Montreux, Switzerland...15 July, 2010
While basing in Milan, we're staying at one of those very fussy hotels that looks fantastic in a photo, but you can't quite figure out where the light switches are. Everything is too tweaked out and a couple of rounds of drinks at the bar comes to 300 Euros!! Got up this morning and went to the gym...same thing. Walked into a scene from a magazine, but completely useless. For starters it was hot and airless with a rack of designer looking weights only going up to 10 kgs., about 22 pounds. One treadmill, one bike and one of those awful universal weight machines that can be dangerous. Against the wall was some sort of cable/resistance contraption...chromed and mirrored and useless. I put in half my usual time, was gasping for fresh air and threw in the towel. A fitness room doesn't have to be large or fully stocked in order to be efficient...a few of the right things will do.
We flew from Milan to Geneva passing over the most gorgeous snow capped mountains before the lake came into view. It's the first time I've been to this beautiful city and it's breathtaking. From the airport we drove an hour to Montreux located at the opposite side of the lake, the rolling landscape covered in vineyards and stately homes and Lake Geneva ever to our right.
The show tonight was the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival, Europe's premier festival and now in it's 44th year. The venue was a great, modern theatre with combined seating and standing for 4,000+. We walked in and the theatre was nice and cool, a welcomed change from the last series of sweaty outdoor gigs. A quick soundcheck, bite to eat and we were on stage for an early show...7:45. Between soundcheck and walking on stage, the cool air had become hot and stagnant even though we were indoors, making for another steamer. Still, we were all proud as punch to be playing the MJF to such a wonderful reception. A real high point.
Back in the cars, an hour drive to the Geneva airport and an hour flight back to Milan where a few of us gathered in Guy's room for drinks, sounds and tea. Among the music listened to was the new Teenage Fanclub record which John played on and a group called Mumford and Son which I must get, folk-rock done right.