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E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 5
3rd September 05
all sitting patiently in the car waiting for Derek to
arrive. When he turned up, there was very
definitely a "whiff of lavender" about
him. We all noticed! Queer Eye for the
Straight Guy was in evidence; the blouse, the love
beads, and the racy new haircut. Here's a bloke
who's got his mojo working..... but is it pointing in
the right direction?
"What's this all about then?"
"You know exactly what!... yer tart!"
Not a right lot to say about this gig. It was a
wedding in the beautiful surroundings of Woburn
Abbey. Plenty of deer, many budgies, the odd
saucy statue. Our allocated dressing room was
abandoned in favour of "the parrots loos"
because it was closer to the stage.
We haven't seen Simon for a bout a year... but he
turned up on this job with Dave. (Gawd knows where Ade
was hiding) Perhaps Simon had heard something on
the grapevine about Dirks new image shift! Stop
the world I wanna get off! Only messin' Si',
it was good to see you again.
10th September 05
been on the phone a few days ago. He had spoken
to the people at Carnglaze and was convinced that this
was the get in/get out from hell. We have never
been here before so it is difficult to picture.
All we know is that is exactly what it says on the
tin... A Cave! Ok so there is no
"back door", so the gear has to be taken in
through the main entrance. "It's a 120 yard
slope but no steps" I was beginning
to picture some sort of Indiana Jones scenario.
The thing that was most concerning the Spectrum boys
was facing this mutha of all load ins after a 300 mile
drive. It was suggested that the intrepid duo
set off the night before and stay over so they had
less miles to cover on Saturday afternoon.
very rude start to the day. We set off at 9am
with the rain coming down in torrents. The M6 is
chocka once again. It seems that now even
Saturdays aren't barley from motorway
overcrowding. Breakfast takes the form of
outrageously overpriced sarnies from Sandbach Services
and this would be our last stop until we overtake
Spectrum at the bottom end of the M5. We
slow down a bit so the van can sprint ahead, but
fifteen minutes later we pass them again. This
time they are pulled over on the side of the road,
leaning under the bonnet and fixing the accelerator
In very simple terms, The Carnglaze Caverns, is someone's
house with a slate mine in the back garden...it's
totally bizzare. We have a good mooch around
before the van arrives. Graham and Catherine are
the owners, and are right up there with the most
hospitable people we have ever come across in this
We spend a pleasant couple of hours wandering round
the gardens looking at the fairies and eventually
soundchecking. The on stage sound is not
surprisingly very strange, but well usable.
Eddie is for the most part, having a lie down.
He's got an upset stomach, probably self-inflicted
with lager and kebab abuse.
Slightly more worrying than Eddie's tummy, is Derek's
voice. He is becoming more and more convinced
that he will not be able to sing after recovering from
a bout of flu. At the sound check, he is clearly
struggling, and reckons he won't be able to deliver
come the gig.
So, it's sit down time with the set lists, to see what
we can rearrange to make things a bit easier for
him. Well there's not much. The trouble
with The Beatles is the reliance on all the vocal
parts. Even when he's not doing a lead vocal,
Derek is going to be called upon to sing some
ridiculously high harmony part.
With no way onto the stage, except through the
audience, we leg it down the central aisle with the
intro tape playing. I can't recall ever doing
this on a public gig before. It actually created
quite a good atmosphere.
A quick check to see if Eddie had made it to the stage
without falling over, and we were away. The
first set was great, the capacity audience of 400
seemed to love it. At the end, we ran the
gauntlet up the aisle and back to the house.
Derek was amazed he made it through, but I have to
say... I wasn't, I never doubted that he would
be able to pull it off. (now stop it!)
After a second set which included I Need You for the
first time in over a year, we ran the aisle again,
this time to a standing ovation. How can that
not feel good?
We felt a bit shitty leaving Dave and Ade to make the
get out on their own, so we mucked in with the haul of
the gear up to the entrance of the cave. But we
did find time to take a quick tour of the other
caverns in the mine, including the one with the
underground lake. It was fascinating.
Drove for an hour up to Exeter to stop at the
Travelodge. It had been a long day and we were
glad to hit the sack. In a surprising display of
rock 'n' roll indulgence, Roy produced a hip flask
full of brandy. I fear that things may be
getting out of hand for our percussionist. Smoking
cigars and drinking in bed.....whatever next?
11th September 05
Theatre, Newport, IOW.
the fire alarm is sounding in the Travelodge.
When an alarm goes off like that, you never think that
it's really saying "GET OUT there's a fuckin'
FIRE!!!!!" you always think it's a false
alarm. Don't you? Well this morning as Roy
and I get dressed and do an idiot check on the room,
we think exactly that... but figure that we should get
The car park is full with all the evacuated
guests. We appear to be amongst the last to get
out. Roy and I are a little concerned that we
are not accompanied by bass and rhythm guitar, even
before the fire trucks arrive. No one seems to
know if there really is a fire or not. I point
out to the lady with clipboard who is in charge of the
evacuation, that we are missing 2 people. In spite of
the ludicrously long-drawn out checking-in process the
night before, (due apparently to the fire
regulations!!!), we are unable to swiftly discover
what room the pair of them are in. We narrow it
down to 203 or 204. Ms. Clipboard disappears
with a fire bobby.
Roy nods at the fire engine and says: "
aye!..........there's a few bobs worth of kit
Rick :" But Roy,...are friends are burning to
death in their beds up there!!"
Roy: "Naar................it'll be reet"
The lady returns to tell us she can't find Derek and
Eddie, and then returned to fluttering her eyes at a
At this point... it is still not clear that the place
isn't going to burn to the ground..... but it's
looking very unlikely. Five minutes later we are
beckoned back into the Lodge.
Eddie answers the door of 203 in his boxers. I
push past him into the room.
"So did you not hear the fire alarm then?"
Dirk: "Yeah.........had a look out the window and
thought... that's my best exit"
And in a bizarre way he's right. If the place
had been an inferno, they'd have got out no
problem. (but what about the paperwork?).
Roy and I went back to our room to have a shower (not
together..... that would be hideous!)
We have breakfast at some place, but I have no idea
where it was. (Maybe Roy'll remember).
Eddie opts out of the cooked breakfast and decides to
eat his sarnies in the car.
the boat we are booked on but have no problems getting
the next, and we arrive at the Medina an hour after
The only trauma today is still Derek's throat....can
he or can't he sing. It's not looking good at
the sound check, but we have a long time to go before
the show. Enough time in fact to almost get
something proper to eat. This came in the form
of a Tesco Express, where we could buy a sandwich for
97p that would cost £2.99 on the motorway...but let's
not get started on that topic.
Just before the show, there was time to take the
anniversary picture of Eddie, recreating his famous
pose from last year....It still cracks us up.
The show went very well. Derek was still
concerned about his voice and asked me to open up with
Roll Over Beethoven, rather than him having to belt
out I Saw Her Standing There. Once in his stride
though, I doubt anyone noticed that Dirk was not on
top form. The audience reaction was really good
Derek and I had made noises about packing up quickly
tonight so we could catch the 11 o'clock ferry.
Eddie was out in record time and we got to the boat
with time to spare, saving an hour on our long journey
22nd September 05
day of the packed lunch! Eddie has his usual
stash, but is joined by the epicurean "McQuickly"
who produced a couple of boiled eggs to tap on the gear stick.
Dirk assured us that his voice had returned to its
"larkish" self, but it was the Lennon
department that was cause for concern today.
Eddie has had a bit of a cold and it has affected his
vocal chords. The apprehension Derek had a
couple of weeks ago has been transferred to
Eddie. It's really horrendous when singers have
throat problems because there really isn't that much
one can do about it. The thought of stepping on
to a stage where people are expecting to be
entertained and knowing that there is a chance that
nothing will come out when you open your mouth is
As it transpired, Eddie got through the gig very
well. The odd yodel came out, which didn't
please Ed, but he performed well in spite of it.
We were received very well by the audience, but in
truth....this was not one of our better shows.
23rd September 05
In true Ross
Geller fashion...we left it to the last moment
before checking out of Thurrock Travelodge and set off
round the 25 for Camberley. We left the services
about half an hour after Ade and Simon, but miraculously
arrived a full 3 hours before them. There can be
no rational explanation for this!! In those 3
hours, we had wandered about Camberley market, had
lunch in an Italian restaurant and done some
shopping. Eddie bought a bag of European
biscuits and I bought some clothes and books.
Also spotted a florist shop called "Jenny
Wren".... but unless you have heard Maccas
new record this will mean nothing.
Eddie was still suffering today, but the show must go
on. Our performance was OK, but again, it
probably wasn't 'smokin'. It's getting harder
and harder to make these posts.
28th September 05
positive outlook today. All voices back to
We love these old theatres with all the photos on the
wall of the stars that have performed there. The
list here seemed endless, from Harry H Corbett, Judi
Dench, Eric Sykes, Alexandra Bastedo through to Slade
with Noddy. Looking at all these pictures
certainly kills the time waiting for the sound check.
We had our version of a group huddle behind the
curtain as the intro tape was playing. More to
break the spell of the last few shows rather than
confirm allegiance to each other, but it seemed to
work and we certainly came off stage after the first
act feeling a whole lot better about our performance.
30th September 05
Town Hall, Stourbridge.
look forward to dates in the Midlands. The Robin gigs
are always a bit special, and in spite of the horror
stories regarding the acoustics at Dudley Town Hall
last year, we had a great gig. There is no
Dudley date this year...instead we have been moved a
few miles down the road to Stourbridge. Slightly
bolstered by Wednesdays performance, there is even
more reason to be cheerful about driving to the Black
Country. The Town Hall itself is like a feckin
huge pink bathroom. Muso's will know that the
bathroom is the place to go if you want to get some
volume out of your guitar if your amp is broken!
However, stick a PA system in there, and there are all
sorts of difficulties to encounter,..... but
that's Ade's problem!
Normally, Roy would be overflowing with
enthusiasm.....all his heroes have played drums here,
Bonham, Paice, Baker, and the fella from Paper
Lace......but tonight Roy is the keeper of a three day
old headache and he is out of sorts.
Apparently, Derek is much better looking than he
appears on these blog posts, so I have been asked to
refrain from putting images on here without 'touching'
them up first. Ok I admit the "Dirk falls
asleep on the way to a gig" thread may have gone
beyond a joke over the past few months, but what can't
speak can't lie, I believe is a favourite adage
of our bassist. *wink*
It's a good show tonight and in spite of several
people being beaten mercilessly with sticks by the
stewards when they tried to get out of their seats to
boogie, the audience seemed to have a fine time.
Having performed the whole of the first set without dropping
a note, I was sharply reminded of my mortality by
Derek desperately trying to open a book on which song
in the second set I would trip up on. You're a
right bastard sometimes.
This was our last show now until the end of
October. Dirk is off to India and Thailand in
search of spiritual enlightenment and ladyboys...
perhaps that is one in the same thing!!! (I
suppose I'll get into trouble for saying that now!..)