Switzerland was quite cold and snowy so we decided to stay in all day, eating lots, washing some laundry (they had a washing machine AND dryer in the venue, wohey!!) and working on some acoustic songs with Marjolein and Marjan from Autumn. Marjolein does so well on acoustic guitar and is really fun to play with. We tried out a few songs where both Marjan and I were singing and we really enjoyed it! The crew at the venue was super cool, and were really helpful and nice to us, so thanks a lot for the brilliant time you gave us! People turning up to the show did a nice job to both us and Autumn, and the youngest fan of this tour (5 years??) turned up showing us the horns and rocking in front of stage. We hung out with some nice people afterwards in the venue before we headed off to…
Aschaffenburg. Arrived early so had time for a little walk, do some shopping and had tea in a local coffee bar with a very nice waiter. Also got to see a bit of a castle that was close to the venue. It was beautifully lit up in the evening with a nice little park surrounding it. We meat-eaters got a super nice dinner at the venue, and the poor vegetarian in Autumn were so lucky to get a massive lump of feta cheese to digest. It’s a bit funny to see the lack of creativity some places when it comes to vegetarians. After all we were in the land of schnitzels and sausages so what to expect, eh? After dinner our tour manager and excellent sound engineer were in a funny mood and it all ended with a little friendly food fight and fries flying everywhere. This venue was said to have 250 gigs a year, Hypocrisy playing the day before and Lacuna Coil coming up a few days later. I dunno, but maybe they had all been seeing too many bands or all had a massive hangover from last night, because there was a few times we were not sure if the audience actually were awake..
Despite this they seemed to be very happy and wanted encores as well.. We ended the day on the bus with Marjolein’s brilliant idea making Caipirinhas together with merch boss, Gema’s amazing cucumber ice crushing!
The day in Vosselaar was also freezing cold outside, so was staying inside as much as possible. Found that there were cereals available for breakfast and one of the guys went out to buy some soya and rice milk which made my day! But I was so late up that I never managed to finish off my breakfast before sound check and suddenly it was dinner time! What a lazy rock’n roll life! Our shows are always in the evening so no point in getting up at 7 in the morning jumping about when needing to save the energy for later;-). It was also a nice surprise to get to meet Johan, the bassplayer from Stream of Passion, who is also a good friend of the Autumn guys. One thing to mention was that the backstage was below the stage without another exit but going via the stage. Some of us got trapped there during Autumns show, and Marjolein spent the time efficiently head banging through the gig drying her hair after showering. The venue Biebob was pretty filled up when Autumn hit the stage and warmed up everyone. As always they did a great job, with Marjan singing superbly (or very “goodly” as some of us would like to say ). A very nice crowd to us which Marjolein made laugh (including me) with her little silly jokes in French After the show it was shower time and then almost straight to bed for me (the boring life of a singer ). After party downstairs in the bus was as always kicked off with Volume 4.
Lille had the most spacey backstage and a great chef! We all got well fed and had lots of space to tumble on. Outside where our bus was standing there was a security man with a very angry Schafer dog who thought René looked a bit suspicious, so he jumped off his lead and gave René a quite scary hug…which I don’t think René appreciated very much. Back in the venue the turn up was excellent, and the crowd was really special that night I think. One of a kind for sure. We also had a little surprise having Marjan (Autumn) up on stage doing Saturnine with us, and it was soo nice and emotional! She is such a great singer and a wonderful human being!! you can check a video from that performance here.
Last day off the tour was Valentines Day in Paris and started with arriving in the sun to the most beautiful but unpractical venue of the tour at Elysée Montmartre. Parking a double decker tour bus with hanger on the main street in Paris includes planning and quick reactions. After unloading the bus drove off for the day and we got a million stairs to walk to get the equipment to the venue. Luckily we came so early we all had time to do a little walk in the center. I went off with Marjolein and our super web boss Alex who is native Parisian up towards amazing Sacré-Cœur and ate a crepe on the way. I had been fighting getting a cold the last days, and it seemed to be kicking in here in Paris so I stepped quickly inside again as is was pretty cold outside. Two good guys in Autumn got me a fantastic take away Indian for dinner in the evening as we had a buy out.
During the day we noticed that the Autumn guys were busy doing “stuff” and not hanging out so much. We also needed to lock our back stage a few times…last day of tour includes secrets…
Our friends in Os’moz would be opening the night with their atmospheric music. We girls got some beautiful roses from them after the show; really sweet! Thanks During 3,5 weeks on the road with Autumn there came out quite a few intern jokes including rather childish (but great fun!) silliness. So we made a few huge white signs saying some of these jokes walking up right in front of stage with them above our heads getting laughs and big smiles from Autumn (including a few out of tune notes ). The very polite French got the joke and laughed with us
They got us back massively afterwards filling our backstage with balloons and lots of funny gifts for each of us! So sweet and cute!! I bought a bunch of silly socks before the tour to make sure they would separate from everyone else’s when washing in big scales. This included some incredibly silly pink Hello Kitty socks which ended up walking around the bunks during the nights, constantly turning up on a new place.. I got it back with two Hello Kitties well connected;-) René bought himself a new delay pedal during the tour which he worked on every day trying out new stuff. He got of course a home made card board pedal, Frank a mobile (as he is always on his iphone) etc.
Our show was very special and emotional. There is one thing remarkable with the French audience. They actually pay attention to you and are totally quiet listening; it is very special and beautiful! For some reason this day also started with quite a few odd things. I got a cold the day before (hardly any voice at all when I woke up in the morning) so I was a bit worried, but drank lots of good tea and vitamins to boost the immune system so I made it through the show. We invited Marjan again on stage to sing Saturnine but for some reason the mic she was handed didn’t work, so we had to improvise a bit. Luckily she is so good she managed perfectly anyway! Then on the next song the guitar strap of Marjolein’s bass fell off so she had to finish the song with out the strap (well done, Lein!!).
We had to get quickly out of the venue to load the bus so off we rushed, which included Jens (Autumn) dropped a heavy flight case on his feet badly hurting three of his toes. Then we went off to the bus, and one of the guys opened the door and unfortunately our super bus driver came by getting the door straight in his head, so off we went to the hospital to get his scalp stitched up. Luckily he was OK to drive on with a minor injury! What a crazy day of unlucky happenings in some kind of a beautiful wrapping!! Anyway in the end off we went with our noses pointing towards Holland and home (and Bergen afterwards for me), so we were having some fun getting and giving silly gifts that would remind us of the tour.
Got a few hours sleep before waking up in Oss/Holland to unload everything to our rehearsal room. Hugo was there with two of his beautiful children’s, was so nice to see him again. Then it was to say goodbye to all these beautiful people we’ve been in a bus with for almost a month, with which was really sad. It has been such a special tour with such a nice bunch of people, I think we all agreed it was one of the best working groups ever touring together. I tried really hard to not start crying, but in the end I had to give in…
Now I am in Bergen/Norway with lots of fantastic memories that will never leave me. My first long tour with TG turned out way better than we all hoped for! The chemistry between us in the band has always been nice, but grew to an even higher level on the road living so close. We had so much fun together, being very childish, sharing happy moments as well as the days were not everything was so good (as me getting food poisoning or someone missing people at home). Another thing is that we got such a nice and warm welcome in every city. Many people in the audience were very excited and anxious about seeing the “new” The Gathering, but gave us such a nice welcome back in the end! Encores every night! We couldn’t have dreamt for it any better. Luckily it is not over yet. I am really looking forward to going to Greece in next weekend!