Compiled by Terry Kilburn
Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 16th May 2019 – Hannover
Memories of Hannover on tour go back a long way and we all recall a particular show here in 1996 in the 1940’s U-Boat hall which at that time was used as a venue for concerts. It was particularly uncomfortable for our crew who had to battle with extreme heat and residual oil on the floor which seemed to get everywhere and left all our cabling covered. Thankfully, things have moved on and it has since been reconverted into a ‘Yellow’ furniture outlet and our subsequent shows in this city have been in one of the largest trade fair venues in the world, the Hannover Messe. The TUI hall is located at its heart and is another beautifully designed, modern venue, resulting in a happy crew.
Everything about today’s weather was grey, the rain fell in Berlin as we left the city centre for our day-trip via the Willy Brandt ghost airport to Hannover. It’s hard to comprehend the plight of this airport. I know I mentioned it yesterday but we get to see what so few can, its ghoulish emptiness as private charter aircraft can use its runways and infrastructure, not of course the terminal, which seems to be terminally crippled. They actually run empty ghost trains through the airport subways stations to keep them ventilated.
Sunlight is guaranteed above the cloud and we were soon cruising at 28,000 ft. Danielle was back on board serving up a light Middle Eastern Mezze lunch accompanied by another birthday cake, this time for Mark’s manager Paul Crockford. Backstage at the venue, Paul was serenaded several times by band members.
Sound check at the venue was unremarkable yet efficient. Everything sounded great as we made a few minor alterations. What was remarkable was catering, once more. Dave, Chris, Steve and Scott enjoyed perfect kitchen facilities and rustled up some devilishly stunning dinner choices amongst which were Seared Tuna Steaks and a Penang Beef Curry to die for.
Every day, this production, in its entirety, moves from city to city and the band rarely get to see how it gets taken down and rebuilt. Lighting tech Dan Oswald has recently been shooting some time lapse scenes. Below is a real insight into how it all happens. From Milan on May 10th, notice how the backline is assembled on the stage, out of position, and then rolled in once the lights and PA are up. The band left the stage after another glorious show courtesy of a lovely Hannover audience and we headed back through some unearthly fog to Berlin for our day off. The crew meanwhile had a bit of a trip… to Calais, a ferry crossing and a journey to Leeds, no doubt through some UK daytime traffic.
Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.