Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Cologne TV Total and Manchester.

Monday morning and were trapped in a German TV studio. Got up far too early and came down to the "TV Total" studio where we had a conversation with the shows lighting director then sat in the canteen, stunned, for about four hours. This programme is some kind of chat show that has guest artists to play, the canteen walls being littered with polaroids of Kylie, Robbie, Stipey, Missy, etc., so the great and the good have clearly trodden these boards ahead of us.

The odd eyebrow may have been raised when U2 arrived with an entourage of about 30. We didnt have much choice as were going directly from here to Manchester, so other than sightseeing in a Cologne with all our bags there werent a lot of options for the rest of our party. This brings me on to wonder about other rock stories ≠ ones like J-Lo turning up to Top of the Pops with a posse of forty primpers and minions. It makes for good gossip but they were probably just on tour like us, stuck in a TV show that they cant get out of. We were all wrecked too ≠ Im still recovering from the Brussels onslaught and the fact that the only available food for the entire day was toasted sandwiches didnt help raise the communal energy level.

The band arrived later for sound check and camera rehearsal that was, for the most part, fairly painless. The show is called "TV Total", a variety chat show carbon copied from the American format, with a house band, guest couches and a spotless, effervescent host engaging in a love-fest with an implausibly enthusiastic live studio audience. U2 performed City of Blinding Lights and Vertigo and really rocked the house, which was highly commendable given the operating theatre-like circumstances.

We bailed after the performance and headed for the airport. All the backline crew were with us too of course, so Vertigo Air was packed to capacity. The flight crew were a little taken aback, I think, as the ravenous pack descended upon them, not having eaten all day. Offer a bag of peanuts and practically get your arm taken off. We flew, ate, snoozed, landed in Manchester.

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