OK, finally a few minutes to sit down and write a few words about the Norwegian trip.
It was lovely to be back in Norway. I hadn’t realised it had been so long since I’d been there. The weather was fine and as it was the first time for most of the other guys there were plenty of ooh’s and aah’s as they viewed the beautiful landscape! Notodden is ideally located – about one hour from the sea and one hour from the mountains. As Leiv said – welcome to paradise (and it was hard to disagree with that).
It was great to meet up with the ‘Norwegian gang’ again. The last time we’d seen (some of) them was at the Castlebar Blues Festival. Upon arrival we discovered that they’d already been working really hard on promoting the gig. They had 170 tickets sold in advance already. With the club holding about 250 we were already looking good. However, throughout the next day they kept getting text messages and the number kept rising. I think they were at 220 when we last saw them before dinner time. I can tell you they finally stuffed 300 people into the club and had to stop at that. Sadly many people were turned away from the door later that night. I sure hope we can get back over there soon and play for them all again – even if it means playing several nights in Notodden!!
A funny little side story. Just as we arrived at the club I got a text message to say that Charlie McGettigan had just kicked off his show on Northern Sound Radio [Ireland] with “Johnny Nobody”. Could the day get any better??
There was plenty of action around the club early in the day as the local newspaper had decided to take a photo of me with the Notodden fan club. Everyone seemed to be quite taken by the fact that these guys keep travelling over to Ireland to see us. After the show a lot of them said to Leiv – now we know why you guys travel to Ireland!! 🙂
For some strange reason my main Ampeg decided to sit down and die on me. That’s life on the road, working fine one day dead as a dodo the next. However, with the minimum of fuss the promoter took it off and it was returned with a clean bill-of-health just a few hours later.
A support band playing a lot of classic rock covers got the crowd nice and warmed up. The place was buzzing when we hit the stage and the night flew by. Nights like these are the easy ones!! It’s a real testament to Leiv and his friends that we played to a full house even thought I’d never played in Notodden before and I’d like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. They are such a decent bunch of people.
All too soon we had to head off again. The rain was pouring down as we left (the sky was cryin’) but nothing could dampen our spirits as we rode out of town feeling like we’d done what we came to do. See you guys soon again!
Footnote: We had time on Saturday to visit the Heddal Stave Church in Notodden. What an impressive building. You can read more about it here