SILJA ROCK DIARY - 2009

Day 1
A tip. Whenever possible avoid travelling with a bass player. How one person can take 45 minutes to clear security at Stansted airport is beyond us. Perhaps the steel toecapped trainers Rick was wearing should have warned us. Why was he wearing them in the first place you may ask? He is a bass player...
Upon arrival in Stockholm we were met by the impeccably dressed Johan whose first task was to find a service station selling beer. No problem. An hour later we checked into our hotel painlessly - wish the same could be said for our aching heads at breakfast this morning. The boys killed a couple of hours mooching around the city before we got on board the ship. We are having dinner with Dan Baird tonight so trying to take it a bit easy, drinking in the Scandinavian sunshine. Well we're just about to sail so we'll update you later if any of us can still see the keyboard.

Day 2
I'm surprised that there are not more alcohol related deaths in Sweden. I have never seen so much frivolity. One massive ship - one massive party. So we had to join in. We caught Dan Baird's set and we were not disappointed. This has set the bar quite high for us tomorrow and we can't wait.
British promoters should take a close look at these type of gigs. But I suspect that the UK drinking culture is not as forgiving as Scandinavia.

Day 3
Ahoy shipmates! It is strange waking up in Helsinki when only a few hours ago we were partying in 'Sweden'. Come to think of it, it is strange waking up at all! Sweden is famous for Abba, Volvo and beautiful blonde women. Strike the first two and insert 'Drinking'. We are obviously out of practice and need to do some serious catching up.

Some of us got up and walked into Helsinki after breakfast. None of us had been here before and we were not sure what to expect. After a few hours mooching around the city centre we're still not sure. Who knows, we may end up playing there one day so we'll keep it polite. I guess Helsinki was closed. That said, we did witness what appeared to be a parade of the whole of the Helsinki Fire Brigade. Literally scores of red fire engines and serious looking large firemen. Not a good day for a cat to get stuck up a tree. We ambled back to the ship for a mid-afternoon soundcheck.

The actual venue on the ship is pretty large and spread over three levels. The stage sits above the main dance floor and is protected from the hordes by some formidable steel crash barriers. A large PA and monitors belt out an impressive volume and the lights are excellent. We arrived 10 minutes early for soundcheck and were pleased to see that the stage had been set exactly as per our stage plan! The local crew were fantastic and quickly set the last few bits and pieces up for us. We were finished by 3.15!!! The sound out front and on stage was nailed immediately by Stefan on the main desk. In twenty minutes we had run through four songs and were more than happy. We are due on stage at 10pm tonight. We all took the opportunity to get a couple of hours sleep, or rest at least, before dinner. Everyone took it easy and the free bottles of wine on the table went virtually untouched. We were pretty pumped and excited and knew we had to deliver a killer show. So, after running through the business accounts with our tour manager Paul Newcomb I just have these few minutes before heading off to the dressing room to get ready to go on stage. We can't wait!

Day 4
We are all sitting on the tour bus still buzzing from a fantastic night! We had high hopes and felt that we were on top form before we went on stage - I guess we were right. We hit the stage just after ten, walking out to packed theatre and a tremendous reception. The band had never even been to Sweden before and we glanced at each other in surprise. As we launched into 'No Entry' the crowd began dancing, punching the air and clapping along. You could feel the buzz from the audience and at the end of each song the place erupted. It seemed like they were singing along on the songs, which felt weird to us. When we started 'Transmitter / Receiver' it was obvious that they did know the songs and WERE singing along! Later on we found out how. The set seemed to fly by and we left the stage only to be ushered back on by the stage crew for an encore. The chants were later translated for us to be 'one more song... one more song...' definitely not 'fuck off home' as some bright spark suggested. We ripped through 'Rock and Chips' before taking a final bow. We were told to go back on for another but out of respect to the headliners The Soundtrack of Our Lives we declined and headed back to the dresing room.

Everyone was on such a high and as the sound of ring-pulls and congratulations rang around the dressing room the atmosphere was electric. The dressing room was stacked like a small off licence and piles of food looked like a deli counter. However, our priority was to get out of our stage clothes which were dripping wet from the heat of the stage. Amongst the first guests to come through the doors were the boys from Dan Baird and Homemade Sin. We thought we'd seem them near the front during our set but didn't possibly believe that it could be them. It was! They said that they loved the show - we were knocked out. Soon we had the promoters, together with guys and girls from loads of the bands in there, and everyone was having a great time. Then to have Ebbot Lundberg from TSOOL and Martina come in and join us was such a compliment. It ended up as one big party. Needless to say it finished late... rather late.

At breakfast this morning we still seemed to be surrounded by well wishers and new fans but as we got back to Stockholm we had to dash somewhat in order to get on this bus to the airport. We would like to thank everyone who we missed this morning and of course the great new fans that we have made in Sweden. You guys rock and we'll see you soon!

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... and some onstage photos can be found HERE.

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