Tony Penultimate

A 36 Hour Turnaround at Dreieich

Nobody can quite remember how many times the Ukes have played Dreieich, but this is the third time I've blogged it here. This was not part of any tour but a just a one nighter - i.e. fly out on the day of the gig and then come back the next morning. Since it was a Saturday evening show with a 10.30 am flight, it was just on the cusp of what I can manage these days (otherwise I'd have taken a room at a Heathrow hotel). I got up at 6am and made the journey up from Kent in a couple of hours, not much traffic - I often stand in the car park at Heathrow and marvel at the planes lining up to land and thundering overhead.

I met up with Hester and Richie in the departure longue for some breakfast - I was quite soberly dressed, as I was intending to film some more bits for my intermidable cowboy epic - "The Ballad of Hopkins McGruder" - coming soon(ish).

Here we all are waiting to board the flight - Will and Dave are still on vacation and so we were seven: Hester, Leisa, Jonty, Ben, Richie, Ewan and me. Dreieich is quite close to Frankfurt so no long bus journey to the gig

I was also carrying $50,000 dollars in stolen cash (homemade) for my cowboy film and while I had booked a seat next to the toilets - a thoughful and kind Lufthansa stewardess, seeing my legs sticking out of the aisle and assuming I was uncomfortable, moved me to another seat further up the plane, which royally screwed up my filming plans.

I notice that Lufthansa now has new toilets on their airbuses (both on the starboard side - similar to Norwegian Airlines) they are even more cramped but still workable. I walked back down the aisle to with my top hat to film another character (a bank chairman) - all these film bits will last a couple of seconds and so far I've made six flights with filming sessions on them.

"Gentlemen, lets set a trap........"

After a long wait for our luggage to come through, we came through and hooked up with Viola (tour manager) who I hadn't seen in a long time. We were then picked up by the organisers and taken to the venue.

Arriving at Frankfurt

This is the Underpants Hotel - despite this nodescript corridor - its a comfortable hotel.

Some views of the old castle that we play in

Lovely view of the high street

More loveliness

There was a bride and groom having their pictures taken in the grounds - like I said - Lovely!

The promoters had thoughtfully rigged up two parasols, to keep the sun off the band while we soundchecked - this worked well for everyone except me!

The gig was good and it was fun to hook up with Verena (sound engineer) again and to catch up with long time friends Doris and Klaus and Eva, who had come all the way from Austria with her ususal bag of goodies - Thanks again Eva!

Signing after the show

Frankfurt is a major European hub with flights all over the world - the board is nearly as big as one of those giant boards in US airports.

On the return flight I was AGAIN moved (from my carefully chosen uncomfortable seat, right by the toilets) by the nice Lufhansa stewardess, up to the front of the plane in the emergency exit. Since I've been doing this for a while, the modus operandi that seems to work best when I'm filming is: don't do anything to make anyone nervous (unpredictable behaviour etc). So with a wink and a shrug of jovial bonhomie to Richie and Hester behind me, I sauntered up to the business class toilets with my hat and $50,000 inside it and got to work.

The only problem was that I was so relaxed that i filmed with the eyepatch on the wrong eye - meh, continuity never was my strong point.

 

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