Hello and welcome to sunny Poland and another instalment of Mondayitis. Today is the first day back at school for us Aussie Floyd lot having just had a very nice three week break. I welcome you to ‘sunny’ Poland because actually it is quite sunny today here in Bydgoszcz (Bid-gosh). Those of you who have been avidly following us for a few years will know that we’ve taken our show to Poland quite a bit, and actually, it is a favourite place of ours. Friendly people, usually nice weather and great beer! Especially ‘Tyskie’. I also must point out that when I say nice weather, I’m including the times that we’ve been here in the depths of winter, because I like a bit of snow and Poland does good snow!
So today, day one of the final leg of our European tour, I thought I’d run you through my morning. I didn’t sleep at all well on the tour bus last night. We flew to Berlin from Birmingham airport where we met up with our tour buses around 11pm. A few beers and catch up with our fellow bus inhabitants and everybody was off to their bunks. It’s always weird trying to sleep on a moving tour bus again after being in the comforts of home for a few weeks, but tonight I will most probably sleep like a baby and will be back in full tour mode. The tour bus becomes SO comfortable when you’re tired on tour!
So this morning I woke early and lay there for a while contemplating life, the universe and everything until about 9:45, when I decided I may as well get up. Getting off the bus in the morning is an exercise in stealthiness because you are surrounded by bunks containing people who can sleep! Entering the venue, I negotiated my way through the road cases that contain our show and that were being loaded from the truck into the auditorium. A nod and a wave to a few of our crew, already well into their day and then on to my dressing room for the day – clearly signed by our lovely production assistant (wink wink, nudge nudge). Good, first concern of the day over – I have a toilet and shower in my dressing room! Oh, by the way, a few of us were trying to remember this venue last night, and Mike and I thought we had it – but were wrong. I of course instantly remembered it as I entered the building and saw the familiar interior. It’s usually the way with venues – even some of the ones we go to every year – sometimes you just can’t picture them in your head until you get there, and then you wonder how on earth you forgot it!
I made my way to catering for some breakfast – a bowl of muesli, egg on toast and a de-caf coffee. Very nice too. A few of the crew started coming in and the conversation centred around gardening and what people had been doing since we saw each other at the last German show. Lorraine had been raking moss out of her lawn and planting vegetables, Jon had laid a new lawn, Rick had built a very nice pergola from green oak for a customer of his joinery business. I of course have spent the last three weeks gardening pretty much every day!
A quick shave and shower followed. It doesn’t matter how badly you’ve slept or how tired you get on tour, it’s always made far better with a shave and hot shower – hence the joy and relief of discovering bathroom facilities within my dressing room.
We’ve been running a daily competition on tour to meet the band after the show, or to win an item from our merchandise stand. The competition is shown on the circular screen at the back of the stage during the interval of the show, so today I’ve sent the text over to the Polish promoters’ rep to translate it into Polish for us. Dave Fowler will then insert it into the video file for projection onto the screen. All very technical.
I wandered out to the auditorium and found a few more people to chat to before grabbing my main bass guitar, and some new strings from guitar tech Steve. I spent some time taking off the old strings, giving the bass a good clean up with some paper towels from the bathroom, and checking for any new wear and tear. Quite often on tour, I don’t get to see my instruments close up or in the daylight, so anything could be happening. They get used a lot obviously, so it’s worth checking them over from time to time to make sure nothing is about to break. New strings on and ready to go. (For anyone interested, Ernie Ball Extra Slinky…ooh)
So that brings us up to now and I’m writing this. It’s lunchtime so I may saunter into catering again just to see what’s been cooked up by the very hardworking caterers who feed thirty odd people all day, every day. Phew!
See you next Monday!