Having cancelled our first ever show in the Czech Republic in March, we were slightly puzzled that the promoter added us to the bill for this festival, and even more puzzled that we were so near the top.
We decided on a mix and match travel approach to this summer's festival activities, so we flew to this show, rather than go on the bus (a la Bospop 08/07), and the kind ladies at British Airways were very nice about all our luggage, guitars, drum bits and spare amplifiers.. It was very funny checking in with 25 items of luggage (between 9). Nothing to report about the flight really, it was nice enough, as flights go. Nice sandwich.
Having been met at Vienna Airport by our non English speaking Czech driver, we spent the next 4 hours on the bus with The Children Of Bodom, who were aptly named (multiple stops for wee wees, I swear I heard "are we there yet?" at one point). These are ideal iPod times.
The hotel Moskva is a relic from the old days, a perfectly preserved slice of yesteryear, complete with grand entrance hall, marble floors and ancient fittings. The staff were really nice and friendly, as were everyone we met over the course of the weekend. After a long day's travelling, necessary showers were taken and parts refreshed, then the obligatory vital liquids were taken on board in the bar. It got really quite funny, but that's where I'll leave that one I think. Fast forward to Saturday...
The crew left for the site at noon, just to fine tune/tweak/fret over our endorsement/rented backline. The band were in various activities (i.e. shopping, sleeping, computing etc) in and around the hotel for most of the day, but we got to the festival in time to see Sham 69's set. We watched Epica, who were aptly named (again). They were epic indeed, and very good at it, especially the man who did the goring (I'm told by those in the know that this is the term used to describe that guttural monster type noise that some front people do instead of singing).
Our set time approached, and having watched Epica go down so well, I detected a degree of nervousness within various band members. This is rare, so it was quite unsettling, but as usual, it faded away the moment we took to the stage. The Czech crowd were absolutely mad for it, despite the raging heat, and 99.9% of them not having a clue who we were. They were absolutely fab from the get go, and we had a brilliant time. We did a rather frantic but very enthusiastic signing session afterwards during Stratovarious' set (they sounded good too, if a little Iron Maidenesque).
Having decamped to the hotel, stickiness was once again removed with soap and water, and food was consumed, followed by the usual, but once again, to protect the innocent and the not so, I'll leave it there.
Travel home was the reverse of day one really, minus the Children Of Bodom, so it was a bit quicker, but no cooler (35c at Vienna Airport).
All in all, a fun weekend's work, if you can call it that. Nothing live now until Cambridge, so it's collective nose back to the studio grindstone. I'll check and see if we have any decent pics, and if so I'll ask the Thin One to whip them up for you.
14th July 2007