[KRAFTWERK] Manchester velodrome.. my story of a memerable night for many reasons...

paul.wilkinson01 at tesco.net paul.wilkinson01 at tesco.net
Sun Jul 5 21:53:03 CEST 2009

As quite a few people liked my story of Wolfsburg I thought that I would do the same again... I hope you all enjoy my story.

It was decided with my friends to go to the velodome early on the Thursday which was a very hot day. As we arrived to the venue about 12.30 Autobahn could be heard through the walls with great sound quality, the roof which was metal was literally shaking to the beats of Autobahn, I instantantly got the vibes that this was a very special night indeed.
As usual I was talking to the odd fan who had turned up early to the concert, when I noticed some stairs that went up to some doors. Looking through these doors I could see the band soundchecking with Henning in black knee high shorts, with Ralf and Fritz playing great music and Stefan looking onto the stage from the floor.
After a few tests of equipment they left the stage and the lighting and visuals were tested for the robots without the robots present, followed by the graphics for M.N.Stop. As I had never seen a soundcheck before it was great to see. 
After a while the band returned to the stage when they started to soundcheck Tour De France during which Ralf suddenly stated "Where will the cyclists appear from." and was pointing to the end of the stage on his side... suddenly four cyclists appeared and were cycling around the velodrome. Ralf then stated ladies and Gentlemen mr...... mr...... mr...... mr.... the British Olympic cycling team.... not knowing their names yet... after this they did it again and then called it quits for the soundcheck.... wow the buzz of seeing this was incredible.....and with the 3d as well.... what a night was instore.
A little later Henning came outside to take photos of the venue, sat on a grass bank and kindly signed loads of autographs and talked about Wolfsburg, the concert tonight which would be better than wolfsburg and the Catalogue which "was coming out soon". After this he went for a walk in the hot days sun. 
   Very soon afterwards Frits appeared to get some air and also signed some autographs for the people waiting, again the question of the catalogue appeared and Frits reply was "EMI are here today to finalise the details with Ralf". After this he went back inside the venue.
Ralf appeared with Frits and Henning to leave the venue, Ralf surrounded by security signed some autographs and hurridly went into a car to go somewhere, a few minutes later Stefan appeared. He also chatted to the fans and signed autographs and chatted about Wolfsburg, facebook, the concert tonight and confirmed the 9th september release date... and more dates were being planned after the Isle Of Wight concert but he didn't tell me when.
As my friends had never met the band before and one had never seen them in concert before after they were happy with what had happened we all went for a meal at the supermarket across the road.


I was sitting down with my sausage and chips when my mobile phone rang. It was Saphina one of Kraftwerk tour managers. She asked me if I knew of any people who like to sell merchandise on the stalls. Myself and my two friends jumped at the chance and agreed providing we could see the show.
Two other fans joined us who we had met earlier in the day. We met Guenter at the stage door entrance and went inside and got our tour passes.
Before you ask how he got my number. Myself and another friend were already on the guest list and he gave Guenter my number.
There were two stalls one in the hallway for the people who were seated and another for the standing area as they had to come in through another door. I was on the standing floor merchandise table. We were selling the Blue Autobahn, Black and white robot, grid frame , pixel logo, kids man machine and autobahn t shirts and the back pack and the mouse mats. It was incredibly busy selling loads of items. It was strange to see my friends while behind the stall including Klaus Zapke.  (hello again it was great to see you again.. if only for a few seconds). We had many complaints though that people were wanting the 3 d glasses but we didn't have to give out. I just had a set for myself which I had very well hidden for use in the show.

When the show started the stall was closed so we could see the show. I was on front row near Stefan and it was amazing. The audience reaction to the cyclists was deafing, the you tube clips do not do it justice it was totally deafing, the clapping along to the music with the cyclists also clapping was a memerable moment. After tour De France the band performed Autobahn while the cycling team posed for pictures at the side of the cycling ring. As they were coming off Ralf nodded in appreciation to the team. "next time we bring our bikes" he said to the crowd at the end of the track. I have never seen him smile so much at a concert and when Numbers was being played Stefan was beaming all over with smiles.
The audience wows to the 3d effects was as before great. At the end of music Non Stop and Ralf said, "good night, auf weidersen" there was a feeling of sadness as there was no midnight show or another show the day after...
I had to go back to the merchandise stall where the t shirts continued to sell very well... I think the blue Autobahn t shirt was the top seller of the night.
I looked around the floor for any spare 3d glasses and there wasn't one anywhere.
When everybody had left we packed up the merchandise stall and gave Geunter the money that had been taken and gave me several big hugs and many times thanks for helping him.
We talked about the concert and Guenter told us that Ralf had tears running down his face when talking about the cyclists. I asked if there was a party going on. "Not tonight they have gone as they are coming back here tomorrow morning to cycle with the Olympic team."
"oh just Ralf" I replied 
"no, Frits is as well, he's much better than Ralf and Stefan will do a bit as well.
As I left the building I stood on the seated area, looking at the roadies dismantling the stage with Stefan helping them reflecting on a very memerable night for the concert and myself and how lucky I had been.
The only sad thing is that my camera packed in during tour de france.. but I was just happy to be here. I know the band enjoyed the concert, maybe becoming very human again for a night in Manchester 2009... 
next stop Pukklepop

I hope you enjoyed this story.....please let me know.

Paul Wilkinson..... Blackpool England

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