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Here I am, sitting outside the production office in the O2 arena. It's the first of the "Big London Shows" today, which would traditionally mean much stress and fretting all round. However, we've managed to completely circumvent any last minute nerves by being so insanely busy that worrying has fallen off the to-do list entirely.
Whilst the first of the 14 trucks are being spilled onto the arena floor at the O2 in east London, a bunch of us are way out west at BBC Television Centre setting up for a TV show. There's no band here when it's time for "camera rehearsals" so the floor manager comes over to ask the crew to stand in the band's places. Suddenly, I find myself extremely busy with something. (Funny that.) Production Manager Craig Finley is up there on the kit giving it loads - he offers a most spirited performance (particularly given the hour) - although he definitely twirls his sticks a bit more than Mr Champion does...
It's then a mad dash across London to get to the O2 for a 5pm soundcheck. I have no idea how long it took us or how the traffic was. I've reached that wonderful point of tour-weariness where every time I sit still I just nod off, so I spend the journey drooling gently over myself as the real world blurs its way past the window.
Upon arrival, it's pretty impossible not to stand for a moment and take in the size of the venue. It's a nicely grand view from the drum-riser today.
You'll note in the above photo that there's some soundcheck action up on the C-stage. Our four fellas are up there giving something special a try ready for tonight.
The more numerically gifted of you will have noted that that is actually five fellas up on the C-stage. (Not including Hoppy...)
That's because tonight, they're being joined on the C-stage by... nah, I'd better not.
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