I woke up at De Graafse Akker with a surprising lack of hangover. I walk downstairs to shower and to make some tea. I’m the first awake and I’m eager to get to the next venue. We’re aiming to leave around midday but first our friends make us some delicious spring rolls for breakfast. We eat them outside in the beautiful sunshine with my tea. Over breakfast people are talking to us about the previous nights show and willing us to stay. I wish I could stay a little longer for the tour is coming to a close.
We leave Graafse Akker and me and Will make a quick stop to the record stores where we leave them some of our records. We are invited to stay for tea or beer. We reluctantly decline but that is something we would really love to do. As I get back on the bus I say to everyone that we must love them because me and Will have just declined the chance to join Valhalla. Someone replies “Fuck that Rob, you don’t love us, you just want to go see Nikki”. They were correct.
We arrive at Zoezel JH in Zoersel which is about 20 minutes from Antwerp at around 3pm. I help load in but I leave at around 3.30pm when Nikki comes to pick me up for a dinner date. We look for a place in Zoersel but there’s not much to choose from so I suggest Zandhoven and we find a nice little Italian place. I order a pizza and Nikki orders Shrimp. This meal was to be my birthday treat for her. After dinner Nikki says she needs to get changed for the gig. So we drive to her place where I meet her Mum. Nikki asks for my opinion on what to wear I pick something out and she looks beautiful but instead she opts for something a little more subtle. She still looks beautiful. Whatever makes you feel comfortable I said. We arrive back at the venue about 8pm and I introduce her everyone. We order some sparkling wine to toast a birthday drink.
I completely missed The Rebel Poet. Bettie Akkemaai delivered what I consider to be her best show of the tour. The crowd really like her.
For our show we were on VERY late: we didn’t start til 1am and lots of people had already left and most of the band was either exhausted or drunk. I made the mistake of pole dancing before the set and I smashed my nuts into the post. As the set wore on I found myself in more pain. One of my favourite moments was Kaassouffle. We were like a supergroup when we were joined by Bettie Akkemaai, Hanne from For I Am and Jef from The Sick Boys.
We finished around 2am and we’re all knackered. I know Will went straight to the van to sleep and Me and Nikki take our drinks upstairs and fashion a bedout of some couches. I bring my blanket in from the van. Not that it’s needed. It was red hot.
The next morning we woke up and drank tea outside in the fresh air whilst wrapped in the blanket it’s nice. Nikki fetches my left over pizza from the previous nights meal we munch on that. It’s a really nice end to such a fun tour. I find it extremely difficult to leave this time.
The journey home was long and I feel very anti-social. I spend most of the journey listening to my headphones. Joel keeps asking me if I’m writing the blog. Not today I keep telling him. I had a lot to think about and process first. I was also feeling quite emotional.