AC/DC Tour – From bad to worse..

A good-natured joust takes place at 1am. Namibian has gone and made tea instead of coffee. ‘You said you wanted tea in the mornings,’ he squeals defensively.

Well, technically he has me there, but, as I say, it is 1am, which I think even a devout Muslim would regard as night-time.

‘We’ll have trouble getting out of here,’ he adds, before I’ve even opened my curtains. As it turns out, he’s panicking needlessly again – we sail effortlessly out of our parking slots.

I’ve learnt to live with Namibian, you know. In Brussels once, he was on about ‘pulling the gig’, fretting about getting trucks to the loading door, his leg bouncing up and down nineteen to the dozen.

I got out of my truck, prepared to grapple with any hardships. I pushed a lone wheelie bin out of the reversing path, thereby solving the difficulty. Goodness, he’s a one. And what do you mean, I should be grateful he makes me a hot flask of anything? Oh yes, I’m supposed to be keeping in his good books re: his imminent blog entry.

7 am sees the crew producing tape measures. They line the arena floor with pink tape – sometimes it’s orange – and mark it ‘half ton/one ton’ in yellow chalk as fractions. Ah, that’s where all those motors from my truck go.

Hard-hatted crew bang bits of black truss together while, 100 ft overhead, T-shirted men in boots and tool-filled belts hoist the motor chains with pulley ropes. The next step is lifting all that hanging equipment – lights, video screens, stacks of PA – that you see above a stage.

An army of local crew in orange hi-vis vests swarm like ants, pushing set carts and boxes. Everything is on wheels, and is done quickly. This is an American tour and so there are two types of truck: empty and full.

Small British tours, where only a few boxes are wheeled down the truck ramp at a time, can be a nuisance. “Tipping” (unloading) can take ages, and severely interferes with my sightseeing and trombone practice.

Sightseeing, however, is rather off the cards today; not only is it snowing, but we’re in Frankfurt – a banking town with few sights. A gentle cycle is also off the agenda as not one, but both bicycle wheels, have now had it. In the pandemonium of the last load-out, I lazily strapped a box, it moved, and the back wheel is now crushed beyond repair.

Outside the Festhalle – currently celebrating its 100th year – and dwarfed by skyscrapers, I stick out a melancholic bottom lip. It is indeed a splendid building, and historical too (Hitler spoke here), but I’m in an unshakeably bad mood over the bicycle predicament. And, as I say, it is snowing.

However, I read somewhere once that tidying the house can prove therapeutic. So, borrowing a duster from Namibian, I begin the truck’s annual spring clean.

Stepping merrily over to the passenger side of the cab, I tread heavily on the laptop – it’s camouflaged under a jacket, in my defence – shattering both the screen and my short-lived joie de vivre.

It really is just one thing after another on this tour..