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Guitar technician reporting from the tourbus....

Monday, 26 April 2010


Bit of a funny gig really, what with the mysterious and rather large stranger getting in my way at the side of the stage, the most feeble drunken stage invasion I've ever witnessed, and my utter conviction that I'd been belmed at for no good reason, knocking my chipper mood for six. It all came good in the end as it always does somehow, and thankfully the post-show shower was nice and hot. Dinner was lovely as well - top marks to the chef.

The ferry ride home from Zebrugge (much nicer than the Rotterdam boat) almost rivalled the now legendary Stockholm/Helsinki Viking Line crossing for sheer bizarre drunken tedium. This time we had loudly farting pensioners, cabaret turn Rocker-Fella sticking noodly guitar solos where they're least wanted in his you'll-never-guess-what-I'm-going-to-play-next set, and a hyperactive French version of the Kids from Fame leaping about the place. I also experienced what it feels like to eat the world's most disappointing pizza.

Turkey next week.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


Great gig in another converted church (Rock 2 - God nil) in the handsome, historic town of Dordrecht with its jauntily-angled buildings and surfeit of elegant river craft. Whilst the front row at the Deventer gig had representatives from the "gran-athema" contingent, Dordrecht had the other end of the spectrum amply covered with three fine young lads air-guitaring and singing along with youthful vigour. I'm not so sure about the devil sign/yawning combo one displayed - must have been a little past his bed time. I'm also harbouring the suspicion that some of our missing picks ended up in his pocket. You know who you are. Anyway, it seems Anathema can truly claim to be a group that appeals to all ages. There's a lot of pension/pocket money to be had out there.

Friday, 23 April 2010


It may not look like much from the outside but our bus for these three Dutch shows might just be my favourite yet, despite its obvious flaws. The bunks are most capacious, though the curtains (providing much-needed privacy) wouldn't look out of place in your granny's bungalow. The kitchen is far better designed than others I've come across, though its situation on the top deck means something as simple as making a cup of tea can be a hair-raising and potentially life-threatening experience. We have three lounges (including one at the front - essential in my opinion) but nothing to match the original travellers' arms from my first European tour a couple of years ago. Swings and roundabouts really.

The Deventer gig was a classic "airing new material" kind of a show. It sounded great from where I was standing, despite Vincent's Electro-sodding-Harmonix pedals messing with my head once again by not working at the most awkward of moments. They sound tremendous but don't travel well. It may be time for a rethink. Anyway, always nice to be in the Netherlands - good place, good people.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


..only one more day and we'll be boarding the North Sea Ferry (only ten minutes away from me), bound for the Netherlands and three shows which could not be more welcome for so many reasons. I will be reporting from the bunk so be sure to stay tuned for all the latest news, comment and analysis.