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Reminiscences of an Indian Summer Visit to Norway
Tuesday, 07 September 1999 01:23

September 1999

We (that is Steve, Ian (our soundman) and I) arrived by plane at Stavanger airport at 1pm on Thursday 9th September 99. A long haired, good natured native answering to the name Ola (pronounced ooola as I later found out) greeted us, holding a piece of paper saying "As If..." He'd got some interesting looks, apparently.

Meanwhile Phil Goss and Nancy Sawyer were nering the end of a somewhat choppy North Sea crossing. Phil hates flying, and he was hoping to see a whale - hence the boat trip. Nancy set foot on load looking decidedly green around the gills and Phil had not seen a whale. Things could only get better - and they did.

We were well looked after throughout our stay and seemed to work well with the folks organising the concerts. The people we met were wonderful!

Phill immediately set about dazzling us and the locals with his command of the Norwegian language, though understanding what people were saying back proved a little more difficult.

Friday night and we were playing in the city centre, by the harbour as part of a festival to celebrate the approaching millennium. The crowd enjoyed our set - particularily the now infamous drum duo - and we were a big hit with the local mayor and the police. Apparently the mayor was holding a party on a boat strategically located in the harbour opposite our stage. The problem was, our PA was bigger than his. He remonstrated with the local police. A nice smile from our soundman seemed to smooth things over.

Saturday, and a trip to the beach was called for as the temperature rose. There we were, having brought our winter woolies because we thought Norway might be a bit chilly and the temperature was about 27°C. Quite bizarre! We decided to go for a quick paddle and I got soaked by a big wave, much to the delight of everyone else. I decided to go for a swim and nearly lost my underwear in the waves. Tried to throw Phill in but he legged it.

After all this frivolity, we went to prepare for an evening concert at St. Johanns Kirke. The concert went well and the audience seemed to get into the swing of things. A few passers-by came to check us out. Yes, Christians do have fun!

Sunday arrived and we attended a Lutheran church. It was quite like an Anglican service. Didn't understand much of what was said (as it was in Norwegian funnily enough) but was priviledged to be given the opportunity to share my testimony and play a couple of songs with Phil and Nancy. Afterwards, I spoke to a lovely old man who had been in the Boys Brigade like I had been (but a few years before!)

Sunday evening we helped out Nancy who was playing a concert at St. Johanns. Really enjoyed it. Went out for some pizza with guys from WRM from Bristol who were out there too. Round about midnight, Steve, Ian and I sat on the balcony where we were staying and watched planes landing at the airport. Tomorrow we would be leaving.

Final thought - we liked Norway and it seemed to like us (bar the mayor).

Phil Heard (Drummer)