Thursday, 22 September 2011

London take 2! and pics

To be honest I forgot to do part 2... But I got bullied off a few people in the TH chat to get on with it.. so.. part 2!

I set off for my second NW related trip to London on Monday 12th September however this time by train as the bus nearly killed me last time. The journey was much better and a hell of a lot quicker, and I remembered to wear comfortable shoes this time also!
I got into the city about 3pm and I started the tiny journey to the Uni campus I was staying at. Pretty much as cheap as a hostel but a hell of a lot better :) No dust for starts and free wifi! So I unpacked what needed unpacking and left the rest of the stuff to rot on the floor as I was in a lazy mood and I toddled off to Covernt Garden to pick up my theatre tickets.
Did the wise thing and used an Oyster card this time too so travel was even easier (thanks Alex). I went to see We Will Rock You (yes alone) and it was really cool. The computer generated images they used in the show were showing their age but that was my only gripe with it to be honest and even got emotional at the casts performance of No-One But You.... I still remember when Freddie died so was weird watching this musical.
Wondered back to the room about 11pm and ended up online talking crap till God knows what time before finally admitting defeat and sleeping.

Tuesday morning was a waiting game, I found out late that I really could of came to London Tuesday and saved some money as I was not meeting people till 4 o'clock.. oh well. So I decided to go down Oxford Street and have a little adventure to pass the time, jumping on the underground over to Angel to walk to the studios around 3-30 ish. I couldn't find the building, walking past it about 3 times as it's unmarked. Finally admitting defeat and calling Pip to confirm I wasn't about to ring some strange persons doorbell.
Upon entering I was met by some big bloke who asked who was I with.. first answer came out my mouth was Nightwish, so he had a look and the guest list... guess who's name wasn't on? So some other dude came to me, convo went like this:

Guy "So what relationship do you have to the band?"
Me " I run Tuomas's website"
Guy "That's okay then, go ahead in"

For all this guy knew I could of been bullshitting, he didn't check with anyone I was who I said I was. So after giving my phone into the security type guy I went into the studio. I glanced around the room and noticed I only recognised about 5/6 people max so head to the people you know so not to look like a billy no mates was the plan. First guy who stopped me was Pip whom I met up with just a week before, then Ewo came and gave a hug and muttered the words "I have something big for you to drink later".. Laughing my head off I manage to squeeze out "as long as it has a %" which got me an approving nod and 'kumbayah' from the big guy.
Next I turned and saw someone with their back to me, not too tall, long dark hair and thought... I know who this is. So wrapped arms round her and gave a squeeze. Don't know if I scared her or not hehe but was not expecting to see Cyntia there so was fun. Shook hands with Christian who is the webmaster of and finally said Hi and gave a hug to Tuomas... then hit him and told him off for missing me from the guest list. He promises he did it but I don't believe him.
We had a bit of a natter as he spoke about nerves and how in the morning he only dared look up at the media once and the first thing he saw was someone yawning and looking at their watch, poor Tuomas haha.
He wondered to do his bits of networking, leaving me, Cyntia and Christian talking. We got to see Troy do one of his fantastic magic tricks of turning magazine clippings into £20 notes which was so cool I can't explain.
Pip introduced the album as Tuomas's masterpiece and we all sat to listen. The silence before the first notes were agonising for me, god knows what Tuomas felt first time he heard after mastering. The listening itself seemed to be over in minutes though it was closer to 75 minutes. I wont go on here about the album as I have the review on the site about it, but I was really impressed. I was a bit pathetic and felt that I wanted to clap to congratulate Tuomas but everyone was so silent at the end, it was like a funeral.
Tuomas was then stuck in the control room for another 3 hours or so doing interviews, to be honest if I prepared we could of done one for TH as he had time at the end. Myself and Cyntia stole some promo stuff from their to use in future competition plans and I got my 'big drink' off Ewo. Then Tuomas was done and he came out, bit 'larrupted' (or however spelt- Cumbrian slang for drunk) so we had a bit of a laugh. Told him our two hockey teams played each other in November which his first words were "then we need another bet!" and so it was done, hands shook and agreed upon. Also wound him up about his xmas gift etc which he asked 10 million questions about trying to get me to tell him what we had planned.
Then he went for a smoke after saying he was quitting, made him smile and he said he has "quit quitting". We all followed outside and got taxis back to their hotel, where the plan was food but Tuomas was a bit too drunk and the lightweight announced he was going to sleep. So after a kiss and a hug goodbye and he wondered off leaving me Cyntia, Christian, Pip's daughter Sam, Ewo and this other guy I can't remember his name Yap or something (I'm sure I'll be reminded soon).
Went to Ewo's room for drinks and then to this really nice restaurant called Kitchin for food. Ewo became obsessed by chicken there and dubbed himself  Mr Chicken. Was a good end to a fun night, same we couldn't get any pictures with Tuomas etc in the studio and when we came outside I totally forgot.
Looking forward to the tour and I'm sure will have some good behind the scenes gossip and photos.

Not much more to tell about London really, here are a few pictures of the time down there. Wish I took more myself and got some with T etc but nevermind

Me and Pip

Me and 2 of my minions/Tuomas's ghouls

Me and Alex (admin of Islanders)

The Islanders gathering

Me and Cyntia in Ewo's hotel room

Sunday, 4 September 2011

London take 1!

So here I am on the bus heading from London back home. A journey of 7 hours in length and I'm halfway through it and my behind is numb already.

I went down on the Friday morning and waited to meet Alex who is the admin of The Islanders at kings cross. Typically he was delayed due to some fire near the train lines. So about an hour(ish) later than planned, we met up and headed to the place we were staying at.
I stupidly wore my boots which were not broken in and they rubbed away at my heels making 2 very sore blisters. So getting to hostel was priority for me.

We got to where we were staying and I know it was cheap but wow what a dump. There was about a cm of dust on furniture, the tv had no aerial, the bed mattresses were too big for the bed frames. Also the springs in the mattress were so prominent and stabbed you. It was a hole basically.

After sorting our all the Islander member packs we headed into the city to meet up with Liz and her mates. We just wondered the city and Alex decided he wanted to climb a lion which he did. I got a photo of it just hope it was not too dark to see. Liz and her friends left and we went for more a wonder and sat infront of the palace for a while before heading back to the hostel.

Sleeping was tricky with single glazed windows and lot of traffic etc but managed to get a few hours. Next day we were on a mission to get something to put membership packs in and go to the Nordic bakery. Bought a couple of Karellian pies from there which were gorgeous and then wondered to go meet Pip Williams.

It was a long journey to Ealing Broadway to meet him but we found the location okay. We went to a quiet pub to sit and do the interview and have a couple of drinks. I made a total balls up of some of the questions but was all good humour and Pip was lovely and talked forever. We have about 1 hour and 40 minutes if interview audio to go through and edit etc, although I cannot upload it till after the 9th due to discussing track names.
He was a dream to interview and look forward to meeting with him again soon.

We were late leaving the interview with Pip so I did not have time to go get "pirated up" for the Islander meeting. Felt bad as Sari made such an effort as well. The meet up went great, we had a quiz with few prizes and talked about various things. Next time we will probably have more activities although drinking was a good enough one it seemed.
Roz made an Islander cake which was fab! Total surprise to everyone so a huge thanks to her it was such a nice thing to do. Then Liz presented me with this card of appreciation letters from the TH team/Tuomas/and fans. Tricky recorded the whole thing and I was so close to tears. It was such a sweet gift and something i will cherish. I'll write a bigger thank you on the TH site later.
Night ended with me, Alex, Roz, Sean,Sarah and Andrew heading to The Crobar for drinks. Again was a laugh but last underground was not long away so had to cut it short.

In all the weekend was loads of fun with some great friends. So huge thanks to them all.

Stay tuned for the very special "London take 2" which will be Sept 14th/15th

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