Saturday, May 31, 2008

A weekend in Norway

Last weekend I spent in Norway. I’d never been there before, but as I’d helped with getting Don to attend a screening of Flame before a Slade-gig in Haugesund, I was given a free trip with flight and hotel paid for by the promoter.
On Friday the 23rd of May I then flew from Copenhagen to Haugesund in a small Fokker 50. When I arrived, the Norwegian fans Lars Ove and Jostein were there to greet me. We drove directly to the Classic Rock Festival in Sandnes by Stavanger, an almost 3 hours drive, which included sailing with a ferry, driving underneath the fjords in huge tunnels and watching the breathtaking nature.
When we arrived at the festival, Slade went on stage shortly after. They gave a fantastic concert – I’ve actually never seen them that energetic on stage before and the 7,000 people strong audience appreciated it.
After the concert I went to a restaurant with Lars Ove and Jostein to have dinner before meeting up with Don and the rest at the festival Super VIP lounge. It was so nice seeing them all again and they were in a very good mood. Robin was there too, of course, as well as Dave’s son Sam, John’s wife Anna and Slade’s manager Abbie Carter. We all wanted to see the Rod Stewart concert at the festival later that evening, but it was a bit disappointing, as Rod Stewart has gone totally cabaret. We all left before his show was over.
Slade were staying in Stavanger for the night, but Lars Ove drove me all the way to Haugesund where I got a beautiful hotel room in a very nice hotel down by the water front. At 3 a.m. I could finally turn in.
After having breakfast the next morning I went sight seeing in Haugesund, which is a very charming town. At noon Slade arrived, but as they couldn’t check in at the hotel until 3 o’clock we all went to dinner at a nearby restaurant. After check-in I went with Don to sound-check before the screening of Flame. Both Don and Dave went to the screening to sign autographs and meet the fans. Dave then had to leave after a while, but Don and I stayed for the entire screening. It was nice seeing the film in the company of the Norwegian fans.
Slade went on stage at the Byscenen club in Haugesund at 10 p.m. and Lars Ove and Jostein had arranged for me to have a seat on the balcony overlooking the venue. The concert was again very good and it was totally sold out. After the show I met up with the band, Robin, Sam, Anna and Abbie backstage. We stayed there until the venue closed and then we continued having a private after party at the hotel. It was wonderful sitting outside by the water in the twilight, as it didn’t really get dark at all.
I went to bed at 4 a.m. and got up again at 10 to have breakfast. Then I sat outside the hotel with Don having tea until Jostein showed up around noon to take me to the airport. When we arrived at the Haugesund airport we found out, that all flights to Denmark had been cancelled, but I was put on a plane to Oslo and from there on to Copenhagen where I arrived with only 90 minutes delay.
It was such a fantastic weekend and I want to thank Lars Ove, Jostein and the promoter Helge Berthelsen for making it possible. Also a big thank you to Don, Dave, John, Mal, Robin, Sam, Anna and Abbie for the very pleasant and entertaining company.

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