Box News #271 – July 10, 2018


Mick talks about, flying to Barcelona Spain, the surprise visit from one of our managers, the Hard Rock Café, Richie Faulkner from Judas Priest, the topless beach, the festival autograph signing session, Dee Snider and his party piece, Gremlin City and the crews 4am start time to the Czech Republic. Mick also discusses, the festival in Vyrava, thankfully using our own backline, the German Twins down the front, the crews second wind coupled with a few bevvies in the hotel. Mick also talks about the journey to Holysova, the Golf Resort Hotel, watching the England v Sweden World Cup Football game, Czech Bands at the festival, Scampi and Russ playing 9 holes of golf before leaving to fly home and the 54 mins on the tarmac.

WEEKEND WARRIORS – SPAIN & CZECH REPUBLIC

We all met at LHR Terminal 3 on Wednesday the 3rd of July to fly to Barcelona Spain for a huge rock festival. We were on the same day as a lot of other bands with ‘Dee Snider’ who was on before us, then the mighty ‘Heep’ followed by ‘Accept,’ ‘Judas Priest’ and ‘Ozzy.’

The flight over was fine and when we landed we drove to the hotel where we checked in and had dinner. A few of the other bands were staying there but none we could recognise. The hotel was basic, but it was just across the road from the beach and literally 15 minutes from the festival site, so all in all a perfect location.

As we were having dinner in walked one of our managers Adam Parsons with his lady Audrey, which really surprised us as none of us knew except Scampi our tour manager, who had neglected to tell us he was coming. This was really great, and we had time to chat about lots of things over dinner, as well as chill.

Davey had been in touch with guitarist Richie Faulkner of ‘Judas Priest’ his old mate from Camden Town where they both used to play covers at ‘Metalworks.’ Their hotel was in the City so both Davey and Russ took a cab over there to join him at the ‘Hard Rock Cafe’ for dinner. Evidentially that all got a bit messy with them not returning to the hotel until the early hours of the morning and joined up talking was evidently not on the cards.

The following day after breakfast the remaining three of the Orchestra that did surface, went for a walk along the beach and we ended up having lunch there at a beach bar too. This was very relaxing and coupled with the fact it was beautiful weather and that it was a mostly topless beach, extremely enjoyable.

We were leaving the hotel quite early that afternoon as we were on stage at 19.40pm and we had interviews to do and an organised festival autograph signing session that lasted 45 minutes. The festival was very well organised, and the two stages were side by side, so when one band was playing another could start setting up. This way the changeover times were minimal.

The funny thing is that when ‘Dee Snider’ was on, our crew were checking the equipment. Brian our Bass, Keys & Stage Manager tech was testing Phil’s gear as there was a problem, and Snider could hear this and came over to our stage with his microphone and said something down the microphone to Brian standing right by him akin to ‘This is my f******g show so shut up.’ This is evidently his party piece as he did it last year to another band but that’s our Dee for you. The bigger the larger the louder the better. All taken in good fun though!

Well when we hit the stage the stage hit us back big time as it was Gremlin city. We were on hired gear which did not help, but it was a steep hill to climb with problems with the monitors, in-ear systems, helicopter sounds coming from my speaker cabinets and the whole nine yards. We did recover and went down great and we received a wonderous response, but we could have done without the Gremlins.

After the show we did manage to see ‘Accept’ and ‘a bit of ‘Judas Priest,’ before the bus left to take us back to the hotel. Phil and Davey managed to stay on and get a lift, so they saw a bit of ‘Ozzy.’ It was a fantastic festival and the view from the stage was just amazing as there were people as far as the eye could see in every direction all ready to rock!

The following day it was a tough one for the crew, as they had to leave at 4am to fly to Prague in the Czech Republic. That was really tough, but they had to be there for the load in, at the festival in Vyrava. Our journey was a lot better as we did not leave the hotel until midday. On arrival in Prague we had a 1hour 30minute drive and we had enough time to have a little dinner, shower and get down to the festival where the crew were to a man looking understandably knackered.

When we arrived at the venue our changing room was in someone’s house which was a bit weird. Luckily for this show and the next one Vic and John our drivers had driven out from the UK with our backline, so we were very happy about that, especially after the Gremlins in Barcelona.

As we walked out on to the stage we saw the German Twins Andrea and Claudia Obergfell down the front which was amazing. The audience were well up for it and we went down the proverbial storm. They really were a good festival audience and being on our own equipment, we were on fire.

We did not stay too long after the show as we all had to travel back in the same transport to the hotel, and a few of the crew were super tired. However, a few of the crew had got their second wind, so despite the lack sleep the dressing room booze was transported back to the hotel and a few bevvies were consumed.

The following day it was a 3-hour bus journey to Holysova where we were playing another Czech festival. When we arrived, the crew went straight down to the gig and the band minus Russ went to have a bit of lunch. The hotel was a Golf Resort and the World Cup Football match between England and Sweden was on. After lunch, this was shown on the TV in my hotel room and I got showered for the gig at half time, so I could see it all. What a game and what a result. A win by 2-0 and I was buzzing!

We drove down to the festival site and when we arrived it was in full swing. Evidently all of the top Czech bands were playing there too, so it was happening. We had a little changing tent off the side of the stage and you could hear the high pitch screaming going on for the Czech bands. Each band seemed to have songs with a chant in them that the audience could all sing, and each band had Pyros that ‘Kiss’ or even ‘Rammstein’ would be proud of. There were a tremendous amount of young Czech girls screaming and singing every word to every song, it was amazing.

When we hit the stage from the first note of the intro of ‘Gypsy’ the audience were with us big time. It was an incredible show and the atmosphere was just great. We had a marvellous time and by the look on people’s faces in the audience so did they.

We did meet the German twins briefly before we headed back to the hotel, but the back-stage area and our changing tent was pretty small, so we only had time to say goodbye and thank you for coming before heading back to the Golf Hotel.

Most of us went to bed but the crew and a couple of the band all congregated in one of the crew’s rooms, with the booze from the dressing room tent, and they watched the replay of the England v Sweden football game.

The next morning Scampi and Russ our resident golf nuts, got up at 8am to play 9 holes of golf before we headed off to Prague Airport to all fly back to London.

We were travelling on British Airways and once we were all on the plane they told us that we had to stay on the tarmac for another 45 mins before they could get a slot to fly off. This was a bit of a pain, but at least we arrived okay and all of our baggage turned up at LHR.

We all said our goodbyes and went home for another 4 days, before we fly out to Finland for some more Weekend Warriors. The Rock n’ Roll Circus continues!

‘Appy days!

Mick

 

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2 Responses to “Box News #271 – July 10, 2018”

  1. Glen Doucet (Canada) Says:

    The pics of the various shows look amazing…..keep on Heepin….

  2. I have to comment after reading the blurb about Dee Snider coming over and bitching at another band’s crew member during his precious set further proves he’s a douchebag. I’m baffled the joke of all 80’s bands has such a large fan base. Everyone I knew from everywhere I went made fun of Twisted Sister and man, we ruthlessly teased the other kids, who liked TS, because they were considered wannabes. Who the hell chooses TS to listen to, pay to see live, buy their albums and band merchandise when their music was so basic, they couldn’t play more than 3 chords. The only 2 songs anyone, including myself, can remember are…FFS, I can’t remember. Oh. Oh. Oh…yeah. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and that other one. Yeah. That one.

    The rest of us were too busy listening to Ozzy, Dio, Queensryche, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth…ya know, the real stuff…the guys with talent, the guys without clown makeup, the guys who made and some who still make the music of legends. Music that will be remembered. Awesome album after album releases. Bands that produced and produce quality music that I can name every album they released, every song on each album and the lyrics to each song. Bands I paid and will still pay to see live.

    I’ve been to a few festivals where Twisted Sister managed to sneak in on the lineup and a recent one where Dee Snider snuck in. I tried very hard to avoid them and him, but once I hear “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, my skin crawls and it makes me wish there were Electroconvulsive Therapy Machines at these festivals that I could stick a few Euros into and get a quick shock to the brain so I forget I heard those dreaded lyrics I’ve detested and found laughable since I was a child.

    Twisted Sister is supposedly dissolved, but Dee Snider still throws in those two songs. His new album is supposedly good, but I won’t pay a penny to hear anything from it and haven’t even bothered checking out YouTube. I know he didn’t write any of the music, so the kudos he’s receiving for reaching #1 on the metal charts with his new album should go to the songwriters and the band he used to record the album. People have no taste. All I can say is for Dee Snider to keep landing in festival lineups and a tour after the festivals, he must have one hell of a manager, promoter and publicist who people like and respect enough to book shows.

    Final words…URIAH HEEP! They’ve always been awesome. I’ve been a fan from the first time I heard them. I’m glad the smart folks at Barcelona Rock Fest had the good sense to put you on AFTER Dee Snider.

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