Thursday, April 28, 2011

UK's Uncut Magazine

It's worth getting a copy of this month's Uncut magazine for a laugh! I honestly think it was the Long Island iced teas talking about Gilmour--not me! I'll put a better scan of it online when I get home.

Click for larger image then click on it again

click for larger image then click on it again
click for larger image then click on it again


I'm taking a week off from the tour while the band are in Russia, Helsinki and Oslo.

I flew over to Washington D.C. for Easter and return home this Saturday. I'll fly out again to Stockholm for two shows there and the one in Copenhagen before returning to the UK. After that, there are the London, Manchester, and Dublin shows, then a short hop over for the Paris shows.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lodz, Poland, 1st show panorama picture at intermission

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The Wall technical article

Nice trade magazine article about The Wall tour's sound, light, and video details. Click the link below:

Access All Areas magazine

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Fuckin Way!

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Lodz day 2…..

I got a message from Jon Joyce asking if id like to come over to their hotel tomorrow for a beer/coffee so we arranged to meet up at 1pm.
I met up with Phil, Laila and Daniele first around 11:30 at the ice cream store. Ben was flying back to the UK today so wanted t say goodbye, hope its not another 11 years before i see you again Ben!
I then took a rickshaw over to the bands hotel to meet up with Jon, Dave had text me the day before too and we were gonna arrange lunch for today so i sent him a message to say i was meeting up with Jon and would be around there at 1pm if he wanted to join us. Got to the hotel around 1pm and sat with Jon for half an hour before Dave came and joined us both and then Robbie and Pat. The hotel was in an old style building that used to be a textile factory in Lodz, a very famous one by all accounts and the factory even has a museum dedicated to it!
My ice cream                              The view from my rickshaw         The old factory hotel building
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Dave needed a new external hard drive for his laptop so Jon, Dave and i went to have a look round the stores nearby, Jon went to change some money and Dave and i went into what looked like a big Curry’s electrical store.Few minutes later, hard drive secured and we went for a wonder around the stores. We spotted a cool chair/sculpture in the centre of the square which we both took turns in taking pictures in after each other. Before we did this though there was a family of 5 or 6 people just getting off the chair and they had a young Polish girl with them whom id guess was no more than 11 or 12 years old. She was wearing a crossed hammers t shirt and Dave mentioned something to her about the T shirt. She was a touch embarrassed about her English and tried the best she could to have a chat in English but the words just weren't there, at this point she had no idea who Dave was. Dave  took a couple of guitar picks from his pocket and gave her two, she was delighted, but again it didn't register who Dave was. After Dave gave her the couple of pics she managed to tell us that she also played guitar, to which Dave replied something like “so do i, on top of the wall”  he pointed to her T shirt and then to himself and again said “i play guitar for them”. It was at that point that the penny dropped and she realised what he was saying and who he was, her face was an absolute picture!! totally priceless.
She couldn't believe it, her family took a few pics of her with Dave and she was smiling from ear to ear. After a couple of minutes of chatting Dave and i carried on walking towards the hotel, we met up again with Jon who was going to the Museum of the factory, Dave and i went to look around the shopping mall as there was an hour to go before the band were to leave the hotel.
Dave and the little girl            All smiles                           Me in the chair                    Dave in the chair
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After wandering around for another 20 minutes we headed back to the hotel, just as we got there Roger was outside signing a few autographs for fans that had gathered at the entrance. Dave decided to put the hood up on his hoodie, took his hair in and get inline for an autograph. As he got in front of Roger he was just about to hand him the box to his hard drive he had just bought when both Roger and Dave looked up at each other, Roger was amused as was i and as was Dave.
Dave asking Roger for an autograph
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We sat at the bar for half an hour watching some models doing a photo shoot in the lobby, a fan came up to Dave whilst we were sat there and asked him to autograph his tickets, Dave was more than happy to and after he had the guy asked me to sign it too! i said “ are you sure” “yes of course he said” so i did! to the amusement of Dave who took a picture of me doing so, it was only after the guy had left that i joked i should have signed it D Gilmour!!
Phil and Laila joined us for a while and Phil was hoping to get his piece of the wall signed by Roger and the band, he just missed Roger by 5 minutes but the rest of the band trickled down as they were about to leave for the venue at 4:15. Dave signed Phil's brick along with his program (see below) and as the band came down Phil asked each and everyone if they wouldn't mind signing his brick, of course they were all delighted to and he eventually got everyone apart from Roger.
Man at C&A (you don't wanna know)    Phil and his signed piece of brick        Dave's signature in Phil's program
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I said bye to the band as they headed out to the venue and sat and had a drink with Phil and Laila in the bar before getting a taxi back to my hotel to meet up with Kevin. We both headed out for some dinner before deciding it was a touch too cold for the rickshaw tonight and opted for a nice warm taxi instead, which was again cheaper than the rickshaw!

Lodz show 2

And back at the hotel again, same town, same venue just a different night!, didn't take my camera tonight as i wanted to enjoy the show without any distractions.

Crowd were great, for some reason the airplane didn't work and the guys at the top in the ceiling were struggling with the ropes that hold the plane.

Roger came out onstage with a chair tonight and sat and sang Don't Leave Me Now on a chair onstage tonight! Normally he sits on the stairs but kicked the chair away after standing up and preceded to the podium on the left to do his song and dance!. Plane came down just before the wall fell, I guess as the plane didn't work the first time they held off and let it go just before the wall feel at the end, looked great!

Another great show, gonna try figure out if we can get to Moscow tomorrow but its looking more and more unlikely, if it doesn't happen then I'm home tomorrow evening and leave for Stockholm on the 4th May.

Lodz 1st show…

From the outside the venue looked pretty small, what you don't realise though is that a lot of it is underground and upon entering we could see it was a lot wider than the usual venues and the seats at the side were way higher than normal. It was clearly visible that the wall was bigger as well, not in length or height but the amount of wall at the bottom by the side seating area was a lot more, kind of hard to explain but there was a lot more wall for the visuals to be projected on  between the floor and the start of the seating at the side as you can see from the picture below

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We had tickets for standing in the golden circle tonight and made our way through to the front left of the stage. The crowd seemed a bit reserved again but no where near as they were in Prague. The show went pretty much without fault, only the odd bit of feedback here and there. The crowd were in good spirit and clapped when they should have done and were silent at the right times too.

Plane crash in Lodz

Polish for no fucking way                         

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At the end of Goodbye Cruel World the words INTERMISSION came up on the wall to let people know there would be a break, only the word doesn't mean anything to English speaking Polish people or the crowd just didn't understand but they stayed stood and seated waiting for something to happen! they thought it was still part of the show. As the fallen hero pictures were projected onto the wall they clapped, then as one lot faded out and another lot came on they clapped again, still not realising it was a break in the performance. It was really strange and something I've not seen happen before!

I found an empty seat off to the side for the second half of the show and sat there for the duration. It was slightly further away than where I've sat before and gave me a great view of the crowd and the projections, for the first time i could see and tell that it was indeed Rogers eyes that are on the screen at one point in the show! I also noticed the picture of Chairman Mau hanging on the inside of the hotel room wall!

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Seeing Run Like Hell and Waiting for the Worms from seated on the side is fantastic, its just the best place in the house to see the projections, the band, the pig and the interaction of the audience

Run Like Hell

The wall came down great again but nothing like it did in Prague. Once again, before the band come back onstage you could hear Roger practicing on the trumpet and blowing a few notes, Jon Joyce mentioned this today and he thinks its that as the crowd are totally silent  after the wall falls that's the reason you can hear it, I'm still not sure, i don't know if its actually coming through the PA, the music monitor speakers or its just the sound from the trumpet when Roger is in the tunnel waiting to come out, you could definitely hear a pin drop before they come out though, its deadly silent!

Wall fall Lodz

It was a fantastic show with a great crowd and cant wait to do it all again tomorrow!

Lodz day 1………

After a long travel day (12 hours) yesterday i slept in till past 10, went downstairs for the hotel breakfast and then surfed online for half an hour. Phil and Laila arrived last night but not till late.

I got a message from Phil to say they were at the Brazilian steak house that Kevin and i  had gone to for dinner last night. Kevin was out getting breakfast in the town somewhere so i made my way down to the steakhouse to meet up with Phil. Phil's friend Ben and his wife had come out to Lodz to see the show too and i hadn't seen Ben since the Houston show in 2009,  over 10 years ago! He hadn't changed a bit, however he said i had and that i looked really well

I called Kevin and told him where we all were and he joined us 10 minutes later. Phil had been to an ice cream store earlier in the day and said they had had the most amazing desserts. As most people reading my blog can gather, I'm a sucker for desserts and have a big sweet tooth. We headed down there after Phil and co had finished eating.

I've never seen ice creams as big, they were huge. I ordered one that had a lot of fruit in it just to keep it healthy (or so i kept telling myself so)

Ben, Kevin, Bens wife, Laila, Phil      My dessert                                      Phil's dessert

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As you can see from the pictures above they were pretty big! the biggest one on the menu came in at just under 4lb in weight!!

As we walked to the ice cream store we saw there were a lot of rickshaws in the town, i guess its an easy and cheap way for people to get around as the whole town revolves around one long street that id guess must be at least a mile in length. Kevin and i decided that was the only way to travel to the venue tonight and asked one of the drivers how much it would be to the Atlas Arena. Forty zlottys was his reply, that's about 5 Euros or £4 in real money! Kevin and i headed back to our hotel as did Phil and Laila and we said we would meet up at the venue in an hour or so.

By the time we had walked back to the hotel we had some time to freshen up, check out a few things online and then head back to the main street to get the rickshaw. I suggested we asked another guy how much he would charge just in case the other guy was trying to pull a fast one and over charging us. Three guys looked at us spoke in Polish for a few minutes, again looked us up and down and said One Hundred and Twenty zlottys!  We walked back down the street till we found the first guy and jumped in his rickshaw.

Kevin in the rickshaw                                   Kevin and i arrive at the venue                       Our ride for the night

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It was certainly an experience! within half a mile i swear the guy started to slow down and was getting tired. The venue was about 2.5 miles away and whilst I'm not sure that they get requests to ride that far all the time, surely Kevin and i weren't THAT heavy that he wasn't used to cycling with two guys our size on his rickshaw!

Rickshaw ride to the venue

We soon discovered a few things about the rickshaws, Red lights mean nothing to the drivers, you get exhaust fumes from the cars in front in your face! and the cobbled streets don't make for too smooth a ride!! I'm certainly up for doing it again tonight though for sure, wonder if i can persuade Dave K to come on it with me! lol.

I think we were the only ones  to arrive by our means of transport and we certainly go some looks!  I joked with Kevin that tomorrow when i fly back home from Warsaw i should get in the rickshaw point outwards and saw “Warsaw Airport as quick as you can” and watch his face. Warsaw airport is about 90 miles away!! The real funny thing is the taxi on the way home from the show  in slow moving traffic was only 18 Zlottys! cheaper than the rickshaw

G E Smith and myself pre show                          The Venue

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Full album from Lodz day 1

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Arriving in Prague……

So we got into Prague station around 7:30pm found the hotel on my Blackberry Google maps and walked for 20 minutes before checking in.

The hotel was in the old town area and soon after checking in we headed out to the cafe bar where Harry Waters was playing a gig with a few of his friends. The metro ride took us 10 minutes max and we arrived in what look liked a residential area of Prague, again Google maps on my Blackberry proved invaluable and took us straight to the door.

It was a small cafe bar type place with about 6 tables in front of the small stage and the rest of the place was made up with people standing around. I counted about 52 people in total and it was fully sold out! I saw India Waters at the bar and it was nice to see her again, i hadn't seen her since early on in the dark Side tour.

Arriving at Prague station             Promo poster for Harry’s show     Harry on stage left

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We arrived at the bar around 8:45 which enabled us t see the last hour of Music, Harry was playing the piano and had a Double Bass, Drum and Saxophone player, all of whom were Czech musicians i believe. After half an hour i spotted Alfie walk in the door, Alfie is Jon Carin and Harrys stage tech guy, a real nice down to earth English guy. We spoke and chatted till Harry was done and off stage and we then all made our way to the Metro station to get the train back to the hotel. Kevin and i had had 13 hours of travelling on the train today so i was pretty tired. we said goodbye to Alfie as he got off the Metro the station before us 10 minutes later i was tucked up in bed snoring away!

I awoke around 10am the next morning after having an OK nights sleep. I got up, had breakfast and came back to the room to shower. Didn't do much at all during the day to be honest, Jens and Lars were due in at about 4pm, Phil and Laila had flown in earlier in the morning and George and Connie were arriving sometime  this afternoon.

Kevin and i spent most of the day online looking at various ways of getting from our next stop Lodz, to Moscow, a couple of days after the Lodz shows. We had visas to get plus the train ride was over 23 hours, it would be cheaper to fly but then we’d have to get the train to Berlin to get the real cheap flights. The other option was flying from Warsaw but this pushed the cost up quite a bit. Originally i was due to fly back from Lodz to the UK for a few days however I'd always wanted to see Roger in Moscow after enjoying the Dark Side show so much in St Petersburg a few years ago and i didn't take much persuading to decide to at least look at ways of getting to Moscow.

The cheaper option was the train from Lodz, this would take over 23 hours and as we looked into it there were 4 types of train travel. 1st Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class and Common class! I had no idea what common class was but Dave K mentioned to me it was nothing more that some hard wooden benches and a plank coming out of the wall to sleep on! That didn't sound too appealing to be honest.

As it stands at the moment (its Sunday 17th April and were on the train to Lodz) I'm not sure if Kevin and i are going to make it out there. Were going to look into the Visa situation when we get to Warsaw and make a decision from there.

I was changing hotels today and sharing with Jens and Lars, Jens called around 4pm to say they had just landed and were taking a cab to the hotel. Kevin was staying in the hotel tonight till we saw if we could get a 4th bed in my hotel room, we could so he arrange to move there the next day.

just after we arrived at the new hotel, Jens and Lars arrived  in a taxi from the airport, we bumped into Phil and Laila too who were also staying in the same hotel for 2 nights.

Jens and Lars arriving                   Jens with his ticket ready

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After us all getting checked in the room and sorting the luggage out we went to the “Um Pa” German style brewery next door to the hotel. The second we sat down this guy came by in a pair of lederhosen carrying a tray of at least15 beers and placed a large glass of dark coloured beer next to us all on the table. As most people know, i hate beer, i don't drink much at all,the odd glass of wine and Long Island Iced Tea’s when I'm out in the USA. Kevin shared my glass of beer out between everyone else and i ordered a glass of wine. George and Connie arrived soon after as did Phil's friend Dave.

We asked the guy below if he knew Outside The Wall but he just looked at us with a blank stare

Um pa bar                            Harrys replacement ?           Our bar bill                         Phil, Jens and Kevin

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We stay in the bar a good hour or so, ate dinner and then headed out to take the Metro to the venue.

Jens and Kevin looking serious!           Lars, Phil, Jens and Dave                  Laila, Lars, Dave, Phil and Jens

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Album with more pics of Prague