Or... the wild exploits of three guys, a road crew and a van!
  Well, leaving day has arrived and the rain is pouring down on NW London, there has been a severe weather warning and now am starting to panic about the chance of the ferry being cancelled, I will not relax until I get on the ship!
Up in Lancaster, Dave the Nut will be driving across to Newcastle, there he will meet Ernie, our lighting technician, and board the ferry bound for Holland, its an overnight 14 hour journey, so they have chance to chill out.
In Hamburg, Bernie, our sound man, driver, tour manager, and Matzi, our new backline roadie, will be travelling in our tour van to meet us in Holland.
In Norwich, Tommy Goober and our UK driver, Dan, will be picking up a hire van and loading all our equipment which is now hogging 75% of tommys sitting room!
Back here in London, I still have a million things to do, but most things are in place now for the tour.
I will be catching the tube to the train station (Liverpool Street) where I will get the train to Harwich ferry port, there I will meet Tommy and Dan.
Our ferry is also an overnight journey, we sail at 11.30pm tonight.
Tomorrow will see Tommy, Dan and myself arriving in Holland at 7.30am, there Matzi and Bernie will meet us and transfer the equipment form the UK van to our tour van, Dan then will get the ferry straight back to UK!
Tommy, Bernie, Matzi and I will drive to a different port in Holland, there we will pick up Dave and Ernie, they arrive at 9.30am.
Meantime, Koen, our merchandiser will be heading for Brussels, he lives in Belgium, so he has an easy start!
So, when when everyone has been picked up we have a few hours drive to Brussels VK Club, there the tour begins!
I am exhausted already!
See you there!
Take care
  Hey everyone.
Thanks so much for the great response at the Sneeke show, twas great to meet you too.
After Sneeke we headed for Essen, the town twinned with Sunderland! Where I lived for many years!
I was especially nervous at this gig, don’t know why! It was sold out and you lot made us feel very welcome indeed, we played Olga I cannot in the set for the first time, with No rehearsal! A bit rough but great fun to perform! I hope you liked it!?
Tommy was nervous coz Reb (the guy who almost had Tommy’s bass playing position) was in the audience, but we all met up after the show and it was great to meet up again, Reb is a great guy and we wish him luck for the future.
The next days drive to Hamburg was only 3 hours, nothing compared to what we have ahead, arrrghhh!
Wow what a hotel we had, beautiful, apparently the promoter gets a special deal there, unfortunately we only had 2 minutes there before shooting off to sound check.
A great venue in Hamburg, after all these years I had never been there, I was worried a bit, it had been so long since we had performed in the city and the gig had a DB sound limiter preventing the use of high volume.
We were welcomed to a full house with a really nice crowd, great to see you all after the show also, our soundman, Bernie, done a great job, I think! Let us know if sounded ok!
Anyway, after 8 hours sleep and only a two hour drive, here we are sitting in the dressing room of the Hanover gig, the crew are setting up the equipment on stage at the moment, and what a crew they are, Matzi, Bernie, Ernie and Koen certainly make our life easier!
We are sitting here with Patrick (from THE TOY DOLLS German site) a great guy, he has also been helping with some of the stage props! Cheers mate.
I am getting nervous, we have just heard that local band, Gigantor, are gonna turn up, they are friends but I am still as nervous as hell!
Anyway, our sound check time is upon us, I will write again soon, We have an 7am wake up call tomorrow for the drive up to Arhus in Denmark, rather excited as we have never been to Arhus!
I can hear Dave the Nut sound checking now… the nerves are building up!
Take care
And THANK YOU for attending the shows!!!
Hope you lot are well and happy!
I am sitting in the dressing room of the Copenhagen venue, the last night of our Scandinavian leg. We will miss ya, we have had one hell of a time, Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg were sold out with great crowds, again great to meet you after the shows, thank you again.
Dave the Nut is on stage sound checking again now, Tommy is practicing for the sound check!!
We arrived in Copenhagen after a backside numbing 9 hour journey last night, at the hotel we went our separate ways just to escape from one another! Its nice to have a bit of your own space on tour from time to time!
Ernie, Koen and DTN went off to a Mexican restaurant, Matzi and Bernie walked a few kilometres to stretch their legs after the drive, Tommy got a takeaway which he had in his hotel room in the bath! I sat by meself in a pizza place and downed a bottle o´wine.
We slept long today, our first day off! Now we are back to work, me joints are aching and my voice still feels and sounds as rough as hell, so it’s been a great help when you lot have been singing along!
I really cant believe everyone singing along to Olga I Cannot!!!!! A last minute choice for the tour!
We have unfortunately ran out of the new CD now! So it wont be on sale at the merchandise stall, but its gonna be released on Nov 1st anyway!
Strangely enough tomorrow is also a day off, but we have to wake at 7am, drive to the ferry port to board the ship to Germany, a night off in Berlin, but there we have to arrange for more t-shirts to be printed, buy a load of spares and organise the customs declaration forms for the next leg of the tour in Italy, Switzerland, Croatia etc. boring stuff but has to be done!
Its difficult to say which has been our favourite gig so far, the crowds have been fantastic everywhere, I prefer the smaller venues myself, so for me Oslo has the edge, there again Hamburg was superb, having said that… Love ya all!
Time to check the guitar now, if anyone one is interested, from unloading the van to finishing the sound check usually takes around 4 hours!
Take care and looking forward to meeting the rest o´ya!
  Hey all!
Great to meet you all in Copenhagen, it’s been a long time and you made us feel really welcome, so nice to see fans come from Arhus too, and even a young lady flying all the way from Brazil just for the show! We are flattered!
Last night in Berlin was brilliant! Though we had a few problems on stage with amplifiers and guitars, we still had a great night thanks to you lot, and we never expected the gig to sell out, cheers!
Our manager was there so we were extra nervous that night!
An old friend of ours, Zimbl, opened up for us, he done a great job and it was a pleasure to meet up with him again, he will be there on the rest of the German gigs, check him out!
I must apologise for not getting out earlier after the show to chat with ya with Tommy and Dave, I had 4 interviews to do, though I did get out eventually! Great to meet up with ya and cheers for a fantastic reception.
Anyway…its 11.30am now, we have been in the van for 3 hours, bound for Prague.
Bernie is driving, Matzi is also up front, map reading, Tommy is next to me listening happily to the Gimme Gimmes, Koen is behind me snoring next to DTN who is also nodding off! And right at the back surrounded by boxes of t-shirts is Ernie, in dreamland!
So, we are all excited about tonight’s show, Its already sold out and it’s a great venue, we performed there on the 1997 tour and I really enjoyed it.
We should be reaching the Czech/German border soon, today’s journey is around 6 hours total, its hard work being cramped up in the van all day then suddenly jumping up and down on stage! But I ain’t complaining!
It’s looking dull and gloomy outside, rather depressing, but we will be on stage in about 9 hours, so chin up!
Oh, can any of you remember the festival we did in Prague with Sinead O Conner and Erasure!? Great line up eh!!?
Anyway, I am gonna grab 40 winks while I have the chance! Look forward to seeing you all tonight.
Take care
From the reception of the hotel in Bratislava!
First of all we wanna say THANK YOU to the amazing crowd in Prague on 28th, you are, so far, the winners of the loudest crowd reception award! We loved every minute of it!
Yesterday was our first time in Slovakia. We arrived at the Babylon concert hall expecting to play to around 45 people, Thank you to all 700 of you who turned up! Lovely people.
A huge thank you to Igor Kelly and Robert Solansky for the wonderful custom made guitar! I am really flattered.
I won’t be able to try it out properly until rehearsals in UK, we have limited time at sound checks, I can’t wait to give it a blast!
We have just had brekky at the hotel, a can of baby food each! REALLY!
Soon we will be off to Hungary, tonight again is sold out, in Budapest, thank you for that! We are really looking forward to seeing you again.
Yesterday I had a bout of homesickness suddenly, but that’s touring for ya! Now I can’t wait to get back on stage at the A38 tonight! See you there.
  Hello again!
7am in Hungary and I am looking at the sunrise over Budapest, I suddenly realise its only 6am coz of the clock change! Should I sleep more? No! The city from my window looks great and I wanna explore it before we leave!
Me ears are still ringing from the gig last night; you were all wonderful by the way! We were knocked out with the great reception, Thank you!
For those of you who weren’t there, the gig was on a boat on the river Danube! What a setting!
Today we don’t leave until 11am, gives me time to let me stage clothes dry! Last night was a hot one!
I have just ventured down to the breakfast room, no ones down from our crew, so I am sitting alone writing this, tonight we perform in Graz, Austria, its been a few years since we were there, about 9 I think! I feel a little anxious, will there be anyone there to see us!? Lets wait and see.
I am gonna take me daily vitamins and go for a walk around this beautiful city before getting back into the van…arrrrghhhhhh not the van again!
I would like to say a special Thanks to Suckerpunch, for turning up last night; he travelled all the way from N.E England!
Good to see ya mate, hope you enjoyed it, we certainly did!
See ya soon
  Hey everyone, so sorry it's taken so long to update this! It’s been hectic here! There has been a huge demand for interviews after each show, so finding time to sleep, sound check and eat has been limited!
Also finding Internet access has proved a trifle difficult!
Anyway, here we are!
After leaving Budapest we headed for Graz in Austria, The Orpheum is an old theatre and very nice too, we hadn’t performed there for years, great to see the same crew all working hard there to make it a great night.
The sound on stage was remarkably quiet due to all the theatre curtains soaking up the sound, its damned hard to play when you can hear the sound of the strings on yer guitar louder than the monitors!
But, we had a great night with a great crowd, really nice to see you all again and chat with ya after the show, Thank you again!
  Next up was Vienna; we really never expected such a large crowd! And great to see some faces come down from London UK! Nice to see ya, made me a bit home sick though!
All in all it was a great evening, I think we played quite well! And you lot were very fantastic, cheers.
  Zagreb in Croatia was a blast! Nice to see Suba and John Williams in the audience! The promoters wanted us to do an extra night but our crazy tour schedule wouldn’t permit.
A sold out venue with one hell of an audience, I can say that we were not as tight as we could have been, tiredness and a temperature of 10000c on stage made it really hard work, that’s my excuse anyway! We still loved the night, I had numerous interviews after the show, so I am sorry if I couldn’t get to meet all of you when we came off stage, those of you whom I did meet were very nice, a big thank you to all of ya!
  Next was Serbia, Belgrade…
We were really apprehensive! A city and country where we had never performed ever...!
We couldn’t believe it, sold out with 100s of you who couldn’t get it, sorry about that. A great night with a great crowd, lovely to meet after the show, sorry if I was sneezing constantly when I was chatting with ya, I had the on tour flu which we all caught! I felt awful, but again you lot made us feel so welcome I actually forgot how ill I was until I got back to the hotel. Our performance was not so bad and I was really nervous again coz our manager had turned up again from England, but he had had quite a few before the show so he was unaware of any mistakes!
  Today greeted us with a ten-hour drive to Italy, Treviso, this is classed as a day off!
I was still dying of the flu, moan moan…! We arrived at the hotel about 7pm, Tommy & Koen (our merchandiser) went off to find a bar, the rest of our crew, Ernie, Matzi , Bernie and DTN devoured pizzas in a nearby restaurant and I sat sneezing by meself in a pub, drowning me sorrows!
  I was in bed by 9pm last night and didn’t wake till 10am this morning. I needed it! The gig night in Treviso was really nice. A decent performance by ourselves, and a really nice crowd THANK YOU again!!!!
  Next was Milan, a packed house that included a bunch o´ guys from northeast England! Great to see ya lads! Wish we could have had more time for a pint after the show, Milan was great , a fantastic crowd and one great evening, we enjoyed every minute of it. Ta!
  Today we braced ourselves for problems at the Swiss border, we sailed through no bother. A nice start!
God the temperature has dropped! We were wearing t-shirts a few hours ago in Italy! This was like err…England! I had to get me long johns on! We do love Switzerland though! Tonight in Winterthur was wild, a really nice crowd, we weren’t at our best but you lot made up for it! Cheers
  Today saw us back in Germany, at the Backstage in Munich, what a fantastic welcome you gave us, a sold out venue with a superb crowd, good to see Patrick from the German TOY DOLLS site looking fit and well too!
We had loadsa problems in a never-ending sound check with lighting/electrical interference through my Telecaster pick ups, but at the end of the day we got through it, what a superb night!
We just heard that Joey Tempest from Europe had heard or version of The Final Countdown and was crying laughing! I am gonna try to get some pics together with him if poss!
He is my hero ya know!..........NOT!!!
  In the backstage area of the Stuttgart Rohere I was sitting depressed as hell, the onstage sound was terrible, our performance ok, but trying to play with such a horrible onstage mix had made me really wanna curl up and forget the night had existed! The Stuttgart crowd were as fantastic as they have always been though, thank you again! Lovely to see you all, last time I was in Stuttgart was with The Dickies 2 years ago, a great crowd then too!
Now we had done quite a few shows back to back and we're feeling tired and sensitive, it’s the usual tour thing!
Back at the hotel it was 2am and I was reflecting on the tour so far, I couldn’t believe how many of you have turned up! I am sincerely flattered and touched, cheers!
  Okay, so now we hit France, again I am apprehensive! Will people still remember us???
The gig at La Laiterie was superb, we played a blinder AND the onstage sound was the best of the tour! We were happy, and another packed house gave us a great reception! You are lot are fantastic! Again I keep saying it…THANK YOU!
  This was an important show for us, as they all are of course, but, our manager was coming and it is a big venue, The Elysee Montmarte, Paris. Apart from a horrible noise limiter in the venue, a great night was had by all, so nice to see Frank, Laurant and Kata again, and old friend from the north east of England, Chris McCormack from 3 Colours Red, thank you for coming.
Thank you to a great crowd of 1500 people! Cheers.
  Back to Switzerland today, a hassle free border crossing again too! This must be the smallest venue on the tour! A really nice venue though with a great crew, we were excited to play in close contact to the public after playing such a large venue the previous night! A sold out sweat box was this night! We enjoyed it from the first note till the last, another wonderful crowd!
  Loads of problems today, all down to one thing, another bloody noise limiter in the club, the Rocking Chair, Vevey,
We were greeted to a packed house; I hope you could hear us! The limiter was set at a ridiculously low level!
Still, we really enjoyed the night! Great people! Cheers
  So…. here I am 14th November, back stage at the Schuur in Luzern Switzerland, we are all fairly exhausted!
We are a bit sad too, tonight is the last show of the Swiss leg, we have really enjoyed it here… will let you know how the show goes…
I need sleeeeeeeep!
Take care
  Lying in bed at the hotel in Lucern. having a beer and reflecting on the show at the Schuur!
I am happy! we performed well, the on stage sound was great, Tommy has started using a Music Man bass, and it sounds wicked! A lovely crowd tonight, great talking to you lot after the show, cheers to the blokes who flew in from Ireland! We will have to get there soon!
Tomorrow is the 11th consecutive show and I am exhausted! But loving it! After the last song tomorrow we are off! A full day off! Though we do have to travel 4 hrs in the van, still that much needed rest will be appreciated! Me voice is breaking up and me wrists are killing me...but its all been worth it!
Strange feeling now, I am home sick, but the thought of it being the last week of the tour is depressing! We have met so many nice people and our crew are the best I am really gonna miss them, I am really looking forward to going home, however we have travelled and worked together everynight night and day for 6 weeks, so the thought of leaving brings me real sadness.
At this point I want to say a huge thank you to our crew, my brother, Ernie on lights, Koen, our merchandiser, Matzi, our superb backline technician and Bernie, our tour manager, driver and sound engineer, THANK YOU. I am gonna miss ya all.
Now I must sleep, back to Germany tomorrow and I am lookin forward to it! meantime....THANK YOU SWITZERLAND!
  Good morning! I cant believe its snowing here in Freiburg, what a pretty city, today is a day off, though we will have to spend a few hours washing our pungent smelling stage clothes!
Last night at THE CRASH was fantastic, another sold out show with a wild crowd! Our performance was good, but we could have been better if we were able to breath! It was as hot as hell on stage.
I am just thinking...it was 17 years ago when we last played The Crash!!! Just how old am I !? Lets not get into that one!
So, we are back in the van again, heading for Frankfurt for our night off, its only 3 or 4 hours, but when you have been in the van for 6 weeks it seems a whole lot longer!
I really need to re charge me batteries for the final week, I am gonna down a few beers and relax, looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow night at The Batschkapp, Take care
see ya soon
  Hey! from me hotel room in Amsterdam, again its snowing outside and we have a huge 1 hour drive to Tilburg!
First of all, I wanna say cheers to the wonderful crowd in Frankfurt, we loved it, you were all great, we werent so bad either! Another sold out show which went smoothly. Thank you to Zimbl, the support act, it was a hell of a night, as was every gig in Germany!
A packed house last night in Amsterdam, great to see Bambix again after 15 years, nice also to see the author of THE TOY DOLLS book, Ronan, and friends Dave Mac, Lee and Tom.
We are all feeling a bit zombified at the moment, but dont worry, we will give 100% at the final 3 shows!
So tonight is Tilburg, feels odd not playing Noorderlight, its the perfect size for us and our usual venue, but still looking forward to seeing all again!
  Hey ya all!
Yesterday was Tilburg 013, what a sizeable stage! I was outta breath! A nice night though, we were greeted by 1900 people, though we were not at our best, maybe the stage was too big? Maybe we are just exhausted? Maybe we ARE too old!? I dont know? Whatever...theres no excuse, We should have been better.
A great local crew in Tilburg, cheers. Cheers also to Guusje, great to meet ya, thank you for the signed Europe photo!! I shall frame it and hang it in me bedroom!....... actually I think its in the dressing room bin!
Today was the Tivoli in Utrecht, I was as nervous as hell coz the DVD crew were there and I made a thousand mistakes to prove it! There was a huge gap between the stage and crash barriers for the cameras, this really did spoil the contact between the band and the audience, but, at the end of the day you lot were great, not a bad gig, not the best, but not the worst THANK YOU! Great to see Ciaron at the gig also!
  A happy but sad day is today, I am mentally and physically wiped out! Though I feel I could do another 100 shows suddenly!
In the hotel after the Groningen show, WOW, we perfomed great and with a sold out wonderful crowd, what a perfect end to a fantastic tour!
Now I am ready to go home, I need sleep! but I am gonna miss you lot, and I am gonna miss our crew, they made our life so much easier and very enjoyable...
What can I say? I loved the tour, I am feeling emotional now, I guess its because we have been on tour for 6 weeks in the van together and we have come to the end of something special.... I need sleep badly!
Cheers to everyone involved on this tour...
Most of all, cheers to you lot.
See ya in Portugal!
Take care