Tony Penultimate

Ludwigsburg to Viersen

Once again I've woken in the middle of the night (3am - can't sleep) and thought I might as well write down the (not very exiting) events of the day. Since the wifi in this hotel is so crap - I've come down to the deserted reception to sit behind the desk and type this up. If anyone walks in now I'll have some explaining to do...

We left our Ludwigsburg hotel at 11 and made our way (via taxi) to the station at Stuttgart, to take the train to Viersen (which we have played before apparently). Richie kindly gave me a map he had printed out so I could see the lines of this tour - today we went back on ourselves to travel to the north west of Germany, near the Belgian border. We'll leave on Sunday after our gig in Dormund via Dusseldorf (we flew into Frankfurt).

Will has introduced several of us to the snoring app - Snorelab - and we have all been checking how much noise we make at night (it records the sounds on your smartphone) - mine don't seem too bad.
Due to a tiresome screw up entirely beyond our control - the train to Duisburg had been cancelled and replaced with another, hence our seat reservations all became invalid - this meant that we had nowhere to sit on the crowded train - Richie and I decided to chance our luck and head towards the restaurant car, where I sat on the floor for a while, whereupon, in the nauseating parlance of the internet: 'this happened' - ie. I bought myself some food and beer.
Unbenownst to Rich and myself, it turned out that a lot of people got off at Mannheim and our bandmates all found seats, while Rich and I spent the journey in the restaurant car. This meant that when the ticket collector came round, we had to explain to him that if he came across some confused English people two carriages away - they had our tickets. As ever, Rich - The King of Chat - got into a conversation with an American who was a 'healing dancer' on his way to a gig - in other words he dances and heals people at the same time. While I might snigger at this, I have to remember that I am a 6'8" man who plays the ukulele (people who live in glass houses etc etc)

Ben poses for the camera - he's getting the hang of this touring business (he's actually been playing with us for quite a few years now!). He now has that 'fixed grin/dead eyed look' of a showbiz proffesional.

All in all the sitting on the floor wasn't too bad - I haven't done that for a while - thank goodness we haven't got a gig tonight. The next time some smart alec asks me 'how's touring going - all those groupies heh heh' - I'll smile wanly and say "thanks for listening" or maybe punch their lights out!
Passing through Cologne

After changing at Duisburg, we changed trains to get to Viersen, a one hour journey. Viersen is small and pretty much a one horse town, Till Bronner - the trumpet bandleader who we did a gig with once was born here.

Since the town is so small, there were no taxis to take us to our hotel, after a bit of discussion, we decided to 'walk the walk' - in other words, schlepp to our hotel dragging our bags behind us (a twenty five minute walk).

We walked past: an industrial estate and a giant hypermarket before finally reaching our hotel.

I'm quite fond of small, out of the way German hotels, it certainly makes a change from the endless chains we usually stay in - they are all scrupulously clean, but with eccentric decor. My room was right next to the sign - which lights up at night and casts an eiree luminesance into the room, making me feel like a saddo from an Edward Hopper picture.

The girls pointed out this picture hanging behind the reception desk to me. In our show, I do this somewhat lame introduction to an italian language song, telling the audience that I don't speak Italian, but since there are a couple of words in the song that sound like 'gnocchi' - I'm never sure if the song is about the love of a beautiful woman or about the love of a beautiful plate of spaghetti (Ha Bloody Ha!).

My mind instantly travelled back to the restaurant car on the train and the American 'healing dancer' that I had sneered at, maybe it's tour paranoia, but I felt he might have been spiritually giving me the 'one fingered salute' by this gesture.

So after our long day of travel it was food in the hotel restaurant and some beers and then bed. Gig tomorrow Campers. 

 

Be the first to respond!

Leave a comment:

  •