Aah! La Bella Italia. Beautiful Italy.
Land of sunshine and olives. Sun, sand and other stuff beginning with S that I can’t quite think of at the moment.
Well, er….. I think we’ve come to the wrong Italy!
This one is grey and miserable.
And it’s raining….
We arrived in Milan in the early hours and parked up outside the venue where Ian, our intrepid bus driver and professional geordie, let us all sleep until it was time for the crew to load in. There had been quite a lot of fun on the trip down so we were all quite grateful for the lie-in.
On the days where we aren’t staying over and are parking up at the venue, the local promoter will always provide a hearty breakfast for us so that the crew guys can get a good start to the day and stoke up energy for the load in and the band guys can alleviate the boredom by stuffing our faces.
Well, I say always in the “except in Milan” sense of the word, where the local promoter provided absolutely nothing. Nada. Nix, Zero. Squat.
Not even a coffee! It’s a good job the bus has a cracking coffee machine (DeLonghi Magnifica – I can highly recommend it)
However, despite this blow we all pulled together and the crew got the stuff set up while Mickey, Andrea and I bravely chipped in by getting the runner to take us to the hotel for a shower.
This proved to be the sensible move because the promoter also very kindly provided nothing for lunch either! So we ate at the hotel instead.
Magazzini Generali is a club which looks like an industrial estate from the outside and smells like one from the inside. A largish dark room that looked like most clubs do during the hours of daylight. Very sparse and a bit manky but, switch on a few flashing lights and it’ll be fine. We were assured that it was a very well respected venue though and that the place was sold out.
Soundcheck was promising although the concrete walls made it sound like busking in a subway. However Walter and Meado, our sound guys, were more than a match for it and we finished the soundcheck feeling pretty happy and ready for the evening show.
I hit my bunk for a little pre gig siesta (it’s getting to be a habit with me) and was woken around 8.00pm by a very nice chap who kindly offered to help me recover any money I may have lost due to being mis-sold payment protection insurance. He was, however, less nice when I told him (a little forcefully, I accept) that a) he had just woken me up b) I would never have been idiotic enough to have taken out PPI in the first place and c) I was now paying international call rates to tell him all this.
To be fair, my alarm was set for 8.15 but hey, every minute counts.
Now, another of those seemingly immutable laws of touring is that the last show of a run (as this is) is often a bit shaky. Everyone wants to finish a particular leg of a tour on a high note and often that eagerness translates in to trying a bit too hard and consequently the wheels coming off. I’ve seen it so many times over the years.
The gig was an absolute hoot!! The sound was great, Lisa was on form (again) and the whole band tore in to it at full pelt. This really is the most fun you can possibly have without breaking the law. It’s s an amazing feeling when it all clicks and everyone is going for it full on. In the same way as everyone can get in a negative spiral (see the Frankfurt blog) they can also get in a positive spiral and, the more it was kicking, the more kicking it got.
It seemed like only 10 minutes and we were playing the last tune, we were having so much fun and we came off stage hootin’ & hollerin’ and ready to do it all again.
However, instead we were getting on the bus for the long overnight drive back to London.
More on that tomorrow………….