A Katabatic Wind in Hamburg?..

If I can survive standing next to a trailer in Hamburg in this temperature – even without the wind chill – a stroll down to the South Pole from Patriot Hills ought to be a doddle.

Anyway, if it wasn’t for the nearby rumble of the A7 Autobahn, one could be forgiven for thinking that we are already in the polar regions today. Namibian is wearing a red fleece in which he looks like a corpulent Father Christmas.

Katabatic, a Greek word, means “flowing downhill”. Oh, if only we were in Greece, eh? This is part of the problem with rock n roll touring: although island-hopping in the Aegean would make a splendid itinerary for drivers and crew, Tina Turner would be unlikely to recoup the cost of sending twenty trucks down there.

So, we remain, teeth gritted against the North German gale, in a Hamburg blizzard.

I hope I’ve established that this is not a holiday; it’s quite the opposite – in fact, we had to work for a full hour this morning, unloading equipment into the Color Line Arena. The driving now completed, we have five days of freezing frivolity to look forward to. I’m wondering how often I should “turn” Namibian to avoid bedsores.

I should stress, actually, that this tour is not representative whatsoever of the music industry. Take that dreadful Madonna tour last summer for example – yes, I’ll give her ‘sticky and sweet’. It was just drive, drive, drive.

OK, so Madge doesn’t organise the tour schedule, but it was as though cocaine-fuelled executives had thrown darts at a map of Europe to determine the tour dates. Dusseldorf – Rome – Frankfurt – London – Lisbon etc. Bonkers.

Anyway, back to the Tina Turner Tour…and the relaxed approach. Breakfast chat hasn’t moved on much in intellectual terms among the drivers since yesterday.

I’ve tried introducing topics like late Etruscan pottery, but we inevitably resort back to the lowbrow: ‘The tablets for my blood pressure aren’t conducive to getting an erection,’ remarked Captain Birds Eye, before briefly discussing prostitutes.

We’ll stick with prozzies for a moment as we’re in Hamburg, the city of the “Reeperbahn”. It’s a seedy street where Namibian and I were approached by half a dozen women simultaneously last year. He, a picture of ebbing health (pictured above), got away with feigning a heart condition, but that was an excuse I couldn’t get away with.

‘Say you’re gay,’ my South African pal had suggested. The trouble is, they probably cater for that in another room. We simply blushed instead..