Sweden Tour Diary – Halmstad, Uppsalla and Helsingborg

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I did actually get that curry (see previous diary entry) but had to walk through tornado force winds and biblical rain to get it. By the time we reached the restaurant in Falkenberg, the umbrellas we’d borrowed from the hotel were a twisted, mangled mess. We laid them to rest in a nearby bin, their days of offering shelter well and truly over. The food wasn’t at all bad. Falkenberg seemed an unlikely place to find a decent curry but the Prashad Curry House provided a tasty and comforting spicy meal in pleasant surroundings whilst all hell broke loose outside. Thankfully, the raging weather was in direct contrast to my hangover which had, at last, began to subside.
The next day found us in Halmstad, a mere 45 minute drive from Falkenberg. After some initial confusion as to the whereabouts of the venue (say nav first took us to what looked like a large hotdog stand) we entered the rear of a large building and were overjoyed to find ourselves in an actual purpose built theatre. We were greeted by a very friendly gentleman, intent on making our brief stay as pleasant as possible. He made us all a cup of coffee and showed us to our dressing room, a large area on the first floor containing a table laden with pastries, fruit and an assortment of nuts. I was just settling down to do a bit of a vocal warm-up when about 15 young children came piling into the room followed by a confused looking lady who informed me that she had the room booked for drama class. Myself and Phil gladly vacated the room, taking the pastries and nuts with us, and left them to it. There were plenty of other rooms in the building and their need for space seemed greater than ours. I then asked our friendly promoter if it was possible to connect to the internet but apparently, as I was not the holder of a library card, this wouldn’t be possible. I would also not be able to obtain a library card as I wasn’t a resident of Halmstad – Fair enough!
Once Pepper had finished shouting nonsense into all the microphones we ran through a few numbers so Iain could work his magic to get the best out of the p.a. system. The magic was starting to happen when the same Lady from earlier appeared at a doorway to enquire whether we would be finishing soon as all the children now had headaches and another lesson was about to begin. This we did, not wanting to stand in the way of their education.
The gig that night was both strange and fantastic in equal parts. The early stage time of 7.30 first raised my suspicions, it’s unusually early for a gig. It seemed as though some of the older members of the seated audience, of which there were many, were entirely unsuspecting of what they had actually come to see. I’m not sure what they were expecting but it felt like we might just have been the first rock’n’roll band they had ever witnessed and spent a good portion of the show apparently frozen in terror. Other members of the crowd were up out of their seats and having a great time. Phil, at one point, jumped off the stage for a sprinting lap of the venue. It felt like 1962 and we were the Rolling Stones appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. I loved every minute of it and, after chatting with people after the show, it seemed that they did too.
Next morning we were up and out of the hotel by 7.30. Uppsala was our destination, a mere 354 miles away.
We’ve played Katalin a few times before and always look forward to going back. It is owned by a large and ferocious but lovable woman by the same name who gives a great cuddle and cooks fantastic food. Woe betide anyone who doesn’t stop what they’re doing to eat whilst it’s still hot as Iain Graham discovered, much to our amusement. It was his first experience of Katalin and wasn’t sure how to react when she stormed over to him at the mixing desk and demanded he went and sat down immediately to eat. Wisely, he did as he was told. I don’t think she’d mind me describing her as large. When I asked her if she had any butter she replied, “Of course I have butter, look at me!”
The show at Katalin was the best of the tour so far. There’s no telling when one of these standout gigs will take place, it’s like the aurora borealis, but when it does it’s almost spiritual and I guess is what drives us all to do this in the first place. The feeling is akin to the best drug and we constantly strive for it. Of all the bands i’ve been in, The Temperance Movement delivers my most regular fix!
I want to thank all of you who’ve come out to these shows with special mention to those who have travelled sometimes even further than us to get there. I’ve spoken to a few of you who have made surprisingly long trips to come to a gig and your commitment to supporting us has been very humbling. We really are incredibly appreciative. We’re all excited about the upcoming release of “White Bear” and subsequent tour. Matt has settled in effortlessly and morale is high. Next year is looking set to be very busy and we’ll be getting to as many towns and cities as we can manage.
As I write this, I’m on a plane home. We played a great show in Helsingborg last night and I was first up this morning to catch an early train to Copenhagen Airport. The band will be together again at the weekend for our final show of the year in Sheffield before the Christmas break but I’m going to leave you for now with a quote from the ever quoteable Iain Graham who, after observing a confused look on my face during the first few tunes of our Falconberg gig, said “You looked like you’d just woken up in a bass players shoes onstage – like Quantum Leap”
Back soon…