Tour Blog: Germany Day One

"There are hundreds if not thousands of touring catastrophe stories and I had a vague inkling that I was now living one..."

Well it's not gone entirely to plan...

Day one started bright and early with a 7.30am check in at the airport, but I couldn't shake a feeling that I'd forgotten something. Those of you who know me or indeed my dad will understand the Blake memory issues, but as I ran through my mental checklist for the fourth time: (trumpet, piccolo, mutes, mouthpiece, tails, shoe, wallet, phone and passport), yes all seemed well.

For once I was bang on time, and was merrily smashing down a quick breakfast before heading to the gate, when a text from my colleague Jon Quirk dinged on the table.

"JH and I put on standby for the flight. Enjoy the show!"


"Quirky's definitely joking, isn't he?" I asked Robin, who completes our trumpet roster for this tour. 

"Must be!" was the slightly doubtful reply.

As we wound our way through the airport and tried to verify the story from other members of the orchestra, it became apparent that some sort of mishap has taken place. The flight was overbooked, and of course it was my two esteemed trumpet compatriots at the end of the queue when the last seat was doled out.

Our long-suffering and somehow tireless orchestral manager Claire was deep in discussion with Chief Exec Stephen as I boarded the plane, so I hoped some sort of solution was being pieced together. There are hundreds if not thousands of touring catastrophe stories and I had a vague inkling that I was now living one...

After having sat down on the plane for 10 minutes, frantically trying to imagine how Stravinsky could be re-arranged for 2 instead of 4, thankfully not one Jon but two strolled aboard.

Phew! Dodged that bullet!

Stephen and our assistant conductor Jonathan Bloxham had kindly given up their seats to let the Jon's fly with the rest of the orchestra, while they themselves flew instead to Munich and drove to meet us.

But we're not out of the woods yet! A voice came over the tannoy apologising that our flight was now to be delayed until we could find a new taxiing and takeoff time as all of european airspace a little more congested than normal due to the security around the G20 meetings.

So we eventually took off around 2 hours late; after the time we were supposed to land; but thankfully landed and headed to our coaches without any luggage related casualties.

Bad Kissingen In All Its Afternoon Glory.
Bad Kissingen in all its afternoon glory.
Bad Kissingen in all its afternoon glory.
A familiar face!
A familiar face!

Bad Kissingen was about 2 hours drive and en route we were told that our afternoon rehearsal had been moved to a later and shorted seating call, to give us a little more time to recover from travel and recharge our batteries.

The first show has just started (don't worry I'm not in the first piece), and already I'm reminded how amazing it is that this orchestra (both staff and players) can take such hassle and stress as we've had today entirely on the chin and still turn up and put on a great show.

Speaking of, I should probably go warm up and find my tails.

Oh yes. And that sinking feeling of forgetting something? All of my spare white shirts... It's going to be a one shirt tour, apologies to my colleagues in advance!!!