Another early start but thankfully all goes smooth and soon am pottering about Gatwick waiting for the rest of the chaps to hook up and head out to Bulgaria for another rock and roll adventure. Having had a brilliant show the previous Saturday at the Stone Free Festival, I was enthused and invigorated to heading back to Sofia for the first time since 2011.
Today is a travel day so we relax, catch up, fly and eventually get into the hotel. Stefan our local driver/helper/guru recommends somewhere to go get food and a drink so some of the lads head off with him whilst I and a few other opt for an early night.
The next morning we have a sound check scheduled so it’s up for breakfast and then a short 30 minute drive out to the festival. This has got to be one of our earliest sound checks ever…we’re done by 11am so by UK time that would be 9am! Weird. Already its crazy hot so in the absence of any shelter we hang about for a bit then Stefan drives us down into a nearby village for an excellent traditional Bulgarian lunch.
The food is superb and enlivened by a couple of thunderous showers resulting in us moving table not once but twice as we slowly work our way through the delicious fare. Good call as we won’t be eating until after the show and Richard our tour manager has a sneaking suspicion our stagetime will be put back due to the gig running late.
After a coffee or two to waken us up we do a load of interviews, couple for some music programs, couple for national TV, all of which are good fun and they have some good questions. I think some of the questions stumped us, which is something considering the number of interviews we’ve done over the years. Rich even gets asked to get involved!
Back up to the festival and we hang out until our show. Sadly there’s only one small communal dressing room which in itself isn’t a problem, but there is now one of the other bands all fast asleep on the couches in there. As a result we just sit on a bench outside, in the blazing sun, waiting for our show…old school!
Andy has had an invite to go play with a fine Bulgarian band called BROND so a few songs into their set we walk over to the 2nd stage to watch them rip it up. They do a very cool version of “Living In the Shadow Of The Terrible Thing” and despite the best efforts of a dodgy mic lead, all goes well.
Pottering about the crowd already I can feel it’s a very nice atmosphere at the festival…people are dead friendly and having a good time, getting into the spirit of things and it’s getting me very excited for the show.
As Rich predicted we go on about an hour late but no bother to us, a show is a show regardless of stagetime and there are people here to be entertained! We’ve added “Stop It You’re Killing Me” into the set in light of the bad political mess we left in the UK and popped Unbeliever and Misery back in.
From the off the crowd are into it…punks, metallers, hippies, kids and older folk are all rocking out and going for it. Quite a sight to behold. Thankfully the onstage sound is perfect like sound check so it’s very easy for us to dig in and enjoy the playing. Bar a moment when I bang my bass headstock off another bands keyboard stand which was leaning a bit too close to me, technically its ace. Vibe-wise it’s a perfect crowd and the sun begins to set as we play through the tunes resulting in us playing the final few songs in darkness lit only by strobes and red light.
There’s time for one more song when we finish so we quickly tune up and get into “Trigger Inside” before exiting to ANOTHER camera interview, a meet and greet and then we grab a quick bit of dinner. All a bit hyper we watch Vintage Caravan’s set which is killer; check them out if you get a chance, lots of energy and lots of riffs! As midnight draws near the early starts and the hot & humid weather begins to kick in and we all wisely head back to the hotel to get rested up.
Sooooooo, thanks to all you folk who came out to the show, everyone who looked after us (esp. our man on the ground Stefan!), everyone who chatted with us in the interviews or came up to chat at the festival. It’s a cracking setting with a cracking line-up and we were honoured to be invited. Cheers Wrong Festival.Hopefully get back sooner rather than later guys,
Thank you all again!