Friday 30 August 2013

RHODES ROCK 2013 - Part 2 (Or, "How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Cats")

Please forgive the delay in crafting this epistle. In the time since the last post I have lost a Grandmother, been on holiday, done a few gigs and been rather ill. Bear with me - I hope the following chapters are posted with a little more regularity. H x

Shortly after I turned around from taking that last photograph from Part 1, I noticed there was a bar behind us. Reasoning that I was on holiday, and that I hadn't had a drop of alcohol since leaving Yorkshire several hours and 2,500 miles ago, I decided I owed it to myself to try a drop of the local ale. The nice lady behind the bar sorted me out with a tin of lager, and we sat down to wait for our welcoming party.

In no time at all we were greeted by the Exclusively Lindos crew and guided on the extraordinarily short walk to our digs. We had been allocated three two-bed studio apartments just behind the Atmosphere Bar, and given my propensity for snoring the house down I managed to bag one to myself. See?! There's an upside to being an out-cast within your own band. Duggers made friends with the local stray cats, and I went straight for the shower.

St. Paul's Bay...

After acquainting ourselves with the accommodation (and after I'd noticed a few worrying drip-drip-drips from the ceiling in my bathroom), we took a wander down the hill into the labyrinthine streets of Lindos village. We did start wondering if we needed a ball of string (or indeed if the Minotaur might be just round the corner); 'dem streets ain't half wind-y! We had been told to head for Yanni's Bar which was to host the evening's entertainment, and believe me - when Hi-on Maiden are told to go to the bar, Hi-on Maiden go to the bar! The steins quickly appeared, as did a number of the crew. The now legendary Paul Collyer of Classic Rock Tours found us along with Les, a member of the security services who had lived happily in Lindos for many years. After a few hours of sitting and drinking, we decided it was probably time for dinner. Finding a nearby taverna ("Anything you don't like, the bill is on me!" spake the proprietor), we quaffed, quibbled and, er, ate dinner. During the meal I began to flag quite spectacularly, and after scooting along to Socrates Bar (another legendary bar where the night's gig had been moved on short notice, and hot DAMN was it packed to the rafters) I decided to call it a night.

The view from Atmosphere Bar.

The next morning, after giving the maid the shock of her life - or not, if she's used to seeing half-naked fat pale Englishmen lazing about under the air-con unit - I walked down into the village to find myself some breakfast and stock up on cool H2O. I was immediately struck by the number of crêpe cafes. Having always associated that particular batter-y treat with France (it's got a hat over the e, people!) I was rather perplexed. Even more perplexing was the fact that, all of a sudden, I really wanted to have one. And have one I did. 8 f***ing Euros later I went back to my room to swot up on a couple of songs set for the gig (yes, we did play a gig...eventually).

Eventually I saw some signs of life from the other rooms, and went out to say hello. We then found to our delight that the boys from Sack Sabbath had arrived, and were staying in the digs above ours. With the Sack boys already having some stories to tell (isn't that right, Bill?), we whiled away some time before heading back down to Yanni's for a quick drink or two. Some local friends of the festival had organised to lead a short introductory tour around the village, leaving from the Atmosphere bar. Being right by our digs, we headed back there to have yet another beer before joining the walk. We were first taken up to the main road which runs behind the village and overlooks it - one hell of a sight, truth be told. Leading us back down into the village, we were made aware of all the venues the festival took in, and advised to check out the "welcome party" that night. Heading back to Yanni's (my spell-checker is simply going to have to get used to that word - it crops up a lot), we imbibed further and chatted with some punters before deciding it was dinner time.

Ozzy took us Hi-on boys to Maria's, just round the corner from Yanni's, where the Sack boys had consumed a nice morsel or two the night before. We may have been a bit accidentally sweary, but the food was unbelievable. I discovered "spetsofai", and enjoyed watching our young drummer try (very badly) to hide the fact that he was smoking from his father, who clearly knew! Then it was time to meander down to the welcome party, which was already in full swing. We enjoyed our fellow bands, and purchased some mementos. I think we all already knew this was going to be a trip to remember. I eventually decided that I'd drunk all the lager I could stomach (Mr Hurry does not lager like), and headed off for me bed.

The beginning of a lager-y friendship

I awoke after an absolutely atrocious night's sleep, and, remembering our last encounter, popped a t-shirt over my pallid torso in order that I not make the maid feel any more uncomfortable than she needed to feel. I went out for yet another crepe, finding a slightly cheaper one this time, and bumped into Simon in Yanni's. Our four-stringer had been out until 9:30am - he's supposed to be the sensible one!!! We took a walk round to the amphitheatre which would be the setting for the Think Floyd gig the following week, and then on to St Paul's Bay where the chaps were hard at work building the stage for the two-night main event. Simon and I headed back to Atmosphere, and from there the story of the rest of that day is quite a short one. Essentially, I sat there drinking all day with the quite lovely, and quite ginger, "Bill's Bored" of Sack Sabbath fame.

Bill loves me

Joined at various points by various members of various bands, we whiled the day away drinking more and more and more and more. Ultimately joined by the rest of the Sack boys (and girls), we went for dinner at the nearby Agostini's. The food was unbelievable, the view was incredible - the restaurant sits right at the top of the village, overlooking the whole shebang. Tremendous. In short order we found ourselves back in Atmosphere, where I was joined for a short time by Mr Swift before slinking off for a kip.

Sack Dinner - Nose of Manic lights the way...

Some people play some gigs! Then....shock, horror, so do HI-ON MAIDEN!

See you then. YAMAS!

Dave "if knowing when to stop drinking shit European lager makes me a lightweight, I'm winning" Hurry