Get some unexpected 'quality' time at a place where we beg you to find anywhere else more depressing: Dover ferry port. A tiny triangle of Costa Coffee, Burger King and WH Smith vie for your attention. Actually they don't vie at all. With a passing trade of approx 6.5 customers per day, between them, they're just....there. Costa ("I could take the ham out?") informs us they are shut for a few minutes (1pm): "Oh are you having a break?" "Nah, just having a bit of a clean up". Research continues with the Burger King. "What's in the 'Veggie wrap'" "Uh. Well, it's a bit like that thing [points to a chicken wrap] but with mayonaise and lettuce and some veggie stuff" "What kind of veggie stuff" "Dunno really". WH Smith wins, by default, with it's four-times-the-normal-price 'cheese' based sandwich. That's the triangle, with it's "coin operated internet" upstairs we can't get on that ferry quick enough.
The Rotunde Botanique is a curious venue. A mini-ampitheatre within botanical gardens. Tropical fish down by your feet scowl and pout at you as you load in. the P.A. is quiet. It's weird for us, the quiet. Sound limiters feel like you're playing in a padded cell. But it seems to go across well enough. A stand up comedian checks us in to the Hotel and we're in Amsterdam before we know it.
Incredible. Subbacultcha have things good in Amsterdam. OT301. Best show in a long time. Whole rammed room is alive and wild. Nathan takes several mic-punches in the chops, literally cutting his teeth. We kicking people off the stage while we play. Close contact. Perfect. Thank you Steve for the special gifts.
Tilburg. Tamer than Amsterdam. Cute City. As is the Euro way, we're treated greatly.
We play with True Widow, a mismatch musically for sure but who cares? Those guys are really good live, and totally cool and weirdly return Robin's Snoopy watch that he lost in Dallas two years ago. On from the stoner plains of The Netherlands to the narrow jazz jumble of Paris.
Paris. Fleche D'or. Paris you were hot on Amsterdam's heels last night. An amazing show despite another 100 db sound limiter (which really is a buzz killer which ever way you look at it). We will keep coming for you Paris you get better each time. Would have been so easy to drown happy in to the Parisian night life that was on a plate for us but we have to blink it all away for Berlin. Nothing romantic about a twelve hour drive. Next yardstick is a crummy Formula 1 hotel, which is a pin in the map of Germany. The urgent Autobahn where the cars don't drive they fly low. Maniac Mercedes. Bezerk BMWs. Faster. Faster.