Live in the U.K. again

Wednesday I started my journey to England with my car and sadly the weather was very bad. I had to face a lot of rain on my way through Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France until I reached the Eurotunnel in Calais, France. I have never used it before, but it was really very easy, since I had booked the shuttle ticket before. After buying some stuff in a shop there, the loading of the cars into the train already started. 35 minutes later, I was already in England and driving on the left side started. It was easier than expected and around 1 hour later, I was in London. As expected there was quite a lot of traffic, but I managed to find the hotel within a reasonable time. It has a nice parking service with a concierge and I was very happy for this service, because parking places are very limited in London.


The next day I spent my time with sightseeing in London and I visited famous locations like Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Big Ben, and Piccadilly Circus etc. The weather was much better with temperatures around 15 degrees and sun the whole day. The next day I left London for the Bloodstock festival. I had to drive around 200km and sadly there was a lot of traffic jam, so arrived in my hotel in Lichfield later than expected.

After a short rest, I started searching for the festival location. This was really more difficult than expected and I had Walton-on-Trent as destination in my navigation system, but when I arrived there, there were some signs, that it is not possible to enter the festival from that place. I had no idea how to go there, but luckily my mobile helped me out and I did some google searches and found the information that I should use Tamworth as navigation destination.  It took some more time, but I made it with this hint and was more than happy finally seeing some signs of the Bloodstock festival. After parking my car and doing a 15 minutes’ walk, I was finally at the center part of the festival. Sadly I could only see the last part of Accept. They were really good and the audience enjoyed it. After a little break, I watched the concert of King Diamond, who had a nice show, but the music was not that much my cup of tea.

The next day, I travelled to the festival around 15:00, but I didn’t like any band that played there after my arrival. Only Death and Black Metal stuff, so I checked the festival location a little bit. Later Sabaton played and I watched some of their show. A little boring for me and too much ‘macho’ stuff, but the audience seemed to like it. Something that I didn’t like at all was the throwing of full plastic beer bottles to the front rows out of the audience. I don’t get it that they sell beer in plastic bottles there and for me it was the first festival that allowed this.

After Sabaton finished, I could catch a quite good place, but had some fear about being hit by such a bottle. I had luck with this and the throwing of beer bottles was less during Avantasia. Avantasia started with ‘Spectres’ and the audiences in front of me really enjoyed them from the beginning. Both Ronnie Atkins and Oliver Hartmann were back in the line-up after they had to skip some shows before due to illness or personal duties. Only Thomas Rettke was missing and Amanda did the main backing vocals alone.

 Michael Kiske appeared with ‘Reach out for the Light’ and he was in top shape again. I guess not many people noticed this, but this was the first performance of Kiske in England after his very successful appearances with Helloween in 1988 like the famous Monsters of Rock festival in Donington, where he played in front of 100.000 fans or the indoor shows, which were used for ‘Live in the U.K.” CD. After this song, Tobi and Michi made some little jokes about the audience and after some reluctance; Michi finally confirmed that Bloodstock is a great audience.  ‘Breaking Away’ was back in the set-list and was a nice welcome for the audience used to more harder sounds. As a little surprise, they also played ‘Great mystery’ here and directly in front of me, some guys really celebrated especially Bob Catley.

Another speed metal appreciated song followed with ‘Shelter from the Rain’, but sadly they had to skip ‘Avantasia’ and ‘7 Angels’ due to time restrictions. They only had 90 minutes playing time, but they really gave Bloodstock a great lesson in fantastic singing abilities and creating melodic metal masterpieces. Something I didn’t hear from any other band there, not even a little bit. Avantasia was happy with the audience as well and Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville did take some pictures of the audience. I left the festival after Avantasia. There played a band after Avantasia ‘Lamb of whatever’ and I saw only a few minutes in live stream when I was back in my hotel, but I was really glad that I had left.

The next day I travelled back to Germany. Yes, there were also bands playing that day, but again not my kind of music with stuff like Slayer etc. I arrived quite early at the eurotunnel, but sadly there was a 60 minutes delay due to an issue that had happened there. It was a very long journey back home to Germany and I finally arrived there around midnight. The next day I had to be back at work and needed there 10 coffees, but I never regretted being at the last concert of Avantasia.