FEBRUARY | APRIL
A R C H 2 0 0 5
6th March 05
that the people of Newark are not too keen on
anagrams. Richard Stilgoe, evidently, has very
poor ticket sales here. It is odd that someone
whose name re-arranged spells 'Ricarle Dogshit', should
make a living out of anagrams.... what a newark !!
Arriving at 5 o'clock, the town appeared to be
completely deserted. There was not a soul to be
seen on Appleton Gate, and the kebab shop proprietor seemed
genuinely surprised to be getting some business.
rooms at the Palace reminded me of that quirky film,
"Being John Malkovich". They were
clearly designed so as not to give people of diminutive
stature an inferiority complex. Anyone over five
foot ten must either quickly learn to develop a stoop,
or end up with lumps all over their heads. This narrator,
should've worn a hard hat! They were also situated
directly underneath the stage, and the noise from above
gave the impression that the theatre was infested with
very large rats, as the crew walked about before the
tonight, that the second 'half' of the show is 85
minutes long. No one had actually realised this
before and we are now concerned that this is too
long. I have no clue what we are going to cut out
though, seeing as we have taken the axe to a lot of
tunes already. Looks like there will have to be a
production meeting on the way to the next show.
today was "Target Rolling - A History of Llanbedr
9th March 05
Mann ..... New Album!!
me old tricks giving Aimee's new record a plug.
songs have a literary quality to them--sharp, short
stories set to music--so it was probably inevitable
that she would one day make a concept album, the
musical equivalent of a novella. The Forgotten Arm,
her fifth solo release, is exactly that: a dozen songs
that tell, rather loosely, the story of John and
Caroline as they meet, fall in love and road trip
The Forgotten Arm is in stores May 3rd but if
you pre-order at aimeemann.com
you will have the option to receive a limited edition
large format oversize 32 page lyric book with all the
illustrations and photos from the album.
11th March 05
almost sixteen years now, and there is no sign of any
let up in the almost ritualistic disagreements between
Derek and Rick.
Friday morning 11am:
"Hiya Derek, come in, its freezing out there"
"No... its quite mild"
"I've just been out....the wind's perishin'"
"It's windy, but it's not cold"
"Yes it is"
And so this carried on for about 5 minutes and the tone
for the day was set.
As the traffic
on the M6 slowed down around Walsall, we had the
briefest conversation with Gerry Marsden through open
car windows. He was off to do a show in
Swansea. This was the first time we'd bumped into
him since the Town Hall gig in Liverpool last July.
At a Costa
coffee and all day breakfast sandwich stop at Strensham
Services, we received a phone call from Ade....
"You ok?.... good..
.. oh yeah everything's fine.... erm...well
there is one problem..... We are at the bottom of
the M50 and the van has been impounded by the MoT and
they won't let us go."
We take the news very calmly under the circumstances,
have another sip of coffee and wait for the promised
return call for an update on the state of play and
whether of not we will have any equipment at this gig.
Ten minutes later, Ade is back on the phone telling us
that the inspectors have revised their decision and
decided to let the van go on its way.
across the M4 listening to Victoria Wood's Archers episode
on Radio 4, Roy pipes up.... "Was that Ade
going the other way?". A quick phone call to
our sound engineer confirms that he is, indeed, travelling
east on the M4 heading away from Porthcawl. After
a splash and dash at the services, Ade has come off the
exit in the wrong direction, and is oblivious to the fact that the sun is
on the wrong side of him and he will shortly be
negotiating the Seven Bridge toll.
at Porthcawl ages before the van, and settled ourselves
in the dressing rooms which were located in the basement
and reached by stairs that resembled a ladder with
greasy rungs. Roy found the temperature in them
the most unpleasant, as he suffers from heat more than
any of us...with the built-in long johns 'n' all.
Rick braved the high winds to stroll along the prom, it
was a wild day. What visit to a seaside town could
be complete without fish and chips? In Porthcawl,
they were excellent in spite of us having to hike a mile
to get them.
The gig was
set up in a Cabaret
style with tables and chairs put out. This
slightly dismayed us, as it is not our preferred set
up. Half the audience have to crane round to see
the show and there is inevitably a load of chatting
going on, which is fine, but a bit off putting in the
We were all much more pleased with the Shea section now
that we have tightened it up a bit. Dizzy Miss
Lizzy rocks!! Derek tried
hard..... but couldn't agree!
12th March 05
similar venue to Porthcawl and again set out in a
cabaret style. This time though, the seating arrangements
resembled something like a beerkeller. Last time
we played here, there were two other acts on the bill
and we only played an hour. Tonight, we did the
full show apart from cutting about 9 album tracks to
make it a bit shorter.
Great turn out, which surprised us a bit. All the seats
taken and people standing at the back and round the
16th March 05
Don't be conned by the offer that Kentucky and BK have
on at Warwick services...- UPGRADE to a Prima coffee
for only 30p when you buy a meal. Ok...so they
put the coffee in a Prima cup, but it still tastes like
Camp chicory dissolved in warm piss. Hmm.... maybe
a restaurant guide would be interested in me doing some
reviews for the down to earth.
having a bit of trouble finding the venue and getting
several bum steers from cab drivers and doormen.
Paul Weller was right..."When you ask in a strange
town.... they say, don't know, don't care and I gotta go
We knew we were in the right area, so we parked up near
Vinopolis and had a bit of a walk. Eddie was gasping for a smoke. He
is not allowed to smoke in the car in case he sets fire
to the upholstery, which would, as sure as eggs is eggs,
be bound to happen. We took in the
stunning views of the river and the replica of The Golden
Hind. This sparked a conversation about ships, and
we were buggered if we could remember the name of the
other boat apart from the Pelican and the Santa Maria,
that made the 1492 voyage to America....answers on a
headed back to the car, Ed decided to adjust his
trousers as he presumably had become afflicted with a
wedgie during the journey. Any normal person would
do this in a stationary position, but Eddie preferred
the mobile approach. Unfortunately, he rather
clumsily tripped on a kerb, letting go of his belt as he put
his arms out to recover his balance, resulting in young
mans trousers slipping ungraciously round his
ankles. We howled as passers by watched in
bewilderment. The Bank End Flasher strikes again!!
As it turned
out, we were right the first time, and the venue was on
the other side of the London Bridge, tucked away under
We've played a few venues like this before, old railway
or bridge arches converted into clubs and function
rooms. They have a great ambience when they are
dressed and lit well, The Bridge was no
exception. The only drawback to these places is
that the sound is usually awful. Again, the Bridge
was no exception. We had left the sound check to
Ade and Dave, but we knew as soon as we got in the room
that Ade would have his work cut out to make the band
sound half decent.
We had a fair while to hang about as our on stage time
was put back and put back. The guests were
to Andy McNabb giving an after dinner speech. It's
always evident when Dirk becomes bored.... he
starts picking on people's apparel. Dave was the
unfortunate victim tonight, and he stood open mouthed as
the venom regarding his jacket and general attire was
spat from the lips of our bassist.
A quarter to
midnight, and we slope onto the stage to begin playing
to an empty room. A frequently used tactic at
corporate functions is to ask the guests to move to
another room for the bar and the entertainment after
dinner. Halfway through From Me To You, the guests
begin filing into the Blue Zone, looking for the bar but
having to run the gauntlet of a Beatle band en
route. Some stopped, some just walked through with
the body language people use when passing a "Big
Issue" seller on the street, and made their way
straight to the bar. So, for 70 minutes we were
like a bowl of nuts on a bar, ( no! not tainted with
urine ) with people dipping in and out of us as the mood
took them. We noticed quite a few of the guests
stayed put all night and seemed to enjoy the show.
All in all though, not the most enjoyable gig we've ever
Park services... good coffee...at last...Melton
Mobray's and a flick through 60 plus.
1492. The Pelican was the original name of the
Santa Maria and the other 2 ships were the Pinta and the
Nina. Nice to get this sort of detail right!!!
Another note of arguably less historical significance,
is that Eddies first gig with the band took place in an
almost identical venue, The Arches in Glasgow, on 13
March 2001. Spooky?
readers only, here is a Real Player file of I've
Got A Feeling, recorded at Harrogate in January.
Click the link just once, the file should play within
a few seconds. Audio quality is compromised with
the compression used for these files. You will
need Real Player on your computer to play them.
Download it for free HERE!
19th March 05
Community Arts Centre, Pershore.
up with a hang-over, but in spite of this, it really is
a beautiful day. Spring is definitely in the air,
it's actually warm...ish and the sky is blue. The
show had sold out a couple of months ago, and we always
look forward to shows like that....who wouldn't?
Yeah! I feel good and quite looking forward to driving
down to Pershore, which for the uninitiated is about 10
miles off junction 7 of the M5.
factor took a knock at 12.30 when the phone rings from
Dave to say that the van has broken down on the M56 not
far from Chester. No chance of a repair, Ad
Lib PA have all their vans out on jobs and none of the
hire companies have anything left. It seems that
the only chance of being able to do the show now is for
the RAC to take the van down to Pershore and worry about
getting it back later. As it turns out, Dave and
Ade would've had to wait so long for a recovery that far
south that they wouldn't be in time for the show
anyway. Rescue was found in the shape of Dereks
dad, who thankfully has a luton van. He was able
to unload the van and get it over to Birkenhead just in
time for Dave and Ade to reload it with the gear and set
off on the journey. It was touch and go but we
were all at the Arts Centre in time to assist with the
load in and even get a sound check done without having
to hold the doors for the show. A big thank you to
Phil....who really pulled us out of the brown and nasty!
were able to open at 7.30 as arranged, and the day was
starting to look more as it had when the cock first
crowed. We went on and did a good show.
There is still a problem with the length of the show
though, and we are really struggling with the decision
of what songs to cut out.
The audience was definitely one of the most appreciative
so far this year, so a big thank you to them for making
us feel so welcome, and we look forward to coming back