Cologne, Germany 2 July 2013
Yesterday was July 1st, can't believe we're already here, only a month left of this grand tour.
It was a much needed and perfect day off in Koln. Pretty good gym here at the hotel and many of us made use of it. As I was heading out in the afternoon to cross the bridge over to the shoppes and restaurants I ran in to Jim and Guy who were heading to do the same. We walked the bridge over the Rhine River, passed the Cologne Cathedral and wandered the streets for a while before landing at an open air brauhaus serving traditional dishes and the local kolsh style bier, light, crisp, sparkling and delicious. Back to the hotel for a nap. It's a rare time on a tour when the crew and band are all together in one hotel at the same time and tonight was it. We all met down at the bar around 6 and commenced the festivities. Great spending time with our fantastic crew in a casual setting rather than the gig. The beer flowed like wine. The wine flowed like water. The gin simply flowed like gin. Come 10 o'clock I was absolutely famished and didn't feel like walking across the bridge to eat. I went to my room, ordered a massively delicious club sandwich and french fries and inhaled it all. Every crumb. The decision then was whether or not to go back down to the bar. I think I made a wise choice in calling it a night and going to bed.
The problem with an "early" night is one wakes at 4 in the morning. I managed to drop back off to sleep a couple of times but by 8 I was wide awake. Got some coffee and headed out across the bridge again. Walked around the shoppes and cafes on the other side of the river for a few hours. Lots of picture post cards of Koln after the war. She had the living daylights bombed out her. The cathedral was somehow miraculously spared but everything else around it was rubble including the bridges across the river and all it's industries. It is what war looks like. It's shit. Peace is the way ahead. Always.
A sunny, hot day today, July 2nd. After getting back to the hotel I laid outside and caught a few rays before getting ready to go the the gig.
Tonight's gig was at the Lanxess Arena and was a packed house with seats going up three tiers to the roof and floor seated as well. A great, relaxed show tonight and a brilliant audience of well over 10,000. Our old pal Nigel Hitchcock has rejoined us for a few dates and it was great having him back again.
A runner back to the Cologne hotel and our promoter here in Germany Marek Lieberberg treated us to a great aftershow get-together at the hotel. Plates of pasta, wild mushrooms, risotto, grilled chicken, salad and the finest Italian wine was laid out. Thanks Marek.