are entertained by a group of Irish guys playing Ukelele's with banjo bodies.

More riding, sleeping, eating on the bus. Get into Dublin and the drivers can't find the hotel. We do the same 4 block circuit 3 times. We're all ready to jump off and get a cab. Finally we get to the hotel about 10pm (we've been in town since 9pm). I have a quick shower and go find a Curry House next to the hotel and get a Chicken Tikki Marsala. Just what the doctor ordered. Watch a DVD and off to bed, another early lobby tomorrow.

Rotterdam - Show Day

Sad news this morning as we wake to the London terrorist bombs. What is wrong with people? Spend most of the day checking the news and doing our gig. Last headliner gig for us, rest are festivals. For some unknown reason our bus leaves way after the other buses, guess someone forgot to wake the driver up?

Sleep on the bus. Motor over to the ferry around 6:30am, driver wakes everyone up at 7:30am. We must get off the bus and board the ferry for the 2.5hr ride to Denmark. Once on the ferry we all make our way to the back deck to watch the receding coastline. We also get a glimpse of a sub off the port side.

Back inside, wander around the shops and cafe's then get to my seat and sleep some. Dock in Denmark and now it's time for our 11 hour ride to Rotterdam. Most of the trip will be across Germany, so at least the views of the countryside will be nice. Usual drive day: read, sleep, eat junk food, stop at the services, work on powerbook, repeat.

Arrive in Rotterdam around 11pm. Check into the Holiday Inn, no A/C, but there's a fan. Not too clean either, reminds me of the Milton Hilton. Yuck. Shower, surf the net, stay up till 4am, as I slept alot on the bus.

Quart Festival, Norway - Show Day

Wow, a post actually on the same day as it happens...

Up early, bus call at 9:30am for the ride to the Quart Festival. Unfortunately it's only 10 minutes away. We're here this early why? Park the buses next to the trucks, next to the stage. Except it's not the stage, the stage is actually down the hill and on the water. So we must cross load our trucks into smaller trucks for the trek down the hill. Great!! Did I mention it is pouring rain...

Anyway, get on the stage and after telling the stage manager from the festival that he must move a bunch of stuff to accomodate us (we are the headliner), I set up my guitar world on stage right, change my strings, then go take a two hour nap on the bus. No lunch, as the local catering isn't up till 6pm. Boo. Up around 5pm and wander down to the stage to see what's up. The band Kaiser Chiefs is about to go on, their techs Dan and Andy are great guys I met earlier in the day. Stay to watch their set, and I'm glad I did. My new favorite band, these guys rule.

Finally it's 6pm and I head to the 'catering', which consists of Swedish meatballs, boiled potatoes and mushy peas. But, it's not bad, with carrot cake for dessert. What I can't figure out is the shaker of Tony Cachere's Creole Seasoning on every table. Norway, Creole? Who knew? It did make the meal more tolerable.

Off to production to check email and post this. We're on at 10pm, still light out. Doesn't get semi-dark till after 11pm. Great show, another great crowd. Starts raining just as we are finishing, should make for an interesting load-out.

Load-out is the same as load-in, load gear off the stage into a little truck, which takes it up the hill to our big trucks. As we're helping off load the little trucks, our very large monitor desk falls over and crushes a locals foot. He's OK and we sit him down and get him some ice.

After load-out we stay on the bus as we opted for no hotel tonight so we can catch the early ferry (8am) to Denmark and then an 11 hour drive to Rotterdam.

Gothenburg, Sweden - Show Day

Wake up around noon, my eyes feel like they've been cemented shut. Go into catering to check email, etc. Today is our own show, and the last of our 5 in a row. Watch some of the Live 8 video available on the net. Can't get Pink Floyd's set to load, will try later. Set-up and soundcheck. The band has seen the Live 8 video of their performance and think that it went well, given the circumstances. After dinner, go an meet Bjorn 'The Mad Professor' of BJF electronics, he builds killer pedals and an amp that I've yet to try. Hang with him talking tech for over an hour, then make sure he and his family get into the show.

Back onstage for another sold out show, and another great set. After load out hang on the bus, then off to Norway for a much needed day off.

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