Heep in Lillehammer !

Photo Shots from Per Rannug and Egil Bokn

On this page are the pictures from Per....

Click here for the pictures from Egil !

A close encounter to Uriah Heep. Lillehammer, Norway, Feb 25. 99
I jumped on the plane from Stavanger and and drove to Lillehammer straight from the airport after landing.

The 1994 Olympic Village was covered with snow and Christmas decorations when I arrived . Yes ,you don`t have to read it over again. It was Christmas decorations!! I thought that this must be some crazy after-effect from the games in 94 but actually it was a german TV crew making a x-mas show ment for next Christmas :-)

The lads were lined up for a signing session which was due to take place inside a mall so I teamed up with about 10 other Heepsters and had my copy of Sonic Origami signed in gold together with Uwe Reuters fabulous book "You can`t keep a good band down". BTW for those of you who haven`t ordered this book yet.....This book is a must for every Heepster around.

I had a little chat with Mick and Co at the mall and they were all in a good mood and felt that the Scandinavian tour had been good so far.

I went back to the hotel and finally got the chance to meet the "Uriah Heep Tabmaster" ,Per Rannug. Me and Per have been e-mailing a lot since the "Hell Blues Festival" with Heep and Quo and it was nice to meet the man himself. Per and a bunch of Heepsters were lined up in the hotel lobby with a beer or five in their hands so I just joined in. We shared some some good stories and cracked some jokes while waiting for things to happen.

Both Per and me were on Heep`s guestlist so when we came to the venue, which was a big nightclub, we went straight inside the club and grabbed some more beer. After a little while Mick came out and wished us welcome, while Per used the opportunity to take the picture showing the three of us together.

I`ve seen Uriah Heep on big stages, on bigger stages but never on a stage that would normally fit the seven dwarfs, without Snow-white. It was so small that when Bernie entered the stage, sidekicks and axemen Trevor and Mick were playing more or less shoulder to shoulder with Bernie in the middle. I was standing in row three and when I streched out my hand, Bernie "gave me five" without any problems.

No bouncers or any kind of fences could keep the audience from being more or less on stage. Only a 10 inch step stopped them . The venue could hold up to a 1000 spectators but the crowd counted around 500.

The show kicked off with "Between Two Worlds" and went straight into" I Hear Voices". A wonderful start in my opinion. But by this time we could all hear that something was terribly wrong with the PA. Loud noice, and I mean painfully LOUD, came from the right speakers so after playing through "Universal Wheels", "Feels Like" and "Only The Young" ,Bernie asked the crowd if they should take a five minutes break in order to solve the problem. The response was a unisonant "YES".

Well, that gave me and Per the chance to grab yet a beer and within those 5 minutes Heep were back starting with "Heartless Land".

The sound problem was solved and after that little break, Mick & Co surfed through a blend of new material and old classics like "Sunrise" ,(a version worth dying for. I can`t see how David Byron could do this song any better than Bernie does it nowadays) "Time Of Revelation", "Gypsy", "Bird Of Prey","Love In Silence" and "Shelter From The Rain" (a damn good song that works even better live than on the album).

The encores started with "Look At Yourself", "Question" and ended with a splendid version of "Lady In Black". This simple two chord song can turn a good crowd into ecstacy, something it did at Lillehammer.

A very good concert I think. I`ve seen the lads about 20 times and this gig comes as a number 3 or 4 in my opinion. ( My number 1 : Rockefeller, Oslo 95. See UHAS mag 18).

After the show me and Per waited outside the backstage area for a while, but unfortunately Per had to leave due to his companions work situation. They had a 2,5 hours drive ahead and it was already 02:00 i the morning. I went backstage but only for 5 minutes because I could see that Mick was dying for his bed.

The next morning, after just two hours sleep, Lee, Phil and Trev joined me for breakfast before leaving for the airport. We said goodbye but when I came to the airport, the band came as well. It was foggy outside so I spent the next hour chatting to Lee while waiting for my plane. Mick and Co went up north from Oslo for two gigs before going to Denmark/Sweden but that is another story.