The Italian Job
Terry Wincott's Italian tour diary

Amazing Blondel's first foreign venture for 23 years. Terry decided to record it for posterity and keep a diary of events.
Friday, November 28, 1997
8.00 a.m. Pick Ed and Ian up and get to Humberside Airport.
9.00 a.m. Meet John and check in the baggage.
10.00 a.m. Go back to check-in desk to be told the flight to Amsterdam is cancel led due to fog. We have to hoard a bus, drive to Stanstead to get a direct flight to Milan.
1.00 p.m. Board bus. (No food and we have to sit next to some obnoxious toilets.) Grumpiness sets in.
5.00 p.m. Alight bus. Check in baggage.
7.00 p.m. Board plane. We're on our way 8 hours late. It's fortuitous we didn't have a gig today.
9.00 p.m. Arrive Milan. Meet Gigi, the promoter. We pile all our luggage and bodies into a Ford Escort and proceed to the hotel.
10.00 p.m. Arrive hotel. Get a meal and a drink. Have another drink.
Midnight Bed
Saturday, November 29, 1997
8.00 a.m. Gigi, the promoter, arrives in a Merc minibus with 8 seats and plenty of room for all. We've a six hour drive to take us to Pescara city which is on the eastern seaboard and an hour from Rome.Loook out of the window. Nod off. Look out the window. Joke. Nod off. Look out of the window. Play cassette. Nod off. Joke. Look out of window. Eat. Look out of window. It rained non-stop for the duration of the drive.
5.00 p.m. Arrive Pescara. The venue is a theatre with good facilities and technical equipment and about 500 seats (which are sold?) Get set up. Our support act are an electric American country band who are pretty competent. Yeeha!
7.00 p.m. Set up completed, we go to a town restaurent which Gigi has had especially opened for us.
9.00 p.m. End up bloated back at the gig.
11.00 p.m. On stage. The support band has whipped the audience into a frenzy and got them extremely excited. However, we proceed to calm them down with liberal doses of cold Celestial Light etc. The sound is good and by Shepherds Song the audience has capitulated in the chorus and given us the obligatory encore.
2.00 a.m. Hotel. Bed.
Sunday, November 30, 1997
7.00 a.m. Breakfast. We've got to drive back to Milan for a 6 o'clock show. Much the same as coming to Pescara except we're a little more fatigued. Look out of window. Joke. Look out of window etc. You get the idea and it rained non-stop all the way back.
4.00 p.m. Atrive at Milan. A small group of fans are waiting to greet us. The venue is a 400 seat theatre but we don't know how many tickets have been sold. Get set up and sound check.
6.00 p.m. Take the stage to a full house of ardent Blondel fans who are excited and very knowledgeable regarding our music. Each song received thunderous applause. A few of the jokes fell flat but the sound was good and the overall performance fine. A good 'gig'. Gigi was happy with the two events and John and he proceeded to hammer out deals ready for our expected return to Italy in June 1998.
8.00 p.m. Gigi takes us for a post event meal at a super restaurant where we finally get a chance to relax with an unhurried meal, wine, more wine and brandy.
Midnight Hotel. Bed.
Monday, December 1, 1997
10.00 a.m. Milan Airport. We say goodbye to Gigi and thank him for his help and organisation.
11.00 a.m. Plane to Amsterdam.
2.00 p.m. Plane to Humberside.
3.00 p.m. Land in Blighty....only to find that our luggage has gone elsewhere (Grr Grr)! Make animated complaints etc. etc.
4.00 p.m. Seperate to go to our respective homes.
11.00 p.m. Lost luggage arrives at my door in a taxi.

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