The ARK Appreciation Pages

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The Danish Tour 1993

In April 1993, ARK found themselves touring Denmark. 5 band members, 4 crew, the band's manager & a big bus.

We were out in Denmark for just over a week and a handful of shows. What follows is sort of a tour diary. There are bits that I can remember clearly and others that the mists of time and much alcohol have faded. What I do recall is we had a great time, and played some brilliant gigs.

  • Day One - the leaving of Birmingham and arrival in Randers
  • Day Two - first night in Silkeborg
  • Day Three - stop over in Silkeborg and charity gig
  • Day Four - on to Ärhus
  • Day Five - stop over in Ärhus
  • Day Six - another day in Ärhus
  • Day Seven - second gig in Randers
  • Day Eight - first gig in Älborg
  • Day Nine - the journey home


22nd April, 1993
Birmingham to Randers

Our tour began in the yard outside TourCo's warehouse. We'd prepared the gear the previous day, and now all we had to do was load it. Everyone assembled by roughly 9am, and we started to load up. By 11am we were on our way. It took a while to get out of Brum, but once we hit the M6 we were in tour mode again. The journey to Dover was quite long, as we couldn't get the new tour bus to go as fast as the mini-buses and vans we'd been hiring, but it was doing well.

The ferry was fairly uneventful, and arriving in France we expected to be searched and interrogated, but despite looking like a bunch of degenerates, customs waved us through. Time was getting on, and in Ray's wisdom, he thought it best to circumvent Holland & Belgium, as we were bound to get stopped and searched at all three borders, so took the LONG route round from Calais, France, through Luxembourg and into Germany, then headed north towards Denmark. This ended up putting 2-3 hours on our journey time, despite several of us trying to explain that the borders had been abandoned for the last few months (the EEC had recently relaxing border crossing points).

The travelling band of Ant, Gel, Paul, Peter, Steve and the drum tech.

The front of the bus was the living area, behind Paul are the sleeping quarters, behind that was the kitchen and the very back held all the band's equipment and the PA.

We finally rolled into Randers rather late to do the gig. However, Ray & Greg quickly negotiated with the owner and promoter that we would do a short acoustic gig that night, and a further set the following week, as we had some days off. Several people had read about us in local and national music press, so were eager to hear what the band had to offer. The band took to the stage, and played a shortish acoustic set featuring songs such as Travelling Man and Let Go!.

VENUE : Randers, Cafe Hatten
DATE : 22rd April, 1993


  1. Travelling Man
  2. The Speaker
  3. (Tell Me) Is This Love?
  4. The Eyes
  5. Crazy


23rd April, 1993
Randers to Silkeborg

We had been invited to stop over at the promoter's house, but seeing as we had a big bus with comfortable bunks, we opted to sleep on the bus. Plus the other people weren't party animals, and we had to have an after show party somewhere!

In the morning, however, they did lay on a great breakfast.

The next morning we took over the kitchen and had some breakfast. (clockwise) Deb - Greg - Mikey - Paul - Pete - Ray - Ant

Our next gig was in Silkeborg a few miles south, so off we headed. As Ray, Greg & Deb were due in Copenhagen to set up a few more gigs for us, I had to learn to drive the bus. Having been used to the 7.5 ton trucks, it wasn't too difficult. We arrived in Silkeborg just after lunchtime, and found a nice spot by the river to park the bus.

A few of the lads took a walk around the shopping centre, while Ray & Greg went in search of the venue. Gel was amazed to discover young kids were walking past them saying "Ahh English rock band, ARK!". It turned out that the local papers again had been advertising our presence, plus the tour bus had already been seen and noted.

After a bite to eat, we moved the bus to the venue, and preceded to unload the gear. The venue was located on quite a narrow street, though thankfully we had just enough room to park the bus.

The sound gear was a bit old as was the lighting rig, but we made the best of it. The soundcheck took a while, with much too-ing and fro-ing trying to get the best sound out of the in-house PA.

VENUE : Silkeborg, Musikværkstedet
DATE : 23rd April, 1993


Set One : Electric

  1. When We Are Free
  2. You Turn Me On
  3. Stargazer
  4. The Eyes
  5. Safe Sex / Today
  6. Cover Me With Rain


Set Two: Acoustic

  1. Travelling Man
  2. The Speaker
  3. (Tell Me) Is This Love?
  4. Let Go!
  5. Crazy


Set Three: Electric

  1. Black And White
  2. Say Goodbye
  3. Powder For The Gun
  4. Train
  5. Walk All Over Me
  6. So What!
  7. Crazy
  8. Nowhere's Ark

The gig went down a storm, with much strange dancing from the locals. But they were having fun and enjoying the band. Merchandise wasn't selling well, which worried the tour manager, as we had hoped to sell a fair bit to help pay for some of the tour costs. It turns out that in Denmark, the fans are not very keen on buy CDs & T-Shirts at the gigs and prefer to buy them in the local record shops.

The band made some friends that night, who even helped us load up the bus. We were due to have a few nights off, so the band opted to stay in Silkeborg the next day. We parked up in the public car-park at the back of the venue, to began the aftershow party, with band members and crew slowing dropping off in the small hours of the morning.


24th April, 1993

At nine o'clock in the morning, the car-park required a ticket. Seeing as the spot by the river was free and 2 minutes walk from the town centre, we upped sticks and moved the bus. Seeing as there was a fairly large open space the lads decided on a game of football, which gained a lot of interest from some of the local lads. We ended up having a great afternoon's kick around, with the odd bit of excitement as the ball occasionally got kicked into the river, and one of us had to go and fish it out.

Around teatime, as the town had started to quieten down, we decided some shots of the band would worth taking for future use.

Later that evening, we decided to go back to the venue, as we'd been told about a charity gig they were putting on. Once we got there the promoter asked if we'd do a short set to end the evening. The band had already started drinking (especially Paul), but agree to have a bash. Mikey & myself were quickly despatched to get a couple of guitars, a bass and some cymbals.

The set was thrown together, but sounded all the more fun for it. Featuring some ARK tunes as well as some covers, the band and audience had a great time. So good in fact that nobody wanted them to stop. But seeing as Paul was nearly falling off the drum stool and could barely see the kit, it was probably just as well they ended the set, to rapturous applause. The promoter was so pleased he started serving us more and more alcohol, much the band and crew's enjoyment!

VENUE : Silkeborg, Musikværkstedet
DATE : 24th April, 1993


  1. Travelling Man
  2. The Speaker
  3. (Tell Me) Is This Love?
  4. Crazy
  5. Let Go!
  6. Rock And Roll

    NB: 'Rock And Roll' is the Led Zeppelin song.

Paul was the first to drop, but seeing as he'd had more than the rest of us put together, we weren't surprised. Mikey took him back to the bus, shortly followed by Pete, Steve and Gel. Which left Ant and myself to drink the promoter under the table, which we did! At six o'clock in the morning, we thought it best to get some sleep, so started to make our way back. While walking through the town, some fans from the previous night spotted us, which I'm sure pleased Ant. I think he started to feel like a rock star ;-)


25th April, 1993
Silkeborg to Ärhus

The others surfaced earlier, but Ant and myself saw daylight around lunchtime. Where we going to go today? We knew LegoLand was in Denmark, but it looked a bit far, then someone spotted the name Ärhus, which then got substituted for "Our House" in the Madness song. So Ärhus it was.

The weather during the tour was brilliant, there was a couple of overcast days, but mostly bright hot sun. Had we come a week before there was snow everywhere. The journey into Ärhus was entertaining, as we were desperate to try and find somewhere to park. Initially we tried to find a lorry park, and finally ended up outside the town's Music Hall. We expected to have police surrounding us and telling us to move on, but after about 3 hours and no sirens, we guessed we were safe.

The bus was parked up for three days, and had it been Britain, we would have been moved on within the hour. The Music Hall allowed us to use their amenities in order to freshen up in the morning, which was very hospitable of them, and we duly thanked them when we left. The Music Hall looked over a small park towards the town centre, the park being also bordered by the Music College. During the day the park was full of students reading, sleeping, sunbathing, laughing and joking, so we felt it our duty as ambassadors of English rock music that we should do the same.

That first night we managed to find a nightclub playing loads of 70s pop,the ABBA, Slade and T-Rex going down well with the band.


26th April, 1993

Breakfast necessitated Mikey going on a reccy for bacon, beans, eggs and sausages, and came up a treat. It has to be said Mikey served up some excellent meals while we on tour. The rest of the day was spent very lasily around the man-made pond, just chilling out. Having enjoyed the nightclub the previous night, we headed for the same place again.

This time as we headed back to the bus at the end of the night, we noticed that there was a local radio station that had it's studios near the club, so decided to check them out later the following day.


27th April, 1993
Ärhus to Randers

Gel was on a mission. To get a gig. We hadn't played for few days, and the band were itching to do something. They'd been getting the acoustic guitars out to play some new riffs, but it wasn't the same as being in front of an audience. Our plan was to go up to the radio station with a CD and get them to ask if there was any local promoters or venues that would like our services for a crate (or two) of beer!

Ant. Gel and myself introduced ourselves to the office staff and gave them a CD. They were suitably impressed and asked if we would like to come in and do an acoustic session and an interview. The band of course were delighted. We didn't have much time to get organised, so we arranged to come back in a couple of hours with the rest of the band and some guitars.

Thankfully the band were pretty much assembled near the bus, so we made sure we said thanks to the Music Hall, and packed up the bus. I couldn't leave the bus unattended, so looked after the bus while the band and Mikey went to the radio station. What followed I relate second-hand.

The band turned up at the radio station, and were welcomed in. They did a short interview and a few acoustic numbers. The whole event was broadcast live, although it was taped by the studio engineer who very kindly gave us a copy. The band also put out the request for a gig.

Unbeknown to us, when the management had left for Copenhagen, we were supposed to check in each day, to let them know where we were and the like, but we understood we only needed to contact them in the event of an emergency. As it turned out, they'd managed to get a gig in Aarhus, but because they couldn't get in touch with us, had to let it go. Apparently the radio station also got a call, whether from the same venue we don't know.

However, events overtook us as the band made their way from the studio to the bus. A group of Danish youths decided that seeing as Gel was quite small with long hair he was ripe for a beating, thankfully Mikey, Paul and Steve intervened and persuaded them otherwise. It shook the band up, and the only thing they felt like doing was getting out of the town. As the next night was to be the Randers gig, we headed back there. Gel later phoned the radio station, to thank them for their help, but apologised that due to the attack, they weren't able to do a gig that evening. It was a shame that one bad incident had to soil an otherwise great tour.

Once back in Randers, we headed for the venue, and befriended the bar staff and several clientele, and finished the night off in a much better mood.


28th April, 1993

Morning came with another bright and sunny day, and two figures strolling across the car-park. Deb and Greg had returned from Copenhagen with the news of the gig we'd missed out on. Oh well, such is life. We decided to take a wander around the town, and chilled out in the town square, accompanied by a few of the people who'd been at the venue and had spotted us in town.

The gig that evening was the longest of the tour. As a thank you to the owner and promoter, the band played for over 2 hours. First an electric set, a 15 minute break, then an acoustic set, another break, and a final electric set. The night went down well, and we found ourselves with several crates of beer to keep us going for the next couple of days. 

VENUE : Randers, Cafe Hatten
DATE : 28th April, 1993


Set One :

  1. Black And White
  2. Say Goodbye
  3. Powder For The Gun
  4. Train
  5. Walk All Over Me
  6. Crazy
  7. When We Are Free
  8. You Turn Me On
  9. Stargazer
  10. The Eyes
  11. Safe Sex / Today
  12. Cover Me With Rain


Set Two:

  1. Travelling Man
  2. The Speaker
  3. (Tell Me) Is This Love?
  4. Let Go!
  5. When We Are Free
  6. You Turn Me On
  7. Stargazer
  8. The Eyes
  9. Safe Sex / Today
  10. Cover Me With Rain
  11. Nowhere's Ark
  12. Bass Solo
  13. Celebrate

    NB: The first 4 songs in Set Two were played acoustically.

Like the previous gig in Randers, the promoter agree to let us park up next to his house.


29th April, 1993
Randers to Älborg

Breakfast wasn't the high spirited affair as the first time, but we said our thank yous, and started on our way to the Älborg gig.

We knew the gig was in aid of some event, but no-one knew what. It turned out to be a demonstration for the referendum on the EEC. However, ARK aren't that politically minded, and the other headliner was a German band, who were for the referendum anyway! Someone had made a bit of a cockup, but us and the German band were getting on famously, were getting paid, had lots of beer and were having a great time, so we didn't care.

Ray turned up in the nick of time, prior to the band going on stage, to give the last minute pep talk. Greg and myself had good time with the hired in sound and lighting rigs, and showed the local crew a thing or two.

VENUE : Älborg, Studenterhuset
DATE : 29th April, 1993


  1. The Speaker
  2. (Tell Me) Is This Love?
  3. Say Goodbye
  4. You Turn Me On
  5. Train
  6. Safe Sex / Today
  7. Cover Me With Rain
  8. When We Are Free
  9. Stargazer
  10. Crazy
  11. Nowhere's Ark

    NB: The first 2 songs in the set were played acoustically.

By about 2 in the morning we decided it was best to head off. As there was long drive to Calais, we had decided to drive overnight. I took the first haul down to the German border, with Greg helping to keep me awake. About 5 o'clock in the morning, we got the fright of our lives. I had visions of the Metallica Danish tour 7 years earlier. We were heading down a road with a six foot ditch on either side. Coming towards us was a car, headlights full on. Suddenly the car veer onto the wrong lane and headed straight for us. I had no option but to break, and break hard in the hope that we'd stop before the car hit us head-on. Stopping a 30ft long sleeper coach is not the easiest thing to do and stopping it from going into the ditch was even harder. Thankfully, the car realised we were there in time, and swerved back across the road.

The only causality of the event was Ray, who despite telling everybody else to sleep with their feet towards the front of the bus, hit the bulkhead with such a force that his head went through it! Fortunately he suffered no damage more than a very sore head. Thankfully Greg was a witness to the whole scenario a made everyone aware of the fact that I'd probably just saved their lives. The remainder of the journey to the German border passed without incident.


30th April, 1993
Älborg to Birmingham

We hit the border at around 9 o'clock and found a service area, with a small café. Greg and myself, left the band to sleep off the nights events and bought ourselves a well deserve early morning breakfast! The band joined us in drabs, and before too long we'd taken over the small café.

The german workshop & our poor bus.

As Greg and I retired to our bunks, Ray began the remainder of the trip back home. However, after a few hours, it became obvious there was a problem, and we called in at the next town and found a workshop that might be able to help us. Alas, they didn't speak very much english, so I got hauled out of bed to translate.

They manged, evenutally get us going, and we headed off, only to have problems yet again halfway through Holland.

It took a couple of hours before the bus was finally back on the road. We just made the ferry and arrived in Dover late afternoon. Hungry for some real english food, we parked the bus and headed for a traditional British cafe, for good English All-Day Breakfast each.

Our stomachs full, and knowing we were back in Britain, our only thoughts were now home, and probably most importantly ... bed ... and finally sleep.

It was a great tour, and destined to hold some of our favourite memories.

All photos © 1993 Barbie.