Posted: 2006-08-27 23:59:11
(Radio Onda D'Urta Festival - Aug 24, 2006)
After I have seen the announced European tourdates in May it was clear that I couldn't make any gigs in Netherlands, Belgium or Germany because of my vacation in Finland. The only gigs which seemed to be possible would be one in the UK or Italy. UK or Ireland was to expensive so I looked for cheap flights to Italy and the Brescia-gig seemed to be this one. I ordered the tickets for the plane to Milano/Bergamo and the rest for the tour-travel I would manage in Italy. Problem for me was that my schedule was very strong because my son had his first schoolday (celebration and party) two days later so I had to leave very early the next morning after the gig.
One day before the gig we were coming back from the Finland vacation. There was a lot to prepare for the schoolday party. So I was going very early to bed because my flight the next day would be 6:20 am.
The gig day started at 4 am for me with coffee and some bread and I was leaving my home half'n hour later - taking the bus to the airboard not knowing if I would get the plane in time. Well, everything was ok, I could boarding and got the window place I had already reserved. Knowing that the flight was going directly over the Alps I was looking outside most of the time but it was very cloudy so there was not much to see. We arrived Bergamo at time - taking the bus to the railway station and arrived one hour later Brescia - raining all the time in the first hour. I was asking people where the festival should be located. Less people spoke English and knew where this should be but I found out that the festival area was more than 5 km outside of Brescia. How to go there?
After the rain stopped I was making a small sightseeing tour through Brescia. The old part of the city looked very impressive. Small streets, big churches and wonderful places to seat for a while. It became very hot in the meantime so I was taking of my strong shoes - wearing now sandales. It was not easy to find an Internet cafe where I could get some coffee and checking my mails, messageboard, myspace - but in the end there was some nice place in a very small street.
After one hour Internet cafe I was going to one of the main streets where busses are driving. I found out how to come near the festival place so I took the bus which I left after 5 stations somewhere in nowhere. Walking a long time until I was getting there at almost 3 pm. The festival place was in an Industry area not very comfortable. The gates on the side where I arrived were closed (get opened at 7 pm) so I first changed my clothes (short trousers) than I walked to the other side of the festival area and telling the people at the gate that I belong to Spearhead and they let me in (never thought it would be so easy).
Behind the tourbus was the backstage area where I walked in, going directly to the Service and dressing containers. The first Spearhead I saw was Dave. I said hello to him and we talked for a while (we never talked before and it was very nice to talk with him). Manas and Raleigh were also coming out the door and we were sitting together on the benches outside, enjoying the sun and talked about the gigs, travelling, etc. Then I saw for the first time Catherine and we hugged us the south european way. Was very cool. Michael was coming out the door and was also happy to see me but hadn't time to talk much because he had to manage something with Jason - the tourmanager. Versace comes from the stage and was very happy to see me. He got a T-Shirt from the rest of the crew - black with the title "Versace - simply the Best", or something like this. It was a really relaxing sunny afternoon there and I enjoyed the cool water, beer and eating from the service room. Some minutes later Carl also joined the group so the crew was complete. Here is a picture from the pre-soundcheck - Versace on the keyboard and one picture - Michael and Catherine at the trailer.
During the first soundcheck some of the Spearhead members were leaving the area, taking some ride to the Hotel where they took a shower and changing clothes and the others were staying at the place. Catherine tried to find a T-Shirt for me but XXL was to big and then she lost her way to find the right one.
In the meantime Mary, her husband and their little child arrived. She was from Italy and her husband from The Netherlands. They were close friends for a very long time and everyone was playing with the kid and we were talking about double language education, relationships and health.
In the late afternoon it started again raining very strong which the Spearhead members used to go for lunch at the hotel. I stayed at the festival ground to get some minutes to relax, writing some text messages (Juiceman), reading a book and explored the festival area with a lot of food tents after it stopped raining. The area get filled with people step by step. It was getting dark and Spearhead was coming back after 9 pm from lunch when the gig should start originally.
Half an hour before the gig started Carl was asking one of the organisators for some ice for his left knee which was packed into a big bandage. We were sitting together in the dressing room and he told me that he harmed his Meniscus at the Cologne gig and he was at a German doctor telling him he would need a surgery in the next days. Jason came across the way and informed everyone that they would start in 15 min. Everyone prepaired for the start at the stairs of the stage - Intro music was played and the Radio Onda D'Urta show - Brescia began.
After the show I was still talking with Versace at the mixer, a man from the audience came to me and said he bought the new CD without any CD inside, so I went back to dressing room and Catherine gave me a new one for him.
Manas left the backstage area and was looking for some other musicians who played in the tent next to us. It was strange Punk music I don't like and Manas also came back after 15 min. Dave and I were talking about the show and I asked him which of the european gigs so far was his favorite. His answer: "Definitely Lowlands - but it was too short. I like the gigs which are around 2 hours. Some festival gigs are absolutely too short. But 2 hours is ok".
Back in the service and dressing room I took some more coffee and prepared myself to leave in the next time. Michael was coming back sitting down and was showing his left foot (maybe some splinter) and asked for some medical help. Three minutes later three people from the ambulance were coming inside and provided him with desinfection and bandage. There was also a young couple from Brescia in the service room who offered me to take me back to town. They were making some pictures with Michael and were waiting for some other guy to leave. In the meantime I said everyone goodbye and thanked for this wonderful day. At the end Michael and Catherine said to me that they appreciate all what I do for them. Sniff.
Ok, I left the area with the couple from Brescia. We arrived the railway station 1/2 hour later and I had to wait more than 3 hours until I could take the first train to Bergamo. Now I had really bad headache, tried to sleep a little bit, walked around and I got the train. In Bergamo I took a taxi to the airport, checkin and some more minutes to wait. The weather in the morning was really good so I hoped to see all the big mountains of the Alps.
After we had started with the plane I was really impressed by this panorama view across the Alps this day. I could see Gran Paradiso and the Monte Rosa Massiv and some other of the big mountains. We didn't take the same route back but it was worth to watch out of the window all the time. Back in Berlin and normal life at 10 am. Well, well, well.
Already missing you. See you all again in December.