Driving to the O2 World arena this morning, we passed through a timeline of architecture, ranging from cool and modern to ‘let’s save a bit of this after it got the crap blown out out of it.’ If you’re on a shopping blitz through today’s Berlin, it’s easy to forget there was once a time when a terrifying red circle closed around it, and its streets were defended by the last of its inhabitants. When you see a façade of a once-grand building, the Anhalter Bahnhof for instance, you’re reminded that Berlin was once one of the most dangerous places on the planet.
Nearer to the O2 stands a section of the old East-West wall, now graffitied in every colour possible, in shades of graceful and poignant to WTF. When The Winning Team crashed tastefully on site around 8.30 am, the trucks had been unloaded and the multitude of boxes and cases dispatched to their various stations of waiting. It was a quick rig, and before 11am, the stage looked ready to go, in need of only fine tunings in the form of cable-covers, vacuuming, and the crucial electrical tests of the music machines.
I had a little extra on my plate this morning; two amplifiers suffered little issues, one simple, the other fairly easy. With the turn of a couple of screws holding an output transformer in place, Mitch’s spare Fender Supersonic amp was ship-shape, and after a little surgery with a soldering iron, replacing wires in a faulty reverb tank saw Javier’s spare Fender Princeton fighting fit.
There were neither dramas nor stumbling blocks in today’s setup, and soundcheck featured a marathon, circular blues jam, followed by a long-unheard Different Sides. The daysheet shows another 8pm start; Berlin, let’s see if we can achieve a glorious on-time start why not.