Tour Diaries

The Stranglers Euro Tour 2001

Day One

Arrive 6 hours late at show! Everyone seems up 4 it. This is an underground gig which was called the 'subway' the last time we played here. Did radio Freiberg interview… some English boys arrive (????) on the bus it is an old boys reunion - me, Dan B and Trev D... nice to see them. On stage 30 minutes late, but a fab first show really... cobwebs out, and we played for over an hour & a half!!! Overnight to Berne - or thereabouts.

Day Two

This is a classic Swiss weird gig, odd sculptures from iron, illuminated Santa's, Bill Oddie's bastard son, a four floored alpine hut - yes all this and hot food. A true "Stranglers wacky night!" Faces old and new. This had to be seen to be believed. A thumping good night. At this point I must add that the first 15 minutes of the movie "Gladiator" has become our post gig "totem" if u like. If you have seen it, then you will understand.

Day Three

Back to Germany - and it is good to be back - and, oh dear, a classical concert hall, not for electric instruments!!! But hello to the Scots and the people of Stuttgart. I have a bad feeling always here... it was where I was sent home from a world tour with laryngitis etc!
The first sell out of the tour - this is a kicking show, Baz really coming to life!!! Apparently Stuttgart thought it was being invaded by the Romans - we made a bit of noise, someone said. "Hold the line... Archers ignite!!" (Oh sorry!)…And that was apart from our rendition of, "Can't Get Used To Losin' You" in an Andy Williams style.

Day Four

What a day this would turn out to be... lets recap for a minute. We start tour 6 hours out of sync due to a puncture in Calais... enter rescue service... last night (Day Three) an aerosol blows up during the show (luckily) taking with it the sink cupboard shelves and shearing the water pipes in turn, soaking the entire bus, basically. Well if that was not enough tonight we return to an oil slick and a bus engine full of water!!! We stay in Darmstadt tonight! No sleep and no travel till 2.30 Monday!! Crew put gear in hire van and we take two cars to Köln... anyway...
…Tonight we play to a Darmstadt audience on a Sunday... mmm, things worked out very well though, and we really do the business! Things really get interesting when Dave decides to sign an autograph on his way back for encores so I stop the show and we all join in. Excellent night. At least the shows are going fine!
I feel for the crew and our fab driver Colin, though.

Day Five

So Köln, that fantastic twin spired cathedral - it is awesome! Hotel for 2 nights, but a day off is needed, great sell-out gig but too loud for stage, no good for me but the guys had fun... which cheers me up. No sleep.

Day Six

Sleep, sights, swim, sneeze(!) - is it a cold or a 24 hour job? The latter I hope. Down to web cafe… O.K....

Day Seven.

Yes it is a f****ng awful cold, the first for two years!!! Tonight we play Bielefeld and things get off to a bad start. It is 4:30 and there is no food and no soap in the venue! There is a dog in the kitchen and it is raining. We have to access stage via the audience. All this and a British twat who decides to take the stage and swear as loudly as possible throughout the first part of the show. I say this because, well, he had to go - and he did!
A smallish crowd (200 or so) but a good result again.
Early to bed and o'night to Leipzig!

Day Eight.

My head is taking little notice of anything other than the show. At times like this one has to concentrate 100% on the show - it must go on.
At present thousands of people are moving away from Leipzig for work, but I think it is a very beautiful place, maybe a future Prague. We ate at a fantastic seafood restaurant in the city square.
The last time we came to the East we had a small audience and this time it was up, so that was good. Needless to say, we did a stormer, and looks like we'll be back. (Minus the singer flinging his mike to the floor during Sinister and staying there for some time curled up in laughter!) Throat still dry as a you-know-what!

Day Nine.

Long drive on those lovely roads to Prague!!! Woke up depressed - (father) - couldn't shake it, don't want to, never mind, it is ok.
This is a different gig than the last time we were here, with a different promoter, apparently/allegedly funded by Libya - YUK! - as is the hotel we used, (the "Corinthia" chain, I believe - do not forget that name!) which for it's dubious connections is boycotted by the people of the Czech Republic, and we were no exception - the banners advertising this hotel chain were removed before we went near the awful sound system and "INTERESTING" stage - a rectangle with a circle protruding from it! No oxygen, lots of smoke, barely any monitering. My throat still feels like shit, but a totally wicked evening - the best yet - the audience went off like a rocket. We definitely have a big vibe here. We'll be back!!!

Day Ten.

Okay. So you think you're going to wake up in the happening bit of Berlin. Yeah right. I wake up to be faced with the only bit of the wall still in place (a gallery of messages from the world) the tourist bit!!! We are playing in the east in an old railway building. It is awful, dirty, smelly, and that's just the crew!!! There is no way we are eating here - mind you the restaurant ain't much better.
It was a beautiful setting though, next to the river 'Spree' I think, by a beautiful old red brick bridge, once a main check point. Back at our hotel, the Brits (and Dutch!) have arrived in high spirits! Nice to see you all.
A Berlin audience is, along with Paris, a traditionally difficult audience to impress...well let's see eh?? It's 6 or 7 years since we played here - very loud, but very successful, you don't see many Berliners clapping in the air or indeed chanting...gotchaaaaa!!! Back to the hotel for a shower, and to spend some time with the travelling fans, and sorry if I forgot anyone.
Okay, let's celebrate. I know... the first 15 minutes of... yes... Gladiator!!! That'll do nicely. Oh, and THE destruction derby that is... 'DRIVER' (playstation) and 'the now then, now then', club of course.

Day Eleven.

Last night... Ah. The wonderful '100d.b.max' Fabrik in Hamburg. The poster is fab.It reads, "11.00, 'The Harry Potter Kinder (kids) Party'... followed at 21.00 by ...'The Stranglers'." (ha ha!!!)
I'm immediately hassled non-stop by eager fans (excellent, but not at your dinner table). I had to get a backdoor from the restaurant!
Now some night you just put on the wrong shoes, don't you? Yes, tonight I did so, they had to go... five numbers in, I believe. Again, we had an increased audience, and they were not dissapointed. Baz ill (sibwell!). A fantastic night with the Brits in even better voice. Thanks to you all again. Record company buys supper, and it's off to Blighty via some serious damage on 'DRIVER'.
Well, all in all, it seems to have been very productive and we shall probably be going back sooner than later, so, watch... er... that space (The Rats Lair)!!! Again cheers to you all, and see you next time. P*****.

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