Aug 12, 2015

Cooper Adventures in Scandinavia Part 1

Soooooo,  I set my alarm for Stoopid o'clock and we set off in plenty of time - actually got to the airport early for once!  But of course , there is always some delay, it took us an hour and a half to get one case booked in and get thru security, duh. And the bloody airport was heaving with the great unwashed. Bloody millions of people. Why don't some of you go to New Zealand? I hear it's nice and there's plenty of room.......

Anyway, after breakfast we checked in at the new Do-it-yourself Check in thingy - (you get to put your own stickers on the case, |woohoo! I guess it's probly so you can't blame them if your case ends up in Eritrea or somewhere), but the machine kept saying 'NO',  so we had to keep taking stuff out the Coop Case, thinking it was overweight....

 But in  the end we realised it was because we had been using the wrong boarding card number. However, we'd crammed so much gear into in the hand luggage by then, that as soon as the Computer said Yes, we just grabbed stuff and raced on to get into the mahoosive queue for hand luggage x ray. (I bet Alice don't have to put up with this shit.)
 After taking off my shoes, belt, jacket, jewellery, unpacking the tablet, phone, keys, money and everything liquid, including my precious jar of marmite, I still bleeped and had to be scanned. I think it was one of those body scanners where they get to ogle you naked. Good luck with that guys, you might be needing some eye bleach.

Eventually we got on the plane............and after a lightening quick flight, we arrived at Oslo airport, which turned out to be teeny weeny, and practically  empty. Picking up the car took 2 mins, and having eventually managed to turn on the satnav, (15 mins) we set off for Oslo. It was a bit further that I had envisiged but,  after about 40 mins we found our hotel and parking immediately outside! Handy, but it was £8 for 2 hours eeek. Thankfully it's free after 8pm.

Think Janice is here too somewhere but we haven't seen her yet. After dumping stuff in the room,  we decided to walk round to the venue. it was about 10 mins round the corner. I always try to find hotels this close, but they usually end up being miles away. But not this time! And we found tour bus parked out back, conveniently outside a small cafe, so we sat there, watching and waiting.
 Eventually Diane appeared, and told us all about the venue - pretty small, with a  tiny stage hardly room to spit, and she was worried about the smoke from the pyro gassing everybody inside....the management told her it would be ok cos they have air con! But she remained unconvinced.........
All the kit had to go  in via a gaping hole in the pavement, (note the huge metal panel in the pavement) with trapdoors - and very dodgy stairs. But they'd got it all in eventually. Pat also came out (for a fag) and we chatted in the warm afternoon sunshine, taking a selfie to send to Sunila, who sadly couldn't make it.

 Later on the band (and Kyler) appeared for a soundcheck, was so great to see them all again! Lots of hugs n kisses and Chuck says to me 'Hello beautiful, ' bless him......* swoons a little*....hahah!!
After a catch up chat, they all disappeared. Ryan mentioned that he would be doing a Gibson guitar thing in a nearby shop, but we weren't too sure where it was, so we decided to get back to the hotel and change. Takes me about 10 mins but Steve of course needs more time to put on the makeup and get him to a show.......

I picked up my VIP pass at the recep window and they sent me round to the side door for early entry - bloody hell I thought, this is too good to be true!!' And it was, kinda,  but more of that later. Had to leave poor old Steve out at the front to fend for himself - I guess he is used to it by now, this is his 97th show after all.....but I didn't like leaving him all the same...all those people clamouring for pics!! We need to start charging, we could make a fortune for The Solid Rock charity....

So, I go round to the side door - and there's Janice! Great to see her again, bin a while. Also met up with a guy called Dave and his wife - have seen him before at Alice shows but never made contact - he was in front of me at 100 club.
Soooooo, we waited..........and waited.....................we could see the people at the front door clamouring to get in - Janice and I were having kittens, FFS, are they gonna let us early or not??? At the very last minute, they opened the door for us - and then they wanted to take my camera off me!! Since all the trouble I had with my Canon, I got a small fixed lens camera, with which I have never had a problem until now!!! I thrust all the batteries at them, in the vain hope they would just give up and let me thru ( I got spares after all), and it worked! Didn't even want the batteries in the end. So, Janice and I raced to the front middle of the barrier, spread out a bit so Steve could get in, and settled down happily to wait. Steve came in soon after, so we were all lined up in our favourite spot, ready to rock. I love the few minutes before a show starts, when all that stress of getting to the front is over - especially when there isn't even a support! Just Alice. Perfect.

The Ballad
I've see the RTD show 16/17 times, but I still love it. And it changes every time - Lost in America was one of the new tracks, so brilliant to hear it. And Wicked Young Man is back! AND Steve and I caught a cane!!!!Alice spotted the famous red top hat obviously, hah.  And lots of bills, beads and guitar fact, we got loads of booty for my scrapbook. :)

l-r Janice , me, Steve, Truls

We met up with a guy called Truls, he was doing VIP too, and we all had a FAB time! I love a good singalong, specially when nobody can hear me......and it all went swimmingly until the encore, Schools Out, when a drunk Norwegian guy decided he would like my barrier spot, so he jumped on top of me......
He was a huge guy, but between Steve Janice and myself, we managed to get him off me....but he kept putting him arms over my head, resting on my shouolders. to take pics on his phone, (most of which I managed to ruin by putting my hands in front of it, lol) all the while yelling in my ear in Nordispeak. Everybody kicked him, I repeatedly tried to hit him but it was feeble, hah, but he carried on being a COMPLETE ARSE, for the duration of the song, which kinda spoilt it for me. But there were compensations later.

Soooooo, after the band had gone off, and Sigurd had fallen over the barrier and been carted off by security, we went to our alloted stageside space, and were taken upstairs and around the houses to meet Alice. Janice, Truls and I sat as far away as we could, and went through each others stuff.  Janice and I took lots of pics of each other,  for later sharing, and a few of Alice as well.
Toby was very chatty, (guess he wasn't as desperate as usual to get to his hotel )and told us lots of gig stories, none of which I can remember, haha.  One of the guys in front of us wanted a pic with Kyler, so he got Alice to take it....and I thought ' Yeah, gotta do that'......

Soon it was my turn, and as I approached Alice he said, 'Are you alright? I saw that guy jumping on you, he was really going for you wasn't he? Bit of a scrum going on there....I think he liked you and was trying to get with you'......and he and Kyler were laughing especially when I told then how he fell over the barrier. Thank you Alice for caring! Well, noticing anyway :)
He did the usual, asked how to spell my name (cos he always forgets) and I said Penny Dreadful - he said do you watch that programme? But I don't......
He signed my new cane, about 8 LP covers, the free poster, also my denim jacket, and then I asked him to draw me a cartoon self portrait to put in my next scrapbook, which he also signed, and THEN I asked him about the Halloween gig - was there going to be one?........................and he said 'YES'!!
Kyler was like, 'Noooooooooooooooo, don't tell anyone',  but it seems that the band, sans Alice, will be doing a gig in Edinburgh, and he might be doing a small gig just for fans in London, watch this space!! I was so ecstatic, that I accidentally kissed him, oops (so sorry Sheryl) but Kyler didn't catch it on camera so I had to do it again.....
Kyler wouldn't let Alice take any more pics, so he did a couple of selfies with me, and then I let                                                                                       Janice have her turn.

At this point I realised that my laminate had fallen off its lanyard..OH THE FUCK NOOOO  ..........Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........................
Luckily, Bujie appeared right about then, so I asked her if she could get me another one - and she did, bless her. THANKS BUJIE xx

Back out in the theatre I spotted Andy (lighting) dispappearing through a side door, so I unfortunately missed him this time, but at least Steve saw him, and hopefully we can meet up in Stockholm. He is hilariously funny and a really nice guy.
When I eventually got outside, it was still light (and warm) at 11.30pm! All the bars were still open, multitudes of people were out and about, and I thought, how fab to be daylight all summer - but I guess it must be shite in the winter. I found Steve in a bar with Dave and his wife, so we sat and had chips with them before eventually deciding that it might be time to get back to the hotel(evenm though it was day light - where we met up in the foyer with Janice, as we were all helping ourselves to the free tea and coffee. Eventually got to sleep, with my cane at my side lol.


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