Sweden Tour Diary – Who needs snow tyres?

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It’s 8.29am and we’re back in the van again, The navy seals of Rock’n’Roll completed yet another mission last night in Avesta and are already moving to our next target. It was lights out at zero one hundred hours this morning following a military exit strategy from the venue. This elite unit displayed unparalleled discipline and restraint by failing to be persuaded by the enticing soft Swedish voice calling from the corridor outside our rooms five minutes later… “Hey guys, are you all asleep? You want to come and party?”
We were staying at hotel Bjurfors, owned by a charismatic Swede named Leif. A man who’s policy on life is that it should be lived to its fullest at all times and has built his own resort in Avesta dedicated to his great love of good wine, food, music, family, friends and fun. The last time we were here, we performed in his giant tipi before an after-show party in his own private little pub. Leif was partying till the small hours despite suffering a mild heart attack three days previously – the guy is as strong as a ox. It was this pub that he had sent one of his staff to lure us to but with an early start, a long drive and a fourth consecutive show tonight, we steadfastly refused to succumb to the Scandinavian temptress outside our door.

It’s still not fully light yet and drizzle hangs suspended beneath an oily, flat sky as we begin the 320 mile journey. Our destination today is Falkenberg, a picturesque town in the south of Sweden we have visited a few times before. Each time we have played there, the crowd has grown in number and enthusiasm so we are expecting a raucous show and another demonstration in hard drinking, a skill at which the people of Falkenberg have previously proved exceptionally good at. Don’t let us down Falkenberg!
Unit Commander, Iain Graham is currently at the wheel. His co-pilot and navigator is Paul Sayer. Wilson, Campbell, Pepper and White are in the back immersed in a variety of activities including listening to music, video editing and sleeping.
Now that we’re making our way south, the snow and ice have given way to a rather more British like drabness. As glum as it is, the road conditions are now far less life threatening. The past few days on the road have been fairly hair-raising. According to the locals in Östersund, no one in their right minds would attempt to drive around Sweden in November without winter tyres. No-one that is, except us so we have been literally tobogganing our way around Örebro, Östersund and Sundsvall before achieving any sort of traction as we pass Göteborg on the approach to Falkenberg.
…24 hours later
As expected, the crowd last night fully upheld their reputation and any earlier intentions of retiring to our rooms soon after the show went out of the window. My souvenir from the evening is a slow burning hangover. It is gloomy and wet outside and i plan on making the most of our day off by involving myself in as little activity as possible, leaving the hotel only if absolutely necessary. I could murder a curry!