Vienna-Ljubljana 28, 29 June

28 June

A thirty minute mid-afternoon flight to Vienna where we were whisked from the plane to the venue, Stadthalle. A quick dash to catering for bowls of piping hot sweet corn chowder, a sound check, then more delicious food at dinner. What a life. That was followed by the usual, everyone having their own pre-show routines, mine being practice, change clothes, more practice. Coffee. More practice. Tonight was unusual as I got locked in the bathroom just as everyone else was heading to the stage for the show. I didn’t even close the door it simply creaked shut on it’s own and locked. I was pounding away at it and fortunately Pete heard me but couldn’t get it opened from his side. Finally our production coordinator Jo, production manager Kevin and Pete somehow managed to get the damn thing open. I’ve been touring and playing arena gigs since 1971 and have never been locked in the loo before a show, or ever for that matter. There you have it, every gig is new. As for the show, it was relaxed and sure footed, loads of great playing all around tonight, a man in every corner. A runner to the hotel where our promoter for the German and Austrian shows, Marek Lieberburg, hosted a grand gathering at the bar with gourmet hamburgers, wiener schnitzel, wine, beer, cocktails and loads of good cheer. By 1 in the morning I’d had all the good cheer I could possibly handle and made my way to bed. I’d somehow ended up, by mistake I am told by our tour manager, with a suite of rooms fit for a king and two outdoor patios as well. I won’t ask too many questions and simply luxuriate in it’s sumptuousness.

29 June

MOST SCHNITZEL CONSUMED IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD! I’m afraid it’s true, beginning with last night’s soiree at the hotel bar, continuing with tonight’s dinner in catering and just for good measure the meal served on the plane was, of course, wiener schnitzel. I firmly believe you cannot get enough of a good thing and nothing succeeds like excess. A flight from Vienna to Ljubljana, Slovenia this afternoon. We’ve played here many times but it’s always a hit and run affair, never staying. I know next to nothing about the city other than it is the capital of Slovenia and that it was stuck with a devastating earthquake in 1895 requiring a large part of the city to be rebuilt. It’s a beautiful city from what I saw of it through a car window driving from the airport to the venue. Our place of employment tonight was Arena Stozice where we played for 8,000+ people and had the luxury of circulating, cool air in the arena. It was a capacity sell-out crowd and they were thunderous in their appreciation. Thank you Ljubljana. As mentioned it was a schnitzel fuelled runner back to Vienna where Guy very kindly opened his room to us for nightcaps and music. The Orbitsound Dock E30 is fantastic for listening and Guy paired it up with the optional subwoofer… absolutely great. Day off tomorrow.

Richard Bennett