Monday, May 13, 2019
Standing in the general aviation terminal, commonly referred to as ‘GAT’, Paul Crockford demonstrated his impressive fiddle technique to an unimpressed John McCusker. A possible future folk tour line-up? Whatever that future may hold, we said cheerio to Bordeaux and squeezed into a van to be taken to the ‘Joyjet’. 9H-JOY is her tail number. On board was a light Carpaccio lunch for a rare ‘travelling’ day off. Regular readers will know we usually fly after shows in order to be in the next city, fresh and ready to play on show days.
We were heading for Zurich and what is unanimously our favourite touring hotel, The Dolder Grand which overlooks Lake and city of Zurich is a cut above others with possibly the best spa in the known universe. Built in 1897, the luxury hotel was renovated in 2008 by a team led by British architect Norman Robert Foster. Only last week, The Dolder also became the first luxury hotel to accept crypto currency in the form of Bit coins as payment. Such luxury naturally comes at a price and with a standard room service Club Sandwich and French Fries weighing in at 49 Swiss Francs (43 Euros), hotel checkout can be a nervy prospect.
In the evening of our travel day, the majority of the band assembled in the main hotel bar and made short work of local draught beers. I suggested we eat in the cheaper of the two hotel restaurants (the other one has two Michelin stars) and went to book a table and grab a menu for perusal. Upon short examination, it was clearly way beyond the means of mere musicians’ so I suggested Club Sandwiches for all in the bar. You only live once.
Surroundings as we ate were slightly surreal as the evening’s entertainment in the form of a Geordie pianist/singer arrived to serenade us with his repertoire of ‘standards’ that inevitably included Sultans Of Swing. We were his only audience in the dark, sparkly cabaret bar and we generously applauded every attempt as we all, to a man, have ‘been there’. We devoured our Club Sandwiches which were quite tremendous, almost worth the money.
Show day in Zurich and most of the band spent some time using the spa facilities before we assembled and headed for the Hallenstadion. Now we must have played here ten times now both as DS and MK. Ben Byford is photographed here replacing a rattling microphone on my Leslie cabinet which was noticed by many band members during the last show. Sound check was fun. We were working on a slightly altered approaches in ‘feel’ to ‘Done With Bonaparte’ and ‘Why Aye Man’. If any fan buys more than one USB recordings, it would be worth noting the differences before and after Zurich. Which reminds me, I need to listen to some mixes. Another great show, our tenth, possibly our best to date and an audience that relished every note. Thank you Zurich.
Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.