Hamburg, Germany 30,31 October, 1 November, 2011

Arrived Hamburg late afternoon Sunday the 30th, it was another day off.  After we checked in I headed immediately to the spa/fitness floor.  A little too late for a full session, but I shed 300 calories on the treadmill prior to a shower and fab band dinner.  Martinis to begin and much wine to follow, I had a perfectly prepared salmon steak and steamed spinach, more wine and dessert. What's 2000 calories minus 300?  That can't be correct.

Our Halloween gig was at the O2 Arena here in Hamburg.  We arrived at the venue with loads of time to spare but somehow only got a 10 minute soundcheck as Bob's soundcheck ran well over time.  The O2 was a cavernous sounding arena with the sound system hung exceptionally high... which washed the sound out further...and it was difficult playing at times even with our in-ear monitors.  Not only does each venue present it's own unique sonic challenges, but every stage has it's own personality and different frequencies it accentuates or diminishes.  This particular stage absorbed so much bottom end that it was a struggle hearing the bass all night.  None of these things stop this band from having a great time playing and in the end that is what comes across. Back at the hotel after the show our German promoter Marek hosted one last get together in the bar, great wine and many plates of edibles.  Mike and I ended up closing down the world after closing down the bar.  Went up to his room for one last drink courtesy of Mike's mini bar and some mod folk sounds. Bed.... 4:30 in the morning?!! Aahhhh, no way, I've got to be up in a few hours to meet a friend for lunch.  Set the alarm.

Six hours later the alarm clock fired off a heart stopping salvo and my world was hazy like looking through a couple of layers of gauze.  Absolutely amazing what two cups of coffee and a shower will do.  In less than an hour I was on top form again and happy to start the day. My friend, record producer and song writer Rudi Mussig picked me up and drove us to a fabulous restaurant and hotel in Bendestorf about 25 minutes from downtown Hamburg, called Meinsbur.  A beautiful country inn with thatched roof and quiet German elegance inside.  A grand light lunch of the best mushroom soup I've had and an exquisite pasta, the colour of which was dark, dark green and tossed with a butter, blue cheese, onion and chopped sauteed tomato.  Now I am back to life.  Following lunch we dropped in at Rudi's home in the next village of Hittfeld having driven through beautiful forest aflame with autumn colour.  An easy, relaxed afternoon with my friend and always good to catch up with him.

Rudi dropped me back at the hotel in the late afternoon, I managed to find a place to get these acrylic nails tended to as well as walking through the bustling shopping district.  The clocks have fallen back an hour here in Europe and dusk comes early.  With a real chill in the air, this is the first time in the tour that I can feel winter around the corner.

Tomorrow will be a very busy day.  We leave Hamburg at 10:30 for a five hour bus ride to Herning, Denmark and a show followed by another four or five hour bus ride to Malmo, Sweden. It will be a quiet evening tonight and early to sleep.

So long,

Richard