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He wanted to encourage separatists to take more decisive action - to march on Berlin to address the "November the republic.

After 45 minutes, the security chief Berchtold beer delivered to the machine gun and placed it at the entrance. Not wasting a second, Hitler, surrounded by his guards, rushed into the crowded room, took out a gun and fired into the air.

Perched on a table, he shouted: Hall is surrounded by six hundred well-armed men! Everyone to stay in their seats! Bavarian Government and the Government of the Republic deposed!

Formed a temporary imperial government! Taken aback Bavarian military and politicians decided to listen to his words and the words agreed to support Hitler.

But the next day, Kar and Lassie subordinate sent troops against the "national revolutionary. The only message encouraging: Captain Remus led them to set up a paramilitary "Reyhskrigsflagge" "Imperial War Flag" entered into the building of the War Ministry and holds it.

In the middle of the day on November 9 Hitler, his associates and allies built up in columns of eight, went down a narrow Residenzstrasse to the War Department.

Odeonplats on the area they came to land police detachment, numbering people, located on the steps of the building in Munich "Feldherrnhalle" Palace of the generals.

Plotters to keep up the pace. Seeing this, the police of blocked their way. Pale Hitler and Ludendorff gradually approaching the ranks of police.

Earl ran up to the police line and shouted: Go their Excellencies Ludendorff and Hitler! But then shots rang out.

Three policemen were also killed. Almost all the leaders of the Nazi movement were behind bars. Only the chief of Berchtold and seriously wounded Goering managed to escape and flee to Austria.

Party, the SA and the "shtosstrupp" were outlawed. Remains at large handful Nazis fell out among themselves.

First ultra attempt to unite under the banner of saving Ludendorff, but then began to disintegrate into new groups and factions. Only tireless Ernst Rohm, who was arrested and then released on bail, has not lost hope of continuing the struggle.

In a prison cell Landsberg prison, Hitler appointed him commander of the underground storm troopers. Very soon Remus realized that the Bavarian government is not going to remove the ban from the CA.

Then, from the remnants of the defeated Rem SA formed a new body - "Frontban" association of soldiers , which is formally subordinated Ludendorff.

Prior to the "Beer Hall Putsch" in Geography Hitler movement hardly went beyond the boundaries of Munich and environs. However thanks to the creation of "Frontbana" Remus was the first to attract and ideas sitting behind bars Austrian new supporters across the country.

Now Remus could report prisoner Landsberg prison on "Frontbane" numbering 30 thousand soldiers. Hitler, however, recognizing the growing army captain, felt somewhat uncomfortable.

The fact that Remus was not going to give up full ownership of its "military" organization and its independence from the party leadership, as publicly stated, "I still soldiers, and only - the soldiers.

When in December after his release from prison, Hitler ordered the captain to form a new CA, between the old business partners nearly came to open conflict.

Hitler did not want to hear anything about the independent storm troopers. Rem also stood firm, arguing that the party players can not command a soldier, and the case of Hitler - remain a "tribune" "I will not have any policy in the" Frontbane ", or in CA!

I strictly forbade personnel CA any interference in party affairs. But Remus did not understand that Hitler had already decided - to avoid creating the CA until it is fully confident that the people will never again in the form of storm troopers will not impose his will.

He eventually broke with Remus. Former founder of the SA had no choice but to send the 30 April Hitler farewell note: He instructed his secretary to tell Remus following: And if at the time he went to such a step, it was only at the insistence of some gentlemen who ultimately betrayed him.

Today, he just needs to protect party meetings, both before Old storm troopers removsko-erhardtskogo poshiba were replaced SS. Their task was to be standing next to Hitler, to strengthen the authority of the party unconditionally fulfill all the orders of Hitler.

Better to have a total of 20 people, provided of course that they can rely, than a useless mob. It consists in the following: Held back, of course, and the fact that Hitler was deliberately delaying the reconstruction of storm troopers.

Another thing is that they refused to acknowledge their leader questionable Munich Hitler. Hitler was then decided to use the situation to create their own "Life Guards".

In April , he ordered the veteran "shtosstruppa" Julius Shrek, who by that time also a personal driver Fuehrer, to form a new security staff.

After a few weeks, the group has received its new name - "shuttsshtaffel" "garrison". SS first Shrek found in the same place before gaining manpower to "shtabsvahe" and "shtosstruppa" - among the regulars beer "Torbroy.

Shrek soon began to create security groups and outside Bavaria. September 21, he was sent to the regional offices of the NSDAP its circular number 1, responsible for organizing SS units in the field.

Party bodies invited to form small elite group of combat-ready commander and 10 slaves , but Berlin stood increased quota - 2 officers and 20 men.

Recruited mostly young people, ie those aged 23 to 35 years. Recruits had to have "good health and physique.

November 27, he sent a letter of the party as follows: In connection with this guide MOP requests require the board is not to use these gentlemen for their division title "garrison.

Already in December the main leaders of the SS could report the party that in its possession "a centralized security organization of about 1, people.

In April , who came from the Austrian emigration former commander "shtosstruppa" Shrek Berchtold replaced as head of the SS.

After returning amnesty participants "Beer Hall Putsch" Hitler built the security groups to the status of an elite organization. July 4, at the Second Party Congress in Weimar Fuhrer SS handed so-called "blood banner" - that is the flag under which the November 9, his column went on to storm Rezidentsshtasse democracy.

SS grew and gained strength. Hitler could now try again to create "their" CA: However, the leaders of the majority of storm troopers outside the Bavaria and Austria continued to distrust the former corporal.

Therefore there was a need for a person with sufficient authority, capable of uniting disparate regional strife Fuhrer. July 27, , Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary: Pfeffer was appointed Reich Fuhrer CA.

Needless to say, Hitler had to give Salomon considerable powers. On November 1, to him as the supreme leader of the SA were in charge of all assault troops in Germany.

While Pfeffer and should firmly implement all the directives of the party leader, he may, at its discretion and to organize the construction of subordinate structures.

The alliance with the Nazis in North Germany show Hitler so important that he went to reduce power ambitions of his favorite child - SS. Commander "shtosstruppa" Berchtold soon sensed danger.

His elite unit could well become dependent on the SA and partbyurokratov. This problem began to crystallize before his appointment.

The fact that his predecessor Shrek rejected by the members of the main leaders of the SS. In another order stated: Began a quiet war SS and party bureaucracy, which lasted until the fall of the Third Reich.

May 11, during the regular caucus SS Wagner expressed, that some "bosses" should "smoke" from the audience. He called Bowler and Schwartz immediately responded to this: Once added to these troubles gain power ambitions CA Berchtold resigned.

But he was not able to maintain an independent position of the SS. Pfeffer his order forbade managers guard detachments create their units in communities where CA was not strongly represented.

They were allowed to keep the number of units in the community, with just 10 percent of the payroll of local units CA.

Therefore, by the number had reached some wretched SS Increasingly, the "superman" had to obey the orders of Fuhrers Sturmovik perform their current assignments, distributing promotional material to distribute the newspaper "Volkischer Beobachter" carry auxiliary service.

They were content with just such "triumphant" as: In addition, sold issue of "Illyustrirter Beobachter". The title of this report is dated November stated: For the SS acted password: Only reinforce the conditions of reception and driven to automatism discipline maintained in the SS men a sense of belonging to the elite.

Hitler intended to "legally" take over, so the party is officially broke up with all sorts of dubious organizations and illegal military organizations.

SS officers had searched daily for construction personnel and collect weapons found. Iron discipline that prevailed in the garrison gave the impression even on political opponents.

In a secret summary of Munich Police Department for May 7, it was possible to read the message, which borders with admiration: The slightest deviation from the rules set out the current orders, guilty expect fines, seizure armband at a certain time, or removal from the service.

Special attention is paid to the behavior in the ranks and uniforms of each SS. And the company officer song, which usually ended in the event the SS, was to sound faith in SS exclusivity: Even if all the change, we are faithful to the end, to the planet ever shone our guiding star.

Guard was at all: Guard of the new Germany will be security groups. From now on, the SS became the story in its history, the chronicle of their affairs - his chronicle, the list of crimes of security forces - his crimes.

Heinrich Himmler Composition slowly trudged to the north. Gauleiter counterpart was of medium height, strongly built and had a normal, somewhat puffy face.

If a small, almost receding chin spoke of a soft nature of the holder, the lively expressive eyes gray-blue eyes behind his glasses bits of glass testified of his usual great willpower.

Strong figure seemed incompatible with the small, almost feminine hands and manicured nails. I must say that at that time, in the spring of , the Gauleiter did not pay any attention to the controversial nature of his companion.

It is very much in harmony with the Jewish name Kogan, is not it? You should also find out: In dvadtsatidevyatiletnem the SS they saw the noisy, but indecisive and too provincial Nazi apparatchik.

Devilish features in the portrait "sectarian" and "demagogue of table" added much later. The greater the power captured "feminine hands" Himmler, the demonic, and his image became worse for millions of Germans.

Yes, and now the Germans can not understand what it was for men. Even people who knew him personally, can not meaningfully describe how still was Himmler.

His image is so contradictory, that contemporaries and biographers have preferred to paint portraits of several Himmler Himmler - the executioner, Himmler - respectable burgher Himmler - the fanatical ideology of racism, Himmler - Apostle incorruptible purity, Himmler - an obedient tool of his Fuhrer, Himmler - a secret supporter of the German Resistance.

He was, perhaps, the most focused and at the same time sinister figure of the Third Reich. His eyes are always running around and blinked, hiding behind his pince-nez.

They decided that the key to unraveling the identity Himmler be found in his adolescence and youth: This hypothesis is attractive and meets the spirit of the times, when all the strange easily explained by psychoanalysis.

However, it is far from reality. True is that Himmler was born in a respectable Bavarian bourgeois family.

When his mother died, Himmler, despite his illness, the whole night stood at the grave of the deceased. During the funeral, the grave, taking the hand of his brother, he pompously said with his characteristic enthusiasm: Let often goes for a walk, "- he wrote while still a student, in ," dear mama ".

My brother is not always possible to avoid pedantic discourses, worthy of a headmaster. But should not be conceited!

You can not be so one-sided. Be a good and obedient, do not be angry daddy and mommy. Therefore, you are obliged to keep their savage austerity impulses.

I think it is my duty to do this for you. Without waiting for its results, March 14, Henry made a similar request to some official Ressneru: In the end, brother Gebhard surrendered and canceled the engagement with Paula.

This episode in the life of Heinrich Himmler shows that he, unlike most Nazi leaders grew up in a "good" burgher environment.

October 7, on the second floor of house number 3 in Munich Hildegardshtrasse born a boy. In honor of the Prince and named the child.

His Majesty graciously agreed to be the godfather and guardian of his little namesake, after the Privy Councillor humbly reported that the successor of his family weighs 7 pounds and grams.

Never young Himmler would not have come to mind so to question the authority of parents, not to mention the social system. The boy quickly learned to give due honor to the world around officialdom.

Even in a personal diary innocent schoolboy Henry says social diligence all the dignitaries mentioned in it at full rank and title. If your guardian - the prince, you, of course, is to become an officer.

Here lies the key to understanding the nature Himmler from an early age in his dreams he saw himself at the head of a victorious army. Myopic son of a teacher is going to serve in the Imperial Navy, but there did not take the four-eyes.

Henry then decided to try his luck in the Army. June 26, Privy Councillor Himmler wrote in his diary: Back in February , when his brother Gebhard called to battle, Henry appeared in the diary entry: Friends promised to intercede.

At the time, the young Himmler was able to take the help of the last time at the front of the deceased guardian. Management informed the court, "His Honor Mr.

Take that amount as a gift to your son Henry from his godfather - has suddenly gone from us by His Royal Highness Prince Henry. All this is but pure fiction - ensign Himmler had never been on the front line.

Has been given an opportunity to prove themselves in battle. After half-year basic military training in Regensburg he from June 15 to September 15, attended a course sub-ensigns in Freising, and from September 15 to October 1, - the machine gun courses in Bayreuth.

But two months later was discharged. But, strangely enough, the post-war confusion seems to Himmler gave a chance to make the military a career.

In February , levosotsialistichesky Bavarian prime minister Kurt Eisner was killed by a bullet officer. Communists took advantage of this and proclaimed the Bavarian Soviet Republic.

Legitimate government of Social Democrats fled to Bamberg, where it became collect Freikorps, volunteer corps, which consisted mainly of former soldiers.

In April , arriving from Berlin regular troops of the Reichswehr and the Freikorps began preparing for the storm of red Munich.

In a small volunteer group under command Lautenbacher joined ensign and Himmler. And again, it was too late: But the courage he still got up.

June 17, Himmler sent a letter to the headquarters of the 11th Infantry Regiment to issue him his papers, as he put it, "due to the fact that in a few days, I entered the service in the Reichswehr.

The fact that the loss of high patron at court, and rising inflation prompted the pragmatic Himmler Sr. Henry should learn some more solid and rewarding profession, such as an agronomist.

The failed military commander had to agree with the suggestion of his father, especially since agriculture was also interested in him. As a boy he collected a huge herbarium.

In the near future, obsessive love of Himmler to plants and herbs have experienced prisoners of Nazi concentration camps: But a career as an agronomist was born under an unlucky star: Heinrich Himmler did not have time to start training in a large peasant farming under Ingolstadt, as it dumped typhus.

So could you break Himmler experienced failure? He turned to the "lone wolf", thrown in the back of all of society, as the legend?

In Munich started the brightest, cloudless period of his life, putting a puzzle to biographers Nothing betrayed the welcoming, always willing to help a little boy zanudlivom eager for culinary and spoke at the Munich masquerades in costume Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid, unrequited lovers in a lady named Maya Lorits future chief executor of mass terror.

Of course, politics and "playing with toy soldiers" for some time occupied his mind. According to the membership certificate on May 16, , he enlisted in the infamous Munich "aynvonerver", in connection with what was in stock, the 21 th Infantry Brigade "one rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition for it, 1 helmet, 2 and 1 bandolier bag of crackers old the sample.

Together with a group of nationalist students, Henry managed to participate in the preparation of a plot to release from prison of a Count Anton von Arco auf Valley - killers of former Prime Minister of Bavaria Eisner.

However, due to the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment count, the conspirators abandoned their plan.

On this occasion, particularly Himmler did not get upset. He calmly wrote in his diary: In November , Himmler joined the student fraternity "Apollo", not knowing how to reconcile his new life with arhikatolicheskimi convictions obtained in the parental home, and extremely sensitive stomach.

The fact that the Church forbade the duel, and doctors - drink beer, required attributes of the life of German student unions.

Few drinks he managed to solve the problem is relatively easy - Brotherhood freed him from drinking beer.

True companions failed him for the next election in the brotherhood. Long could not "Heini" to find and partner duel obviously classmates thought he was poor talent in this area.

Only in the last year, in June , found the student, Himmler who inflicted scars on the face, without which the future head of the SS had no idea Teutonic education.

Himmler always been staunch Catholics. Yes, and Heinrich Himmler was considered a true Christian. Visit the Sunday Mass was for him not external ritual, and domestic needs.

In his diary he recorded impressions of each visit to the church service, and almost always could read: The break occurred not once, but every month grew deeper.

First, Henry tried to keep in mind the church tenets, but brought up in the family home striving for social opportunism prevailed over tradition.

The break with the church not shaken Himmler, however, cause internal discomfort. By the time his interests have already moved into the sphere of the madding crowd.

More than politics and religion, a student from Landshut capture the full life of bourgeois temptations Munich Frau Lorits dinners, as well as gender, agitated youth.

Lorits Anna, widow of an opera singer and the family-run keeper at the Munich Egershtrasse, 9, fell Himmler distant relative.

Her daughter Maria in use - Maya loved Henry, but he ran across the road next leather goods trader from Stuttgart Hans Knipp, which proved more successful suitor.

Big family Himmler often came together under the hospitable roof of the guest house. Himmler could be sure - the good aunt Lorits always for them to be covered with a magnificent table.

And Himmler immediately began taking dance lessons, not to fold to a beauty Maya. In January , he even mastered the prevailing fashion, "Boston".

Together with his friend Ludwig, nicknamed "Lou" he became a regular at the Munich traditional carnival - "phishing. Frau Lorits covered the rich table.

First served cocoa, which I immediately poured myself the pants According to the American historian Werner T. Angressu and Bradley F. During the Christmas holidays, Henry could bake muffins for an elderly pensioner, read books to the blind, to play in a charity performance for the poor Viennese children.

For a man with so many membership cards was easy to adjust to your surroundings. Political views of young Himmler has not been established and, of course, reflect the opinions and prejudices of his environment.

They can be called the bourgeois-nationalist, but they were completely absent fanaticism and belief in ghosts, characteristic Nazi ideology. It could be called a regional nationalist.

Only that last farewell to former King Ludwig III, student Himmler hired a top hat and a walking coat, but in the election voted for the right-statist-German coalition.

At that time, his anti-Jewish attacks are completely controlled and they did not cross the pale. When Maya Lorits, the girl of his dreams finally gave crossed lovers challenge, Henry decided that only the war and life as a soldier can bring solace to the tortured heart.

November 28, he wrote in his diary: East for us is very important. West somehow will soon go away. Need for East fight, it should be colonized.

Record from February 19, I by nature - a soldier When I first met these people who know each other bloody drama node set is not possible.

More than once crossed their ways of life: It was very nice. Rem pessimistic towards Bolshevism. The more ensign blagogovevshy before any command, never forget that the military hierarchy Rem is a few steps above him.

Captain," Himmler and, forever internally stretched upright. However, the captain was able to find the right approach to the student.

For senior fellow Himmler was ready for anything. August 5, , barely passing the exams and was promoted to assistant to the agricultural firm "Shtikshtoff - Land GmbH" limited liability company in Shlyayskhayme, produces nitrogen fertilizers, he joined the Board of Rohm nationalist organization "Reyhsflagge" imperial flag.

Finally, a certified agronomist got his - again able to wear the uniform, of course, not an army, but "reyhsflaggovskuyu" consisting of just a gray windbreaker jackets yes boots and puttees.

But it was a form! In the evenings, after work, Himmler enthusiastically engaged in military exercises in preparation to adherents to the street fighting future civil war Himmler soon became possible thing to prove his devotion to Rem.

In late August , he left his job in Shlyayskhayme and moved to Munich, and in November was actively involved in his first "combat operations" - "Beer Hall Putsch" of Adolf Hitler.

Organization "Reyhsflagge", after internal strife renamed "Reyhskrigsflagge" Imperial War Flag , came under the banner of Hitler and Remus.

Became a member of the party and Himmler course, he was not a real Nazi and their leader was not believed Hitler and Rohm, a symbol of the future as he did not seem the swastika, and the imperial tricolor.

Evening, November 8, Himmler appeared at the meeting "Reyhskrigsflagge", held in the Munich beer "Levenbroykeller. Himmler comrades jumped out of their chairs, hugging, many crying with joy and delight.

Reichswehr soldiers tore off his yellow caps cockade. Remus gave Himmler the old imperial flag, which had just sworn gathered.

After that, the captain gave the order to march. An hour later the War Department was in his hands. The windows of the building bristled stems rifles and machine guns chetyrehsotennogo removskogo troops.

However, the captain has realized that something is wrong. Came a politicians and generals have decided to strike back. Early in the morning on November 9 roar of tank engines notified the defense complex of buildings of the War Ministry.

Part of the Reichswehr and the police moved forward, grabbing house to house, taking positions. Guns and machine guns were ready for battle.

There was a deadly silence. On Ludwigstrasse in barbed wire separated the adversaries stood Himmler, frantically clutching a pole imperial military flag.

Himmler was standing next to the future leader of the storm troopers, whose life terminates after 11 years under the bullets of assassins sent by his former bearer.

As they say, today - true friends, tomorrow - mortal enemies. June 30, the SS executioners bullet forever joined von Kahr and his former opponent of Remus.

But their attempt failed. Remus had to surrender to the superior forces of the Reichswehr and the police and surrender.

Only members of the unarmed "Reyhskrigsflagge" produced for the police cordon. Himmler-bearer alone - without the idol, without faith.

He was undergoing an internal crisis: Only thanks to the moral support of his new admirers, Himmler managed to stay afloat. Girlfriend really believed that November 9, bearer made a gallant feat of historical significance.

One of his fans just reveled in memories: Feels as safe feels banner in his hands and he is proud of it. I went up to him, unable to utter a word.

Do not be afraid - I-bearer! Love me - I-bearer! It should be a small sign of gratitude and expensive hot memories of heroism, which he made in the hours when we have learned to hope again.

At the May parliamentary elections were scheduled. First the worst enemies of the republic wanted to turn the "weapon of democracy" against democracy itself.

The performance of unprecedented electoral struggle engulfed Bavaria. Propagandist Himmler on a motorcycle sped along the roads of Lower Bavaria, spreading the ideas of Gregor Strasser.

Moving from one village to another. In his working calendar can be read: Denounced Jews and Freemasons, natravlyal farmers in financial magnates, extolled the future world in which the final word is, of course, for the noble peasantry, thundered toward Bolshevism, denounced democracy and other areas of sound policies.

But the success of the elections not happy Himmler. He was tormented by doubts, promising a movement to which he joined.

Besides Kistler he complained of his "outstanding work, no short and visible results," and that feels engaged in "hopeless. He was looking for his idol - the leader, which could join, and he was ready to surrender.

But the owner was not there. Himmler was willing to accept any idea, but it was not. He was eager to play a part in history, even introducing himself a martyr.

If hurt you, defend and beysya through. Suppose you are buried, they will achieve a happiness of which you dreamed.

But where is it, this is the standard, the sacred cause for which is to give life? Heinrich Himmler knew that alone would not "achieve happiness," because it does not belong to the strong-willed people.

Since he lost his confidence in front of an audience, you talk a lot too much, telling stupid jokes. In his diary for January 29, we read: I am a talker and blabbermouth.

I have no energy. All I see a guy who works, having fun, who can do anything: He even started to learn Russian in order to go somewhere to the East and to do it in country work.

Or it would be the future of Peru, can be in Turkey. Later this indecisive, a superstitious person at all imagined that his haunted by bad luck.

He received the following reply: Leave the future alone. Then Frau Himmler put it more clearly - again the same: Any where "we are governed by Mars" and so - solid misery Just telling you, leave all this nonsense!

Cope with their masochistic doubts Himmler could only when his horizon was a man who became for him a demigod. In December , the fortress of Landsberg was released by Adolf Hitler.

He immediately began to restore the split gap and the Nazi Party. The fact that Himmler embarrassed the camp "populists", Hitler was able to resolve within a year.

February 27, he was able to join the new party and subdue all that was left of the National Socialists and "populists" in Bavaria.

Two months later, he formed the SS, take care of the internal opposition in his own camp, and finally, in the second half of the party formed its own army - CA.

My instinct opportunistic Himmler felt that finally found a new idol for themselves. Martin in Landshut as private secretary Gregor Strasser, with a salary of Reichsmarks.

Strasser, who led the then propaganda in Lower Bavaria, gave many of his subordinates responsible assignments.

Thus, Himmler had to keep in touch with the most distant Party cell. Finally, for the Nazis from the Bavarian heartland he and his bike became the embodiment of the party leadership.

Later, many historians have argued, though Himmler, like the Rhine speaker Joseph Goebbels was a sincere follower of the ideas of Gregor Strasser.

Chroniclers still can not pinpoint the date of the first personal meeting future leaders of the Third Reich. But Himmler to the end of his days and not be able to overcome the feeling of shyness, he constantly arise when dealing with "the greatest brains of all time," as he called Hitler.

Hans Erhard, a friend of Henry, told the English writer Willie Frishaueru that Himmler often spoke in a low voice with a portrait of Hitler hanging on the wall of his office.

Felix Kersten, - I once had to answer a phone call addressed to Himmler. Kersten, you know, who you just mentioned? You have heard the voice of the Fuhrer!

Write now about your wife! I imagine she will be glad that you face a unique opportunity But fear not experienced. Adolf Hitler rallied us behind him.

These years will remain the best of my life. And, of course, true to his stomach side. Hitler, in turn, do not forget loyal subordinate, turning it step by step up the ladder of the Nazi hierarchy: For several years, indecisive, spineless student became a Companion of fanatical Hitler, Fuhrer smote unusual organizational talent.

But in organizing Himmler was not going to stop. He saw himself as a great teacher and mentor, wanted to bring the party and the nation to the "true source of life.

According to an undated recording cell state built on the slogan "back - to the ground! Himmler even managed to find like-minded people who are ready to bring his "peasant-populist" rubbish in life.

They purchased a small farm in Lower Bavaria and made it available to the "theoretician". But hopes of Himmler that "there is still a lot of high-minded people who can, depending on their condition and strength of the material to support his initiative, to no avail.

However, despite the initial failure, Himmler did not retreat from his utopia. The son of a teacher discovered his pedagogical inclinations, considering that I was born a great teacher, able to find a practical application of the idea.

Teaching among the people around him, Himmler liked to philosophize, how would the ancestors in a particular case. For this he was always at the ready some examples from history that can "refresh" in the memory of the past and contemporary become for them a lesson for the future.

Even during the war, according to his closest friend, Dr. Kersten, Himmler dreamed of a peaceful time when once again be "to educate and re-educate.

Of a failed affair with the "village school" pragmatist Himmler still benefited. He finally got to know the true state of the German peasantry, but made of the findings seen very peculiar characteristic of utopian and sectarian.

Peasant mystic Himmler saw severe crisis, nastigshego German agriculture in the late reign of Bismarck.

Did not realize it and its main causes, the output of which was in urgent need for rationalization of agricultural production, the destruction of non-viable small farms.

He found the culprit of all troubles his beloved German peasants - "world Jewry. Rural producer must earn less, and citizen with more pay.

Profits suck Jewry and its helpers. Each neariets became Himmler scout worldwide Jewish conspiracy. At last he found his enemy.

It is in the East are giant territory, adapted for agriculture. They should be settled descendants of our farmers, to stop the practice, in which the second and third sons of German peasant forced to move to the city to seek a livelihood.

Only a relocation to the East will help to ensure that the peasant population was, as before, to play a leading role in Germany.

Like years ago, a German farmer should feel called upon to fight for the possession of the Slavs and the increasing territory of the Holy Mother Earth.

While it is not backed by pseudo-religious fanaticism and obsession, but the process of becoming a world-Himmler began. Nazi Party in that period has not yet become an organization that can bring to life "the peasant-populist policies" Himmler, and he joined the group, its seriously the slogan "Back to the earth!

Artamany belonged to the populist wing of the German Youth Movement, is an idealist who aim to create a "new life on their own piece of land. In , the first group artamanov went to Saxony to bring their economic and political ideas to life Perhaps Himmler farm in Lower Bavaria, too, was to serve the purposes of this order.

Two thousand people have left for farms in East Germany, where they began to prepare for repel the "invasion of the Slavs.

It was he who was the ideological mentor of Himmler. Darre inspired him what he preached for years: The most appropriate reservoir "best blood" he believed some legendary creature, already settled in the minds of hot populist youth - Nordic race.

We also remember that the great empires and cultures were destroyed due to the fact that their founders did not preserve the purity of their blood.

Shocked Himmler saw the outlines of a new world for him, the possibility of the existence of which he had only a vague guess. Artamany dissolved in the flow of history, their idealism clashes broke with selfishness of large landowners and land owners, is firmly connected to the city, but Himmler never forget what he owes to his brother-artamanu Darren.

In the near future, it will take him to the SS, which will appoint the head of the main department for the SS Race and Resettlement. Himmler began to preach the myth of "blood and earth" in subordinate SS formations of Lower Bavaria.

One day in , fleeing from the downpour, he ran into the lobby of a small hotel in Bad Reichenhall. There, faced with a lady, gallant Henry so vigorously raised his sopping hunting hat in greeting, which sprayed a woman from head to toe.

When he looked up sheepishly to apologize, he saw the German goddess of his dreams: This was Margaret Boden - the daughter of the landlord of the village zapadnoprusskogo Gonchertsevo.

During World War II she served as a nurse, and later moved to Berlin, where, after a failed marriage with the money his father founded a small private clinic.

Virgin Nazi propagandist plunged into the maelstrom of love at first sight. However, Himmler, senior serious about his son did not cause any excitement: Marga as she liked to be called was eight years older than Henry, but everything else was preaching Protestantism.

For a long time, Himmler did not dare imagine Marga parents. He wrote to his brother Gebhard about this: July 3, Henry and Marga got married and decided to start a new life in a rural idyll.

Marga sold clinic, and with the money the couple bought land in Valdrunderinge near Munich. There they built a small wooden house: Henry personally fashioned chicken coop, as the couple is expected to create a large chicken farm.

You know, the evil woman loves to spend it. May 6, Margot wrote to her husband: I can not imagine how we will continue to live, but still be able to save money if trinity If tomorrow morning there will be money, Bertha maid is not able to pick up your shoes.

Cold, nervous, did not differ sweet temper hostess house in Valdrunderinge beginning to the extent irritate a sensitive man, he is increasingly under various pretexts, away from home.

After the birth of her daughter Gudrun, their only child, the couple finally broke up. Marga had hoped in vain that the Nazi policy in the end return to her husband.

Today I present, as we celebrate your birthday. I keep thinking about it Honey, what will happen to me? He had long been in a different world, sketched outlines orders Fuehrer appointed him January 6, the head of the imperial guard detachments.

SS members with a personal number was able to realize what he has learned Gregor Strasser and Walter Darre. SS, Himmler believed as they wait for the hand of a master, he will turn the security groups in the elite Order of National Socialism.

Fuhrer was needed not award Faithful "runonostsev", and implicit obedience to the will of the Praetorian Guard, the blind instrument of his personal power.

NSDAP was at a crossroads. The influx of new supporters, of course, strengthened the party, but could undermine the position of the inner-Hitler.

And he decided to rebuild the party and rebuild for themselves, suppressing all possible resistance on the way. Opened the worst chapter in German political history.

From personal protection to the party police In his message of the party in Munich NSDAP district land manager South Hanover and a leading member of the Order of the populist skaldic Ludolf Haase stated that, in his opinion, was crucial to the development of the Nazi movement.

After the Munich "Beer Hall Putsch", he believed, the party broke up, for the reason that non-cohesive "body Fuhrer", and the available management does not have a strong power tool.

According to Haase, restored the party needed the "inner National Socialist Order", a secret society, always ready to stand up for the party leadership.

Knights of the Order "could comb out the organization and, if necessary - and allied organizations. However partbyurokraty from Munich were not interested in the letter from South Hanover.

Name Haase quickly forgotten, but his proposals were drowned in the archives. It was in his personal archive and later found a letter Haase.

However, for him at first, few listened. Energy is a certified agronomist and fancier aroused party bosses except condescending smile.

Himmler many seemed eccentric. He was regarded as sectarian, who was trying to cross their understanding of the elite selection, obtained at a poultry farm, racial dogma of the party.

Moreover, excessive ambition Himmler did not match his miserable position in the party hierarchy. In , the staff of the SS consisted of only people.

SS leaders with great difficulty managed to struggle in the party challenging the view that the purpose of the Order is the future of black exclusively recruiting subscribers to Nazi publications.

But Himmler, despite ridicule fellow party members, was not going to give up. He has developed an ambitious program of action to a rapid increase in the number of security groups, as well as to make images and SS as an elite organization.

In April , he sent Hitler and Pfeffer for approval a proposed rule designed to actually make a garrison of the status of the order.

From that day, a member of the SS could be only a person to a very serious filtering parameters. Naturally, for the diligent student mystic doctrine of "blood and earth" Darre did not exist a selection other than race, a male ideal than Lubkov image Nordic warrior.

However, the strict observance of such strict principles Himmler would have had to drive half an SS personnel, as most of the members, who come from the petty bourgeoisie, does not look like a German homunculus derived in the laboratory of Walter Darre.

But Himmler was not going to kill my baby and found a way out. After that, he began to gradually tighten the screws of their program.

If in the face of the candidate have strong signs of alien blood, such as too high cheekbones, I start thinking: Does not look too studied in Mongolian or in Slavonic.

I want to draw your attention to your own experience. Present here and subtle calculation. He beat the feelings of the former officers - veterans of the First World War and fraykorovtsev who have not been able to forget and forgive torn straps and taken away privileges.

No one questions the fact that at the end of the war the revolutionary soldiers tore straps with their commanders, but undeniably both: Each of you must come to the conclusion that most of them looked pretty unusual for our German eyes, their facial features were given something strange, gave foreign blood.

As before the war and in the postwar years, belonged to the elite purely social concepts. It belonged to the elite of those who own property, or the formation of noble birth.

For a lost generation of soldiers in the elite road was closed for good. Inability to adapt to the new conditions of life and the "war syndrome" pushed them to the margins of society.

Instead of the traditional caste elite Himmler proposed to create a new one: She was ready to become a haven for all the downtrodden of course, if they are right for Himmler.

And soon they were pushed to the SS orderly. In his time at the cradle guard detachments were small landowners like assistant butcher Ulrich Graf and stationery merchant Joseph Berthold.

Now the SS rushed new wave: The newcomers brought to the SS and the proper mindset, distinguished by the unconditional willingness to struggle and lack of any ideology.

They were heirs Freikorps, "people who would not let the war, which brought the war in his blood" - wrote about them in , Bard volunteer corps killer Rathenau Ernst von Salomon.

Fraykorovtsy is a peculiar part of the German young people are treated with contempt for the culture and it is expected that a new world war to cleanse people of bourgeois hypocrisy and satiety and lead to the rejection of their "own self" Their idol was an English spy Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence of Arabia.

After World War bourgeois society led a miserable existence, so young, despite calls to end the war frontline soldiers, counting on the forcible removal despicable world.

Aversion to the existing system of government and society to encourage young people to believe that even in peace time, violence and cruelty - the legitimate means to curb the bourgeois civilization.

Besides homegrown writers and poets became clogged brains cunningly big words. One of these screamers, former Captain Ernst Junger, stated: And as long as the wheel of life still in them spinning, the war will be the axis on which everything is based.

Of course, it will. Of course, the war flew like a storm, deserted battlefields, in shame left the torture chambers and the gallows, but her spirit possessed us as slaves in the corvee, and leave all in the service itself.

State needed warriors who resisted to the communist rebels and the Polish insurgents. And wishing pobryatsat weapons are.

No wonder the same Junger argued: Their units they named Volunteer Corps Freikorps , emphasizing the voluntary accession to the service of the state, which is also free and can be left.

They were right not to the state, and the banner carried by the front of the column, and the commander, who obeyed.

German military history does not yet know so politicized and opportunistic minded soldiers as they were fraykorovtsy and Regiments were commanded by lieutenants, orders distant headquarters performed according to your choice.

They saw themselves as mercenaries. For 70, fraykorovtsev their military comradeship replaced homeland. According to Salomon, "they possessed unexplained anxiety, commitment to continuous action, and danger only tickled his nerves.

They felt themselves to scornful attitude of sat up in their seats and fat responded in kind. Instead discarded traditions and standards of military discipline were introduced secret councils, and lynch law.

During such a "judicial self-help" shot people whom they considered responsible. Human life is not only strange, but also has its own, a little something worthwhile.

The words "destined to die" and "deserve death" became common and were later taken over by the SS. In , von Salomon, speaking of the Volunteer Corps, noted its characteristics such that after ten years boasted soldiers Himmler: Lynching and violence have become associates of political life: Terror has become a symbol of nationalist militias and parties.

However fraykorovtsy lost homeland. Only a small part left in the CA, occupy a commanding position. Most got into thousands of unemployed during the economic depression, realized that the CA - it is not their homeland.

Recruited from the long lines at employment, many stormtroopers were rebels for a short time, expecting Adolf Hitler provide them with food and provide an opportunity to return to their wives and children.

Fraykorovtsy in the shower continued to hate the bourgeois world in which the majority of the SA sought. And Heinrich Himmler offered them a real home - the elite Order of the SS, and, since , they went to the security forces in two waves.

Second wave were those who managed to somehow adjust to bourgeois society, but he lost his position in the competitive free market.

This led them to bankruptcy put on a uniform of the SS. The arrival of such experienced people allowed Himmler to dramatically increase the number of SS units.

He tirelessly toured across the country, recruiting new members of his order, ignoring the protests of some party leaders, unhappy with his expansion.

When he announced his intention to create in Hamburg garrison of men, the Gauleiter Krebs said, claiming that the city does not even have such a large number of party members.

January - , December - , December - people. To support this trend, Himmler authorized its recruiters to stick his nose in the CA, a number of whose members, particularly former fraykorovtsy, did not object to go to the CC.

However, the team storm troopers Pfeffer, anticipating such a possibility, at the end of ordered the mandatory interaction SS and SA.

During the same general stock members guard detachments were to be made available to the appropriate commanders CA.

Himmler ignored these instructions and was able to persuade a number of ground attack to move into his order. His efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Shtennes, head of the SA of the eastern regions of the country, complained, "It is worth noting the fact that the formation of the new SS units, and in particular the associated recruiting work carried out by unscrupulous means.

Their uniforms are also changed: Now the SS wore black caps, black tie, black pants and armbands with a swastika in the black border.

On the left sleeve there was an Arabic numeral indicating the number of the unit. CC won its first battle for independence.

Moreover, Hitler authorized the establishment orders Himmler own organization. Former decimal system abolished in each village was a detachment of ten people with the commander.

At first, as a basis for organizational structure took SA and its title. The smallest unit of the SS was the department the ball out of eight people with the commander Scharfuhrer led.

Three branches were platoon troupes headed truppfyurerom. I may just have to see how the Guinness is tasting. Yesterday I saw snow for the first time since Spring.

Small clumps on the side of the road gave testimony to the fact that the north of Sweden had already had an early fall that may signal a long winter to come.

In contrast to the outside temperature there was a lot of warmth for us from our audience in the intimate setting of the Hotel Lappland Theatre.

However, I expect a two-year gap will do no harm at all, especially as our Swedish audience were so pleased to see us.

Continuous widespread touring makes everywhere feel like home. Arriving at Lulea Airport at midnight, after a hour journey, I saw all the familiar sights and checked into the customary hotel opposite our regular venue.

The same must be true for our audience who are totally familiar with our material and greet us with the enthusiasm of old friends. Wearing a shirt that celebrates vinyl records, I talk to the young support band and inform them that Smokie have released two albums on vinyl after a twenty eight year gap dominated by CDs and downloads.

I wonder what they will be doing after forty three years, the length of time between our first hit and the current day.

This week I excel myself, in a stunning display of loyalty to Schipol, by being there four days out of five.

This glorious display of to-ing and fro-ing owes it all to my packed schedule and, in turn, my packed and re-packed suitcases.

This may seem crazy but, when the band gets this busy, the occasional night at home is to be savoured. My frenetic travelling was entirely worthwhile, as it turned out, for a full house awaited in Neunkirchen at the impressive Geblasehalle.

To fill a venue and impress an audience on a Tuesday is worth a mention. Whatever the reason, it was a great night on this, our eighth show on the Greatest Hits German Tour.

We now take a break from Germany to travel to the north of Sweden, but not before another one of those rare nights at home. Kulturfabrik looks exactly the same, stuck as it is in a timewarp that serves Smokie extremely well.

Now I hit the road at Burgerhaus surprised me, set as it is in a residential area. Wolfgang and Elke, the local promoters, are very proud of what they have achieved in making Burgerhaus so popular.

Happy to host our show, they are already talking about our next visit. Funnily enough, I was thinking the same thing. The sunny day, perhaps the last warm one this year, helped to put everyone in a good mood.

To be this warm at the end of September is a real treat and makes me feel that, however cold it gets from now on, at least we have seen a good amount of sunny weather.

The temperature inside Capitol soared as the crowd reached their most enthusiastic. It was like playing a home town gig in Germany. The tour is already one week old and today, after performing sixty shows already this year, we move on to Butzbach, where I expect we may find a similar crowd.

There have been some memorable gigs in Berlin over the years, including an atmospheric New Year show close to the Brandenburg Gate. Huxley defines a world in which our status is pre-defined from conception which, incidentally, takes place in a laboratory.

I know that my own status as a musician was clearly hinted to me from a very early age when I started knocking out tunes on a piano before anyone tried to teach me how to do it correctly.

If there was anything pre-ordained last night it was that our Berlin audience would arrive ready for a very special night with the band.

Putting aside our history of appearing only at Oldies Festivals, it was a breath of fresh air for both the band and the audience to be able to present a full show to a satisfied crowd.

The night rounded off a run of four very successful shows in Germany that point to a very good touring future here.

Today we board the ICE train for a km journey to Mannheim before continuing the tour tomorrow night. The Oldies Shows in the following decades were such an important part of the musical culture that anything other than a variety show of entertainers was unlikely to succeed unless it was an act that was charting at the time.

Things have changed and the German audience are ready to hear all that we have to offer. The band line up has remained the same for twenty two years, so our young audience only know Smokie as the five individuals who stand onstage today.

There was no mistaking the raw enthusiasm from our audience at Alte Oper last night. We move to Berlin today for a night off, a tour dinner and a chance to reflect on the reaction to the shows so far.

I am fairly sure I have never been to Hoyerswerda before as it is not a name I would easily forget. Because Smokie have visited all corners of Germany, and some many times over, it is tempting to think that we have been everywhere.

Last night we were in less than familiar territory but with an audience that was completely familiar with our music. On this second night of the German Tour we were given a very warm and vocal response.

It was like being amongst old friends. The set is now so well honed that it flows effortlessly and with great effect. Tonight we will be in Erfurt for an earlier performance in a sellout venue.

Last night we continued a plan that began in April , namely to tour Germany with our own show rather than be part of an Oldies celebration.

For a long time we have felt that our German audience would like to see a show that enables us to embrace four decades of music instead of just one.

At Steintor Variete in Halle our audience rewarded us with a reception that confirmed that there is a demand for the band to entertain for a whole evening, thereby including songs that would otherwise have escaped their attention.

It was a very strong start to our autumn tour that begins in Germany in September and returns again in October. With 39 dates to complete before the end of the year, we are going to be busy travelling and playing.

Today we move on to Hoyerswerda. Who will possibly complain about the noise level? Looking back to the beginning of our touring year, at The Annette Fox Charity Dinner, it seems a very long time ago in this, our busiest year since Business is booming for us and shows are selling out on a regular basis.

Gausdalfestivalen is in its first year and yet it still pulled a very large audience for our show. This year I am actually taking a holiday, a mini break in Venice for four days.

I went straight from stage last night to Oslo Airport to wait for security to open so I could board the Later this afternoon I shall drive to Edinburgh to be close to the airport for my early Monday morning flight to Venice.

Even when I am not travelling to work I still travel for pleasure. It seems like the sky is my real home. Talking of the sky, I really hope this year to see the Perseid Meteor Shower, something I miss every year due to cloud cover or light pollution.

My thanks go to all those people who have bought a Smokie ticket this year and enjoyed our show. I should have been born with wings.

For the second year in a row Smokie find ourselves playing at an Irish racecourse, this time at Leopardstown. There followed a round of photographs and a televised interview before we took to the stage in front of a crowd of 6,, the largest they have seen during this series of Bulmers Live at Leopardstown.

Our Irish audience proved once and for all why they are the best in the world, bringing the party to the band and taking no prisoners.

The decibel metre was greatly challenged as the volume of the audience competed with the volume of the PA. Our first visit to Leopardstown will surely not be our last.

Today we move on to Oslo to get in place for our final show of the summer. Once again jackets and rainwear were the order of the day in Valsoya, only days after the temperature had topped out at 33 degrees.

Hestholmen is home to an adventure park that features tree top walks and zip wires, as well as playing host to the Retrofestivalen.

We hit the stage at Holidaymakers and thrill seekers were celebrating their last but one weekend of their Scandinavian holidays, and they were in excellent voice.

Our near word perfect youngsters are able to enjoy some of the music that inspired their parents, and I hope they will be able to do this for many years to come.

Over the years I have seen festivals grow from a small enterprise to a large undertaking. When I talk to bands who are playing it for the first time I feel like a veteran which, in many ways, I am.

There was a notable change in conditions, compared to our previous visits, when we huddled round the fire for warmth after the show. This time there was no fire due to strict controls during the drought.

I think the air will be a little fresher once we reach Trondheim this morning. Not a lot of people can squeeze over 2, people plus a full production into their garden.

Our host in Svangsta managed it last night with room to spare. My day consisted of driving to Stockholm, flying to Copenhagen then driving back into Karlshamn in Sweden.

Even the security guards in Malmo were surprised when I told them the plan. Heat was again on the menu as the mercury hit 33 while we melted on stage.

We need a new word to describe just how sweaty I had become. Clearly the audience were well into the show, and determined to show us that not even the heat could interfere with their celebrations.

It was an extraordinary and memorable night, set in an impressive location with a delightful audience. What more could you hope for in a garden party?

Scandinavian holidays are in full swing, hence it is possible to fill a venue on a Tuesday, the last one in July.

Everything is made more palatable by the agreeably hot weather that brings people outdoors as sure as it causes an increase in barbecue sales.

Last night we played in On Hedesund , and so we went on in On on time. Set in a forest surrounded by lakes, it was a beautiful setting in which to celebrate our 50th show this year, and there are another 44 to go before we put the lid on Add to that the general comedy of being constantly bombarded by flying insects and we had a truly memorable night.

Now we fly to Denmark in order to travel backwards into Sweden. Who can honestly say they did that out of choice?

After a day of dodging thunderstorms I ended up alongside Lake Hallwil in the sumptuous Seerose Resort and Spa with its scenic views.

From the safety of this ultra clean environment I read of the chaos back in the UK, feeling very lucky that I was here in Switzerland.

Sportplatz Bez Fahrwangen was geared up for a big festival crowd and there was nothing to stand in the way of a really good night. In keeping with the reputation of the Swiss, everything ran like clockwork and the town of Fahrwangen celebrated like there is no tomorrow.

Luckily for me there is a tomorrow because I shall leave home once again, having only just arrived, to set off for Sweden and Norway.

This is Smokie at its busiest, so we make hay while the sun shines. The audience met every song with elation, culminating in a football style response to Alice.

Neither the cold nor the drizzling rain could divert their attention away from the intense and focused hour of singing along with us.

We have been to this country many times but have never seen a better reaction from a Faroese crowd. The night just put the cap on a trio of excellent shows this week that have all attracted big enthusiastic audiences.

We left some folks still in party spirit as we got up for the red eye flight from Vagar, the first of three to get me home today.

Next stop is Switzerland, but not until after I have joined my family for celebrations in the lovely city of Edinburgh.

A full house is still a full house by any standards and this outdoor venue was jammed to capacity on one of the best evenings this summer has to offer.

The half moon offered extra light as the sun went down and kept our lively audience visible from our perspective.

Now we leave summer behind to visit Faeroe Islands for an outdoor festival in rather different conditions that may come as a bit of a shock to the system.

All I need to do is remember that I brought a jacket for this exact occasion. Built in , it has remained in a curious timewarp, and one that has found it fame.

History has never been more popular than it is now and it draws wide eyed youngsters in with its educational appeal and the experience of being in the same space as people who were actually there during a period of special interest.

As we took to the small but adequate stage we were faced with a huge crowd that had answered the call of this very special place.

As usual there was a great spread of ages at Tyrolen and the younger generation appeared just as enthusiastic as the older folk.

I would love to return to this venue again some time in my career and, if it is long enough, there may be a good chance that it happens. Moving people and equipment around different countries during the busy summer months is not without its risks.

With the very best of intentions and careful planning there is still the possibility that not all of your valuable pieces will make it to your destination.

Never mind because equipment can be hired or borrowed and the show continues as nearly normal. With this mindset in place Smokie were prepared to perform at Wels Music Festival entirely without any of our guitars.

You might think that guitars are all alike, but ask any player and their response may be different. However, the show goes on and the audience is largely unaware of any problems.

We put our audience first, so their reaction to what they see and hear is all that matters on the night. Kaiser-Josef-Platz was full to bursting when we finally hit the stage after our lengthy journey from Bergen.

The people and press of Wels had been looking forward to this night and they made that abundantly clear to the band. It seemed like the audience drew in breath together and braced themselves for a cacophony.

Their best volume then became the norm for the rest of the show as they joined in with every word of the Smokie set.

A predominantly young audience had been well versed in our material and were in good party spirit aided, of course, by the obligatory beer or two.

Festival season is in full swing and there was a general holiday atmosphere in and around the venue and the assorted jetties lined with power boats, all full of revellers.

There were more than a few invitations to join the boat owners and their passengers for beer and selfies, but we had other obligations, including two flights to Vienna this morning.

If a rolling stone gathers no moss then we can be sure not to find any growing on our shoes. Last night we were in the hands of Rebels - at least that was the name of the organisation, based at Musikk-Kjellern in the pretty town of Gran, who brought us to this part of Norway to celebrate their summer party.

Of course it had nothing to do with England taking our football skills to the next level, although that helped to put extra spring in the Smokie step.

I felt like I was working but in a holiday type of way. Now I return to The Highlands on my 62nd birthday and get ready for some more touring, there being another twelve shows before the summer break.

Who needs a holiday? I hardly need to point out that the weather was perfect because that is a repeating daily pattern during this surprising summer of What struck me was the large percentage of young people in the audience, much like it was thirty years ago in It seems like there is yet another new generation that enjoys Smokie music in this quarter of Scandinavia.

There was no midnight sun, for we are too far south, but the late night semi darkness allowed for a few atmospheric lighting effects to enhance the finale to a ripping show.

Now I return home, on three flights, to prepare for another Norwegian visit next week, after which I travel home on my birthday.

Two things are occupying British minds at present - the current heatwave and football. Both have had a profound effect on many people and caused a lightening of the mood and a tendency to celebrate.

Smokie know a lot about celebration for it is what we do every time we hit the stage. When the audience arrive with their party heads on we have only to stir things up a little bit to get the energy flowing, and last night at The Grassington Festival it flowed like Niagara Falls.

The sheer volume of the crowd gave testimony to their enthusiasm and the compliments after the show came in quantity. We finally made it to a UK summer festival, and that, in itself, is an achievement.

After a great night there is always talk of a return visit, and I would not be too surprised to see this date in our diary again some time in the next decade.

Perhaps the sun will shine for us again and our England team repeat their impressive performance to date. My first time in Liechtenstein was just three years ago when we played up a mountain in Malbun.

Our promoter loved the show that night and made sure to bring us back one day, and the rest, as they say, is history.

A day of leisure was followed by an evening of alternative leisure in an idyllic location, and what more could you wish for?

This was summer at its best and an audience that was ready for a party. We now take a very welcome break before resuming in Grassington on 27th June.

My weekend began early with a flight on Thursday evening to Prague, where I stayed in the arty Prague 3 district prior to my day of promotion for the forthcoming symphonic tour in November and December.

The day consisted of a press conference followed by numerous interviews by journalists from Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, whose focus was why Smokie are undertaking a tour with an orchestra.

With a successful day of speech and photos concluded, we ventured to our hotel for two nights, the beautiful Zamek Dobris. The sky drew black as the day progressed and I saw the first rain I had witnessed in weeks.

The ferocity of the thunderstorm quickly created deep puddles around Letni Kino but the audience was prepared.

Nothing could dampen their enthusiasm for the evening and they gave us a rapturous welcome. This is our last appearance in Czech Republic until the symphonic tour and, if initial sales are anything to go by, it promises to be a very successful tour.

Junge Garde is an outdoor amphitheatre, reminiscent of Waldbuhne in Berlin. Last night we struck lucky and there was no need for a single waterproof or umbrella.

Being mindful of the need to observe the strict Our two-show German weekend was an unqualified success and a chance to really catch up with our friends in Sweet.

For my part I am returning to the sunny and dry Highlands to recharge before journeying to The Czech Republic to promote the end of year symphonic tour.

The weather has dominated our German shows so far, and continues to do so. Some people spent a lot longer in Amsterdam than they would otherwise wish, while in Hamburg the sun was cracking the pavement.

Could we rely on it to stay calm until after the show? Our German audience gave us a great reaction throughout and stayed until the last minute when lightning heralded a slightly early end to the show.

At least we finished on Alice, so Alles gut as they say here. Today we start early on our km journey to Dresden where we can expect more of the same.

After a baking hot day we witnessed a perfectly blue sky fade to crimson as the sun went down over a warmer than usual Baltic Sea. Several stages had been pumping out disco music since mid-day, creating a non stop party atmosphere in this popular part of Latvia.

The celebrations went late into the night with music coming from every direction and the beach and streets were still crowded.

The town festival has attracted people from many countries and the Latvian people are fully prepared for their visitors to this beautiful region. We now move on to Kiev where there is a private function that needs our attention.

So began our weekend of Irish hotels, a trio of unusual gigs for Smokie since we hit the theatre circuit but, nonetheless, a run of sellout shows to the nation of people who took their party spirit to every corner of The Earth.

We continue tonight, on this Royal Wedding Day, in Ballybofey where another party will surely accompany all our familiar melodies.

May 19th was always going to be a day full of excitement, with so much happening and sunny weather to make it all the more enjoyable.

The song plays everywhere but there was only one place on Earth where it was played by Smokie, and that was at Jacksons Hotel, Leisure and Conference Centre in Ballybofey.

I hardly need to say that the audience were on fine form because that is a given. It was a great end to a great day, and one that will be remembered by so many people for so many reasons.

But for us we yet have to do it all again tonight. This was almost like I remembered Carrickmacross, except Treacys looks brand new. Some things can never change, of course, and that includes the extreme heat onstage and the wild reaction of the crowd.

My earliest memories of my time with Smokie include recollections of playing to more than capacity audiences while several hundred people were left outside without a ticket.

It was the earliest manifestation of Smokie mania and it seems to be emerging once again. Where else in the world can you meet a party crowd on a Sunday night?

That concludes my springtime Irish adventure and I now return to recharge, replenish and refresh before taking to the skies again on Friday. By the time we get onstage the ship is already crossing The Sea of Aaland, so there is invariably a bit of movement, enough to swing the PA and make you feel a little off balance.

For my own part I was off the stage and running, given that I only had five hours before the alarm and the need to transfer from Cinderella to Rosella and travel back to Stockholm Arlanda, there being only one flight option to get me home.

As it happens I am returning to an unusual visitor - a baby hare that was abandoned and in a sorry state in my garden. The little creature is doing very well with lots of love, feeding and nurturing and will eventually return to the wild where she belongs.

I hope she remembers us, stays somewhere close and brings up her own family one day. That is part of the pleasure of living in the wonderful Highlands.

Arriving at the hotel, we met with a huge number of people who were there for one reason only - to party with Smokie. By now we are totally accustomed to seeing sold out venues, so it came as no surprise that the room was full to bursting, and the audience completely prepared to join in with every song.

We are coming to the end of the current wave of Scandinavian shows, but not before we make another visit to MS Cinderella on Thursday.

I return to Scotland for the Spring Bank Holiday and a chance to spend two days on the ground before taking to the air again.

I should really have been born with wings. A frozen lake is a sight to behold at the beginning of May. Many piles of snow, blackened by car exhaust emissions, stand six foot high and show little sign of melting, even when the sun is shining high in the sky.

Ostersund has properly woken up, as evidenced by the vast number of people now enjoying outdoor living, but the seasons are a little confused.

Everything here is about a month late, including the ice on the river and the luxuriant snow on the hills. There was nothing late or cold about our audience at OSD Folkets Hus Congress Centre, for they packed out the venue and were ready on time to join in with every word and every nuance of our now very popular set.

It was like looking in the mirror as the crowd expertly demonstrated just how accustomed they were to Smokie songs.

This is Smokie revival, or maybe Smokie awakening and, whatever it is that is driving audiences around the world to support us, it is a great pleasure to repeatedly feel the love from so many people in so many places.

Today we move on to Sundsvall where the very familiar Hotell Sodra Berget is waiting to vibrate to our tunes. I feel another successful night coming on.

Our trio of shows here in Norway was rounded off with a repeat visit to Askoy Forum, where a large crowd were making the most of the extra daylight on a sunny April evening.

I have been coming to Norway several times a year for the last thirty years and I know that a Norwegian audience like to fill the hall only once the band have started.

Our visit to the island was greeted with great enthusiasm and we were pressed to make a promise that we would return to this area, outlying an expanding Bergen with its new airport.

Next stop is Sweden. Memories are so important to us; how would we be without them? Even the staff at Brasserie Brakstad treated us as if we were only here last week.

From the moment I arrived in Haugesund I felt like I was in very familiar territory with a comfortingly familiar routine. How easy it was to settle into the show at Festiviteten, playing to a packed house of people who were as familiar with our songs as we are ourselves.

It made for an effortless yet energetic evening of entertainment that felt tailor made for that one audience.

They made their appreciation very evident and topped the decibel range with their singing and responses. Should we be billed to return next year I have no doubt that our experience will be just the same, reliable as ever, familiar and enormously enjoyable.

Over the years Smokie has visited every corner of Norway, and some places several times. We have experienced more of this country than the majority of Norwegians, it is true to say.

Now we have established a new relationship with our Norwegian fans that could see us filling our spring dates with shows in this country. The warm air kicked in as we hit Holstebro and those double figure temperatures finally became a reality.

Earlier in that year we were in South Korea, where we were made football ambassadors as well as honorary citizens of The Gyeonggi Province.

There was a more serious matter on the table which was the final night of this excellent Danish Tour Our single set, delivered to a capacity standing audience, was a winner in all respects.

With absolutely no own goals scored, every song hit the back of the net. With no half time to slow things down the pace was mighty and we all, audience and band alike, ended up in clean, although sweaty, outfits.

It was fair play and a fitting end to a thoroughly successful Danish tour. Now watch out for those re-bookings when next season comes round because we will most likely repeat a lot of those fixtures in April Our last appearance in Grenaa was in August when we played an outdoor festival.

Last night was very different as we played to a standing audience at Pavillonen, a venue that reminded us all of The Ironworks in Inverness.

We performed the last of our two sets to a highly responsive audience who were well versed in Smokie songs. Their appreciation was palpable and they were ready to make the sort of noises we like to hear from an audience.

Tonight marks our final show in Denmark this year, but I believe the pattern next year could be a little different once the summer festivals are booked.

I scoured the backstage walls for evidence of our previous visits and discovered that we were here in , and The pilot had told us that he may have to land elsewhere and we explained that he had no choice but to bring us to Aalborg, which is why we chartered the plane in the first instance.

Our relationship with the Danish people was already well established by that time and last night confirmed that our music still has a special place in their hearts.

Once again the double set was greeted with firm approval and the urge to get up and dance was too strong for the audience to resist.

By now our promoters are aware that they have to book early in order to secure the dates they require. My impression is that there is much negotiating with all our Scandinavian promoters regarding who gets which dates.

Because our hotel was joined to Vejle Musikteater, and the associated restaurant was just across the road, the preliminaries involved being around several members of the audience who we met and conversed with before the show.

What a friendly lot they are here in the lovely city of Vejle. We presented music from four decades and every song was known to the audience.

I was even dreaming of a Guinness after the show, although the range of Danish beers was enough to satisfy even the choosiest of ale drinkers.

These first three shows in Denmark have been a total success and have paved the way for more fun as we return on Wednesday.

Even the weather has started to turn here and there is little need to carry a jacket in these conditions. Once again the smell of sea air filled my nostrils.

Mexican Girl newly equals Alice in folklore and is likely to gain in popularity amongst holidaymakers. The party continues while we turn over from Side A to Side B in Vejle tonight, where the audience will be treated to the double set.

In typical Smokie style I left the family to continue celebrating the remainder of Easter while I chanced a Schipol Airport that was very troubled by flight delays and cancellations.

It all ended well with an on time arrival in Billund on Thursday and an easy journey to Viborg. There were many reminders in Tinghallen of our various visits to this part of Denmark and the audience helped things along beautifully with a very warm response in a very hot hall.

All our Danish shows for this year are invested in these six nights of our tour so we will be making the most of our time together for a proper catch up with Danish friends and fans during this time.

We move on to Nykobing Mors for a continuation of the never ending Smokie party. Butlins has a great formula that works very well.

A large number of people get together for a theme weekend, live at close quarters to each other and have a thoroughly good time. There is nothing missing here because there is food and entertainment to suit most tastes.

Couple that with being next to the sea and you have a winning combination. In a way it is very much like being onboard a ship except that the sea is an option rather than a necessity.

In this quarter of our island the people are just happy that we made it to their lovely county. I did wonder how much energy would be left in our audience at the end of a boozy weekend but they well and truly rose to the challenge, leaving us in no doubt that the Brits have an appetite for a party and plenty of staying power to last until the end - also known as Alice.

The reaction from every generation to this song is equally inspired, and it is no less than our theme tune.

KLM must now keep my seat warm as I prepare for the start of a very long flying season. Perhaps I should have become a pilot during this last thirty years.

Everywhere you look there is great architecture, and history itself looks you in the eye. Was I at the mercy of the nuns?

Would they only like The Sound of Music? What would they think of the way Alice is sung? None of this matters for The Bar Convent is a very acceptable hotel that runs alongside everything that goes with worship, including the clock that chimes every fifteen minutes just outside my bedroom.

Needless to say I was on my best behaviour while staying at this historic hostelry. Last night marked the end of the UK Tour and it felt like we were all coming home to party with the folks of Yorkshire.

Our welcome to the stage was with great enthusiasm and our appreciative audience kept the mood going throughout. This most anticipated tour has been a tremendous success and it lays the groundwork for future UK tours.

Usually we would all go home at this point and prepare to board a plane for an overseas show but there is still one more UK booking to honour, and that is Butlins in Minehead tomorrow night.

Until we all meet again I wish you all a great year and a good summer. There are facelifts and there are complete refurbishments, and the process at the old Civic Theatre fits into the second category.

Reborn as The Hippodrome, it is a stylish theatre that deserves to pull in a crowd every night of the week and, incidentally, this is exactly what is happening at present.

It may seem like not very long ago that Smokie last played here but I can confirm that it was on 11th April We all know how quickly time passes, particularly in this music business.

And on that subject, I often hear that our live show passes too quickly. Again we were held to make a promise about our return in the future and I can say, from my own point of view, that an early return to The Hippodrome to play for our friendly audience from the north east can never happen too soon.

Tonight marks the end of our UK Tour in the lovely city of York. The icy wind that blows directly off The Irish Sea was enough to bring me back to full consciousness after a tricky day that began with a Virgin train struggling to get up the hill coming out of Inverness.

As the minutes ticked past I was considering my other options for getting to Southport in time for the show. All ended well and I made it to the Theatre and Convention Centre with five minutes to spare.

Again I have to thank that very fresh breeze and a temperature well below that of Inverness for keeping me keen and focused. These lungs are used to breathing fresh air and what I enjoyed yesterday fell well within that category.

I think the audience must have benefitted in a similar way because they were lively and full of song. Our mid-week show in this westerly seaside town was an unqualified success and one that people will talk about for some time to come.

Will there be a UK Tour? There is certainly a demand. Our audience inside the auditorium, sealed off from the wintry showers outside, showed us enough warmth to heat Florida.

Even the occasional loss of the lights, that plunged the stage into darkness, seemed a minor inconvenience when there is serious partying to be done.

There were visitors from Spain and Iceland as well as a fair few Irish amongst our Scottish crowd. If you have ever been to Glasgow you will know just how friendly people can be in this corner of The UK.

I feel that Scotland has really done us proud on this northerly leg of the UK Tour. As I look around my train carriage I see a lot of my colleagues.

We all look like we are recovering from the best party of the year, and that is pretty much what it was last night in my home city of Inverness. The band and audience made me proud and our return is assured.

Another year, another full house at Tivoli Theatre. Our Aberdonian audience gave us the benefit of their voices at full throttle to create the party spirit that is usually associated with a Friday night.

There was no mistaking the fact that they were here for a good time and a thorough revision of their own Smokie repertoire. There was the usual smattering of first timers, introduced to our music by friends and family, who vowed to return next time the band are in town.

Our return seems guaranteed, so I am sure we will be seeing most of our audience again. I have a feeling there will also be some very enthusiastic revellers in the house tonight.

Victoria Theatre is as familiar to me as I am to Smokie fans. I feel like I know every cobble of the street that leads to the Stage Door.

For my part I feel at home in Yorkshire because this is where I lived for many years and where my Smokie journey began just over thirty years ago.

There will always be a welcome in this very special part of the UK, and I believe that our Yorkshire fans will continue to do everything in their power to make sure that Smokie remain on the road for as long as possible.

Our UK Tour continues in Scotland next week and that is when I shall be able to really be on home territory. It is, after all, well outside of Yorkshire and yet we are given a response that is more usually reserved for a home team.

The documentary aired on Yorkshire TV but was picked up in Norfolk, resulting in a new enthusiasm for Smokie in this part of East Anglia. That enthusiasm was again evident at The Corn Exchange last night where our audience were keen to join in with the songs.

We were ably supported by Shira and her fellow Leeds Music College students who put together a great set that properly demonstrated their skills as musicians.

Our Kings Lynn audience were full of praise at the end of the evening, pressing us for details of our return.

I was taking no chances yesterday, so my journey to Llandudno started on Monday, just in case the recent snowfall made another appearance.

Llandudno, or Chlandidno as it is pronounced locally looked splendiferous in the spring sunshine and Venue Cymru was as welcoming as ever.

This was the start of our UK Tour and it was a heartwarming beginning to our catalogue of journeys in our home territory. With many miles to go we can look forward to scenic and climate changes during the month of March, as well as that wonderful weekend when we put our clocks forward.

For all reports keep an eye on my blog where I share my thoughts and perspectives on a career that has engaged me for exactly thirty years today.

Drammens Teater is notable for its bijou charm. Also its surrounding area is a pleasure to walk and investigate.

Time was a little short yesterday because I went from stage to train station in order to connect with Gardermoen for my early flight this morning.

Talk backstage was about how everyone would get home during this ultra snowy period. In Norway, however, everything was normal and the huge mounds of snow in the street were mostly ignored by people who are used to seeing them.

Every seat in the theatre was occupied, indicating that there were no apologies for absence and, happily, there was no shortage of enthusiasm from our very vocal theatre crowd.

Our date sheet is peppered with Norwegian bookings, so expect to hear a lot more about our adventures in this part of the world, in all seasons and all times of year.

If we all remember for one thing it will be the comically named Beast from The East. Talking about the weather is a popular pass time in The UK.

Here in Norway, however, there is no need to mention it at all because all services run as normal. During my time with Smokie I have been to some of the coldest places on Earth, as well as some of the warmest.

When we are dressed for the weather all is OK. At least everyone got here in time for the show last night, albeit that it was only twenty five minutes before the start.

The venue was full and the audience were ready to listen to the hits that made Smokie the top selling artist of all time here in Norway.

Not even the theatre seating could stop our crowd from getting up and dancing. The talk backstage was about how many shows we will be performing in Norway this year and how many more we could do if we were available.

Smokie are riding the crest of a wave of popularity at present and we could, if we wish, be even busier this year. However, we all need a few days between shows just to recover so we may return looking energetic and, on that issue, we will be properly tested this year.

How many times have I heard these words? In the case of TLT Theatre our last visit was on 17th December and there was snow on the ground.

Poor weather caused the cancellation of our gig in Castlebar the following evening so we journeyed to Belfast where the Christmas market looked resplendent.

These and other memories were shared in the bar at Boyne Valley Hotel last night over a couple of pints of Guinness.

No matter how extensive our tour we will always leave a little unfulfilled demand yet, for the most part, we get to catch up with a lot of fans who have followed us for much or all of our career.

Last night we blew the roof off TLT, with a lot of help from the audience. Our six-day Irish Tour ended on a high, leaving our fans with happy memories of excellent shows.

This is touring at its best. Now I return home for a brief turnaround and then fly to Oslo on Tuesday to make a return visit to Lillestrom Theatre where we are unlikely to hear those often repeated words see above.

If you think The Beast from The East is causing you problems just consider how much colder we will be feeling 48 hours from now.

A sellout show at University Concert Hall in Limerick is a rare event and, knowing this, we were always guaranteed a great reception at this venue.

Once again the party started effortlessly and with full vocal support from the crowd. The enthusiasm for Mexican Girl is starting to match that of Alice as the audience give us their loudest retorts.

In return we get their participation one hundred percent of the time. To play to full houses everywhere is a dream come true and to get the sort of reaction we are enjoying is just the icing on a very generous cake.

Today we move on to Drogheda to play a venue we last visited in December Lyrath Estate, in the heart of Kilkenny countryside, is a 5-star spa resort hotel.

A great place for a thorough pampering followed by a party with Smokie. A day of walking, massage and pounding with spa jets naturally requires a good finish, and that is why a good sing and dance are completely necessary to restore the balance.

They are up against stiff competition, as mentioned in my earlier reports, but they put in a good bid. Thursday night is no excuse in this part of the world because every opportunity to let the hair down is embraced with enthusiasm.

Today we move on to the poetic city of Limerick where our audience at The University Concert Hall get the chance to out sing their fellow nationals on this Friday night.

Is it any wonder our hearing is deteriorating? The audience were well up for it from the first note to the last. Our relationship with the Irish is so strong that I feel like an honorary Irishman, and where better to put that to the test than in Dublin?

It is well known that Guinness tastes best in its home town, horse drawn from the brewery just yards away. After three excellent shows we have every reason to feel very welcome indeed in our neighbouring country.

Now I have a brief return to The Highlands before returning on Thursday for more merriment. Does the fun ever end? I really hope not. Once again the function room at Clanree Hotel was full to bursting as we hit the stage last night.

It felt like our audience would never let us go. The foundations of this solid hotel fairly rocked as the crowd swayed along to the music.

I wondered if they knew about the volume of our previous audience in Belfast because it seemed like they were trying to outdo them for sheer gusto.

Every space was occupied and every face was smiling. A reception for the band simply does not get better than this. I feel that we have set the bar so high with these first two gigs that, rather than try to vault over it, it would be much easier to limbo under it.

Smokie mania is back and it feels good - really good. Without any intention to top these last two performances at Vicar Street, I would be more than happy if it is equal in intensity and, somehow, I think it will be.

Few nations around the world are as vocal as the Irish at Smokie concerts. Even if you had your fingers in both ears it would be impossible to miss the thunderous response from our eager crowd.

It was a mighty start to our Irish tour dates this month and sets the band on a high note for our busiest year since We move on to Letterkenny today where we have an equally big following and high expectations that we will party like we did last year.

If the show is even half as good it will be a winner. A large crowd filled the ample stadium and our audience were on top form.

It was simply one of the best ever first gigs of the year. The short break has helped to recharge energies for our very busy year ahead.

It was also nice to feel a tiny bit of heat in the sun a full month ahead of our own experience in the UK. But chilly nights are on the cards for a while yet because we will be in Norway at the end of this month.

Now there is a full week at home before we resume our tour in Belfast. I love the serial nature of the celebrations, starting with New Zealand and working its way around the globe like a massive Mexican wave.

As I write this I am aware that some of our neighbours out west have yet to ring in For my part I am already on my way home after a brief encounter with the bed during which I mostly responded to greetings from friends, family and fans.

Yes, will see us running ourselves ragged to fulfil an increasing demand for Smokie music played by the bona fide band. The fondness for the band was overwhelming and it just seemed like there was so much love in the room.

Smokie are all about love and what you give is what you receive. Our career is pure escapism, and there is much from which to escape.

Remember this - if worldly matters start to weigh a little heavily on you, just put on a little Smokie music to relieve the burden.

We are to you what the fool was to the king - a bit of light relief bound up with a delicious serving of philosophy. With that in mind, I wish everybody the best they can imagine and I hope to be somewhere near you during the next twelve months.

The streets of Brasov were festooned with attractive decorations, the tree in City Square a joy to behold. Not the most comfortable of conditions, with a windchill of minus three and thoroughly frozen fingers, but a great atmosphere in which to celebrate.

Our promoter is still enthusing about our tour and, needless to say, is already putting in offers for next year. The audience, meanwhile, gave us a rousing welcome.

The great thing about being so cold is the warming up afterwards, and that we did in style in a comfortable bistro where the food and drink just kept coming.

It was a great night for all. Now I am on my way to Torun in Poland where I shall help a company to celebrate their 25th Anniversary, in Smokie style, before returning to prepare for a family Christmas.

Did I say we would have fun in St Petersburg? Well, that was a bit of an understatement because it turned out to be the party to end all parties.

When a bunch of musicians, who are friends, get together to deliver the briefest of performances to the largest of audiences we tend to have a bit of spare time on our hands - time to party with each other.

We were just really making up for all the times we have been on the same bill yet never met up. The craic was mighty and the after party was without end, unless you hit the deck.

My own party was cut short with the first of three flights home, so it was a Our year is ending on a high, just the way I wish it to be.

The roar of the 29, crowd was deafening as we hit the stage. Memories of our five shows at this stadium in were rekindled and the nostalgic storytelling began.

The fun continues in St Petersburg on Friday. The passage of time has dimmed the memory concerning exactly how Kharkov looked on my last visit.

Suffice to say that there have been changes yet some things, like Hotel Kharkov, appear to have altered very little.

As begins to draw to a close I still feel like one of the luckiest men alive, looking ahead to a packed and wondering if the pace of this adventure will ever slow.

Arriving in Kiev the day before the gig, I had a chance to take a look around part of the city. It was a very powerful feeling to rock a crowd like this so close to the area where the vigil took place and where tourists from around the world gather to try to empathise with their fellow human beings and understand a little of what has happened in this impressive city.

Our relationship with Ukraine goes back a long way and my own personal relationship with it started in when Smokie first appeared live in this part of the world.

Prior to that our recordings were listened to on a grand scale and instantly recognised by most Ukrainians. Today we return to a venue that we last played in March , and that is Kharkov Theatre.

The journey takes us kilometres south, so it is all day travel followed by an early show. I may well notice an improvement in the roads in the last fourteen years.

Our fans in Belarus, like so many of our fans around the world, have been with us right from the start, our music being a part of their culture.

Somehow the lyrics say what the people want to say and the music stirs them into action. The people of Belarus have noted and accepted changes within the band just as we have come to terms with the changes in this country since my first visit in This visit to The Palace of The Republic contrasts with the one in February in so many ways that we could almost be in a different country entirely.

Long may it continue and long may Smokie be able to return to this country to keep alive the part of their culture that includes our music.

Sometimes a show goes even better than I expected. Perhaps the stars are in alignment or maybe the New Moon is playing its part, but it was evident that a little extra magic was in operation last night, both from the audience and the band.

I feel very comfortable in Lithuania because I feel that our music is so universally accepted that we can just go onstage and have a load of fun.

Of course, the audience pick up on this and they do the same - that is the nature of Smokie gigs. Whatever is happening in Lithuania, I like it very much and I look forward to returning in the not-too-distant future.

However, an adventure would not be the same without variation, and so we must take a flight down to Belarus to see what sort of reaction we get in Minsk this time.

Something tells me we are in for another good one, so keep an eye on this blog to find out. Last night our gig at Svyturio Arena felt like a continuation of our previous show, with the audience already fully warmed up and ready to party.

The preponderance of young people was evident from around the arena as phone torches were speedily activated during the ballads.

It is the modern equivalent of the cigarette lighter, and carries zero risk to others. I think we have built a great reputation here in Klaipeda in general and Svyturio Arena in particular.

Today we venture south again to another regular stomping ground, Siauliai pronounced Showlay.