Immediately after Mr. Penniman and gang had left the building, we went to the car because we foolishly decided it was a fantastic idea to drive to Liege overnight. Let me assure you this is not a good idea. Although Donegan and myself fell asleep during the drive, it was Laura who had to keep Niko awake, before we would have a tragic crash and die in the Neverland of France. Especially the last 30 minutes were hard for both him and Laura. Laura just kept talking and I think she was so tired it was mainly bullshit. A memorable quote: "You know that Mika flooded his bathroom?" That's right Mika, she is psychic. Now get those towels ready!
After what seemed like ages but was only 3 hours, we arrived at our hotel. I felt like shit, I was tired and grumpy. What did make me happier was the fact that the Holiday Inn we originally booked a room at, now was changed into a 4 star hotel. YAH FOR UPGRADES!
We knew that quite a lot of people were already queueing, but quite frankly, we didn't give a damn. We jumped into our beds and slept until 12, we'd just see whenever we felt like going there.
Sleeping was so nice and I felt good when I woke up. We decided to get brunch and went to a supermarket. I also bought razors. I forgot mine at home, which basically meant that after 4 days of not shaving, I felt like King Kong's sister. At that moment I was in such a state of bliss, I didn't even care about the festival anymore.
A delightful lunch later, I had a date with my razors in the bathroom, Luke and Laura went for a swim and Niko slept some more. I have never felt so refreshed when I was ready with my shower. I did my make-up, we all prepared some more and around 6 we headed down to the festival.
We arrived at the festival and had to find our parking lot which took quite some time. We then went into the shuttle bus and were dropped off at the entrance. The lovely lady who checked our tickets said my top was "tres magnifique". I was about to high-five her.
We immediately went to the main stage. It was around 7 now. I just walked round the sides and surprisingly enough we could just walk to the front row. It was AMAZING. Especially after the whole Compiegne disaster, this was a real treat. We were chatting about how lucky we were, when Niko said he had to go back to the car to sleep some more, but he promised us he would be back by 10.
"PLEASE MOVE! PLEASE MOVE!"
Laura kept saying no.
"STOP IT! STOP IT!"
Laura had no idea what she had to stop.
"EXCUSE ME, THAT IS MY WIFE!" The man said.
"I WILL PUSH YOU!"
Laura, being the Essex girl that she is said: "Well, go on then!"
And she did.
Laura immediately called security and explained what was going on. The lady tried to get security to remove us, but they just shrugged and went away. 1-0 for team Laura! In the meantime, Luke was silent, afraid we would get kicked out.
We weren't. The punchline is that in fact, there was enough room for all of us to stand in the front row. After security were gone, the woman did not say a single thing any more.
We saw the full set of Puggy, an apparently famous band in Belgium and France as the crowd went wild for them. Mind you, they were very good.
After Puggy came Ozark Henry, which basically was a snoozefest (not as much as the Tindersticks though, but more on that later).
Then fiiinalllly, Mika came on! And boy was he on fire! It was waaay better than Compiegne, although Compiegne was also quite good. We danced our asses off and had the best time ever!
This was probably my favourite gig out of all 3 we did this tour. He was smiling and seemed so happy and it just rocked my socks off. Even though I wasn't wearing any.
The long wait after
We decided to wait for him after the gig. So we got our pretty asses over to the VIP parking. We weren't the only ones. Around 60 people were waiting. Then it got later. And later. And even later than later. So a lot of people left. By the time it was 4 in the morning, there were only around 29 people left and he FINALLY came out.
It was quite endearing to see. He pushed everybody out of his way to get out of the car, even crawled over them when it didn't go fast enough. The first thing he said to Laura and me was:
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE? THIS IS AMAZING!"
We said something about having no lives and having nothing better to do.
He stuck around for a few minutes, chatting and swearing like a sailor (in a positive way of course) and he did a video for Mikafans.net after we managed to get a working camera (mine didn't work. Which made him say: "Sort your shit out! How many fucking hours did you have to prepare?")
He then moved on to the other people and when he came back, Niko politely asked him if he wanted to take a group picture with the 4 of us. He happily obliged and said: "Yeah let's do it!"
Now I warn you this is not the full group picture. This is the one with the 4 of us. But considering there have been some people angry about this cropped version, I thought I would just mention it.
When Mika left, we were still on a cloud nine. The excitement got even bigger when only a few seconds after he left, he tweeted:
I have some of the fiercest fans in the world. I am honoured and very lucky. Thank you. X
We were the lucky ones. Lucky to have had the chance to experience such a good meet&greet. And then to think we thought Liege would be the mediocre gig. Absolutely not!
We went to bed quite satisfied, yet the trip did not end there yet!