Hamburg, Germany

Day off today, up at noon. I did an interview for German Public Radio at 1 that lasted until 3:00 then went to the hotel gym, one of the better fitness centres I remember from last year's tour, well equipped and easy on the eyes. Red brick walls and duct work left exposed, dimly lit, complete with pool, sauna and an espresso machine which came in handy both before and after my workout.

I finally got out in the late afternoon, sun shining, loads of shopping, bustle and life. First stop was a walk-up wurst grille on the strasse for a spectacular grilled bockwurst, mustard and bread roll, served up on a tiny cardboard rectangle that proved to be a real balancing act but couldn't have tasted better. Fortified by the mystery sausage, I came across an H&M Store. I think the origin of this chain is British, but they're all around Europe. A cheap and cheerful clothes shoppe with cool threads for youngsters and oldsters alike. I always manage to get lucky with shirts for stage there and today was no exception, purchasing three shirts that share a common trait of extreme wrinkled-ness, intentionally balled up for maximum crease factor. It's SUPPOSED to look like that. All right then, I'll try it.

Back to the hotel to meet up at 7 for dinner. Turned out to be a split group with the majority going Thai and Danny, Guy and I opting for a little family operated Italian restaurant Danny'd been to just round the corner from the Rieperbahn. A splendid dinner of antipasto, prosciutto, melon and mozzarella followed with fresh pasta, washed down with a wonderfully smooth Chianti and followed by a surprisingly smooth Grappa. After dinner we had a walk through the Rieperbahn where the women are on display in windows and the working girls grab your arm and cajole. No business to be had from us, pretty depressing really.

In the taxi on the way back we saw Stuart D. wandering the streets in search of a bar so we piled out, paid up and wandered round with him until we found one, capping off the night with a pilsner. In bed by 12 with the Alec Guinness biography.

A 10:15 bag call tomorrow then it's off to Stockholm for a gig.

So long,