Day 2 – 11th Nov
Complications with our transfer mean we’re negotiating airport hassles with half awake minds. Eventually we land in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and meet our local tour manager, Mark.
Mark is a New Zealander who has been here 21 years. In fact today is his 21st anniversary of arriving in Vietnam. He speaks like a local and picks us up in a taxi. 18 hours of travel and no sleep yet we’re on a time limit so go straight to the venue for sound check. Thankfully it’s the smoothest and quickest one we have ever had in Asia and before we know it we’re back at the hotel showering (finally) yet still with no time to rest.
Oh I forgot to mention it is fucking pouring with rain here. Real rainy season like you see on Michael Palin documentaries type rain. Of course we’re totally unprepared and head out for dinner in our stage clothes and get soaked to the bone. I can barely keep my eyes open and they hurt they are so dry. Ironically the place that should be moist being by far the most desert like part of me.
The place we choose to eat at is an old favourite from last time we were here and it appeared as if out of nowhere as we stumbled blindly through dark, flooding streets wondering where the hell we were going. A shining neon sign, the same waitresses, the same menu. We felt as grateful as Mary must have done when she got that nice little manger.
The venue tonight is The Hard Rock Café and it’s a Rock Fanclub gig. A huge club for rock fans (obviously) in Saigon. When we went onto the stage people went crazy and that was just as tuning our guitars…when we actually played it kicked off and thank fuck it did. Its amazing how much a crowd’s energy can pull you through and I think we played one of our most crazy, physical shows in ages. I think we did 17 songs in all, maybe an hour and 20 minutes and just about died afterwards. We stuck around for a few beers with some locals we met but had to call it a night before we dropped where we stood. Even the classiness of a Vodka Red Bull didn’t pull us through.