Before I start, we would all like to extend our condolences to everyone affected by the horrific terrorist acts in London on July 7th. We are deeply saddened, and although it doesnít count for much, weíre thinking of you at this terrible time.
Anyway - I am sitting out in Denmark, a town called Vig to be precise, listening to Denmark's finest hip-hop band, full of attitude, and very good too, they just don't look like they've left home, completely wet behind the ears so to speak. And the police look like they should be doing their homework, guess that means I'm getting on a bit, only 8 years away from the Freedom Pass. Rev. Rock and me flew over a couple of days ago to Sweden as the other suckers/band members had decided to go by bus. Wrong!!! I had an extra day at home, and was there door to door in 7 hours. They took 28! Now being on a bus is OK, but after the 4th film and 2nd 2 hour sleep 'cos you're bored out of your tree and hung over, it can really do your head in.
Anyway, we're on the plane when a bloke comes up to Rick and tells him he's been a fan for years, and had just bought one of our albums. Would Rick mind signing it? Of course not says the Rev. Thanks says the bloke, and brings out a Smokie album! I cracked up, and Rick signed it, then fell about... We were working with them that night, so a bit understandable, but funny nonetheless.
Sitting at home, 'phone goes, it's da management. "Fancy a week in Kuala Lumpur with only one gig, which by the way is at the Grand Prix?"
Call finishes a second later after my "Yep" So, 1 day of rehearsal, night flight from pissing rain in UK to 95 degrees FAHRENHEIT. After Teyve informed me as to why they changed Centigrade to Celsius (which, unlike her, is incredibly boring) I will only use Fahrenheit from now on. What is it, get the number of degrees in C*********, multiply it by 76.5, take away the number you first thought of, boil an egg and divide it by H, something like that, in fact by that way of reckoning the gig at Tollwood was 415HRT degrees Fahrenheit. Digressing, meeee?
Anyway, Iíd been there last (Kuala Lumpur) n 1983 with the Climax Blues Band, the place was virtually unrecognisable from then, what a modern city, and unbelievably cheap.
The hotel this time round was one of, if not the best Iíve ever stayed in. I still find it odd though to be in a place where the staff could never afford to spend the night there. It was also a bit odd to be somewhere for so long, but while we were there, I contributed a bit to a song written by the man from Barnes which is called T** B*****, of course the best bits!! Thatís on the new record, not long to wait.
The race. Some of us went to watch it, brill seats, on the starting grid etc. when the race starts the floor literally shakes, quite awesome really, and off they went. By the third lap I had no idea who was who, was winning or had crashed. Did I care? Did I bollocks. Iím a real sport nut, Iíll watch anything, but I just donít get it at all, still each to their own. Itís just the waste of resources and the pollution I donít like.
Re the gig I donít have any pictures of the dancers before us, they were Thai, drop dead gorgeous, I mean really, until Toot I think it was started playing hunt the Lady boy, and Iím not sure, I reckon about 4 out of 10, still, you know, after a few beers, ITíS A JOKE OK!!! I wouldnít need the beers...
Gig was recorded live for Singaporean and Malaysian TV, so maybe someone can record it when itís shown, I donít even think we have a copy. Not many people it has to be said, but saw Tony from Quo Vadis, whoíd come from Oz to see it, quite a few very sunburnt UK petrol heads, we did the usual, but it wasnít easy after a week of getting laggo, but thanks Malaysia, you were great, such nice folks. How corny rock and roll is that? Thanks Malaysia, you were great. Where's my sick bucket?
God this is a bit like War and Peace, innit? So, back to less heady matters...
10 days off before the recording of T** P***** A***í* O*** Y**, and 2 shows in the meantime, one in Holland at America Rock Weekend. I was thinking, Yeehah, letĎs rawk with some good old Amercan raack, until we arrived and realised it was in a town called America, and there were no American acts on at all. Ah well.
Here, cop this. I know Iím thick, but I only just realised where the word hoedown comes from, or where I reckon it comes form. Itís from putting down your hoe from working in the fields, and getting ready to rumble, innit? Stands to reason dunnit? Time to go for a couple of hours, thereís the trifling matter of a gig to do, byee.
I'm back, in Sweden, amazing hotel on a lake, as is usual when we only have a few hours. I have a 2 bedroom detached bungalow, just took a pitture of myself topless, quickly deleted it, by the way, a special word of thanks goes to Mr. Mike Paxman for putting such a large black dot over my gonads on the last log, if only...
I remember America. Gig. Smelt of horseshit. Near Venlo, home of very laid back Dutch folk and cheap pot, so I'm reliably informed. Isn't that awful? All I can remember about a gig is that it smelt of horseshit! and that the Dutch did the business (joke there somewhere) as they always do, what can I say? Many times we are good, sometimes we are great, sometimes we are awesome, reckon pound for pound we are good with the Dutch the most oftener...
Ime juste reedin a boook corled Riddley Walker, and itss orl ritten lyke vat, en a stranyge way. I should be bloody locked up in Strangeways, don't know about anything else..
Bremerhaven, back after 3 years, big sports hall, bit of a handbags at 50 paces between a couple of English and German fans, sorted now I hope, life's too shortxxxx. Great slide player in opening act, hot and everything, the 3 layers of clothing I wear on stage make sure of that.
Album next, after that back to Holland, large tent, some really crazy support bands, a great one from Belgium, really v. good, funny old gig, seemed like a farmers' convention, can't explain why, had a good old bike ride round the locale, how different Holland is from England. For a start, the people look happy, if there's a sign says don't cycle they get off, no one seems to be walking around trying to look hard, it's clean, even the people who have had a bit to drink don't want to start trouble, they just get on with it.
That's what is really pissing me right off about the UK now. (this is my little rant for what it's worth). I must be getting old, OK I am, but I tell you there's one thing missing in our society now, it's called RESPECT. It really hurts me to say that sometimes I am embarrassed to be a Brit. The Danes, the Germans, the French, in fact most other countries put on town festivals with a complete diversity of entertainment, and no-one tries to smash it up or cause trouble.
I saw a whole town pissed in Denmark, I'm talking about people from 14 to 80, and the atmosphere was superb, everyone enjoyed themselves. We are so up our own arses in Britain, with the "you looking at me? Right, I'm gonna twat ya" image, happy slapping? what's that about. HOW DARE YOU!, I could go on, but it's shutting the door after the horse has bolted in my opinion now, we have lost the streets, and I'm well angry, the world has gone mad at home, PC, dogooders, nanny state, you only need RESPECT, and we don't got none. The End.
PS. Sorry about that, but I get so f****** irate sometimes. Still, I'm a musician, and I'm in Status Quo, therefore must be stupid and obviously know nothing and how dare I have an opinion, so to all you civil liberties people, politicians and PC persons have a nice day, and thanks for NOTHING. Except messing it all up of course.
PPS. I hope your next s*** is a hedgehog...
This was a laugh. Opening the Allianz Arena. Day off Munich. Great weather, great day. We were to play a 20 minute set live on TV after the first game, between 1864 (sounds like a beer) and Nuremberg Sound check, totally clear sky.4pm, light shower. Get to gig, of course no roof on stage as it's in the middle of the pitch, and has to be up in 7 minutes. Would have detracted from the quality of football if there was a stage on the halfway line, don't you think?
It chucked it down during the second half, I mean CHUCKED it down. We went from we were going to playing live, to are we doing it? but they put the stage up, and we went on and mimed Rocking and WYW. It was so funny. Every time Matt hit a tom we all got even more soaked, I hope the pictures came out. As Andrew said, it was like a festival in reverse, the band's getting soaked and the audience is dry, brilliant fun though, and it probably did us more good than a live gig! The audience seemed to think so. I mean, are we not the band of the Volks? I couldn't imagine Madonna doing that, can you?
Next, Ingolstadt, a kind of private do, for the people who run the Netto chain of stores in Germany, still an open kind of affair but I think only locally advertised. Lots of what I would call schlager acts on (as in crap cover bands, lots of fake tan and long stories between songs). I am NOT referring to us by the way... Pissed down some of the day, but amazingly for us cleared up by the evening, not bad.
Next... Private plane for 4 days next, flight number SQ40 (what else?) taking us to Finland first to a gig Bonnie Tyler had done 2 weeks before. I spoke to her and she told me you could take bets on which members of the audience would just fall over Blotto. (Who is that bloke Blotto by the way?) I was therefore expecting the worst, so I rented a bike from the hotel and went off, found a branch of Lidl, my favourite shop anywhere and bought a couple of inner tubes for my wife's bike. Wouldn't you at only 1 Euro 49 cents? Money well spent I can assure you ladies and gentlemen. Actually the gig was fine, no drunks that I could see, and I'm pretty good at spotting a kindred spirit you know, a bit quiet, the audience, but so what?.
Very little sleep then on to Sweden, and the Sweden ROCK festival. Hammerfall, what a hilarious band were on. The Swedish Spinal Tap, I'm telling you, they even made the Scorpions look good. Now hold on, that's taking it a bit too far, but they were in that league of shiteness. The bass player had obviously just had his teeth whitened, every time he opened his gob there was this blinding flash of light, Colgate ring of confidence or what? Dream Theatre, they were crap too. Kansas, they were good. So were we. In fact we were very good, however the local paper gave Hammerfall 4 stars and us 2 so we can't be any good can we? F*** em...
Next.. Nordborg, Denmark Getting quite used to this private plane lark me. Quick fitness workout in the afternoon me, in fact Rick and I have joined the Francis Rossi society of gym gallons, it's great fun. Gig in town, like wot I was going on about before, 3 stages, loads of different types of events going on, EVERYBODY pissed or merry, not a scrap of trouble. Brilliant atmosphere, lots of happy people does make for a good evening's entertainment, and that's what they got. However, I had been promised the Danish national dish of a hot dog by a Danish fan, and they ran out before we got there! Disgraceful. I'm frankly surprised we even went on after something as major as that. Elizabeth Buhl, who was my contact, let me down BAD, you are in deep do dos...
Now begone all of you or I shall personally make it so that YOUR next s*** is a hedgehog.
PS. Congratulations to little Beth, who runs the R****site, she got a 2-2 at Uni, Applauso and tres bien, that's the only bit of Welsh I know...
All Photos by Dave Salt
except Andrew by Hans Spring in Het Veld
and Wet In Munich pics by Bob Young
To Rhino's Tourlog Index