Guano Apes , Alex Mofa Gang ,Melkweg, Amsterdam, 5-11-17

On Saturday the 4th of November Jorge was due to arrive.

Whilst still at The Hilton, in the morning, Andy went off for a wander. I think he’d planned to visit a couple of museums. Of course, he had to ask Urethra at reception for directions (Any excuse eh mate ? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) As i didn’t have a great nights sleep the previous night, i decided to stay there a bit longer ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Hey, at least Andy can joke about the snoring lol). Later Andy came back, we had some rubbish coffee & then left to go check into the hotel i’d booked for me & Jorge.It was very close & as we’d passed it the previous day, no trouble to find it. As the room wasn’t ready yet,i stayed in reception whilst Andy went off again. Apparently, he went to Moco Museum to check out the Banksy and Roy Lichtenstein exhibition…& i’m sure that he would be going via various bars ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once the room was ready, i went up & was quite surprised how good it was.
Whilst this hotel was nowhere near as “plush” as the Hilton, it served it’s purpose & was good value for money (also added bonus of being closer to Melkweg etc).ย ย I decided to just chill there until Jorge arrived. Soon enough he was here & i went down to meet him. Jorge also seemed quite impressed with the room.
Eventually we went out for a wander & arranged to meet Andy near The Bulldog on Leidseplein, to try find a place to have a meal together. We walked up & down the street & eventually decided to go in the Sherpa Nepelese restaurant.(We’d been there before on a previous trip, so knew it was good). We were lucky to get a table as it was very busy. I think everyone enjoyed the meal there. Once we’d finished, we decided to have a walk to the Red light District. Jorge had only previously visited there with female company, so he was keen to visit again. We told him we’d show him around the “Meat & 2 veg” section for a laugh ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the time we got down that end of the city, it started to piss it down. So we decided to go have a beer at “The Old Quarter”. (That’s a place we’ve stayed at a few times over the years. We stopped staying there when there was a change of management & the cost wasn’t as good value as previous times. Not only that, but they stopped doing the evening meal which we loved. It was some kind of Dutch Stew & was gorgeous!). It was good to get out of the rain ! After numerous txts from them,ย  Kitti & Benoit came to the Old Quarter. Was nice seeing Kitti again as hadn’t seen her for a long time. Sorry,but not sorry, to say it, but, Benoit was being a bit of a dickhead. (I wasn’t the only one who noticed it!) As we’d been there a while already, we decided to go visit another bar, just up the road. It’s called “The International”. I stayed a night there years back as The Old Quarter was sold out. Had a couple of drinks & then decided to head “home”. As it was still raining, we walked to central station & took a tram back to our respective hotels.

Gig Day 5-11-17

Jorge & myself had breakfast in the hotel.It was quite nice.(Andy was at his hotel & went to Bagels & Beans) Later Andy came to the hotel & i took him up to our room. Think he thought the room was ok. We had a brief little game of “indoor mini basketball” ! ย We all then left for more wandering around.As we were going past Melkweg, we saw the tour bus was there so i had to take a photo or Andy & Jorge next to it.ย ย As we walked along various streets i saw a fuck off big bird sat on a car. It didn’t give a dam.(See what i did there? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )ย ย Eventually, we stopped off at “Rooie Neli’s” & had beers.ย 
Walking along another street we saw a couple of interesting things. The 2nd photo is of Jorge “Checking out the competition” ๐Ÿ˜‰ย Our next stop was “Cafe Kalkhoven”. I think we all might have had food there. I remember Andy having some kind of beef patte with a bun, followed by apple pie complete with slagroom ๐Ÿ™‚ย ย I’d prearranged with Henning that i’d phone him when we got to the venue as we wanted to see the soundcheck etc. All 3 of us managed to do it.We were walked through & went up on the end of the side balcony. A great viewpoint.
It was interesting to see how they had the stage set up. What was that little drum set all about? The screens looked cool as they depicted images from back in the ’90s. I really should have worked out straight away what they were gonna do, but i was a bit slow if i’m honest.
Something i STILL cant get my head around is the fact that Sandra never seems to do soundchecks with the guys* (The only time I’ve know that to happen is if they’re doing a show for TV OR first night of a tour)
* So if anyone was outside the venue & thought they heard Sandra singing, it wasn’t her! It was a tape of her vocals & the guys played along to that.ย 
After soundcheck finished, Henning came to have a chat with us. As i’m writing this, Andy reminded me that when Henning came up to us, he said that we “….looked like a scene from the Muppets “! (If you’ve seen The Muppets, he’s referring to the old geezers up in the balcony who would always berate Kermit etc)ย  I had to ask the age old obvious question ” When do you think you’ll come back to play a show in the UK?” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Whilst he didn’t confirm anything, after what he told me, there is now more hope that it could happen ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think he asked what i thought of the new/old album. Well, as it was only released in Germany (NOT a smart move by the record label) i didn’t have much time before the gig to listen to it. ( I also had other gigs before GA, so wasn’t home enough to listen !). I thought a couple of old songs sounded totally different, but at the time, i couldn’t decide if it was a good thing or not. I also asked if the idea of the new(old) album was potentially gonna make them try playing in other markets (Hence the previous answer about touring ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) There was so much more i would have liked to have know about the album, but we didn’t have time to talk for very long. Oh yeah, i also mentioned to him that even though i’d got a photo pass i was a bit paranoid that i might get shut down by security (Like last time when i filmed at this venue). He then kindly said he’d go have a word with the venue manager, to make sure nothing like that would happen. Thank you Henning, it was most appreciated. Also thanks to the venue manager (Sorry, i can’t remember her name) Weย left Melkweg to go have food. Outside we bumped into Pezi. Was nice seeing her again. Had a brief chat, then went our separate ways. (I think Pezi went to meet Kitti?).
When came back later, going through queue to get in early, i almost lost a pass as wasn’t stuck very well on my jacket. Fortunately Jorge spotted it. Holding it towards me he said “Erm, i think you’ll be needing this!”
Once inside the foyer, there was a female member of security. I asked her to let is in the main hall, but she wouldn’t let us in ! Ended up having to phone Henning (which i didn’t want to do). When he came security bitch wouldn’t let him walk us through even with him having his AAA laminate !! I could see Henning was getting annoyed with her & i felt really bad for putting him in this situation. What is it with these jumped up power hungry security dicks? In the end someone phoned the venue manager. She came rushing down the corridor ” What’s the problem?”. As she took us through, she grabbed a seat for me & took us up to balcony. (Yet again, huge thanks to Henning & the venue manager,whos name i’ve forgot,sorry, for helping us out).
Once doors were open, it soon got a bit busy. During the course of the evening, many of my old friends came in. Some came up to the balcony to say hello & others stayed downstairs.ย The opening band were “Alex Mofa Gang”. I’d never heard or seen them before. They were quite a decent opening act. Even though they sang in German, they had a good sound. (Andy liked them so much that later he bought a t-shirt ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) There was a cool moment where the singer did a crowd surf with a difference…he managed to stand on some kind of a mat & the audience carried him alongย 

So,nice warm up & next it’s the main course ๐Ÿ™‚
The lights go down & Dennis is the first one to get on stage. He sits down at the small drum kit & starts playing a familiar drum beat. Stude walks on next, closely followed by Henning. It’s immediately obvious that Henning has a problem with his guitar & he walks off stage whilst Dennis & Stude continue to jam the intro(along with a tape of Sandras vocal) of the opening of “Maria”. When Sandra appears on stage,Henning is still sorting out the problem with his guitar. Tbh, the start is a bit of a mess ! They take a little while to get into the groove with things ( Hmm, not the best start that I’ve seen…) During this opening, there’s very little lighting on the stage. Only the “boards” behind them with the old images are really lit up. I’m wondering how Sandra will sound tonight as they cancelled/rescheduled a couple of gigs earlier on the tour. During “Maria” she seemed to hold back with her vocals (Probably a wise thing if the cancellations were connected to that ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). After that, someone in the crowd shouts out “Lords Of the Boards!” C’mon ! as if they’d play that song so early !?! Sandra then kinda cracks me up by saying “..no it’s not Lords Of The Boards…it’s quite similar to that…” They then play “Rain” ! Hmm, now i’m really confused! Rain doesn’t sound anything like LOTB ! (Neither the original or the 2017 version sound like LOTB)
We then get the first cover song of the night. It’s Eminems “Lose Yourself”. It’s pretty much a straight cover version. I like Eminems version, so it’s interesting hearing GA cover it. (I think there were a few confused faces down in the crowd during that one).

Next up it’s most definitely a crowd pleaser, namely “You Can’t Stop Me”. The band are now really getting into their stride. At the end of YCSM, Henning extends the outro with a little doodle,then goes into the classic opening riff of “Quietly”. Queue huge cheers from the crowd. Tonight, i can only describe “Quietly” as a strange version! To me, it sounded like Sandra couldn’t make up her mind whether to sing it high or low (Again, could it be to vocal problems still ?)ย 
Next we get the new version of “Crossing The Deadline”. I quite like the new opening riff that Henning came up with. The song, in general, compared to the original version, is quite different at the beginning. Still sounds good,but i prefer the original as it had more balls to it ๐Ÿ˜‰
By now, we’re probably about half way through the main set. Another crowd pleaser is next; the incomparable “Open Your eyes”! This gets a load of the crowd po-going down on the floor. It’s great to see everyone having so much fun down there (And yes, i wish i could be down amongst it… ๐Ÿ™ )

Then we get the new version of “Suzie”. On the album, i reckon this one is probably the most different to the original version. I love what they’ve done with it. Easily the best new old song. Sandra sounds amazing when she really belts it out. It comes over great live as well. After that they play the new version of “Never Born”. Whilst it’s good, i prefer the original version. I really like their cover version of “Precious”.

Before “Pretty In Scarlet”, Sandra spotted a little kid down the front. He was lifted up on stage & watched most of the song. Then he got what was probably his best experience of his lifetime : Dennis let him have a go at playing drums ! It was so sweet & cute to see that.ย ย The main set finished with the pop of “Sunday Lover”. If you’re in the crowd downstairs & not bopping away to this, you need to check your pulse, as you might be dead ! ๐Ÿ˜‰
The encore was something i’d wanted to see since the last time i saw them. Over the years, the guys have a jam song they played at the gigs (minus Sandra). When i saw them in Barcelona, they had a new jam called “Lez”. I always much preferred the original “Trompeter” jam as it had so much more swing to it. So, seeing them jam “Trompeter” tonight was a fantastic moment…& a hark back to the old days ๐Ÿ˜‰

They then did something out of the ordinary. One of the guys started to play “Aint Got Time” (it’s not on the set list). Sandra said “Should we try it?”. After a quick false start, they almost found their way to do it, but Stude threw his hands up in the air & stopped it. Sandra blamed it on Studeย “You’ve got altzeimer!”. But as Dennis said, they did have a try at doing it (Even though they hadn’t rehearsed it). Respect to them all for trying.
Henning starts playing a short riff (was it the start of Lose Yourself again ?) maybe checking if the guitars in tune? Whilst he’s doing that, over the other side, Stude grabs one of the cymbals(complete with stand) & hands it to the audience. Hey, even a cymbal gets to crowd surf tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ Sandra asks if there are any drummers in the audience, but no one came forward.She then says this is “Big In Japan”. Again, it’s great to look down at the audience & see everyone jumping around like crazy. One lucky soul even got the chance to sing a verse when Sandra pointed the microphone to him.
We already know which song they’re gonna finish with, the song that pretty much launched their career, all those years back “Lords Of the Boards”. Of course, i had to film this one !

Again, great seeing everyone enjoying themselves. When the song finished, Stude trashed the bass drum with his bass, Sandra knocked down some cymbals (I often wonder what Dennis is thinking when this happens ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) & for sure, everyone on stage had had a great time. Sandra then says to the crowd “Thank you so much for all coming out tonight”. Then she spotted me & screamed ” Simon ! Siiimon !” She then said ” cmon Simon. C’mon on stage. We need to have a photo with you….Simon..Simon is the one & only British fan, from i don’t know..20years…. Simon is here tonight”. As i was tentatively going down the steps, past a few of my friends, Sandra said something like ” *Simon is a real fighter * “…”Thank you so much cos you’re a real fighter”. As this is happening, the crowd then start chanting “Simon! Simon! Simon!”. What she said was all very emotional for me & kinda bizarre to hear the crowd chanting my name. It’s a moment i’ll never forget.ย Whilst i was being lifted up to the stage by Dennis, Stude went crowd surfing. Henning asked “Where’s Stude? We need to have the family photo”. He then notices that he’s at the back of the hall! . Sandra says “C’mon lets get the photo”. I pass my camera to Stilli (i think?).ย 

 

** If you don’t know me & are reading this, you’re probably wondering what Sandra is referring to when she says Simon is a real fighter. Well, the brief explanation is that early 2016 i had a seizure & was later diagnosed with having brain tumors. They said i’ve probably got 2 years left to live. I couldn’t believe it. So i had to endure multiple hospital visits to have both radio & chemotherapy. Whilst it’s not curable, i’ve carried on as much as i physically can, with my passion of still going to gigs.**

Dennis gets the young lad to join in the photo as well. What a fantastic way to finish the night. After the photo is took, i have a brief moment with Sandra. As we hugged & she gave me peck on the cheek, we both had tears running down our faces. For myself, it was a moment of reality. I suddenly realised there’s a possibility of this not happening again (seeing Guanos). I got very overcome by my emotions. It’s quite ironic when i think about it. I mean, such a unique super happy moment for me, switched to being low in a blink of the eye.
When i got my camera back, i took a few quick snaps of the band, the crowd & that little lad crowd surfing.ย ย Eventually got off the stage & went back up to the balcony. I was probably blubbing all the way! Had some chats with my mates, struggled to get myย  flag untied & then we went back down to main floor. I think at this time, Rob, Kristina & Anne went to meet Ronald & Vinnie at a bar. After that we went to the merchandise place to see who, from the band, would come out to hang with everyone.
I bought a T-shirt. Had chats with Henning, Dennis & Stude. Again, there was so much i would have liked to asked them, but my mind was all over the place. Then photos were took etc. I think the photo with Dennis clearly shows how emotional it had all been for me.ย ย Unfortunately, a bit later, this great experience came tumbling down. One person started being a total dickhead around me (again) & as much as i hate to say it, i got really wound up by his actions. A couple of my friends could see that i was getting pissed off with him & if it wasn’t for Jorge getting between us, i would have probably punched him to the ground. I’d had enough of it all. So i thought “Fuck it! Lets get out of here & go join Rob & the others”. When we stepped out of the Melkweg, it was a horrible rainy night (Kinda how i felt in my mind at the time). Greg led the way, using his phone as a sat nav. Typically, it took us the long way there. Once there, sat down at a table with Rob,Kristina, Ronald, Vinnie etc, said quick hellos. But in all honesty, i was feeling pretty down. With a combination of the highs & lows of the day, i probably shouldn’t have gone there. I must apologise to my TRUE friends who were there, as i wasn’t being very sociable. A bit later,Jorge & a few others arrived at the Cave & took another table. After a while, i decided it best that i leave & go back to the hotel. Me & Andy said our goodbyes to everyone…. & as we we doing that “the annoying one” came over & kept trying to kiss me. I had to dodge that & push him away. So, yeah, what was a great day was ruined for me because of his actions.
*Now i’m pretty sure some of you reading this may be thinking “Simon sounds like he hates Benoit”. Hate is a pretty strong word. I wouldn’t use that to describe our “friendship”. I think “annoying” would be more suitable. Truth be told, i kinda feel sorry for him. I think he hasn’t got many friends & he is super sensitive when he’s around people (especially women) & the slightest little thing that he doesn’t like he has a hissy fit. Hell, we’ve even talked privately about that stuff (BEFORE this gig in Amsterdam) in the hope i could help him with his love/hate scenarios with some people. I guess he’ll never learn though.
I will also say that he has since apologised to me about his stupid behaviour. So i appreciate that he finally did that.

When me & Andy left the Cave, apparently, he carried on being a dick with someone else !
Later that night (or was it the following day?) Jorge told me that when they were leaving the Cave, he booked a taxi & offered Pezi/Kitti a free ride to their hotel (It was still raining). He wanted to make sure they got back safely & didn’t have to walk in the rain. Very kind & chivalrous of him to do that. But guess what? Benoit had a hissy fit about it ! Seriously, he needs to grow up. Jorge said they could share his taxi, nothing more,nothing less.
Yet beno couldn’t understand it. He has since called Jorge some childish nasty names (In a private GA forum).
As far as i’m concerned, he also needs to apologise to Jorge.

So, summing up, it was a weekend of highs & lows. Great seeing Guano Apes again & also cool to see some of my old friends who i’d not seen for a while.
I truly hope that Guanos make it back to the UK, before i pass away. (I even briefly considered paying for it to happen using my pensions i’d cashed in. But then when thinking about it more seriously, i thought it wasn’t a wise thing to do, for a couple of obvious reasons)

My friend Julia pretty much summed it up about theย  last photo :ย ” Simonย thatโ€™s amazing, I am so happy to hear this. You deserve it more than anyone else in this world. Hope you had an amazing trip xx “

 

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Guano Apes , Nirwana, Tuinfeest, Lierop, NL 27-8-16

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There’s a bit of a back story to this show, which i feel i should share : As most people who know me will be aware, i’ve personally know GA since the early days, back when i saw their debut UK gig at the Borderline back in 1999 ( http://www.gigaddiction.co.uk/guano-apes-the-borderline-london-23-9-99/ ). After that gig, i “lived the dream” following the band around Europe & at times even travelling with them.
Well, i last saw them in Barcelona in 2014. Many of the old friends who i’d met over the years, also travelled to that show. A great day.
Jump forward to 2016 & the proverbial “shit hit the fan” & for a while i was totally out of action. Radio & chemo therapy does that to you.
With all the messages of support i was recieving, i confess, i was disapointed to not hear anything from my old mates in GA. I tried contacting them in case there had been something i’d done or said to have “upset” them. Eventually, via a mutual contact, i was told there’s nothing wrong, most people are just very busy all the time. Ok, fair enough, at least i’ve not done anything bad.
Imagine my surprise when out of the blue i get an email from my old mate Henning saying : ” I spoke to the band and we thought maybe we could do something good for you by inviting you to the show in Lierop incl. Travel etc. but Iโ€™m not sure If you would actually be able to travel? ”
How fooking cool is that ? This was an invite i really had to TRY take up, despite me health being very up & down recently (As close to 3 days before the trip, i had flu type symptoms & it was doubtful if i’d make it or not – hence i didn’t dare “announce” anything on my FB page).
Between myself & Henning, we arranged a schedule that suited me……08.00am return the day after??!! No way ! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Come gig day, my train travel ran smoothly to Stansted airport ( 3 changes & nearly 4 hours travel) & i had plenty of extra time before my flight. Then after a while, i saw this :

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Of all the flights listed, mine was the only one delayed ๐Ÿ™ Oh well, bang goes the chance of seeing Danko Jones before Guano Apes.
Fortunately, Stansted to Eindhoven is a relatively short flight. Once there, Benoit was awaiting for me. Henning couldn’t have booked a better hotel for me ; directly at the airport ! Once we’d checked in, we were on the road to the festival. (The last message i’d sent to Henning in the morning, was about arranging to park the car in the artiste/guests area. He said to give him a ring when we’re a few minutes from festival)
Once there, Henning greets us & tells security to open gate for the parking. He quickly wanders off to get our passes from Markus.
Man, it was so great to see Henning again ! Once backstage, we gradually see other members of the band. Stude is having some food which made me wanna bork ! (I have problems with certain food smells nowadays ! For example, i used to love KFC & nowadays i cannot eat it due to the smell! One of the side effects of my treatments i guess) Said hello to Markus & then I explain to Dennis whats been going on. Then he gives me the proper backstage tour. ” Where do you want to watch the show from? ” Me : ” I’d prefer to be onstage as i get a bit tired nowadays “. Dennis : ” Oh, do you want a chair as well? ” Me : “Oh man that would be perfect, just in case “. The crew did this for me :

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Dennis couldn’t have been more helpful. He then showed me the “route” to get back to the other side of the stage (without walking over the actual stage). I then went out into the crowd to say hello to Pezi. She’s been following the band since 2003 i think. Nice to see her again. Then Benoit turns up & i leave him in the capable hands of Pezi on the front row ๐Ÿ˜‰ ( I think Pezi may have asked me if i was gonna stay, but, it wasn’t advisable for me tbh…& anyway, i already had my own special place ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
As well as bringing my camera, i’d also brought my digital audio recorder as i thought i’d make a not so sneaky recording of the whole show from onstage. As luck would have it, i saw Ingo (FOH engineer) a little before the show started. I thought ” Nothing lost by trying..”. Me : ” Hey Ingo, don’t suppose you could record tonights show to my digital recorder? “. He quickly looked at it & said “Yeah” ๐Ÿ™‚ RESULT ! Later, when i was back on stage, he came by & told me he’d got a new battery as the one i had wasn’t enough power. He’s a good man is Ingo ๐Ÿ™‚
Originally, i’d planned to take some photos from the pit. But when i was made aware photographers only had one song, i decided to just film a video clip instead ๐Ÿ˜‰

After that, they quickly went into ” You Can’t Stop Me “, whilst i walked around to my position on the stage. Whenever i’ve been up on stages before, the sound is generally not as good as out front. Mainly, you just hear drums then other sounds are very small compared. However, i reckon this was the best onstage sound i’ve heard ! Don’t get me wrong, it still wasn’t perfect. But Studes bass sounded great & i could also hear Hennings guitar & even Sandra sounded ok (Sandras was probably the lowest in the mix). But i loved it ๐Ÿ™‚

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Next up it’s ” Quietly “. An absolute classic from the “modern era” of the Apes. Gotta be honest, i’ve never really liked the song “Fake”. Whilst it *IS* better live than studio, i still don’t find it all that great (sorry)
The next song again is a classic ; “Pretty In Scarlet”. Just love that one ๐Ÿ™‚ I also love the loose funky feel of “Sunday Lover”. If this song performed live does not make you wanna shake your ass or dance, then i’d suggest you check your pulse ! (Sandra got a bit carried away towards the end & fell down during her spins. Though she pulled it off well, so i doubt many would have noticed ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I couldn’t believe it, but, just before ” Oh What A Night” some dickhead decided he’d try sit down in MY AREA on MY CHAIR !! Honestly, it’s not like it wasn’t marked out or anything! I gave him a bit more of my mind than what i recorded ๐Ÿ˜‰

A young lad, Gijs, got lucky when Sandra spotted him on the front row & she went down to him! I bet all his birthdays & Christmases came at once !

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Next up it was the super classic of “Open Your Eyes”. I will never ever get tired of hearing this song. It has the same vitality today as it had back in the day. Love it.
Next it’s “Fanman”. Probably my favourite “modern era” Apes song. I love the bass line in this one. Once again, it’s funky & just grooves. I love the change of pace in this song, how it’s up & down. So pleased they kept this on in the set list ๐Ÿ™‚

“Sing That Song”, whilst i like it, i can take it or leave it. At this point i’d much sooner hear something like “All I Wanna Do” ๐Ÿ˜‰
The main set finishes with another classic,the Alphaville cover “Big In Japan” ย Man, did that main set just fly by ! It was all pretty solid stuff for sure.

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We then get the encore of the instrumental ” Lez “. I actually couldn’t remember if i’d seen them play this before & had to check when i got home! They did in fact play it in Barcelona last time i saw them ! Doh ! But that’s the thing ; i LOVE it when the guys do these jams as you can tell everyone’s into it ( Though my favourite will always be “Trompeter”,due to the “swing” ;-)) This just rocks.
Then it’s the final song of the night….what else could it be, other than “Lords Of The Boards” ? ! A stompingly good version, then the obligatory group photo was took…erm of only Stude & Sandra ๐Ÿ˜‰

Soon afterwards, i was in the backstage are with a very sweaty Stude ! It was just pouring off him ๐Ÿ™‚ We had some serious talks. He’s not the only band member i really shocked when i explained the extent of my problems. But everyone was very positive (even though shocked) & just told me to fight it all. I do that, to the best of my abilities. As it’s been ages, i decided i needed new photos with the band ! I managed to get a group photo (minus Sandra) with the guys.

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Then had individual ones as well.

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I asked Markus what was Sandra up to & he said soon she’ll be presented with a painting someone has made for her. (It looked great actually & i wish i’d took a photo). So that would be my chance for the Sandra photo ๐Ÿ˜‰
After Sandra had been presented with the painting, as she was walking in my direction, there seemed to be a moment of realisation for her when she recognized me! ” Simon ! You made it ! ” (I don’t think she recognized me when i was on stage tbh). So it was big hugs & very nice chats. It was the first time i’ve been VERY close to breaking down (OK, there were tears from me. To the guys, i hid it all better i think). During our conversation, i learnt something new, which i hadn’t expected. When GA posted on their FB page about me being a fan from the beginning & they linked to my “Borderline Story” on my www.gigaddiction.co.uk page, i was always under the impression it must have been Henning who’d posted that. Nope ! Sandra brought it up & said she posted it ! That kinda shocked me & made me love her even more! Cheers Sandra ๐Ÿ™‚
As with most people, Sandra told me i must not give up & should keep fighting this cancerous stuff i’m dealing with. Sometimes, it’s so much easier said than done though. We made a “deal” between us ; i won’t give up if she will do something for me in the future ! I cannot say what though & i very much doubt it will happen (Sandra, if you read this, i won’t hold you to it ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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Eventually it was time to go back to our hotel, so off myself, Benoit & Henning went:-) Once there, Henning sorted out breakfast & we agreed to meet early next morning.
Oh that was hilarious ! The following morning, in the restaurant, the officious bitch said ” I have no information about you being booked in for breakfast!” Well, we had a card entitling us to 2 breakfasts ! So i told her to check out her story as seemed to me someone hadn’t done their job properly ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, we were right ๐Ÿ˜‰ Later Henning joined us & he also had a problem with this jobsworth woman : 10mins before breakfast “closed” she said “you need to be making your way out of here”. Again, Henning taking no B.S. said ” I’ll just go round once more ! ” Class ๐Ÿ˜‰
After saying our goodbyes, Benoit & me went to Eindhoven to kill some time (Always remember to use the Sat Nav Beno ! More importantly, if using it, take notice of the directions instead of gassing to me all the time!)But whatever, thank you for doing the driving mate. It was appreciated.
My last thought of the weekend was going through customs at Eindhoven Airport. I couldn’t believe it ; the bastards scanned my bags THREE times & once was with everything tipped out. Eventually, they decided the dodgy item was….my electric toothbrush ! Were they YTS trainees or something? Useless tossers ! ๐Ÿ™‚
So, summing up, this was a magical experience for me all thanks to my old friends in Guano Apes. Without them, i wouldn’t have got to see them live again, i’m sure. You’ll never know how much i appreciated this kind gesture from you all. It’s hard to put into words, but the easiest thing to say is THANK YOU ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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Guano Apes, @ Razzmatazz 2 , Barcelona, Spain 8-11-14

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This was more about meeting old friends who used to go to the GA shows. I went with no expectations of how GA would be & i’m happy to say the performance was great. But firstly, there was a nice little meet & greet which Henning & Marc had arranged (Such a shame that last minute Marc couldn’t make it there). The guys brought us all beers & it was great seeing everyone & having nice little talks. A shame that Stude didn’t join though. Never did find out why ๐Ÿ™ Of course, as ever, Sandra got swamped by people & i didn’t even realise she was there until she was leaving! So didn’t have much of a chance to talk, but at least i managed a quick photo ๐Ÿ˜‰ As ever, i mentioned i’m still awaiting their return to the UK…

The Gig : From the off, ย Sandra seemedย on fire as though she was trying to prove a point. Well, you certainly won me over! This show was up there with the energy levels & commitment of the “final” tour. The fact that Sandra crowd surfed is always an indicator that it’s a good show ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I’m sure that’s still not a regular occurrence ?) Something a really do like is that it’s just the originals up there on stage again. I never did get it when they had the extra guitarist, sorry. I prefer pure GA ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s a part in the show where Sandra gets the guys in the crowd to take off their shirts. Of course, she “picked on” me, so i had to do it….that’s the first time in 35 years of going to gigs that i’ve done that….& probably the last ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was such a party atmosphere, it had to be done. It was great to be amongst old friends on the front row. I really enjoyed the night & for sure wanna go see GA again some time….

It was great seeing so many old friends who i’d not seen for years : THAT was pretty damn special in itself.

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Guano Apes , Haus Auensee, Leipzig, Germany 10-10-11

006952011 10-10-GUANO APES ,Leipzig 50th Guano gig

This was meant to be a special gig for me as it was the 50th time i’d seen Guano Apes. Quite an achievement considering how few times they’ve played in the UK ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was a big deal for me as i wouldn’t go see many bands that amount of times unless they are special. I thought GA were. As it was, i didn’t even get to meet the guys. So no celebratory drink with them. Thankfully, some of the friends i was with realised it was special for me & we drank a bottle of Jagermeister before the show. Thank you…you know who you are ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s me up in balcony filming the show. (Thanks Jasi for the photo)

2011 10-10-GUANO APES auensee,Leipzig 50th Guano gig

 

Unfortunately the next run of GA dates i was gonna follow got cancelled & i lost ยฃhundreds. Again, thankfully, my friends warned me they’d cancelled…literally about an hour before i was about to drive to Gatwick airport. Schedule should have been :

20-10-11 Drive to Gatwick

21-10-11 Gig in Munich

22-10-11 Overnight train to Rome

23-10-11 Gig in Rome

24-10-11 Fly Rome to Milan. Gig in Milan.

26-10-11 Fly Milan to Barcelona. Gig in Barcelona

27-10-11 Fly Barcelona to Madrid. Gig in Madrid.

28-10-11 Fly Madrid to lisbon.

29-10-11 Gig in Lisbon.

30-10-11 Lisbon to Porto. Gig in Porto.

31-10-11 Fly back to the UK.

I wasn’t the only one to lose money on this tour…..but i’m pretty sure it hurt me personally a lot more than others.

“Like the Murphys, i’m not bitter ” ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Guano Apes ,+ 22 @ Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany 9-10-11

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Columbiahalle is one of my fave venues. A very nice size; not too big, not too small. I was looking forward to get a great film of this one as i had problems with my camera the last time here. For whatever reason, there was a delay in getting my pass & thus the prime positions had gone ๐Ÿ™ The show was pretty good though ๐Ÿ™‚

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Guano Apes , Royal Republic, VK, Brussels 23-5-11

006912011-5-23 Guano Apes Brussels

After the previous nights nightmare in Amsterdam, i made sure all the security knew me &ย that i had permission to film the show. I wouldn’t normally shoot it all from in the pit, but, just felt i had to tonight. Yeah, it distorts & i cannot get the best angles as so close, but it was a great idea to film there. Not only that, the gig was fantastic ! Really enjoyed this one ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. I do like how they wrote ” T.V.” on the pass ๐Ÿ™‚

This different video also includes me filming the show ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Cheers to Christer for linking me this)

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Guano Apes, Royal Republic , @ Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands 22-5-11

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Wow ! A dream come true : Seeing my fave band in the Melkweg & being able to film the show. Unfortunately, it ended up being an absolute NIGHTMARE ! Due to a lack of communication, Melkwegs security were somehow not aware i was allowed to film. About 3 songs into the set, security downstairs start shining torches at me. Then i feel someone grab my leg from below ! (I was on balcony & it was pretty much directly below where the sound desk was) Security told me to shut down. Obviously, with all the volume etc, it wasn’t easy to try explain…especially to a total dickhead security guy ! Talk about shot down in flames. ย There was really no need for this to happen. On previous tours, i’d always get an AAA laminate-no one messes with those-but for whatever reason, i just got the stickies this tour. Yes, a recipe for disaster if there ever was one.

A great show, but i just couldn’t get into it after the B.S.

P.S. The security didn’t totally “win”. Me being me, i still carried on running audio of the full show with my mic in plain view !

P.P.S. Royal Republic totally rocked the show tonight. They’re such a fuckin great live band. Here’s a little footage i shot of them ๐Ÿ™‚

As for the Guano Apes footage? Nah, it’s staying with me & not gonna upload it ever ๐Ÿ™‚

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Guano Apes, Hristo Botev Hall, Sofia,Bulgaria 9-4-11

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We all went partying, in a couple of places. So much fun.

What is it about Guano Apes and Sofia? They always put on a great show. This one was good, but, nothing will top the show they played in 2009. That was magical.

This place was bigger & whilst everything didn’t quite run so smoothly, as Angela pointed out, i ended up with all the passes available for the day ๐Ÿ˜› Also, this time i was staying over in Sofia for longer than first time,so, really got to meet some great new people to party with etc….& of course again met peeps from the first visit like Nat ๐Ÿ™‚

P1010195P1010196P1010198P1010225P1010245P1010256P1010258P10102710004ย Nats photo “The Blue Eyes Club” ๐Ÿ˜‰0002

 

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