Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Return of the Burn out Mama band Day 1

I was looking forward to travelling out to do some gigs with the Burn Out Mama band in Finland. The idea was to Fly into Helsinki then be driven to Turku for the first show. I was to meet up with Bassist Geoff Gascoigne at Heathrow and fly to Finland. When we landed at Helsinki Airport we headed for the baggage reclaim and waited for our luggage to come through expecting to sail through quickly and go off to do a bit of Internet surfing while waiting for Trumpet player Mika to meet up with us. Instead we waited and waited as my eyes desperately followed every bag that resembled my own as the luggage trundled around the Baggage carousel. The bag had all my clothes, Power supplies and cables some Cds that I had brought along to sell or network with plus some percussion bits and pieces. Once the last bag came off and was claimed there was the realisation that “My bag must still be in London

So I headed off to fill in a report about my lost bag not coming through at the desk when a phone call arrived from Vocalist Reija Laing with the unwelcome news that she had just spoken to Mika who had actually been in London as well doing some gigs back with Pianist Jonathon Gee and should have been now boarding a plane to Helsinki to meet up and drive us to Turku. Mika was still on his way but was now incapable of driving after having had a few too many drinks toasting the success of their gigs! So now that would put us in an awkward position where we had to make a choice whether to go and get a Coach to Turku instead of chancing it in a car for a two and a half hour journey through some serious snow unless of course one of us wanted to drive Mika’s car on roads and in weather we were not familiar with! Mmmm “Maybe not”!

Soon as the lost bag report was done, we went out to find a Coach going to Turku! Luckily there was a Turku coach one of the last heading there for the night, so we managed to squeeze into a couple of seats at the back of the bus, both not really sure where we were going, but fingers firmly crossed that we would eventually emerge at the bus station in Turku and be picked up by Reija! Geoff lugging his electric bass in a heavy duty flight case and both our luggage squashed in with us, given that we were one bag short it probably worked out better comfort wise than if the airline had not lost my bag. The bus journey involved a change of buses at one point as well, this was made all the more interesting by every one of the bus driver’s announcements obviously being made in Finnish with neither of us understanding a word, it made for some tense moments whenever the bus stopped at various points during the Journey.We really had no idea if we were going in the right direction or even about to enter some treacherous road conditions and needed to hold on to something! Added to that a digital Sign at the front of the bus was constantly flashing up messages showing the temperature inside and outside the bus, with the readings for the outside getting lower and lower as we headed down the motorway.It was 1:30am when we finally arrived in Turku! By now the temperature was at minus 10 so we were really relieved when we saw Reija’s car pull up beside the bus and we could get straight into a warm car. Yet even in that biting cold I was shocked to see some young people queuing outside various night clubs in the centre of Turku and just like in every city the world over dressed to impress rather than sensibly for the weather i.e young girls in Short skirts etc! Anti Freeze for blood anyone?

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