Aug 19, 2014

Another German Road Trip, part 1

Dithering. So much dithering. Plane, motorhome, car, which is the best way to travel? In the end it proved to be car, and just as well really, because, shortly before departure, Si contacted me with a request from Chuck - please could we take his Beasto Blanco backdrop with us, as it had inadvertently been left behind after the gig. He would be happy to give us backstage passes for the favor. Could we?? Hell yeah!! But I'm not sure it would've fitted in my little hand luggage bag, cos when we unrolled it at Steve's, it was longer than his living room.

So we arranged to meet him at his hotel, and he promised to leave us backstage passes at the venue of our choice. THANKS CHUCK    

The plan was to take Steve's tent and camp for 2 of the three nights (not gonna pass up staying in the band hotel and possibly eating breakfast with them on the third).  But then Regine, who we are meeting up with, managed to get a good deal for us in her and daughter Carlotta's hotel in Mainz. So that was tent night number 2 out the window. One to go. I'm sure you can guess where this is heading. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The thing about taking a car, is that you tend to bung in loads of excess stuff, just because you can. So I took the coolbox, lots of crisps, wine etc, more clothes, oodles of stuff for Alice to sign. . . . . .  in fact when I got to Steve's there was  only just about room for his golf clubs. (in case he bumped into Alice on his way to a game). And at this point he told me that he'd lost the tent. . . . . . . . . . There goes that last night under canvas. Always hated camping anyway.

We set off for Dover at Stoopid o'clock - checking that we had the backdrop about 43 times, (still there, phew) and got there in plenty of time for our ferry crossing.
On the ferry

Still got the Beasto!!
On the road

 Pretty uneventful, bit windy though which is tricky when you have long hair, so we mostly sat indoors, enjoying our full English breakfast, whilst watching the White Cliffs disappearing in the mist. On arrival at Calais, we plugged in our borrowed-from-Maria-satnav( Thanks Maria xxx) and set off through France, Belgium, a teeny bit of The Netherlands and eventually Germany. Took about 5 hours, and we were a bit late to join Regine at the hotel, so we went directly to the venue to meet everybody, as they were already  in the queue. Regine, Carlotta, Sunila,  Jean Yves, Claudia, Andrea, great to see you all again guys!!!!!

I had VIP and we had Chuck's backstage passes - (hopefully, cos we had to pick them up inside) so we went back to check in to the hotel, unload and then shoot off to deliver The Beasto Backdrop to Chuck's hotel. Had to leave it in the foyer for him, but he was most grateful.

Back at ours, we unpacked, ate, drank, and decided to order a taxi back to the venue so we could have a drink after the gig. So, there we were, lounging around in the bar thinking we had ages, when the taxi shows up an hour early  . . . . . . . . . . . . ..except that it wasn't an hour early,  we were actually an hour behind, having not looked at any clocks or PUT OUR PHONES FORWARD AN HOUR since we arrived, duh. I thought my phone would do these kinda things automatically. Guess what - it doesn't.
My god, you've never see two people transform themselves into Alice clones so quickly! But we still made it to the venue with about 10 minutes to spare - they had already said they were letting the VIP's in 15 minutes early, so everything was ok, panic over......phew!!!

EXCEPT that, in my haste I had left the gig tix back at the hotel.  . . . . . . . . . PANIC PANIC PANIC OMG. . . . .  And I am still mentally kicking myself 3 months later, even writing about it is making me cringe
Cue ten minutes of frantic running up and down the main road, trying to find a taxi - of course, we were dressed up at this point, so people were eyeing us rather strangely, (and then wanted bloody photos taken with Steve!!) and by the time we had found one, retrieved the tix, and got back to the venue, they'd all gone in. Bang went our perfectly golden opportunity for a hassle free, front row spot, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

 But we were lucky, we still made it to the barrier, only we were right at the side behind the speakers, which fortunately weren't too high.   At least JY and Sunila made it to the front centre. I always get incredibly stressed about getting to the front, it means so much to me, so I was, (STILL AM lol!) extremely pissed off about it..............sigh....too much drama, I needed some wine. But the bar was, oh, effing miles  away..........and then I'd have to fight my way back. . . . . . . . . . .

Well anyway, it was a great show and it was FAB to see it again after so long (Cropredy last year!). (My 12th viewing of RTD!! ) The support band , Fyre were pretty good too, and although we weren't able to get any dollar bills or beads or guitar pics, I did get some great photos -  and the minute Alice came on, all the flipping hassle seemed incredibly worth it.
Andy plays with his lights

The Argentinian girl from Fyre

Hello Hurray

Let the show begin




Scary eyes

I know you hate needles, darling but.....

School's Out!

After the show, I  met up with Carlotta as we got our VIP bags, and waited to see Alice. Never seen so many VIP's about 35, all different ages! Parked myself near the front, so I could chat with Kyler in between him taking pics, and then hung back so I could be last. The first thing I asked Kyler, was where the Hallowe'en show was going to be - and he said 'Canada. Has that been announced yet? Guess it has now'. Was very disappointed to hear this and told him so, but both he and Alice assured me they would be back to UK next year. I didn't point out that they'd said that last year, guess we just have to hope.

We were only supposed to have 4 things to sign, a fact that Kyler pointed out when I dragged my bag over to the table  - and then he said something along the lines of, 'oh wait you have one of your books right, that's why it looks like 20 things.'

Alice: 'The Penny Dreadful was a comic blah blah blah.........................................' Me: Sorry, what?'

I whittled my stuff down to about 6 items, honestly don't know why I bothered, Alice is happy to sign anything, and Toby wasn't around to hassle him. Oh well, just have to take all the album covers along again next time. . . . . . .  Alice looked thru my book as usual, and then signed it to Penny Dreadful - 'that's what I'm gonna call you from now on,' and then he proceeded to tell me the history of the Penny Dreadful comic. Which I sort of knew, but hey, he has such gorgeous eyes, especially when they are looking at you..... And he signed my new hat - even put it on!

Carlotta gave him a fabulous painting she'd done of him and Sheryl, and Regina and all her friends were looking through the window at us - he waved to them. And then he went off to see another bunch of people (Steve among them), leaving his glass of water on the table. I was gasping at this point, there never seems to be enough time to get drinks, so I nicked it - much to the amusement of another window onlooker who gave me a thumbs up.

After we'd all been shoved out, Alice disappeared into another room (which is where Steve was, although I didn't know at the time) and I went outside to find him and also Benno Ellerbroek, who is and FB friend that I only just met. Was so happy to see they had met up with Alice too!! Jean Yves gave us a lift back to our hotel, and then we went out for a drink with him and  Sunila  which was FAB, as we hardly ever seem to get much time to chat with them. Bought a lot of drinks, I'm sure we spent at least 60 euros. You can get a lot for 60 euros, right guys?
Hat hair Steve. . . . . . . . . . . but you still look great!
And then we wandered back to our hotel and collapsed after a VERY long but  exciting and eventful day.

I'm eighty, and I don't know what I want

Part 2, the journey to Dortmund coming soon.


  1. great photos Pen - love the one of all the band lined up and all pointing in different directions!

  2. fab photos, and what an adventure!!

  3. It was good to see you!
    Sorry about the ticket thing, I would have died if that happened to me! :)


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