EURO 2016, Italy v Republic Of Ireland, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, France

Italy 0 – 1 Republic Of Ireland

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Northern Ireland v Germany, Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Northern Ireland 0 – 1 Germany

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Slovakia v England, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Étienne, Loire, France

Slovakia 0 – 0 England

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Portugal v Austria, Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Portugal 0 – 0 Austria

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Czech Republic v Croatia, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Étienne, Loire, France

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia

So this was an interesting one… Initially we were sat in the lower tier behind the goal within the mixed section which was mainly filled with Croatia fans however we choose to move as it was getting ridiculously crowded there. This proved to be a wise move later on in the match.

The game itself was nothing special at all with both sets of fans behaving. Then something strange happened. 5 minutes before the end the French police lined the pitch in riot gear, why? no idea, there was nothing at all in the crowd to suggest this was needed, at all other games there has been stewards there with a massive rope, hardly threatening at all. Their presence changed the atmosphere and soon flares were raining down onto the pitch. At this point it was 2-1 to Croatia with 5 minutes to go and they were well in charge of the game, so pretty crazy. We took this cue to leave the ground and on doing so passed a line of riot police running to the ground.

A late penalty was scored by the Czech Republic which we missed.

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, France v Albania, Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France

France 2-0 Albania

Report: BBC

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Garbage, Rock City, Nottingham

We needed to get up early and head to Lincoln so that Simon could make his hospital appointment. Not only this but I needed to get back that night after the gig as I had a flight to Nice booked to get back to France for Euro 2016. Needs must which meant that my day started at 05:00 and ended at 02:30 as I was driving. What we should have done, but never really thought about was head to Boston after the London show, stay there the night then drive back after the show as I’d have never been as tired as I was.

Anyway the venue in Nottingham is one of the UK’s legendary venues and this is my first time there. Kristina and I joined Simon on the balcony and had a great view of the show. Surprisingly the stage at Rock City isn’t that big at all with the band not even using their Strange Little Birds back drop, I expected it to be larger to be honest but a great venue nonetheless.

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Garbage, Troxy, London

Garbage Troxy

I’ve now seen this band over 60 times and I have to say that this is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen by them. It’s easily inside my top 5 Garbage shows from which I’ve seen and possibly my favourite in London. The last time they played in Troxy I thought the show was fantastic, this bettered that.

The rendition of Vow was one of the best they must have played, truly incredible.

This was also the show in which we got Simon a Meet & Greet for his 50th birthday.

They were supported by the The Pearl Hearts.

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EURO 2016, Albania v Switzerland, Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens, France

Albania 0-1 Switzerland

The second game of the 2016 European Championship held in Lens, this Group A match wasn’t a classic encounter at all but was a good introduction to international tournament football for myself and Vinny who plan to do 7 games in the coming fortnight. We were in with the Albanian fans who were by far the majority within the ground which was a surprise. They were friendly enough to us but were a little racist from time to time, something you see unfortunately a lot at these international showcases it would seem.

Myself and Steve (who also joined) planned to travel over from London on the morning of the game where we would meet Vinny in Lille before travelling on. We only just made the 06:58 Eurostar mind you with the pair of us jumping the queue at security to get on the train moments before it left.

Goal Scorers:
Switzerland: Schär (5)

Report: BBC

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Garbage, La Belle Electrique, Grenoble, France

Up at the crack of dawn to head to Grenoble in France via Geneva in Switzerland, this isn’t the best route but in fairness was probably the best one due to the French striking again. I really hope we don’t have issues like this when the Euros start as we are travelling everywhere by trains.

Headed out the door at 04:25 and got to Blackfriars only to find every entrance to the station well and truly locked. OH FUCK!

New plan head to Victoria, how do I get there? A bus to Trafalgar Square then look for one to Victoria. Managed to get there but thought I was gonna miss my flight as I had my train app still on Blackfriars! Eventually I get to Geneva and now have a 2 and a half hour wait for a bus as the previous one left as I was landing. Pretty sure I wouldn’t have made the effort to get to this gig if it wasn’t Greg’s 50th in his home town.

The gig itself was pretty good and Shirley dedicated the final song to both Greg and I as I’d let them know that it was Greg’s 50th show and unbeknown to me at the time he had let them know it was 60th.

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