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Mike Randle's

Countdown To A Decade:
Shows 35-38

Show #35-May 21, 2002-Stockholm, Sweden-SODRA TEATERN

We arrived in Stockholm a day or two before the show for rehearsals with the 8-piece ensemble. I remember the Theatre (or “Teatern”, as the Swedes call it) looking so stunning when it was empty and I wasn’t so sure I could imagine it packed, even though the show had sold out. Gene’s daughters, Paulina and Francesca, were having fun on the piano and Daddyo’s drums.

We went over the FC songs with the strings and horns. Gunnar wrote the arrangements out and conducted the rehearsals. It was moving. I couldn’t believe I was sitting in this room, a part of something so breathtaking. We rehearsed quite a bit and then took a break for lunch, before coming back to rehearse some more. Afterwards, we walked back to the Hotel.

Our hotel was actually right around the corner, but it was up about 100 flights of stairs! But our hotel was plush and there was a “Sky bar” at the top so you could take in the city sites and watch the sun set over Stockholm, a sight that nearly defies description.

The show was fun and sounded amazing! Everyone loved it and my Swedish friends, Louise, Mikael, Ana and Oskar all came and ran up to the stage instead of taking their seats! After the show, they came back to the hotel Sky Bar and we closed that sucker down after a while. I didn’t get to sleep until 5 am and we had an 8am wake-up call for the ride to Olso.Ouch!

Show# 36-May 22, 2002-Oslo, Norway-The JOHN DEE club

I remember this show as a completely packed, hot and sweaty club! The chef made us a great steak dinner before the show, though. Although I’d played Oslo before, I NEVER saw fans this excited, filled with joy and singing along with every song. This still remains as one of my all-time favorite shows and I look forward to playing there again. .

There were 2 people who couldn’t get tickets (because it sold out) and, after dinner, they saw the SINGER and told him that much. He went back to the club and said, “These are my friends; please put them on the list.” I’ve seen him do that plenty of times too. But don’t take that to mean you have to bug him for tickets! And you know who YOU are!!!! Also, hung with Ebbot (who Dee Jay ‘d that night), from the SOUNDTRACKS OF OUR LIVES band. If you don’t have their new record, “BEHIND THE MUSIC”, go buy it. It’s great. Rusty and I hung out with some fans after the show and walked around a bit. There was a nice park between our hotel and the club and it was a really fun area over all.

Show #37-May 23, 2002-Gothenberg, Sweden-Club GUMP

This was a show where the fans really got into the show and it made the night really memorable. Ebbot came to this show as well and offered to take us out on his boat tomorrow so we’ll see what happens there…sounds like fun! The club’s chef also served us a great dinner. Afterwards, Rusty and i walked around with some fans to check out the local bars and clubs. Since tomorrow was a day off, we didn’t worry about getting in too late.

Show #38-May 25, 2002-Malmo. Sweden-The KB club

Wouldn’t you know it but it rained ALL FUCKING DAY on our day off (on the 24th!) so no sailing with Ebbot. But it was great to be back in Malmo. As you may recall, we played this very same club MAY 24, 1996, so this show was nearly 6 years to the day! Can’t remember the name of the opening group, but they were really good. Actually it was the 2nd act (there were 2 acts) i think i liked better. We played another fun show and my American friend, Mark Cox (who was working in europe for a while), came to the show and hung out afterwards. We drank a lot of beer and got tanked, big time. Also had some drinks with the lighting Girl (it was her day off but she came to see the show), Lisa, whom i immediately knicknamed SCARRY SPICE. (Funny, but we bumped into Scarry Spice a month later where she was working at Roskilde)

Afterwards, i went to a couple of clubs that were really dull (Swedes can’t dance, but you knew that already, didn’t you?) and the boys were quite macho…i even saw a guy get thrown out of the club for being drunk. (Now imagine that rule working in England, Ireland or Scotland?) i think i went to sleep around 5am (again!) and of course Gene aranged 6am wake-up calls for our lovely trip to Berlin! (Thanks, Gene!)