I am sooo depressed. I get depressed everytime I get back from my trips to the Back in Time Live events. I'm back at IBM and I'm supposed to start working on some marketing material I couldn't care less about. I'm full of memories, thoughts, and you know, I think about the three days that just passed and I feel a lot of warmth. I've had an amazing time! First of all, a big hug goes out to Chris Abbott for arranging the event once again. You have given me the oportunity to meet and play with my old heroes who now have become my friends. If this was 1988, I would have gone completely mental if someone told me I was gonna play with the people that I play with in SID'80s. And I would have bitten myself in the lip over and over again if someone told me that I would be friends with Rob Hubbard. I'm friends with most of the C64 celebs today, and I can control the fan/stalker in me, but you know, I will always be a fan and I will always cherish the times when I meet them.

Me, my wife Alexandra and Ziphoid landed in Manchester at around 10 AM Friday morning. Danceway and OctaveSounds picked us up and drove us first to the hotel so we could leave our bags, and then to central Manchester for some shopping. After a couple of hours, we went back to the hotel to rest because we went up quite early to catch the flight. I got a call from Slaygon who later came to our room together with Reyn Ouwehand. Reyn had missed that we'd gotten a new bassplayer in SID'80s, and so one day before the event, he sent us a mail telling us that he'd booked his ticket and was ready to rock. It all turned out really well though, which I will tell you about later. The five of us went down to the bar next door. Boz, Skitz, Mat Allen, Subzero and a few others were already there. Hubbard came down and sat down by the table really quietly (something that would change a bit later on, hehe), Reyn Ouwehand and Marcel Donné spoke a lot of Dutch, Bog was hugging everyone and showing his cool Sanxion poster, Danny G and Tas drank and drank and drank, Jon Hare and SID'80s new bassplayer Jeremy Longley was also around talking to people, Mark came when the bar almost closed, Slaygon kept drinking too, and Ziphoid, but Coke of course. Coke runs in the guys' veins. More and more people came, and it was just a perfect warm up of what was about to come the next day. The evening ended for me at around 11:30 while some other members of the band stayed up all night drinking vodka.

The next day at around 11:45, we all went down to The Avenue to set our gear up. I had prepared for having a (friendly) row with Mr Madfiddler. Beforehand, we decided to do an acoustic gig, but as the full line-up was playing, he wanted to do a rock gig. I thought it was a bit late to change our minds about it, and luckily, Ben Daglish wanted it to be an acoustic gig too. Mark had to give in, heheh! It's obvious though that I have to play more on a drumkit next time to groove things up a bit. But there weren't supposed to be a kit there, and so I practiced solely on the djembe. Anyways, we were in the concert hall signing the Back in Time Live DVD, talking about music, sharing laughs and stories, jamming, watching a certain C64 superstar being extremely hungover, drinking, relaxing, eating... Actually, the best thing about these events are when unexpected things happen. Suddenly there were pizzas for the bands and crew. It may sound silly, but it wasn't something I expected, and it was a nice surprice. My dear friends Slaygon and Ziphoid made sure my throat never ran dry.

We started practicing and the vibe was good from the start. We went through the usual stuff plus Think Twice 3 by Jeroen Kimmel. We also tried out Nemesis the Warlock, but it needed more practice, and maybe we'll play it in Copenhagen in November instead. When practicing, I saw Matthew Cannon and Tim Follin entering the room, and for a moment it was surreal that I was up there on stage playing with so many of my old heros around. I had a nice chat with Matthew later on, but Tim had to leave before I could talk to him. I saw that he signed a few of the Atari ST CD's though, and I heard he's interested in playing himself at some future event, so we'll see what comes out of that.

After the rehearsals, Mark and Rob started to work on their songs. I went to the Retrovision room and it was enjoying to see all the people playing games on the various consoles and computers. I didn't play anything myself, but the atmosphere was really good. The C64 rules, but other systems are cool to have around too. I was interviewed by a guy from the Swedish computer magazine Super Play, so look out for that. Time passed really quickly, and it was time for the final BIT Live event...

When the first band, MJ Hibbett & The Validators, got on stage, I was perplexed. Did anyone enjoy this? Honestly!? All songs apart from the Hey Hey 16K track were crap, their drummer was too loud and bad, and what about that girl?! My ears bled as she opened her mouth and 'sang'. You can tell I'm in the same band as Madfiddler, can't you, being this dreadfully honest? But it was bad, it really was.

Next up was Theo, Jesper and Martin from Press Play on Tape. It wasn't announced that they were going to play on any website, so it was a nice surprice to people. They did acoustic versions of Ghosts'n Goblins, Aztec Challenge and Thrust. It sounded great, and because their set was so short, people started chanting "one more time, one more time". Can't wait to see what songs and gags they'll do next time.

Mark and Rob started to prepare for their gig. I was around and Rob asked if I wanted to play something with them. OK, two years ago the man says I'm a good drummer and now he asks me to play with him! They weren't doing the kind of songs where percussion or drums would make them any better, but you know, to even get the question. And it was funny because I answered him with "No, can't play. Mark won't let me." (I was joking) and he just replied "Oh.". What a humble guy! Next time though, It's my turn to play with him! ;) They kicked off their set with Goldrunner/Human Race (the fourth track), and moved on to an original, quite melancholy piece Rob wrote at the same time he was writing music for a Disney game ("It came out almost by itself after writing all these happy tunes", he explained). They continued with Train Tune from Final Synth Sample 2, "Fiddle Tune", and finished off with International Karate which was beautiful.

I'm finding it hard to understand why more people don't come to these kind of events, especially those who still are nostalgic about the C64. I mean, there's lots of great people to talk to that shares the same interest, there's good music to listen to, you get to meet your childhood heroes, there's lots of games to play, you get away from home, you discover a new city etc. etc.

...And you get to listen to SID'80s because we were up next! :) This was the third gig with the full lineup, and it was probably our best gig ever. The set-list: Exploding Fist/International Karate, Paperboy/Arcade Classics, Spellbound, Think Twice 3, Pimple Squeezer with Reyn Ouwehand on keys, Deflektor and finally Rasputin which was my fave track to play. Spellbound went really well too, and it's always great to see Jon get in to the groove. He's an inspiration on stage. Well, everyone is really. Ben is a great band leader and preformer, Mark's a violin god and fun to communicate with on stage, Marcel's Mr Cool himself, and Jeremy was funking it up on the bass. The set lasted about 50 minutes, and people seemed to enjoy it. We were tighter than ever they said.

Afterward, we talked to the people, had a few drinks, signed CD's, and packed our stuff. We got something to eat on the way to the hotel and met in Jon and Jeremy's room for a few drinks. People present: Slaygon, Mark, Jon, Jeremy, Jesper, Martin, Theo, Reyn and me. We were quite tired, so the night ended at around 2 o'clock. The English lads stayed up until 7 o'clock in the morning though. Missed ya at breakfast mates! ;)

Instead me and Alex had breakfast with Rob, and at around 13:00, I went down to the event again to find most people being there already. That was a pleasant surprice as I thought most people would have gone home already. I had a lovely time chilling, talking, drinking, and enjoying the BIT Live DVD. A few hours later, it was time to head back home to Sweden. The depression started creeping up on me...

My BIT Lite/Retrovision Mini greetings goes to (in alphabetical order): Ben Daglish, Bog, Boz, Chappers, Chris Abbott, Danceaway, Danny G, Dogs Bollocks, Jeremy, Jon Hare, Kenz'n Natz, Lee from Lee's Peek & Poke, Marcel Donné, Mark Knight, Mat Allen, Matrix, Matthew Cannon, Merman, Ming from Retrovision, OctaveSounds, Qed, Reyn Ouwehand, Rob Hubbard, Skitz, Slaygon, Subzero, Theo, Jesper and Martin from Press Play on Tape, Waz, and Ziphoid. A super thanks goes to everyone that bought me beer and food. Thanks to everyone that said nice things about me and my drumming. Thanks for all the nice chats in general. You guys made me feel like a rockstar! See you in Copenhagen! Thank you, good night!

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