Box News #274 – August 29, 2018


Mick talks about LHR Terminal 3, his son Romeo’s work experience, flying to Vienna Austria, the festival in Podersdorf, ‘Slade.’ Dave Hill, Don Powell, Romeo part of the crew, the German twins, Martina Porkony and my double bed on the overnight bus to Switzerland.

Mick also discusses, the Seaside festival in Spiez, a musical mixed bag, hanging about at the festival all day, the amazing response and fantastic show. Mick also discusses the journey back to London and the autograph signing at the Pledge Offices in Covent Garden.

We were back in the saddle again meeting at LHR Terminal 3 but this time with a difference, as I had my son Romeo with me. He was coming out for some work experience with my guitar tech Rich Bennett. We all met in the Airport lounge though Russ was late due to being stuck on the M25 motorway. There was an air of excitement in the air as Bernie had just come back from a family holiday, Phil had just signed a book deal, Davey was super pleased about the Classic Rock Magazine review, and I was super delighted with having my son with me.

The first flight was to Vienna Austria and it was late taking off which allowed us to have a couple more vino’s in the lounge. Once on the British Airways flight there were further delays but all in all the flight was fine and all of our luggage arrived ok.

It was a short 30-minute drive to Podersdorf where the hotel was, and we had some of the ‘Slade’ entourage with us too, as they were on the same festival. Once at the hotel which you could only term as basic, we found out there was no lift and no restaurant. Still there was a restaurant 5 minutes’ walk away so we were saved. On arrival in Austria it was hot and humid, and the restaurant was outside but as it was late it had cooled down, which was nice. ‘Slade’s’ Dave Hill was there, and he was just finishing his dinner. It was a quick hello, and he left to go back to the hotel.

We stayed for a while as the drinks were flowing until eventually we called it a night. Most of the crew were staying in a different hotel but it was close by and walkable.

In the morning, we all had breakfast along with the ‘Slade’ boys all except Davey who rarely does brekky. It was good to catch up with everyone and drummer Don Powell had some great stories to tell, so many a laugh was had.

Romeo was part of the crew, so he went down to the venue to start prepping the stage for our sound check. I have to say it is great having him with me on the road. The venue was right beside a lake and a wonderful setting.

We went down for the sound check which went really smoothly and then it was back to the hotel. Dinner was at 6pm in the same restaurant as last night though this time it was inside as it had just started to rain lightly.

Going down to the show there were two separate vans to take us that were 15 minutes apart, so Romeo went with the crew as my guitar tech Rich Bennett was going to put him through his paces. It was a little mayhem backstage, but we did manage to see part of the ‘Slade’ show. Those great songs are always great to hear, and Dave Hill was as committed as ever to keeping the ‘Slade’ name alive and kicking.

Soon we were on stage and it was a rockin’ show. We saw a number of recognisable faces down the front including the two German twins Andrea and Claudia. The rain thankfully held off, so everyone had a good time. The Austrian audience gave it everything and it was a really good night. It was really cool to look behind my amps and see my son Romeo, and on the last song he even came on stage and took my guitar.

Afterwards we met Martina Porkony our main Austrian promoter for many years even though she wasn’t doing that show, and it is always good to see her. It seemed like everyone wanted a picture with us before we jumped on to the sleeper bus for a 10-hour overnight journey to Switzerland. Well the bus was rockin’ there for a good few hours. I had the back lounge made into a double bed, kindly arranged by Scampi, so I was set, while everyone else had bunks. I was pleased to go to bed to be honest to avoid the shenanigans. However, I was told Romeo held his own with the late drinkers, so he is a chip off the old block.

On arrival in Spiez we saw that the festival was right by a lake again with was very picturesque. It was called the ‘Seaside Festival’ and we were on with a bit of a musical mixed bag being ‘The Dire Straits Experience’, ‘Heep’ ‘Gotthard’ Unplugged, Roger Hodgson from ‘Supertramp’ followed by ‘The Gypsy Kings.’ We were worried that will sound like a Panza Tank coming on in the middle of that line-up but there was no need to worry.

It was a bit of a hang about day as we did not have a hotel until after the show close by to Zurich Airport. Most of us had showers at the festival site which were like Porto Cabin toilets only with showers in them. However, the water must have been pumped in from the lake as it was freezing.

We sat around in our caravan and had breakfast/lunch that was very nice as it was waitress service and a menu. It was a well-run festival that you would expect from Switzerland. After which felt like ages waiting around we eventually hit the stage to 20,000 people who were just amazing. There were all ages there, but one thing was for sure they were ready to rock!

As we were announced there was a huge roar from the audience and we were off. We were on our own equipment, so we were flying from note one, and what a show it was. It was an amazing reaction that felt so good, and it felt like they were with us totally, for every song. What a fantastic atmosphere, and what a wonderful response we received as we left the stage. Incredible! Backstage everyone was saying what a fantastic show it was and that felt good too.

Well we had to wait around for 3 ½ hours before the bus could leave as the driver was out of hours so we had dinner and we got to see a small bit of the ‘Gotthard’ Acoustic show that was really good. They had strings, vocalists and the whole nine yards but it sounded really cool. Then we left for the hotel at Zurich Airport. On arrival, we all checked in and most went to bed, but some hit the bar.

As we were leaving in the morning in the hotel courtesy bus to the airport, we had to leave in two shifts as there were too many of us. United at the check in desk, we all went through and into the lounge to wait for the flight. The flight was fine although delayed and we all picked up our bags and said our goodbyes, but two days later the band had to meet at the London Pledge Offices in Covent garden to sign our new ‘Living the Dream’ product.

We ended up signing 1,300 autographs each on product ranging from Box Sets, CD’s in Jewel cases, Deluxe CD & Box Sets, Posters, Standard Vinyl, Deluxe Vinyl and Digi packs. This took a total of 2 ½ hours and I have to say the product looked classy and impressive. I can’t wait to have one for myself!

‘Appy days!

Mick

 

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5 Responses to “Box News #274 – August 29, 2018”

  1. Billy Moncrieff Says:

    Hi Mick
    Really enjoyed the stories once again . Looking forward to the UK tour and the new album . Got the vinyl and CD through pledge . Nice to hear you and the band have signed the items . Roll on September .
    Rock On…….Billy

  2. Ed Halliburton Says:

    Thanks for a great report of your satisfying concerts, especially in Switzerland…and you had Romeo with you! How old is he now? I lost track. Maybe 14? Anyway, I look forward very much to my copies of Living the Dream . Perhaps I will be able to enjoy life a bit as I am ‘living the nightmare’ at work right now ..Hee hee hee!

    Ed from Indian Land, SC USA

  3. Mark from West Haven Ct USA Says:

    Mick,

    A great read as always. Sooo looking forward to receiving my various copies of Living The Dream! Safe travels!

  4. Colin Penny Says:

    Hi Mick ! I’m an Englishman who lives in Hungary ! Only about 40 tickets left for the Heepy concert in Budapest on 23rd October …… we’ve got ours ! ‘appy days ! Hope to meet you and the band before the concert, if possible. This will be the first UH concert for my Hungarian wife and myself. Best wishes, Colin. 🙂

  5. Glen Doucet Says:

    Thanks for the great read Mick, can’t wait to get the new album, I ordered mine through Pledge, Heep certainly have played to a lot of people worldwide this year….hope to see the band again….

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