Blaze Bayley Checks In From The Road
Blaze Bayley is currently on the road with his solo band in Europe. A message from the man reads as follows:
"So after a day off we rolled on down to Maddaloni and from there to Salerno. Now, being something of a WW2 historian it was cool to visit Salerno at last. A while ago I was in Anzio doing research on German Special Forces, this time it was just cool to hang out on the beach and drink coffee. We were playing in a bar called Mermaids, which was also a bit of a restaurant. Hmmm... we thought, a little strange. So it was a vocal PA and nothing else. By showtime the place had accumulated a good crowd, but I couldn’t help laughing when I watched Jay headbanging furiously beside a table that was fullo of people eating their dinner. Surreal it may have been, but it was also really cool. The crowd went nuts (almost choking on their Pizzas at the same time). Of course it wasn’t without its problems. We were into the first chorus of 'The Clansman' when Blaze sang ‘I am the Clansm...’ and then silence and darkness; with nothing but drums. Shit... a power cut. Now, although a gig of nothing but drums sounds mighty fine on the surface, there are some strange people that insist on such trivial extra things as guitars, bass and vocals. I know that sounds odd, but it’s true.
"Apparently we had blown the main fuse so it took Thompson a few moments to run about like a mad herring and fix it. And then... presto! Back to the ‘Clansm...’
"After Salerno we bumbled along to Roccaforzata and the Go West Saloon. This was another strange one in that it was full of tables and more people eating. Speaking of which we were treated royally for food and drink. We had a massive meal and even Champagne! So we were very happy campers by the time we hit the stage and it was indeed a bloody great gig. The people went ape-shit which was cool.
"The next one was Rome. We drove through the night on some of the ropiest roads in Italy before hitting the highway. The gig was in a brewery and was excellent, although there were all kinds of equipment problems. But... hey-ho.
"From Rome to Cremona and a bar that excelled in its gothicness. The gig was very cool and a good end to the Italian leg. Ibridoma were leaving to be replaced by another band. Those guys were very cool and helpful and it easy to share a bus with them.
"Sooo... on to La Belle France. Again we drove through the night and arrived at Chambery at about 10 AM. The place is really beautiful, with a lot of mountains all around. Once gain we were playing in a brewery J! It was Thompson’s birthday which we celebrated throughout the night. Dave in particular excelled at teaching him some new phrases with which to expand his already excellent English usage. The main one that he grasped with great gusto was “Smoke my pole... you pisstaking bastard.” It was grand to see Thompson practicing it on Bob the driver and Blaze. Fantastic!
"The show was in large part organised by Laurent (not sure how you spell your name) who we had met at Z7, Milan and Cremona. Bloody nice bloke who for some reason I was convinced was called Richard. No wonder he looked confused every time I said hello. It was a tad disconcerting to stumble bleary-eyed off the bus in front of a load of French fans, but that’s what happened. The hospitality was exceptional. Lots of food and drink and loads of people for the gig which was a real blast. Lawrence from Iron Maiden France was there which was cool. She and Agnes had travelled from Paris to see the show which we all really enjoyed playing. There is a strong desire to do more work in France so keep your fingers crossed.
"Now... after a nice French breakfast of coffee and Pain Au Chocolate we’re off to Switzerland."
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