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European tour/adventure
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  • Hope everyone had a fab time at Le gig dans Le Paris?? Apologies my French is Le crap!
    Pictures please :D
  • tweety said:

    We got there a bit late so ended up standing next to will at the sound desk. blinding show, yellow halo, thea, Alvar and of course little bird were my favourites!!

    "These are the things that dreams are made of"
    "Read my posts and see why we`re not allowed nice things anymore"
    photo 5a6eb769-bc12-4596-bbe8-709fc2bb0d5e.jpg
    "Brought to you straight from the People`s Republic of There`s Something Wrong With You . The Hoi Polloi Capital of the World"
  • Was late in as Tweety said so I could only squeeze into 3rd row behind Angie. Was a lovely atmosphere. V different crowd n atmos to London gigs. Well worth going. Lovely to meet you 9oldfrapp. Youre photos should be good.
  • Wow! What a great gig and gorgeous venue :) I was a bit gutted when I realised how late we were and how far back we had to stand bit it was actually bloody brilliant. And it was nice to see Will singing along to Thea and shaking his groove thang to strict machine. Fantastic :D
  • Thanks for having the idea Giles. Ya cud av come down nr front avec moi :D
    Post edited by thathurt at 2013-10-26 14:29:56
  • Apparently the setlist in Zurich is the same as in all previous concerts (as expected). I wonder if they have expanded strings as yesterday?
    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • zurich ride a white horse youtube

  • alex_f said:

    Apparently the setlist in Zurich is the same as in all previous concerts (as expected). I wonder if they have expanded strings as yesterday?

    there was no expansion, just Ellie
  • Ok, I'm trying to post my euro-diary in the next post - it is in reverse chronological order :)
    I'm posting the whole thing, because who doesn't like a bit of exhibitionism??
    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • Monday, 21st

    After the gig I was so tired that I decided to forget about that 'hooking up with locals' thing I planned to do. May be in Berlin where I will have much more free time or in Paris where I don't really need to sleep at night (I'll catch up at home).

    Met several lovely fellow GMBers, including Anouk and Dreeke, and that hot Dutch(?) guy from Manchester and Somerset House - must remember to hit on him later in the week (as he's apparently also following the band).

    Set list: a lot of new album, thankfully! Yellow Halo (second ever performance and the first one fully successful), Thea (live premiere) - on which Alison went all Supernature-like with poses and all, Alvar, Clay, etc. Brilliant set.
    Niggles: drunk guy trying to sing along (loudly) to some songs; loud sounds of guitarist's pedal.

    No support act, yay!

    The venue is really nice! Goldfrapp do like former churches, don't they?
    There were no barriers, so I literally hugged the stage! The sound was also incredibly clear.

    The entrance was rather badly organised - everyone who bought tickets online (outside Netherlands) was made to purchase 'membership cards' (€3.50) in separate ticket window (which took ages to open) while everyone else was let into the venue... I still fought my way into the usual middle of the front row - but that clearly made me look like a selfish dick and a bully.
    To think of it, this might be a not so subtle form of discrimination against foreigners!

    First in the queue at the venue, despite being very very late.

    Was overcharged €6 in the hotel. Hotel itself clearly was rather nice many years ago, but wasn't maintained well - so by now is rather shit. So not worth the money.
    No black tea bags in the room.

    Amsterdam is full of tourists, even more so than London (I shan't complain about them at home anymore!). Also shitloads of road works and closed tram tracks.

    Train from Brussels to Amsterdam was delayed by 1.5 hours, with next to no information for the first hour. We got a free meal as a compensation, which is rather useless for someone on a diet!

    Why am I such a whore for the first class?
    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • Tuesday, 22nd

    Went to see Manneken Pis (the fountain with the urinating child). Underwhelming.

    After the concert tried to talk the hot Swede into giving away his setlist to a nice Finnish girl (she's from the north of Finland and travelled so far that she deserved it more, because he got the setlist in Paradiso as well) - he said he will post the Paradiso setlist to her (as he wanted the Brussels one more). Hopefully he will do that, and Swedo-Finnish foreign relationships will improve.
    I will offer him a drink after Paris gig I think. Purely for friendly reasons of course *rolls eyes*.

    No support act again, and same setlist as last night - although less technical hitches (bar some malfunctioning stage fan that went berserk during one song). Yellow Halo and Thea are my new favourites.

    The venue inside looks rather nice, although I don't approve of having a second (upper) balcony - that's quite a money grab. Barriers unlike in Paradiso - but I actually appreciated them, as my back was quite tired and it was nice to rest while hanging on them.

    Hot Dutch guy turned out to be hot Swedish guy :)

    Surprising amount of cars with sirens  - I guess that's the EU bureaucrats.

    The venue turned out to be really close, even closer than I thought. The queueing was well organised.

    The hotel room is okay and clean, but the free Wi-Fi is so slow, it is nearly unusable...

    My hotel in Brussels was in some Arab ghetto from the looks of it. There was a street bazaar right next to the hotel. Somehow the area also doubles as a gay area of Brussels, which is a bit bizarre.

    Drivers in Brussels ignore the green lights for pedestrians and just drive through if you hesitate to walk.

    Dutch trains aren't very punctual.

    Dutch language sounds like a weird mix of German and English.

    The road to the station was much easier with nearly empty streets. It's amazing how empty they are at 7.30-8.00, London is already full by then!

    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • Wednesday, 23rd

    The road back to the hotel was via two U-Bahn lines and one S-Bahn line. The U-Bahn reminds me a lot of the shittier lines of Moscow Metro built in the 70s - cheap tiles as decoration and general feel of slight gloom.

    At the end of the concert Alison waved to someone in the front row, and I was so blinded by the lights, I'm not sure who she looked at. Probably that German dude who proudly showed me a photo with her from 2010, or perhaps Giancarlo - the Italian mega-fan, or perhaps me??
    I don't know why, but any (real or imaginary) recognition by band members scares me. I don't want to be perceived as a crazy obsessed fan - I'm there for the music, for the amazing live experience which is one of the few moments in my life when I can let go and just enjoy the moment  without any usual overthinking. I have my strict boundaries: I do not wait for the band after the gigs, I never got any photos with any of them, I never even spoke to Alison. I don't want to be lumped together with creepy fans who obsess over Alison's 'loins' or guys who follow her every footstep, etc.
    Perhaps this is the best example of me overthinking things too much??

    Speaking of the drummer, why do I like skinny hipsters so much? I mean, my 'ex' is one as well.

    Well, out of the three concerts so far - this one is my least favourite. Some small technical glitches, quiet sound, and worst of all - barely any sight of the drummer, hidden away by the combination of long stage and copious amount of smoke.
    Am I getting too picky??

    O2 Germany is so shit. Barely any 3G coverage.

    The stage is much smaller than on the two previous concert. Last night I thought the band members were too far away from each other - today it might be just right!
    Hoping for an intimate gig :)

    Two women just tried to barge in in front of the queue ten minutes before the doors opened and absolutely refused to leave. Ridiculous!
    Luckily they got blocked by security.
    I think they might have been German migrants from Russia - this type of fuckery is a very Russian trait, and they looked a bit Russian-y. Sigh.

    Drank two cups of coffee in the cafe in the venue :)
    Then went to pee, and heard Ooh La La while urinating. How fitting.
    Then I got out of the loo and was treated to the rehearsal of Yellow Halo :-) Pure bliss! This song is quickly becoming my favourite of this tour - I wonder if it was recorded early during Tales of Us sessions and then released on The Singles because the songs didn't fit the concept of the album?

    So the train got to Berlin with 1 hour delay; then my hotel check-in took forever (because the card did not work and I ran three times from the reception to the room while they were trying to fix the reservation); then the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn were slooooow; yet I somehow still was first in the (nonexistent) queue. Phew...

    Germany, the country of terrible ringtones.

    Continuous lack of sleep is catching up with me - I look rather ill.

    The second train is crawling - already 40 minute delay and I suspect it will be even worse!
    And not even a single 'sorry' from the driver. If that's how my Friday trains will perform, I will be stuck in Mannheim and probably miss the Paris show altogether :(

    Deutsche Bahn's 1st class is pathetic - no free drinks or meals (all paid and bloody expensive!), no free Wi-Fi. It is literally just a bigger seat and extra legroom (a very hard seat at that).
    And the folding shelf is dirty... Yuck!

    Oops, some delays on the track between Cologne and Berlin... Hopefully not too bad.

    Fairly uneventful departure from the hotel, and the train was on time for once. Can't wait for Germany and bretzels!
    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • Thursday, 24th

    It is hard to go to sleep when you are in a hotel with bad sound insulation and lots and lots of noisy young people (part of the building is a hostel).

    My food today - mineral water, freshly baked pretzels, and chocolate waffles. Still under the calories limit, but real food for once. Mmm.
    Back to oat bars and Snickerses tomorrow.

    On my way back on the S-Bahn train some dude started talking loudly into empty space about how awful capitalism is (as far as I could understand him with my shitty German) - surely he should know what the soviet socialists did with mentally disturbed people?

    Cursory look at the TV tower and the monstrous Alexander square finished my short sightseeing trip. I should have went to former West Berlin instead.

    Checked the Berlin Dome - and got a nice reminder about the benefits of my weight loss when I climbed to the roof and didn't even get any sweat.

    Unter der Linden is such a letdown - the central green park is taken by a massive construction site for the new U-Bahn line, and the rest is rather boring.

    Started my sightseeing from Brandenburg gates (way too new and clean), then walked on what I thought is Unter der Linden - it turned out to be the road leading in the opposite direction so I went back, but not before running into a typical monstrous soviet monument to World War 2. What an eyesore!

    Turns out visits to Bundestag building require advance registration - so that's out of the question. Darn.

    So today is my 'day off' - that is I'm doing touristy stuff, not the fan stuff. I think I'll do a minimal program of sightseeing followed by a lot of rest and sleep.

    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • Friday, 25th

    Well, I'm so tired that all I did after the gig is a purchase of a giant bottle of Evian. Now I'm going to munch the rest of my super-mega-fibre-rich diet bars and sleep for the whole 4 hours until the departure home.
    Who needs sex when you have Goldfrapp gigs??!?

    And again the drummer was in the smoke most of the time. Argh!
    Speaking of the mist - they also had three additional musicians in there: two violins and a cello, I think (not sure 100%, thanks to the smoke).

    And again Alison waived to someone in the front row - I think it's Giancarlo again, lucky sod!

    Wow, fantastic concert as usual - I tried to savour it more than usual as this is my last standing Goldfrapp gig for a while (as Hammersmith show is seating, annoyingly). I love love love Yellow Halo and Thea.
    The only tiny downside is large amount of chatting in the audience - but it was easy to block out.

    Ok, my things are on the floor and I feel a bit better!

    The organisation is a bit crap - there are no barriers, but we are not allowed to stand right next to the stage; so there is a random sized empty zone in front of the stage. Don't like it - I'm too tired and was hoping to be able to lean on something. Plus it's so hot...

    Erm, a fellow fan just cannot stop talking about my tiny fraud - shush! What if someone from the staff will hear!!

    Phew! After dreadful 30 minutes if waiting until the doors opened - nobody even checked the type of my tickets and I just ran to the usual spot... A bit of a fraud, bit considering that my ticket was more expensive than the standing ones, I don't feel very guilty...
    Need to relax now...

    I don't see any touts around, and the concert has sold out so no tickets left... I guess all I can do is to try to get downstairs regardless...

    Shiiiiit! My lack of French caught up with me - I mistakenly bought the ticket for seats upstairs! Fuck, piss, shit, what do I do???

    French are particularly bad at queueing. Had to take some organisation in my hands - why some people are so helpless?

    Went to buy some water, and saw French iTunes gift cards by chance - bought €75 of them :-)
    Next week I'm going to purchase a lot of French music!

    My queueing food is way too messy today - diet corn bars, which are way too low-cal, so I had to eat 8 instead of the usual too. Probably not a pretty sight for other people in the queue - seeing me munching the bars every 30 minutes.

    More people queue in Paris than elsewhere on this tour - this is reassuring (as long as they don't try to get in front of me!).

    I'm not the first one in the queue, thank fuck! There is one other person crazier than me :-)
    He's French, young, and cute - I'm smitten.

    I don't think I ever was cleaner when queuing for a concert - straight from the shower to the venue.

    My hotel is tiny - the lift is so small that I can could barely fit my bag into it. The room is nice though - top floor, as I like and nice view of the boulevard. And the balcony too!
    Hopefully I will get it on here tonight ;) (and catch up on sleep tomorrow).

    Paris is such a dump... Dirty, cramped, decaying - yes, it has unique character; but so do favelas.

    The second part of the train journey was fairly uneventful.

    I did it!
    'Mannheim run' indeed, but at least I got on the train. DB was 12 minutes late.

    Today I'm playing a game of 'catch the train'. 14 minutes to change between trains in Mannheim - and if the second train is already gone, the next one is in 4 hours!
    So Deutsche Bahn can be late 8 minutes at the most! (and I'm rather sceptical of their ability to do that). Can't wait to do the 'Mannheim run' as my parents call it - when you run as hell with all your bags from platform to platform because you just have to make it! They experience this 3-4 times a year at least.

    Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a bit weird at 3am - enormous, empty, and dark.

    So no sleep for me tonight then.
    Formerly known as alex_t.
  • Saturday, 26th

    Apparently I slept through a 15 minute long power outage while the train was in Lille, woa! Anyway, the train is in UK now and I'm finishing writing this... err... thing.

    My train is departing for London, I made it! Now time to sleep as much as it is possible in a tiny second class seat.

    While I was asleep, Alison tweeted me :-)
    Suddenly waking up at 4am feels so much better.
    Now, what the hell do I write back? Need to think of something not too fawning yet funny - hello brain freeze!
    Formerly known as alex_t.

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