Mr Tim Rice-Oxley reports from Keane’s Haugesund trip
When I imagine Norway, I imagine fjords and beautiful little fishing towns perched among the inlets along the coast. Oslo, fine city though it is, is somewhat removed from that idyll, so it was quite a revelation to be in Haugesund, which fulfils the above criteria very nicely.
Beth and I attempted to fly in a night early, but sadly our journey was cursed from the start. Heathrow Terminal 4 was like one of the climactic battle scenes from The Return Of The King, vast masses of people clambering over each other and gouging each others’ eyes and limbs in a fruitless attempt to get from check-in to Garfunkels in less than three hours. As we stood in line for the security check, I was randomly pulled aside and told to go through a different route in order to try out a new full-body screener they’re experimenting with. I did as I was bid, and once I’d been blasted with head-shrinking levels of radiation, was led through to the front of a different queue to complete the process. This did not go down well. An army of angry commuters began braying their disapproval loudly and generally hurling abuse in my direction, clearly thinking I had insisted on jumping the queue. I attempted to laugh this off whilst actually feeling like a total idiot. Mercifully, however, my embarassment was replaced by elation when I noticed that the man in front of me was none other than the fabulously dashing Damien Lewis, aka Captain Winters from Band Of Brothers (possibly the greatest piece of TV ever made). "We’re not lost, Private. We’re in Normandy."
Anyway, to cut an already-too-long story short, our flight to Oslo was delayed, we missed our connection to Haugesund and ended up staying at Oslo airport. This gave us an excuse to hit the margaritas and spend some time discussing what makes good pop music. Wise words were exchanged. Beth was arguing that Pharrell’s blips and bloops aren’t real music in the same way as The Who. I disagreed. Etc.
The next day we completed our journey to Haugesund, had lunch in the sun down by the beautiful waterfront, and generally enjoyed being on tour. The gig itself was equally wonderful. The crowd were definitely excited about the festival being in town, and were really up for it. Everyone was drunk, everyone danced, everyone sang, almost everyone fell over. Marvellous.