Bilbao, Spain...30 July, 2010
We flew this afternoon from Madrid to the seaport city of Bilbao on the northern coast of Spain. As we approached the ground below was green and lush, far different than the arid land we'd left. On landing the weather was wonderfully cool and breezy, a welcomed change from the searing heat. As we drove to the venue I remarked how the city had developed since first playing here in 1996. At the time it struck me as rough and seedy, but much development has taken place over the years with investments in new hotels, restaurants and tourism. The astonishing Guggenheim Museum with it's ultra modern architecture and wrap around metal panels is located here. Sadly, we'll not being seeing it apart from the freeway.
Tonight's gig was held at Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre. A bullring that we've played before including that 1996 tour when a torrential downpour soaked all of Guy Fletcher's keyboards and they had to be taken apart and dried with a hair dryer before the show could begin. Catering was appropriate, tapas, many small dishes of chicken, sausages, vegetables and various fried things. Great.
It's the penultimate show and people are beginning to say goodbye and wish each other well. The band making serious headway in cleaning out our wardrobe trunks of tour clothes as well as all those things acquired up along the way, couldn't be bothered to put in the suitcase and chucked them into wardrobe. The day of reckoning is here. My own included three pairs of pants, six shirts, chocolates from Germany and an album of 78 rpm records given to me by my cousin in San Fransisco that I'd failed to bring home in May! Such a long time ago now.
With the sun going down, we took the stage at 10 o'clock and the weather was perfect for an outdoor show...mild. The floor of the bullring was seated instead of standing and there were nearly 6,500 in attendance for a relaxed and well played show.
A runner to the Legacy for an hour flight back to Madrid. We departed from the airport in Vitoria as the Bilbao facility closed at 9. It was the final drive for part of our German ground transport crew and hugs to the wonderful Dominika Senktas, Bernie Klien and Fabian Schulze, thanks for your friendships and all the kilometers in comfort. On board the plane, Daniella had fab grilled sea bass,vegetables and red cabbage sprouts for dinner followed by a cake that I can only describe as Spanish tiramisu...only different and magically delicious. As I'll be departing Sunday morning from Madrid and not flying with everyone else to London, tonight was my last flight on the jet. It was goodbye to wonderful Daniella who has looked after us so well and graciously for the last couple of months and farewell to pilots Simon and Nick with thanks to all three for thousands of smooth miles and luxury.
It was nearly 3 in the morning when I wandered over to Guy's room for a drink and realised I was so overwhelmed with exhaustion and couldn't even manage a half a bottle of beer. Off to bed.
The 31st will be our last show of the Get Lucky tour. It will require a 2.5 hour drive there, a 10 o'clock show and of course the return to Madrid very late. As mentioned I depart Madrid early Sunday morning so it will be unlikely that I will post the final page until some time next week. Be patient, it will come.