Arriving at the early morning hours, Martin parked the bus at Hyde Park and everybody was informed that the Night liner will leave there at 12:30 to the venue. Jack left early and wanted to go to the venue on his own. Around 11:00 a.m. DEBASE, Brian, Claudia and I left to get a coffee.
We ended at McDonalds where we split up. Micke, singer of DEBASE and DEBASE drummer John, Brian, Claudia and I took a little walk on Oxford St. where Micke bought a jeans jacket, but too soon we had to get back to the bus.
The way Micke told us about Oxford St. and the area, we decided if he will retire one day from the music business, he can become a tour guide… During our walk back we met merchandiser André and we got back in time, but had to wait a few minutes for Joey Veera (ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING, ENGINE & SEVEN WITCHES) and SEVEN WITCHES singer Wade Black.
Soon enough everyone was on the bus and we were waiting for Michael’s call to get to the venue. After waiting for about 20 min. André and our bus driver Martin decided to head to the venue.
Everybody was in a good mood and joking around. Part of that was that Wade and Kyle showed their asses for a moment to the people we passed… And while we were driving by the Buckingham Palace area André joked around and soon everybody had a laugh on “God shaved the Queen”!
We passed the venue and had to do a U-turn, but then finally arrived at The Underworld. It was raining when we get all the stuff out of the bus, coz the night liner couldn’t stay at the venue.
Claudia and I wanted to store our luggage at a locker at a rail station nearby. Brian joined us and as a gentleman, he carried our big blue bag. Brian and I got quite close to each other and I enjoyed his company. I was sure; we could form a very good friendship.
Unfortunately, his efforts have been without luck. We arrived at the station just to learn that the railway station had no lockers.
So we returned to the venue and Brian was an angel and stored our bag in their dressing room. Thanks for carrying our heavy blue bag!!!! Believe me, if I ever do something like that again, the bastard will be less heavy.
Soon we were on our way to Pizza Hut which we passed with the bus, but unfortunately, it was just a take-out kinda place… We decided to have lunch at the Italian restaurant next door. Afterwards Brian returned to the venue for the soundcheck while Claudia and I were checking out some stores and found the SEVENWITCHES as well as the DEBASE album at the Virgin Megastore near the venue.
There we met father and son who were in London to see ANNIHILATOR. We talked for a moment and went on our shopping business.
Back at the venue the soundcheck was not done yet and everybody was nervous, coz record company people wanted to show up… The first surprise was that Claudia met Wolfgang, the European manager of ANNIHILATOR. Before he had some business talk she had time to chat a little, later we wanted a coffee at the bar upstairs where the bands should have dinner as well. I joined Brian, since I was not able to follow Claudia’s and Wolfgang’s stream of memories 😉
Brian left for soundcheck and a little later Wolfgang joint Claudia and me again. A little more time for talking. Little by little the bar/restaurant got crowded by fans, but the band and crew could enjoy dinner without getting disturbed in an upstairs part.
The sound problems were solved and everybody was excited to play The Underworld. Today more fans came to see the show and so even DEBASE had fans standing front row. Same set for the Swedish as well as for the witches.
The venue was packed and hot and sticky…Too hot for Claudia, but just hot enough hot for me!
Claudia stayed at the merchandise booth during the ANNIHILATOR set, coz even if she would have been inside she wouldn’t have seen anything, so she thought. I just went through the crowd and have been here and there.
And here also some fans showed up which we met at the other U.K. shows…
While we were listening to the ANNIHILATOR a few guys walked in. I am so damn bad in faces, that only their attitude drew my attention to them.
After one of the guys joined me at the gambling machine I should learn from Claudia that it was Zakk Wylde and his BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. They had business of recording in London and showed up at the venue.
The band was walking in to take a look at the show while Zakk was standing for about 2 hrs. at the gambling machine next to the merchandising booth.
The band members partly were joining us there and happily took some of the offered cookies… Hungry youngsters! 😉
I kept watching Zakk gambling and teased him into the next game. We had fun and soon Claudia joined us. He whole evening Zakk tried to get the Jackpot and a few times he was pretty close… But just didn’t succeed.
In the meantime, the witches showed up and had a little chat with the BLS guys. Zakk and his boys left some when to see Annihilator, but not without saying good-bye.
A little later we met them again backstage. One guy of BLS is from the same town as ANNIHILATOR’s light tech Taz. It’s a small world!
Since we haven’t had a place to stay for the night and our plain would leave the next day we have been very happy that one fan was willing to take us in. We had to leave in a hurry… Not enough time to say good-bye to everybody!
Claudia wanted top make sure Micke will inform the others and say good-bye to everyone, but he denied, coz we would be back with them in Belgium! The place we could stay was near Victoria station.
Thanks to Dave and Kate whose friend Hamish gave us shelter. And thanks again to the bands and crew for their support and that they kept us from being stuck…We appreciated it very much and this adventure meant a lot to me. Thanks!!!!!
(Written by Claudia and me)