Delain , Paradiso, Amsterdam 10-12-16


“At trip to Amsterdam including an insight into the snoring techniques of my mates ”
This one will be more about the time in Amsterdam than the gig review…..
We booked this some time back & for a change, we decided to travel via ferry. Plan was to have a few days in Amsterdam & visit various places old & new. The journey started on Thursday & it seemed only right to visit the Wetherspoons in Louth as it’s “Curry night”. There was some disapointment amongst our group as the meal wasn’t up to the standards we were expecting. After Andy G. getting replacement WARM rice & then the lass asking if we were happy or not, we all got free coffees πŸ™‚ Afterwards we drove up to Hull to catch the ferry. (I think maybe the last time i took a ferry might have been back in ’99 going to Rock Am Ring in Germany). It was a very smooth overnight sailing, but i really suffered a lack of sleep due to the “3 part non-harmony” of my mates SNORING ! After enduring it a while, i could easily work out WHO was doing the snoring by the different sounds they made (sad?) I’ll leave it at this: One had a very deep gutteral snore, one a “breath through the mouth” snore & the other a nasal snore with a kind of “wimpering” sound on breathing out ! God knows what or who he was dreaming about πŸ˜‰ ( I guess we all snore & i’m supposedly no exception! My mate Rob says i was super loud when we went to Angelfish in Glasgow. Of course, i knew nothing of it,but the others did,as is always the case lol) It was a l-o-n-g night but at least once we get to our hotel i’ll be able to sleep as only sharing room with one of the guys….famous last words eh πŸ˜‰
Over the next days we planned to visit various places in the Dam. Some we’d been to before & others were new. Andy T. was very organised having brought a map on which he placed stickers indicating locations to visit πŸ˜‰Andy Ts map

First day we tried a pancake house. The guys were impressed, but i wasn’t. Around midday we checked into our hotel. I last stayed here when over for Garbage gig. A nice reasonably priced place located very close to Melkweg/Paradiso.

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Andy queues up a day early ;-)Then it was off for more exploring visiting places like Cafe Gollum & an early evening meal at a Nepalese restaurant. After the disappointment with the pancakes, this place was great !DSC08743DSC08748

I confess, by this time i was so damn knackered, that i decided to go hotel & try get some sleep. Couldn’t believe it! It sounded like above our room they were moving furniture & were generally very noisy. Then i realised our room was directly below the bar area! If you ever stay here, make sure you don’t have room 002 !! In the end i couldn’t stand it anymore & about 3am i went to reception to tell them we need to change rooms. ( Remember i’ve been awake since Thursday evening & it’s now the early hours of Saturday morning ! ) The chap was very nice about it & i moved to a bigger 3 bed room. Funny thing was, later i found out Andy didn’t even realise i’d left the room & came back to collect my bags later! (Can’t say i appreciated the msg from someone at 8am though…shoulda looked & realised sleep was needed !)

Gig Day : Once up, we wandered off to find the nearby bar to indulge in their apple pie + cream on top (Or as they call it “Slagroom”, which i still find hilarious as i’m English)Β DSC08759
Myself & the two Andys then went to another bar ” Cafe Chris”. We were the first in as they were just opening up at 3pm. Apparently the place dates back to 1624.
Later we went to Cafe Gollum again & finally went to a steakhouse for grub. Before going to meet Rob & everyone, i went to check on the early entry time at Paradiso.
Oh yes, need to explain that : My good friend Jan fell on the stairs when we were all at the Garbage show. The venue/management later arranged for him to have guest list places for future gigs. He offered me these,but as i said to him, they are for him. So i asked if maybe he could arrange something with regards to myself & Kristina getting in early as with my condition (brain turmors), this often happens in the UK. Sure enough, Jan sorted it out very quickly with Bram. All i needed to do was go to side door & ask for Rob who is the manager. Rob couldn’t have been more helpful & professional about it all. I explained where we’d like to sit on balcony & he even said i could take a couple more in with me! I don’t abuse the system & by not offering the places to others no ones nose was put out of joint ( ” Hey! Why you chose them instead of me?! “). We arranged to come back about 15mins before doors opened. Outside in the queue i met old friends from Bulgaria ; Venelin, Ned & Kristina (another one). Of course, Benoit was also there πŸ™‚ We then went to Cafe Kooper on Leidseplein to meet up with all the others which included Jim, Diana, Rob, Michel & (a nice surprise) Anne πŸ™‚ Hugs all round, lotsa laughs etc. 6.45 we went back to Paradiso & left the rest boozing away.
Getting closer to the venue, we realised they’d already opened doors! Reason being cos it was raining. How nice of them….wouldn’t happen in the UK πŸ˜‰ Rob had reserved the seats for us, but they were not quite where we wanted to be. ” No problem! Go where you want “. So we moved along another 7 or so seats as it was a better angle to view from. The venue soon started filling up (was sold out). I sent txt to Andy to say there was one seat next to me if he could get there soon. But they were staying in the Irish bar till queue died down. Of course, they ended up on the top balcony. Around same time i got txt from Benoit saying he was on balcony left side. Didn’t take him that long to realise there was that seat next to me. (Snooze/booze & you lose Andy lol )
Tonight was a special gig celebrating 10 years since they released their debut album “Lucidity”. What better way to celebrate than playing one of THE best venues in the world, the “Church of Rock”, Paradiso, Amsterdam & filming it all for posterity?!! Many fans travelled from all over the world for this one.
After the intro tape, they go straight into “Hands Of Gold” from their latest album “Moonbathers” (I confess i’ve not got the album yet lol). It was a bit of a shock that they had the singer from “Arch Enemy”, Alissa White-Gluz join them on first song of the evening (She later also joined during “The Tragedy of the Commons”). But that was setting us up for an evening with quite a few guests & old band members joining them. The song finished with confetti cannons firing over the stage into the crowd. Already we have plenty of bang for buck πŸ˜‰ Next it’s ” Suckerpunch” (again off “Moonbathers”. Maybe i should get the album πŸ˜‰ ). I knew this one after seeing the video back in February…phew πŸ™‚ What ?! Another one from same album? This time “The Glory & The Scum”. Gimmie something i know !! Finally, the big hitter “Get the Devil Out of Me” is aired. Bloody love it. (No coincedence it’s one of my fave Delain songs). The crowd is really into this one πŸ™‚
During “Hurricane” confetti is dropped from the ceiling. Made for a nice effect.
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There then followed a very heavy version of “April Rain”. I love the synchronized headbanging from the guitarists at the beginning…

Next up there’s another guest appearance. This time it’s Burton C. Bell from “Fear Factory”. He joins for “Where Is The Blood”. After this, there was an intermission which gave Charlotte time to change her outfit. Upon returning they played a great version of “We Are The Vultures”.
During “Fire with Fire” there was a real cute moment where Charlotte got on her knees in front of Merel. From the angle i was looking from, even on her knees,she almost seemed the same height as Merel ! Funny & cute πŸ™‚
As previously mentioned, Alissa White-Gluz once again joined during “The Tragedy of the Commons”.
After another short intermission the band returned to the stage. Or rather, a “different” band returned ! Old band members,bass,guitar & drums, played “Sleepwalkers Dream”. That was pretty cool πŸ™‚

During “Your Body Is a Battleground”, i’m looking for where the backing vocals are coming from. Then realize they’re playing a video of Marco doing said vocals. I guess they couldn’t get all the guests they wanted tonight.
Another guest appearance was during “See Me in Shadow”, when Liv Kristine joined. There was also the addition of a cellist up at the back of stage.
The main set finished with “Pristine” & included another guest appearance (dunno who he was lol)
Back for the encore & Charlotte has once again changed her outfit. It’s the white one she wore in the “We Are The Others” video (Though it’s only the top half for the super observant πŸ˜‰ ). A great version of “Mother Machine” was this first encore. I loved the audience participation for “Don’t Let Go”. The whole floor was jumping & shouting “Hey! Hey! Hey!”. Bloody loved it.
Of course, they had to finish with the obvious “We Are The Others”. A great finisher for a great night.
It’s funny, but at the time, i wasn’t as “into” the show as i should have been. A combination of lack of sleep & annoying people affected me big time. But upon reflection, i realise this was a top show. Pryro,smoke,costume changes,guest musicians & quality songs. The crowd was also just great. The fact that they were filming the show will be a great memory of a great night for sure.
Afterwards a bunch of us briefly went around the bars. Of course, i again turned in early in the hope of catching up on sleep πŸ˜‰

Morning arrived too quickly. We set off for a wander in search of a decent priced breakfast. Mr T. had already scoped out the place “Bagels & Beans”. Nice place & nice staff. Of the 3 different breakfasts, we all chose the “Good Morning” one (no coincidence it was the cheapest!) ” Good Morning breakfast please”. “Good Morning” *smiles* lol You had to be there πŸ˜‰ I can’t imagine what Mac would say if he saw the ” Power Breakfast” (Ok, i can. Insert inappropriate word). Take the napkin for later…
Afterwards, we split up,with Ady going to some museum/gallery & myself & the two Andys going to more refined areas πŸ˜‰ ( I obviously jest). Another quick visit to The Old Quarter. Looked like the cat hadn’t moved since yesterday!

Finished the day with chips n mayo & last bar was ” In het Aepjen “, which was close to the bus pick up point. Of course, with us “checking in” to most places, we were stalked by Rob & Kristina as they popped in a few minutes before our departure πŸ˜‰ Nah, actually it was nice to briefly say goodbye till the next time πŸ™‚
Once on the ferry, i knew i wouldn’t get much/any sleep. So whilst the others rocked out to the house band (lol) i turned in early ! Was it a better nights sleep for me ? Lets just say i’ve never looked forward to being in my own bed !
To sum up the whole experience : “Would i travel via ferry again ?” Nope. Will always be flights/trains from now on. “Would you if it was different travelling companions?” . Again, nope. The journey takes too much time.
Upon reflection, over all, it was a decent enough break. Cool to meet old friends & a decent gig πŸ™‚



Garbage ,Paradiso, Amsterdam 30-5-16

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So, Garbage in Amsterdam,Β for numerous reasons, i really thought i wouldn’t make it , one of which was being able to get to Luton airport !
Once again, an old school friend, Dusty, came to my rescue & offered to drive me to Luton & pick me up on return! Thank you mate, it wasΒ really appreciated.Β The journey got off to a bad start as once on the plane, we were delayed 2 hours ! (Due to thunder storms in NL). Once in NL ,everything ran smooth. First walked to Jeffs hotel near Leidsplein



Then we went to meet Greg & Jerome at a bar. As we walked up, both Rob n Rijkels were also arriving. Later Marta joined us. All the other girls were still out shopping πŸ˜‰ Come 18.30 some of the guys were talking about going to the ” J.P. bar ” instead of Garbage gig !. Notice the empty pint glasses. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase ” Rijkeling a pint ” comes from, he’s demonstrating it here πŸ˜‰


Myself & Rob left for the venue where there was already a few awaiting such as Anette, Paul, Marco, Boris etc. Rob & Rijkels had already decided they would join me up in the balcony tonight πŸ™‚ Β In a total shock, i saw Greg & Jerome take opposite position on other balcony ! (Though it didn’t last long) The Pearl Harts were their typical rocking selves. The audience did seem to take a while before waking up though.

So to the headliners ; Garbage. I thought opening with “Sometimes” was a bit strange (& the lighting was rubbish!), but at least “Empty” brought up the vibe.

We then got a couple of old classics ; ” Stupid Girl” & “Special” which brought things into overdrive. It was great to see a bunch of the Trashers down near the front just rocking out…yes, i kinda wished i could have been down there πŸ™

A very special moment for me was during ” #1 Crush” where Shirley sang directly at me πŸ™‚

Guano Apes, @ Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 17-4-00

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I’d bought my ticketΒ some time back. Henning said he’d put me on the guest list,but, i still had the ticket in case it fell through. When the band arrived at the venue i was greeted by Henning & then Sandra saw me ” Simon!?!! You’re Crazy Simon, for coming all this way ! Do you have a ticket? I’ll put you on the guest list” Me : ” Actually, yeah i do, but, Henning has already arranged guest list thank you “. Man, i love this rock n roll church called Paradiso! (I’ll go there many times over the coming years) When we went in, Henning showed me some awards for PLAG sales. Didn’t realise, but the show was being filmed for a DVD. Hows that for a bonus ? Anyway, after dropping stuff off, we all went round the corner to Hard Rock Cafe. Ooops, i forgot, i met a couple of cool GA fans outside the venue, Dennis V.P & Jill . I must say, it all felt a little surreal hanging with GA for me! But of course, i was loving every minute of it πŸ™‚ The gig was great. I was in the photo pit for quite a while. When it was over, i went backstage & we had a “Spinal Tap” moment trying to get out the place ! We all then went to Hard rock Cafe again. During the course of the evening i told Henning how much i loved the gig & really wished i could get to more…but of course, the UK was not their highest priority & travel abroad was not cheap etc. Then he just smiled πŸ™‚ ” I think we can help you out ” Huh? ” I think you could travel with us on the tour bus. I need to ask the other guys, but, it shouldn’t be a problem” . Man,my jaw pretty much hit the floor ! Dennis & Jill looked at me in astonishment. So yeah, i was pretty damn high right there. Well, eventually everyone left the party & myself , Dennis V.P. & Jill were the last ones there. Basically, we stayed untill they kicked us out in the early hours. I hadn’t booked a hotel as planned to just go through the night with no sleep ! So we all went to main train station. The others left eventually & i had a VERY tiring journey home. Confession time : It all could have ended before it started on the way home. About an hour into my drive home, at Peterborough, i had a “micro sleep” at a roundabout. It was a very close thing for me to have an accident. Thing is, i didn’t really feel so tired, but, somehow i just dropped off at the wheel for a second or so. I learnt from that mistake to ALWAYS book a hotel or something in future. And so my amazing “Guano Apes journey” was starting off…