Checked in to PrestwickAirport 5 am. Got on the flight to Stanstead……..too late !! They would not
let me on as I missed the cut off time by 10 minutes. All I can really remember is calling Rolf from the airport saying I
missed the flight. He said shut the fuck up Cradle and stop taking the piss. I said I am being 100% serious. His tone changes.
FUCK is the last word I hear him say !!Hang in there and let me call you back
he says and I hang up. I look around and there is another flight to Oslo (Torp). Other side of Oslo.
It will cost me another £200 and save my planned journey to the Polar Rock Festival. So I book onto it and call Rolf back.
He is sorting out the connecting flight from Oslo (main airport) to Tromso. He has it changed to the later flight at no extra cost.
Well that’s something at least !!. So I arrive in Oslo (Torp) 2 hours later than planned.
I have to get on the bus and it takes over 90 minutes…and was 30 minutes late in leaving. I then need to get on the
train to make it to the airport. I check in at the airport and then realise the flight has been delayed by 3 hours !!HELL on earth is how I feel at this point. But I eventually get on the road to Tromso
and touch down at . Straight off the plane and meet up with my little brother Rolf. It’s great
to see him again. McOphie is there also having not had the travel problems I have had !! We drive for 80 minutes to get to
Storsteinnes. We drop Sophie off and then head out to pick up Tony Mills. On the way we see Arnulf heading to his parents
house. Rolf oes a great hand brake turn and we spin around to meet Arnulf. Arnulf is very tired and we spend 5 minutes chatting
before heading off for Tony. We get there 5 minutes later and in we go to the bar !!! (well where else did you think he would
be waiting !!). All the Shy guys are there apart from Ian. So it’s hug all round and me getting a right slagging for
missing my flight. Then we are off to Rolf’s house. First thing’s first !! I need to see his new drum kit !!So down we go to his studio in the basement.WOW. What a kit. Can I have a go I ask ?? Of course. Wire in. So I start to play and Rolf and Tony head upstairs for
a beer. I was there for about 30 minutes. Fantastic. I end upstairs feeling very happy and have a chat with the guys. Just
chilling and catching up. Tony goes to bed at and Rolf and I go outside to continue the chat.
24 hours of daylight this time of year in Norway. Very strange feeling
We finally head off to bed at .
Friday. Iget to meet Rolf’s wife and son
who are fantastic. We got on really well from the start. Even more so with the little one who was great to play with. As Rolf
rehearsed with WinterStrain in the studio, I played outside with the kid for ages……..bonding.
Tonight was the Shy gig as well. Great set from my favourite band. 1 hour long and all the
favourites have been played. Again the twin guitar playing of Steve and Ian just blows me away on Reflections !! Ending the
gig with the mighty No OtherWay. I met most of the forum member at the gig.
Epiphany,Ilnarg,Night Strike, Alfred Pryson. The rest I met at Rolfs the next night of the party. All the forum members are
fantastic. Just as mad( if not worse) than I am !!And that’s saying a
lot !! .
Tony joins TNT on stage for the last song. Harnell passes the mike over and Tony sings Harley
Saturday. The day of the Winterstrain gig. We are all set for the gig. Head up
to the venue and get into position. Geir Helge starts talking…a lot (in Norwegian) as the band get in tune and prepared.
Finally they set off with Another Day. BANG. Great sound and the lighting is fantastic. It has been very sunny since I arrived
at Storsteinnes…and what would you say if I told you they started the gig and the rain came pouring down !!Yip. Down it came. And the longer they played the harder it rained. By the time Leon was playing the rain had gotten into my video camera and it stopped working. I had about 20 minutes by this time before
it broke. Sail was absolutely fantastic. The best song of the night for me. Geir Helge was outstanding on the stage. Twice
joining the crowd for a hand shake and the second time going down for a kiss with his beloved !!. He ran over every part of
the stage and the rest of the guys played as if their lives depended upon it. A wonderful set which was not soured by the
rain. And would you believe it ?The rain stopped just after the guys came off
stage. Typical !!
Backstage for an hour or so before heading back to Rolf’s with the gang
for the party he had planned for Shy. I lasted until but Rolf was still drinking at , before finally admitting defeat at !! we had moose burgers on the BBQ as well.
Very tasty !!
Was really great to meet the rest of the forum members at the party. NumberOne Fan, Dale and
Sweet Lips.We all got on really well and had a great time.
Sunday was the day of rest. Me playing with the kid, relaxing as I talked to Rolf,
lil Karin and Tony. That night we went on a fishing trip which was fantastic. Went to Roy’s
after the fishing and just chilled as we BBQ’d seal and fish. Steve Harris playing a little guitar into the early morning
as well. Then off home in the early hours.
Monday. I hate it when you only have a few hours left before you have to leave.
Especially when you get on so well with the people you are staying with. I am not that great at goodbyes. I would be a liar
if I said I did not have a tear or 2 in my eyes when I left Rolf Erik, Lil Karin and Thor Martin behind. But back to Scotland I had to go. What a weekend and what a Festival. They said it would definitely go ahead next year !!Looks like I better book my ticket for the gig soon !!!