This morning arrived smartly after last night's soiree. There was an earlier than usual luggage call today which I nearly missed. We could only get an early time slot for the flight from Berlin to Frankfurt, hence the bag call. I remember going to bed last night thinking maybe I should get a wake up but decided against it, a mistake as I woke up with 10 minutes to spare before the luggage was to be collected and it was a bit of a scramble.
Needless to say we arrived very early at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, 2:30 in the afternoon to be exact, with loads of time on our hands. The crew wasn't ready for us to sound check until later in the day, so everybody busied themselves with personal practising, computer stuff and napping. There wasn't even a meet and greet tonight, just a load of hanging around. What there WAS, was a brilliant couple of items served for dinner tonight courtesy of our beloved caterers Chris Desmond, Angus McKinnon and Steve Ricalis. Braised lamb shanks in a rich brown gravy and freshly prepared mint sauce. The lamb had been cooking for hours and the tender meat simply fell off the bone, a knife was unnecessary. However, a serving of mashed potatoes WAS necessary to mop up all that fine gravy and some steamed broccoli just to say I'd eaten something marginally healthy. Brilliant as it was, the crowning glory was dessert, a most magically delicious, fresh from the oven, chocolate bread pudding served with a pitcher, I'm not joking.....a pitcher, of steaming hot chocolate custard. It was everything you could ever imagine and far beyond this. I am now convinced that chocolate bread pudding is the way ahead.
Sound check and dinner behind us, it was still only 6:30 with an hour and a half to go before show time. After a meal like that and no m&g, there's not much left to do but have a luxurious pre-show nap. Finally it's time for the gig.
Frankfurt's Festhalle opened in 1909 and was a milestone in European architectural history as the largest domed structure in Europe, 40 meters high. The acoustics leave much to be desired, the sonic equivalent of a pistol whipping, but our ace sound man Dave Dixon wrestled it to the ground. After the place filled with 7000 plus Frankfurters, we took the stage and found it was slightly less scary than sound check indicated. One of the longest ovations I can recall after Sultans tonight and a tremendously appreciative audience all around.
A runner back to our hotel here in Frankfurt where we will base for the next five days. An early night is in my future.