Vienna, Austria

Went out for a little march around Prague with Dan and Guy, our mission was to find the trad jazz band that plays on the bridge. One of the guys in the group is ace on a washboard played with kitchen whisks and we were hoping to get a bit of them on video. On the way there we passed a rope store, completely dedicated to everything from sisal twine up to massive nautical looking stuff made from a variety of materials and proudly displayed in the shoppe window. Guy said with great reverence, "I love rope." Well, it takes all kinds and we're nothing if not a strange and eclectic group. After a long and circuitous route we came to the bridge and made our way through the crush of people, vendors and construction workers doing some serious repair work. It was a slightly different group playing today than the one we'd come to see but fantastic...three clarinets, tenor banjo, guitar, string bass and a compact, three valved, instrument with a curved bell. I have no idea what it is called but it sounded wonderfully mellow and in the mid-trombone range. We stayed for a couple of tunes and they did a bang up job of Up A Lazy River and we bought one of their CDs. The sun was out in full force and it was another beautiful day in this fabulous city of Prague.

It was a mid-afternoon flight to Vienna for tonight's show at Stadthalle. As I've said before, we've played most of these venues many times before and you begin to know the cold and impersonal concrete arenas from the inside out - where the dressing rooms are, the feel of the backstage, the lay of the arena area and what they sound like. Our routine is fairly set and comfortable when we arrive at the various venues. Drop the bags in the band dressing room, go to catering to say hi to the chefs and try to cajole them into saying what's for dinner, maybe a quick bowl of soup and a cup of tea before going on stage for sound check. After that it is often a meet and greet followed by a quick dinner, or vice versa, then the show. Tonight nearly 10,000 MK fans filled Stadthalle. Both band and audience were in top form.

Several of us didn't eat dinner at the venue tonight for one reason or another so on the flight back to Prague we really tore into the steaks in red wine sauce, mashed potatoes and veg that were served. A light meal to go to sleep on.

So long,