Some say that playing on ferries is a musician’s grave… I’m not sure about that, it could be… Some of them seem like they’ve been around for many years, and should’ve maybe quit some time ago already…
But in case it’s true, then Vinny might start worrying about his near future. He and Danny do the odd solo (or duo; like last christmas, in Holland and Belgium) performance, but hopefully those performances are more successful than this particular one, on a fine afternoon somewhere out on the sea.
While on the ferry from Finland to Estonia, they chatted with the ferry’s resident musicians, performing golden oldies, and at a certain point, Vinny apparently proposed (or got asked?) to join them for a song. Of course it was a Beatles song (“Let It Be”); wouldn’t expect any different from a Liverpool-based band 😉 Or it would have to be “Ferry cross the Mersey”
The getting to and on the ferry was already complicated enough; lost phones, boarding three minutes before departure, 7 people carrying 12 person’s worth of luggage and backline made for a ‘typically funny’ morning; but oh!… Did that one seem easy in the end, compared to trying to leave Estonia.
After the show in Estonia, Mick and I had decided we’d have a wake up call be made to all rooms @ 7.30, so that people sleeping late would still be able to make it in time and have breakfast before our planned departure @ 9.00.
By 8.55 there was still 3 people missing roll call; and the bus that would take us to the airport was about to arrive… Quick; wake them up, again (The gory and grimy NSFW details have been censored here 😛 )… And hurry up; we’d have to drive over an hour to Tallin the Estonian capital and checking in backline is – as we all know – not a fun thing to do.
By 9.15 still no sign of the bus though; nor of the three sleeping beauties.. What now? First signs of “oh sh@$%, it’s happening again” and stress show up, and some phone calls later we find out that A.) Helina, our host, who said she’d be at the hotel between 8 and 8.30 to make sure leaving would go as planned, had overslept as well, and that B.) no one from the organisation had actually booked the bus for the morning…
By pure luck or fate or evil planning from above or below (still not sure about that one), the bus driver thought “Hey, I’m supposed to pick up this band, why doesn’t anyone call me, let me call the airport to find out their flight info and go and pick them up anyway”. Some quick calculations (130km distance, 80km/h speed limits, and maximum 90 minutes time left) and some more stress later, we’d come to the conclusion that we’d have to leave by 10 sharp (!) to actually stand any chance at all, arriving at the airport before the check-in desk would close; Not knowing yet if we’d even make it past check-in, or on the plane.
Helina had arrived in the mean time, and so did the bus; at 9.56…. Never in my life have I seen this band get on the bus so quickly! Well, to make a very very long 75 minutes a bit shorter; we arrived at the airport at 11.15, and actually managed to leave the check-in desk at 11.28 (!)
So, what was all the stress about anyway? we still had two (2) minutes left; and no one drowned.
The fact that I’d probably (as I guessed I would) miss my connecting flight in London to Amsterdam – so I’d drive up from London to Liverpool in the ‘band van’ (did anyone mention that it was middle of December, with matching temperatures, and a van too big to handle for the single heating vent in the front?) to stay overnight and get another plane (at least I made sure the promoter booked that one for me; was surprised he’d actually booked that initial one for me) next day.
So, we arrive at London, 12 minutes early (while leaving 20 minutes late; so it was all planned from above after all?), and during the flight I actually decide to go and go for it anyway:
- jump queue in plane (with two huge carry on items)
- leave plane
- shuttle train to terminal
- get luggage
- sprint to check-in desk with 4 items
- get on plane
- fly to Amsterdam
- arrive home (oh, I didn’t sleep the night before at the hotel; was going to catch up with sleep at home)
Somewhere down the line; there must’ve been a miscommunication with above/below, because when I arrived at the luggage belt (about 5 minutes before the other guys; jumping queues and running sometimes does help) things started to look do-able; still 25 minutes left to check-in on the next flight. I’d sleep at home in my own bed after all…
But…. Of course; backline checked in always shows up at the oversize luggage area; right? So, I ask where that is, get pointed to the spot I remembered it would be…. Tick…Tock….. 13 minutes left; “where’s the luggage!….got my laptop, my toolcase, my clothing; but where’s that last case?”
After further inquiries I found out, some evil airport clerk tried (from their point of view) to make me miss the plane… They didn’t tell me outsize luggage also sometimes arrives at a different location at the other end of the hall.. Where my case had been waiting for me for quite some time.
Ok, so I run to the check-in desk with a trolley full of stuff; you never know; the desk closes at 13.15, but it’s 13.25 now, who knows, they might still be open; maybe the whole flight’s delayed?
Desk closed…… no cigar!