Tony Penultimate

Arrival in Ludwigshafen

Taxi from the hotel in Arhaus to the station

Nothing quite beats the feeling of standing on the platform, in the pissing rain, of a small provincial town in Germany for 20 minutes, waiting for a train, I shouldn't moan - this is all part of the 'magic' of touring.

So after our gig in Arhaus, we moved on to Ludwigsafen by train, a five hour trip.

Arhaus station - wet and windy

This is Max, Jontys friend from Hamburg, who is travelling with us and learning sound engineering

Unfortunately our local connection was held up at Lunen, the very place where I fell ill in March this year.

Lunch on the platform at Dortmund, waiting for our connection

Checking in at Ludwigshafen

The only thing I'm suffering from at the moment is a terrible case of chapped lips, so its vaseline, every hour, on the hour. After arriving at Ludwigshafen, we got cabs (another maniac driver) to the hotel late in the afternoon.

Thinking about it, its appalling how little German I speak after all these years, but English has become almost a second language in Germany. The hotel here is modern and pretty swish, with lots of little Christmas goodies (cinnamon biscuits, cakes etc) dotted around the place. Apparently we played here about eight years ago, although I can't really remember it.

L-R: Ben, Verena (sound), Richie, Viola (road manager) Dave, some bloke at another table, Leisa, Will.

Since there was no gig that evening - the band all piled out to a local restaurant to eat, taking along our good friend Eva Hofbauer (behind Richie, unseen). As there were nine of us we'd asked the two guys sitting at that table if it were possible for them to swap as we were nine people and they were only two.  It turned out they were musicians, and they sent over a glass of schnapps to Richie - apparently he had convinced them to come to our gig tomorrow and then we'll go and see them play after our show. After a magnificent gut busting meal (schnitzel for me again!) we returned to the hotel to find Hester sitting in the reception nursing a large glass of wine - needless to say, she'd had a nightmare, twelve hour journey getting here from England

it was good to see her, and we are back to eight again


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