Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, a strap on buffet and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Here’s a selection of photos taken during a recent train journey from Brussels to Utrecht at the start of my December tour with the Monochrome Set.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

I love these double-decker trains.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels railway station contains several artistic references to Tintin, a character created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Nice clean signage.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Turntables ahoy! The vinyl revival has most definitely reached Brussels.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

You couldn’t really call this locomotive a looker.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

“I believe I can fly…”

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Cables and rails at Brussels station.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Having a fag.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Graffiti by Brussels station.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

The curious case of the reflected face at the window. Who is he? What does he want? Why does he keep staring?! Help!

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Band members look alarmed as the stare continues into infinity.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

I loved this conductor’s style. He looked like he’d stepped out of a Paper Lace pop video.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Police and sniffer dogs entered the train with my bag getting extra special attention from the cop who directed the pooch in its direction twice.

That’s the kind of bad boy I am. So bad they sniffed me twice.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

I loved this strap-on buffet unit.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

A Dutch cookie.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Old fashioned signal box and semaphore signals.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Dusk through the train toilet window.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Arriving at Utrecht Cetraal railway station.

It’s all shiny and modern inside, and it’s also the largest junction station in the Netherlands with more than 900 trains leaving the station per day.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Curious art installation outside the station.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

I don’t think I like these flapping plastic sculptures.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Stark modernist architecture by the station.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Everyone loves a taxibuffer.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

We were playing a club/bar/rehearsal facility called dBs, located a fair way out of the centre at CAB Rondom 100
3534 BE Utrecht.

The dressing room was pleasingly bedecked in a mass of stickers, mostly from the heavy metal fraternity.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Soundchecking. I got to play on a rather snazzy bright yellow drum kit.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

More stickers.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

A ‘dedicated metal vocalist’ looks for a ‘true metal band.’

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

I’m not entirely sure what a ‘Proto-Doom’ band is, but I’d wager that they’re jolly loud.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Loved this drum light.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

A few more stickers.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

The support band do their stuff.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

After the show, I indulged in some Steen Brugge. It was delicious.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

The hotel wanted to get all touchy feely with its guests, inviting them to ‘Share Your Mind’ on a big blackboard in the foyer.

I’m so sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

A chilly early morning view from my hotel room.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

A deserted Centraal station.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Waiting for the train into Germany.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Snowy fields.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Eight days and seven gigs later, I was back at Brussels station, waiting for the train back to Blighty.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Hefty military presence outside the station.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Waiting for their train.

Brussels to Utrecht: Tintin, band stickers, strap on buffet, and the mysterious face in the window

Rails and cables: dusk in Brussels.