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U L Y 2 0 0 5
2nd July 05
buggering, Bob Geldof!! Not content with out-scruffying
me on a regular basis, he has to try and save the
world with the biggest ever series of free pop
concerts on the day we are trying to put bums on seats
in Yorkshire to save ourselves from poverty.
Actually, it's not something to joke about. If
you are reading this, then you can't possibly imagine
what life is like for the people that Bob is trying to
help. David Steel saying that Geldof was on an ego tip
Someone had to emote
populations in this way...take your fucking hat off to
Obviously, we were going to miss most of the
"greatest show on earth", but we managed to
catch bits on the radio in the car and some snippets
on the telly in the Green Room.
like a long time since we've done our own full show
(actually it's 4 weeks) and you would think that we
would be confident of remembering all the songs after
such a gap!. It was universally agreed that we
could do with running through a few tunes during the
sound check. This more for the benefit of remembering
certain parts than actually checking the quality of
This is a probably a sore point now....
but......Adrian!..... you WILL see the funny
side of this in a few months!!!..........
"Someone"..... had forgotten to
pack the microphone box on the van!!!
Well...... "that's no big deal
is it Ade?" "Do we need 'em?"
By the grace of God, the theatre had a nifty
supply...and there was no real problem, but even as
the "cloth-ears" of the ensemble, I noticed
a distinct difference in the vocal mics.
And so it came to pass that the sound check revolved
more round the vocal mics than a rehearsal, but we did
manage a few songs that came up in answer to the
call: "Anything you want to run
through?" The rest was left up to our
"professional aptitude" and a few crossed
stood behind the iron, while the play on tape was
turning, there was some confusion between us as to
what the first song was. For the sake of making
things difficult for ourselves, the first song is not
printed on the set list. Dirk thinks we open the
show with "Twist & Shout".
No!... we don't!... Roy thinks it's
"Please Please Me", but I know for a fact
that we had settled on "I Saw Her Standing
There". Everyone gets the message and nods
vigorously....like you do when you can't remember the
answer to a question in a quiz...the answer is
given....and you go... "Arh yeah... I knew
So off we go again, bouncing through the show with it
all coming flooding back. Sometimes it's best
not to think too much about it, just let the
auto-pilot take over. Eddie was in a strange
mood on stage, with his song introductions being more
bizarre than ever. I have no idea what he was
talking about when he mentioned Wakefield Prison, but
it was making me chuckle. Anyway, the show was
getting a great response from the Yorkshire crowd, and
even the audience participation with the hand claps on
Eight Days A Week, did not have to be dragged out of
them. As the interval came, we were sopping
wet....it was incredibly hot on stage.
half got even
better....until.... The first
full band song after the costume change was
"Don't Let Me Down". As Roy hit the
cymbal at the end of the intro to the song, he
collapsed into his hyena laugh. We all turned to
see what was troubling our PVC clad percussionist.
Turns out, that Roy had forgotten to install his ear
defenders in the change over. For the last 18
months Roy hasn't hit a drum without these plugs in
his ears. Consequently, the volume of the crash cymbal
was disturbingly alarming to him and he completely
lost the plot. After a moment or two to settle
himself, he counted in take-two and braced himself for
the onslaught of noise. One thing that has thus
far not been mentioned in the blog is Roy and his
"sudden noise issues". This perhaps
requires a more lengthy explanation, but I notice that
we have some gigs coming up this month which involve
firework displays..... I believe that will be
the right time to broach this sensitive topic.
encore, most of the audience (that we were able to
see) were on their feet, and rockin' out. We
should definitely encourage more of this. We
seem to play better and certainly enjoy it more and
the audience in turn seem to get off on the band
more. Good times!
A quick rub down with a paper towel (baby wipes in
Roy's case) and we went out to
the bar to meet some of the punters from the show.
This part of the evening was always referred to by
John as "them lot are in the bar gettin'
their arses kissed"....
naturally, there is an element of that involved,
but the primary reason is draught shandy......devils
that we are.
Back in the Green Room, Pink Floyd were in full flow
at Hyde Park. We all stood and crouched in awe
at seeing Roger Waters back on stage after years of
acrimony with the band. The theatre crew wanted
us out because they wanted to go home, but everyone
just had to stay put until after "Comfortably
Numb". That song choice tugged a few
heart strings I'm sure!!
Floyds exit from the Hyde Park stage, signaled our
exit from the theatre and meant that we would be
listening to Radio 2's coverage of the finale in the
car. And here he was....old "thumbs
aloft" back on stage at the end of the show,
proving once again that a Liverpudlian is STILL the
most universally respected musician on the
planet. As "The Long and Winding Road"
faded into the outro of Hey Jude and the inevitable
"na na na... na na na nars", we were
prompted into an age old discussion about that being
the "best" way to finish off a set. We
all agreed that it most certainly works and whenever
we do it, the audience loves it. Eddie and I,
still can't feel very comfortable with it though, and neither
of us are articulate enough to explain why.
Earlier on tonight, my good friend Alex had left a
message on my phone, suggesting that the best PR Macca
could do, would be to sing Imagine. Without
speaking about it to him, I know exactly what he
meant. If Paul had finished the set by saying
"here's a song written by a mate of mine who
can't be with us tonight" and gone into Imagine,
I think it would once and for all made a huge and poignant
point.... Lennon and McCartney are as important as
each other, no matter which way round the names
are. Imagine could have been written for this
very event, it's lyric never had more significance and
I can't think of a more powerful artistic statement
finishing off such a day. If that total fucking
bastard hadn't pulled the trigger.....who
there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion too,
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.
It is amazing
and wonderful and inspiring to see people stand
up and say we want to change things, we want to
make things better. I have always believed that
when people work together there is very little
that can't be done. Everywhere you turn though
there's someone with a vested interest trying to
wreck the party. Sometimes I wonder just how
long greed, corruption, and arrogance can keep
calling the shots. It feels like forever though
I hope that's not true. And I hope when the
cameras and the guitars and the wristbands are
gone that people go on trying to make a
difference, not just with the big things like
fair trade and world poverty but with smaller
things too. I regularly teach a creative
movement class with a special needs group and I
had a girl who loved the music and loved the
dancing but thought it would be too hard for her
to be able to do. I showed her that it wasn't,
that she could even do it sitting down if she
wanted to. By the end of the session she was up
and dancing and she said to me 'I did it, and I
wasn't scared.' I think it's probably the
profoundest thing I ever heard. Imagine if
everyone said that and meant it. That's real
revolution for you and not a penny spent, not a
It's very strange here this week. On Saturday we
had the biggest march ever in Scotland and no
one suffered anything worse than sunburn.
Yesterday we had pitched battles in Princes St
which my friends narrowly missed getting caught
up in on their way home from work. I have a
friend in Lothian & Borders police. He's
fine I'm glad to say but I will be glad when
this week is over I think. Is it just me or is
an 'organised anarchist' a bit of a failure?
Surely if you organise anarchy you can't really
be much good at it? Supposing you rip up and
burn up the whole world just for the sake of it,
what then? It takes seconds to break something,
damage something, destruction is easy - and
always ultimately pathetic. What's hard is to
create things, to nurture and build things. That
takes real patience and real work. It's a gift.
(Who is too wise to tidy shelves !!!!)
6th July 05
event for 1100 American and Canadians in the splendor
of the Grosvenor House Great Room. We've played
this room many many times over the years, but it
looked particularly magnificent tonight.
Very well received 60 minute set. No dramas, no
problems, and a gig that even Eddie enjoyed!
London won it's 2012 Olympic bid and the eve of the
bombings that were to devastate the City.
Theatre Royal, Wakefield :: July 2005
Better known to millions of Coronation Street
viewers as Cilla's slapper sidekick Yana Lumb, comedian
Jayne has also appeared in That Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix
Nights and was a regular on Lily Live.
A very old friend of Rick's and a newer friend of Dirk,
Eddie and Roy, she has recently discovered the piss
taking opportunities to be enjoyed at Cavern Beatles
concerts. Her celebrity status was firmly
confirmed last year when she was attacked by an old
woman wielding a handbag in Ethel Austin, for the heinous
crime of holding Chesney's dog, Schmeicheal,
9th July 05
play a lot of weddings these days.
We arrived at the Mill Hotel to find Ade and Mark
still setting up. They weren't allowed access to
the room until six o'clock and it took them almost an
hour to get the equipment from the van to the room we
were playing in, such was the strangled route they had
to take. Less than ideal! The hotel were
quite particular about how much space the gear could
take up, so the area we actually had for playing in
was cramped to say the least. As for putting the
whole PA in....forget it! Still the job
got done with as little fuss as possible. We
were supposed to start playing at 8.45, but this was
not going to have to be put back slightly because the
set up still wasn't complete.
We had agreed to play two sets, which from experience
we have found never works as well as one set at this
sort of function. However, this is what they
wanted so we didn't argue.
Brides brother, was very helpful to us all the way
giving Derek his room to get shaved in and bringing us some food during the
All in all, I think it was a good gig! An
incredible rendition of 'No Reply' from Eddie had us
gagging back the laughter.
10th July 05
selection of images to celebrate Roy's birth.
12th July 05
In view of
the events in London last Thursday, we were quite surprised
to learn that this gig would be going ahead.
After 9/11, so many corporate jobs were cancelled,
especially for American clients, and it seemed a nap
that this series of functions would go the same
way. Fortunately this is not the case, and we
found ourselves once again heading south for Park Lane
and the grandeur of the Grosvenor House Great Room.
I've probably mentioned this before, but The Beatles
played this room on 2 December 1963. Of course,
they only performed 7 songs ( I Saw Her Standing
There, From Me To You, This Boy, I Want To
Hold Your Hand, 'Til There Was You, She Loves
You and Twist & Shout). This was
a charity cabaret event performed to a black tie
audience. Evidently, The Beatles were less than
happy with this sort of thing and never accepted
similar bookings ever again!
In contrast, we have accepted dozens of engagements at
the Grosvenor. Derek and I are, I suppose, quite
indifferent to the venue. Roy on the other hand
loves it, and even goes as far as saying that it is
his favourite gig (theatres excepted), I think
its the whole Mayfair thing for him....
Bentley's and Aston's aplenty!
The only difference between this show and the show
last week was 200. That is to say there were 200
more people in the room and therefore there was no
room for the small dance floor that was in place at
the previous function. We enjoyed a great
reception from the audience and even got a standing
ovation at the end, which is a real rarity at
corporate events...but hey!... we're a good
Eddie had been given a pep talk about getting out of
the hotel double quick tonight. Last week we
were waiting ages for him to come out of the shower
and finish his pedicure. Tonight we were able to
get on the road for twenty to ten.....we should be
home before half twelve!
Bastard M40!...long tailbacks. Bastard
M6....more of the same..... took us 4 hours!
15th July 05
Too, Kings Lynn.
Kings Lynn to find Ade on his own setting the
stage. Watching eagerly were about a dozen
people sitting in fold out chairs just behind the
barrier, clearly intent on bagsying the best
spec. The stage is actually a curtain-sided
trailer, but seems a bit deeper than a normal 40
This will be the first time we have performed (more or
less) the full show on an outside stage and we
wondered how it would go down.
Clare had brought a pair of Beatle boots for Eddie to
try. Like Cinderella, Eddie struggled to get
these size 7's on his feet. Socks on..... socks
off.....Vaseline down the sides....shoe horn......crow
bar.... nothing seemed to work. If only he
had remembered he was a size 8, we would not have had
to witness the slapstick performance.
At 8 o'clock, quite a crowd had gathered in the Market
Place as we took to the stage. The show was
pretty good I think but nothing remarkable. As
we went out for the second half, the crowd seemed to
be a bit bigger, maybe 5,000...dunno, I'm not too good
We went down very well, but as we returned to the
dressing room, we had the thought that perhaps we had
played too long for casual observers. It might
have been better if we had just played an hour or so.
The organisers of Festival Too, looked after us very
well and we would like to thank them for that.
This weekends scheduling was not that clever. We
have to travel back to Liverpool and then up to
Scotland in the morning, no one was much looking
forward to the drive, but dems der breaks, we just
have to get on with it.
to Clare for sending this article.
16th July 05
Rock, Saltcoats, Ayrshire.
has spent the night at my house as we have to be on
the road for 10am to be in Saltcoats for 2 and get a
soundcheck. Ade will not be coming up with
our gear, it just isn't practical, so we have hired
gear waiting for us in Ayrshire.
The M6 north today is clogged up with clowns who are
simply shit drivers. No one appears to like the
inside lane, when the road widens to 4 lanes between
Preston and the M55, they all move over one lane
leaving 2 lanes unused. It is SO
frustrating. The dozens of tossers pulling
caravans heading for the Lakes, must have some secret
agreement not to use their indicators, as they pull
out on us randomly. Let us not forget the git
who braked in the outside lane to (eventually) move
over to the middle lane. Had to pull in at Tebay
services to calm down. Dirk got the last egg at
the £5.95 (5 item) breakfast counter. I was
gutted, so settled for a coffee and decided to eat
A bit further north, and it seemed like most of the
plebs had turned off to terrorise the roads of
Lakeland, so our progress improved and my temples
stopped throbbing. Our conversation turns to the
topic of death, and our individual funeral
arrangements. Roy refuses to discuss it, and
attempts to turn the chat to the steam powered model
truck he has acquired for his birthday. Eddie
and I are politely interested, but not really into
these things. Seemingly out of character, Dirk
is remarkably wistful about Mamods. I am
Bang on two o'clock we hit Royston Vasey, errr sorry,
I mean Saltcoats. We are not particularly
pleased to learn that we have been tricked into
arriving early. We thought we were on stage at
3.30 but it turns out that we will not be on till at
least 5........BUGGER!...an extra hour in bed would
have been lovely. It does, however, give us a
chance to sample the delights of the town for an hour
The café we settle on is, frankly, the best of a
really, really bad bunch. I have found my fried
egg, and bits of someone else's by the looks of
it. Mainly dark brown to black in colour, this
egg has been fried in oil that has seen a lot more
action than is probably legal under food hygiene
law... but hey!.. it's the first hot grub I've
had in 48 hours so, for now...... fuck me
I wish I'd waited another 20 minutes...... I
could have been having fish n chips in the Melbourne
Fry, another fine eating establishment that we stumble
on on the way back to the stage. The clientele
looked like extras from 'Midnight Express', but they were
quite elderly so it must be assumed that the food
must provide some nutrition.
I'm just stalling here a bit, because I'm finding it
difficult to find the words to describe the next part
of the day. This is the bit where we suss out
what equipment has been provided for us. We get
to the stage and Roy examines the drum kit. It's
a Hayman...ok it's not a Luddy.. but its good, very
nice....even an oyster finish... its a good
kit......there is nothing wrong with the drum kit, as
drum kits go, this is a good one. We like the
The Guitar Amplification:
Remember that scene in Spinal Tap, where the tiny
Stonehenge comes down? Well my amp. looks like
an AC30 but....... built for a
dwarf. It's a fuckin practice
amp!!!!! "Jesus Titty Fuckin
Christ!!!!" Eddie has a similar scale model
of a Marshall....
I'm looking around....... where is Jeremy
Beadle? Is there a hidden camera?
We have 2 options..... throw a huge wobbler....
or get on with it! After all they say a bad
workman always blames his tools......
yeah?.... Well you try and do some basic DIY with one
of those chocolate tool sets you used to get at
Sound check?... there is no option for one of those.
"And here they are..........The Caverrrrrnnnnnn
Derek: "Rick... turn your amp
Me: "It IS fuckin
The gain produced by this piece of inadequacy, was
barely enough for the PA to get a signal from it...I
might as well have been miming.
We went down quite well. I have no comment to
make about that.
We travel home in relative silence. I really
don't care WHAT happened in "I Want To Hold Your
Hand"...I'm wondering if McDonalds are hiring at
17th July 05
is 250 miles away, Widnes is but 10 minutes from
my house (8 minutes if the wind is right). You
know when you're in Widnes, because as you come over
the Runcorn Bridge, someone in the car will always
say..."Who's farted?" This is due, in
the main, to the amount of heavy chemical industry
present in this part of the world. However, I
always find that it is a good time to stealthily
"let one go" and have the luxury of a well
Spike Island, (where the show ground is) doesn't
actually smell, before I start offending my neighbours
Ade is here with our gear, our lovely, lovely
gear. It is very comforting. With
there being about 8 acts on the bill and us being last
on, the amps couldn't be set up until just before our
show, so there was no sound check, just a couple of
one twos, a wing... and a prayer.
The prayer came from Ade who was mixing from a van
parked at the side of the stage. We figure it
took him a couple of songs to get the front of house
sounding OK, but we were happy enough with the on
stage sound and at least we were able to do our job.
I would say that this was probably the most enjoyable
of our trio of al fresco performances this weekend.
We came off stage and the fireworks were about to
start. It was a great display. Roy watched
with his headphones firmly plugged in and "This
is the New Shit" turned up to eleven!
This was the last night of Aimee Mann's UK tour, and
we have been working on every date. I'm pissed
off!! Oh well.... suppose she will be back in
another 3 years!
18th July 05
"I Got You Babe" I can hear on the wireless?
keep telling me off for calling the radio a wireless,
but I'm just like that!
It's like I still say, "ten bob" in shops
when I know full well that the young sales assistants
will reply with..."Yer whaa?"
To me, a Snickers is ... and always will be a
McCartney/Lennon ? No no
no! Only on Please Please Me
LP. I must fear change.
I'm starting to wonder if there is a gene that makes
me such a gobshite.
But there IS a difference about today.....it's
1200 Californians in the Great Room tonight. I
think this third gig is the best yet, great reaction
and another standing ovation.
On the way
home in the car, we do a live "wireless"
interview with Bruce from.....oh Gawd.... I can't
remember the name of the station, but it is in Kings
Lynn. Using the air time to promote the
Hunstanton show on 13 August.
I'd like to mention that one of our regular supporters
from "down sowf" is going through a bit of
shite time lately, having been diagnosed with
cancer. She is about to undergo a course of
chemo and is typically good humoured about the whole
thing, in spite of the cruel effects this treatment
You will make it through Barbara! Everybody's
routing for you.
Warwick :: May 1999
A really peculiar scenario this one. I
think it was just me and the last Lennon, Paul Mac, on
our way to a gig in my Toyota Supra. As we pulled
up at the garage, there was a similar, Nissan sports car
at the pumps with a woman filling the tank. We got
out the car and then Mr. Wisdom got out of the drivers
door of the Nissan. He walked over to us, wearing
a pair of
plaid slippers, and proceeded to chat about Japanese
sports cars and his love of them. He was actually
rather taken with my 'black beauty'. Funny...he
couldn't be arsed to get out and fill the tank, and made
his wife do it, but he spent several minutes with us
chatting about BHP's. We resisted the temptation
to ask him to scream "Mr. Grimsdale!!!"
23rd July 05
Country Park, Berkshire.
a few technical
problems which had put all the sound check times
back. Our slot of 4pm was looking very
unrealistic as Voulez Vous were still line checking
their gear. The guys from Voulez, were really
helpful by dragging their drum riser out for us to
use. Thanks for that fellas, we really
We were first on
tonight, which we would normally be thrilled about,
but this time I think we would have preferred to be on
later. At 6.30 it was obviously still daylight,
the stage lighting had little effect and the
atmosphere in the crowd had not had chance to build
up. Having said that, we got a tremendous
response from the audience and we did a good show.
Derek and Roy wanted to go back to the travelodge, so
we watched most of Voulez Vous' set and then I drove
the pair of them to Reading and darted back to catch
The Counterfeits show.
We've been on the same bill as The Counterfeits many
times, and they are always a great and entertaining
band to watch. Tonight they were better than
ever! The atmosphere was brilliant, the lights
looked ace and Steve was hilarious. Really
Eddie had disappeared, and I hadn't seem him since I
left to take Dirk and Roy. Sent him a text to
tell him to meet me backstage. He turned up
about ten minutes later, clearly enjoying the effects
of the beer tent. He had not seen the Stones
before and was enthusiastic about their
performance. Barging into their changing tent
doing a fair old Jagger impression repeating "'
'ere..... Charlie's good tonight".
I was eventually able to drag Eddie away from the tent
and back to the travelodge, where he inadvertently
nearly set fire to the petrol station with his ciggie.
The room was a much safer place for him to be and
within 20 seconds of his head hitting the pillow he
was asleep...dreaming of lager!
24th July 05
pissing down when we crawl over to the services in the
morning. We hope that the rain won't completely
ruin the day for the Festival, which was carrying on
today with 3 other tribute acts.
While Ade and Mark are setting the stage in the
Grosvenor for our forth and final show of this
"residency", we all traipse off to Soho in
search of coffee and pornography. We encourage
Eddie to have "the hair of the dog" and soon
bore of the porn, so march back to the tropical heat
of the Grosvenor Green Room.
Security being what it is in London these days, we
have to prove who we are before being allowed back
into the hotel. We couldn't remember the name of
the function, but with the help of the digital camera,
we were at least able to prove that we were a
band. Fortunately, the bow tie asking the
questions was aware that it was a Beatles ensemble
that had been booked to play at the
function. Technology to the rescue once
The show was pretty much exactly as the other three
had been. There were however, some members of
the audience close to the stage,
who seemed especially delighted at our
performance. This is always good to see.
Makes the whole thing so much more worthwhile when we
look down and see happy smiling faces.
Well that's it for a few weeks now!!......summer
holidays just around the corner. Be back
in mid August.... see you then I hope!!!