Tour Diary – Stockholm, (Nov 10 and 11, 2010)
Pete, Jared, Tim and I fuelled ourselves for our long day of travel with a classic English breakfast. Greasy eggs, beans, fried mushrooms, wilted buttered toast, limp bacon and a rasher (kind of a fried potato cake). All that was missing was the blood pudding. A disgusting way to start the day, but necessary for your unapologetic English pub crawler. The bus left directly after the gig last night with all of our gear and excess baggage. Kevin was heading for the coast to catch a 5am ferry which would take him 14 hours across the North Sea to Norway and then another five hour drive thru Norway to Stockholm. The idea was that the bus would get to the gig on Thursday just in time for load-in at 3pm. Knowing the vagaries of European travel we were wondering when we would actually see our equipment again. While Kevin was bobbing away on the North Sea, we all piled into a cattle car disguised as an SAS jetliner and flew to Stockholm. We arrived, around 9pm, a little later than projected, because of snow (fuck, it’s back). After checking in to our rock-n-roll hotel (“check in and rock out”), we all headed out to a steakhouse (including our token vegetarian, Tim) to drown our pain in good old fashion blood. A few thousand Kroner later we retired to our rooms to enjoy the rest of our “day off”.
This is a great city. I have always loved it and whenever I return (which is way too infrequent) I fall in love with it all over again. It is urbane and sophisticated and very beautiful…just like its citizens. Yes, I have Swedish envy. Yah, I know they pay a lot of taxes, but man they have a great society, funny how that works. After tossing and turning all night, trying to digest the lump of flesh in my belly, I spent the day recovering by taking a long brisk walk in the cold Swedish air. I walked the perimeter, explored the old city, relaxed in a couple of cafe’s and explored a phenomenal used instrument store with some beautiful old guitars, I didn’t even bother to look at any prices and it wasn’t raining, it was a good day. As semi-expected the bus didn’t show up until close to 6pm. So we repeated our Manchester drill and did the setup and soundcheck in 90 minutes…ate some Swedish meatballs (no shit, and they were tasty)…and then we were on stage. After three nights of performing in reverb chambers, we found ourselves in a small theatre on a completely dry stage. It was very disconcerting. I felt that we were a little off tonight. It wasn’t a terrible night and there were many good moments, but I felt like we never picked up steam. After the show we climbed back in to our disgustingly putrid smelling bus. The heater was fixed in London and now all of the smells have taken on distinct personalities and have completely taken over the bus…we are the intruders. Together we head to Copenhagen.