If you have a goal, something to look forward to, it's kind of hard to feel miserable. If you're also surrounded by great friends, you're almost guaranteed to stay happy. If you keep this in mind you can imagine what the tour was like. It makes no difference if I'm talking about the hours we spent in the bus, or the hours we spent on stage, we truly had a "killer" time - a BLAST!
On monday 110228 we crossed Öresundsbron (the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark) on our way to Reichenbach (Vogtland), for our first gig abroad. By the time we got there the brakes to the bus didn't hardly work. With the help of the giant hills and slopes of Reichenbach it was very easy for us to decide that we need to get new ones. Said and done, as soon as the equipment was out of the bus, Frenzi Vervest (merchandise) and me left to get the car fixed. A couple of hours later and a missed soundcheck, I got back to the club Bergkeller for a delicious barbeque thanks to Sid. After that I had to get back and get the bus, that got ready just in time before the show. I think the gig turned out great with a positive and loud audience. The venue reminded me very much of the classic rock club Rackis in Uppsala, that closed maybe 10 or 15 years ago. A big thank you has to go to Sid for driving us all around Reichenbach because of the bus and of course Uwe for hosting our fist gig outside Sweden. It was also very nice to finally meet Gunther Uri, who helped me out promoting the show as well as Theresia Paul, who's actually translated the songs on FuturePast into German.
After a couple of hours of sleep and a very early breakfast, we headed towards the bus for a 600 km drive under a clear blue sky to Verviers in Belgium. Once again it was a pleasure to meet the extremely relaxed gentleman Fancis Geron, "the head" of Spirit of 66. It was also a true pleasure to meet for the first time Suze Merlin, who booked an interview with me and brought along a fantastic basket of Belgian chocolate, beers and other fabulous stuff. The gift was very much appreciated by the lads and me. Thank you Suze! The gig was fine, I feel sorry for the poor turnout though but they were enthusiastic and very loud. In fact so much that Kjelle got scared because of the cheering after the first song. After the set Francis told me he wasn't surprized and that he in fact liked the show. He said they've had "problems" for a while now but he knows what needs to be done to fix it. I can only say, I hope it doesn't take too long because both the lads and me loves the place, it's a great venue to play in.
Amersfoort in Holland proved to be a very cozy and nice town to spend a free evening in. We visited long time friend Claes Jansson and his wife Andrea who's lived there for 2 years now. We started off with Italian food at a nice restaurant in the centre of Amersfoort. After that we headed for a pub to have some Belgian beer and to chat a little. We rounded off the evening at Claes and Andreas house with more Belgian beer together with more old memories, bad jokes and a whole lotta laughing. After this perfectly planned little intermission it was time for our final gig in Zoetermeer, Netherlands.
de Boerderij was even better than I remember. With the new P-a and the new lights, the venue is great both for the bands and the audience. It was very nice to see Arie Verstehen again. I met the guy the first time we toured in Eurupe with The Flower Kings and we've met several times since then but now it's been a while. It was also a treat to meet Paul de Ruiter, who's been very supportive and was just as service minded at the night of the gig and the same goes for the rest of the crew. Maybe we were a little bit more on fire during our first show in Uppsala but musically this was our best performance to date. I could also feel, or maybe I should say hear that the harmony vocals has finally come together. After the show we could easily state that this was the perfect way to end this leg of the tour. A great stage and a fantastic audience, it doesn't get much better than that. My evening at de Boerderij was very hectic with 2 interviews, the "meet and greet" (which was very nice), the gig of course and last but not least, at the end of the evening I had to take care of the merch. I don't wanna come up with some lame excuses but I hope you forgive me for not being able to hang out that much. Lucky for me I know that the lads in The Musical Companion took care of you all after the show, signing autographs etc. Just before they closed I managed to get out and shake some hands and talk to some of you and as usual, it's an honour to meet the guys that buys the albums and that comes to the shows. I really don't wanna "namedrop" here but you know who you are. No one mentioned, no one forgotten and by the way thank you for the "De Schout van Dedemsvaart", Thomsson, Kjelle and me loves the thing. Before I forget, a big thank you has to go to the very talented Pennys Twisted Flavour, who opened up for us at de Boerderij and I feel I also want to thank some people that has helped us during the FuturePast tour so far: Birgitta Markinhuhta, Jonas Curling, Garf, Jonas Reingold, Uwe Treitinger, Francis Geron and Arie Verstehen/Paul de Ruiter/Hanneke de Jonge. I also have to send some big time thank you to Frenzi Vervest, Ingela Ekemark, Claes and Andrea Jansson, Keiko Inoue and William and Malvina Fröberg for taking care of the merch. I guess "Road report nr:3" is just a month away. As it is now we have 3 gigs confirmed in Norway on 8 - 10 April. I'll get back to you later on the subject.
All these things seems rather small, considering what's going on in Japan at the moment. Now that we understand the size and the proportions of it, it's a catastrophy beyond words. My thoughts are with the Japanese people.