After an overnight boat from the UK its an early start off the boat but once we get our bearings we are straight on over to Groningen. We’ve played here a couple of times before and its exciting to see how it goes down in the acoustic format! Take a bit of time working through the sounds at soundcheck…Neil is using a very stripped down kit and both Andy and I have acoustic guitars/bass.
He’s got Wood & Wire eyes
Soundcheck is sounding good so we have a quick look at the new merchandise and then have a lovely dinner in the venue restaurant. There’s no support tonight so we were doing two sets with a small interval, again, another first for us.
The show goes great and the Groningen crowd seem well up for it, singing in all the right places and clapping in the others. A lovely atmosphere all round, nice one folks, we had a blast.
Great venue, nice staff and good soundcheck. Our friend Robert is joining us tonight for a couple of songs so we play them through at the soundcheck with him. Stagetime is fast approcahing so we get a quick bit of dinner down in the restaurant, chat with Eric the owner about the Die Kreuzen days and head back up to the dressing room.
Gig is pretty lively as acoustic shows go, everyone seems well into it and again lots of really great fun onstage. Robert joins us later in the set and its fun to have the additional guitar and voice onstage. After we get towelled down and packed up, head over to a pub for a quick beer and hang out with Robert, Ronald and a few others. Many thanks Amsterdam, it was a pleasure to be back in your city again!
Sleeping, eating and showering. Perfect!
Another lovely venue and very cool staff and set-up. We’ve played here a few times over the years and its a great example of a custom built venue that looks and sounds great. Very helpful crew and nice backstage facilities which is always a bonus. Its should be a busy night, both our show and the one next door (Opeth & Sahg) are sold out.
Soundcheck for a bit and once it sounding good and there is a nice balance onstage we head down to the catering area for a lovely meal. Its a real luxury to get one decent proper hot meal a day as opposed to eating junk food at service stops. After that pop next door to watch a bit of Sahg at soundcheck and they sound ace, very chunky, very dark with some ace doomy riffs.
Andy has very kindly chased me up a copy of the new Metallica album so its good to get a bit of that pumping in the dressing room before showtime! Again its the two set format and we play a slightly re-jigged version of the previous nights set. Seems to work well and from the off people and rocking out (or as much rocking out you can do at a seated gig ;))
Pack up the gear, sign a few things for people and then we’re trekking back across town for a well-deserved rest before nipping across the border to Belgium.
The drive over is very smooth and the town seems lovely. This is the first show with a support act so we have a slightly shorter set and play it all through with no interludes. The crowd are quiet to start with, possibly getting their heads around the format 😉 Soon enough they begin to start singing and generally having some fun with us. Some nice heckling as well!
After we chill out, pack up and get back to the hotel for a nice easy night. Big thanks to everyone at the venue for helping us out and also to Jan De Bruyn for opening up…a very talented artist and very funny and entertaining company at dinner!
Very cool venue, super nice dressing rooms and a very cosy dining area meant that we were excited to be back in this area (for some reason I think we played a festival nearby in Tiel with Madness and The Virgin Marys?).
Unfortunately the excellent run of gigs was slightly derailed tonight by a succession of onstage technical problems that seemed to conspire against us. First up there was a ‘bad’ cable between my bass DI and the PA which resulted in a horrible rattle throughout the first 5 songs (for some reason it took the in-house sound guy that long to work out the problem was with his cabling not ours!)…then Andy broke a string on his main acoustic (too much riffing!) so had to swap to his 2nd guitar, which was in a different tuning and that had to be retuned up and down until Richard managed to get onstage and get the guitar restrung.
The author typing his diary 😉
Thankfully we had an attentive and warm audience who had a lot of patience for the situation. It was frustrating for us as we always aspire to put on the best possible show for the crowd and tonight it was a tough one. SOooooooooooo thank you Apeldoorn, we appreciate you bearing with us through the technical hi-jinks. Its another day off tomorrow so we get our laundry (amazing how it builds up on tour) ready for ‘washday’ and chase up a few things before calling it a night and heading off to the hotel.
Thanks to everyone who’s come out so far…it’s been a brilliant experience so far…roll on the rest of the dates!