|taking a bow at the Loreley Night of the Prog fest|
From Utrecht to the spectacular scenery of the Rheinland for our performance at the Night of the Prog Festival in Loreley. Yet another day of high temperatures which had cooled only slightly by the time we took the stage at 11pm, following a brio-laden performance from the Neil Morse Band with the redoutable Mike Portnoy on drums. We walked on to a rapturous welcome from the several thousands of spectators and the several millions of bugs attracted by the stage lights on what continued to be a warm, balmy night. Band, audience and bugs all had a jolly good time. Great festival, lovely environment, excellent organisatiion.
|waiting to go on in Loreley|
Another long overnight drive ensued through Germany to Poznan for the first of two Polish gigs, arriving in time for half a day off and a some welcome recuperation at an agreeable Hotel Poshki.
Andy, Ton, Denis and myself took a Saturday evening stroll around the charming old town centre and enjoyed an excellent slap-up dinner at the highly recommended Ratuszova restaurant on the Stary Rynek, during which we failed to see the famous Poznan goats emerge from their lair in the clock tower of the Town Hall upon the stroke of the hour.
|a balmy evening in Poznan Old Town|
|the cavernous space of the Poznan place|
A marathon hand-shaking, autograph-signing and please-can-i-make-a-photo session followed the show before another overnighter to Krakow, where we were pleased to enjoy the shiny and ample backstage facilities of the impressive new concert hall of the ICE Congress Centre. The hall itself is very attractively designed with lots of wood. Not sure exactly how many seats they have there but by stage time every one of them was occupied right up to the gods. What a lovely audience they were too.
|Krakow concert hall at soundcheck|
|later that same evening|
Our visuals were especially good tonight thanks to some excellent hi-tech projectors and I was pleased to finally get incorporated some stunning images of the moon taken by my friend John Lawrence. Apart from being a celebrated Welsh singer/songwriter and bandleader (Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Infinity Chimps), he's also an amateur astronomer and space photographer who manages to take some extraordinary photos of the universe from his mountain fastness in Snowdonia. Many thanks to him for giving us the moon.
|checking the new moon at soundcheck|
Both Polish concerts were very nicely organised by Piotr Kosinski and stage managed by our old friend Stefan Perskiewicz, who remains unforgettable for his distinctive hearty laugh and unshakeable bonhomie.
|blogging from my bunk while trundling across Europe|
At time of writing we are still trundling our way across Germany and France on the road back to the UK for the final four gigs of the tour: Cambridge, Wolverhampton, Norwich and the grande finale at the Ramblin' Man Festival in Kent on Saturday.