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F E B R U A R Y   2 0 0 6 

Friday 3rd February 06                                                                                                                                       

Whitley Bay Playhouse, Whitley Bay.

SHOW POSTPONED

Saturday 4th February 06                                                                                                                                  

Plaza Theatre, Stockport.

SHOW POSTPONED

Thursday 23rd February 06                                                                                                                              

Gloucester Guildhall, Gloucester.

It seems ironic that we are travelling south in torrential rain while the radio is reporting that there is likely to be a hosepipe ban from April in Kent and Sussex.  Everyone seems a bit subdued, Derek is still suffering from the flu virus that forced us to postponed the last couple of shows and doesn't look well.  Eddie is quiet in the back, and Roy is listening to Marilyn Manson on his MP3 player. I'm concentrating on not hitting anything with all the spray on the road. About 20 miles down the M5, Dirk notices a Mr. Bean lookalike, driving a Nissan...oh bugger!... what are those tiny Nissans called?....Micra..yeah!  He is out of site behind a lorry, and then we all notice him at once...a total spitting image.  We all simultaneously make the Mr. Bean noise...you know what it is.....it's just impossible to spell.  We all laugh...these moments make the boring journeys almost worthwhile.

It's almost two years to the day since we played the Guildhall, but could we remember how to get to the stage door?... No!..there was lots of..."oh this looks familiar" and "I'm sure we went up this ramp into the multi-story car park"....we actually ended up finding the venue by accident, as is often the way.

We arrived to find Ade and Dave almost completely set up.  Ade was sporting a rather fetching shiner courtesy of a "getting-out of bed" incident, but other than that he was looking great with his new hair-do.
Eddie was having some trouble with his stomach and Dennis, one of the very helpful Guildhall crew, very kindly set off in search of some medicine for him.  The band seems to be falling apart health wise.

The show hadn't sold as well as our last time here, but this could have been to do with it being a Thursday night and last time was a Saturday.  Also last time it was predominantly a "stand up" gig.  Tonight they had put chairs out to make it all seater.

The show tonight had to be a bit shorter than usual, due to the Guildhall's curfew, so we dropped a few songs from each set.  With Derek struggling vocally, we brought back Ballad of John & Yoko to replace Don't Let Me Down.




Friday 24th February 06                                                                                                                                     

Marine Hall, Fleetwood.

The big news from today's show was that it was to be without Derek.  Still not feeling right after getting this flu bug which forced us to postpone gigs for the first time ever at the beginning of the month, we decided to let Dirk get a rest and get himself right for March which is going to be a busy period for us.  This new virus is a particularly nasty strain which has felled loads of people we know, including Roy's dad. In 17 years I have never known Dirk's voice to be so badly affected...he can usually pull through, no matter how bad things are.  Canceling gigs is something that we just don't like to do, but sometimes there is no option.  Tonight, however, there is an option, and we were able to secure the services of Chris O'Neil from the Backbeats, who was able to step in at short notice and plug the hole left by our ailing bassist.

When we all arrived at 5.30 for the sound check, Roy was the only one who had met Chris before, having stood in for the Backbeats in the past.  After the formalities of the introductions, we poured over the set list to see what we could come up with.  As luck would have it, Chris knew 95% of our set, so we only had to change a couple of numbers in the show.
As the curtain pulled back for the first half, we were quite shocked to see the room completely full.  Somehow, I had expected that sales for this show would not have gone so well!  From the applause at the end of the first half, I doubt that anyone in the hall had any idea that the people they were watching on stage had only met less than three hours previously....a great testament to Chris, who fitted in smoothly.

During the interval, we were asked by the mother a little girl aged 8 if she could dance with us on the stage.  We politely declined as for one; we don't really consider ourselves to be a cabaret act per se, and two; there are safety issues on all stages that we were not comfortable taking responsibility for.
A few songs into the second half, Eddie made an introduction of the little girl and asked if she would dance in front of the stage.  This would have been fine...but no!....The pushy mother had to have her way and lifted the girl onto the stage.  At one point during the song, the girl nearly fell off the stage, and I'll bet that if that would have happened there would have been someone liable for damages, with someone else only too keen to follow it up!  Frankly it was a disgrace.  At the end of the song, the girl clearly wanted to get off, but the mother was trying to push her back on.

I think the most enjoyable part of the set jigging in the second half was us playing Nowhere Man and If I Needed Someone, two songs that we have never performed in concert before....and that is always a thrill!

I really love the shape of these things!  I hope that doesn't make me too sad!
Band pictured with local teenage group "The Jeps"

Saturday 25th February 06                                                                                                                               

Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford.

I don't know what it is about these provincial theatres, but they always seem to be stuck in the arse end of a one-way system!  Miss a turning, and you have to go round for miles before you can get back on track.  Fortunately, we didn't miss the turning and found the venue with little problem.  Chris, on the other hand, had, and eventually caught up with us after a short tour of the Potteries.  This is my long-winded way of explaining that Chris was in with us again tonight in place of Derek.

We were alerted that the first half last night's performance was a little short, so we needed to stick a couple of other numbers in.  A hastily learnt Do You Want To Know A Secret? was slotted into the set, giving me more lead vocal songs than I think I've ever done in this band.  It was a big hit for Billy J. Kramer.....but I can't really say that Staffordshire was "that" keen!!  Arh well.....I like the arpeggio at the end of each verse.  
We Can Work It Out
, was also dragged out of a five year retirement and was placed slightly out of chronology at the end of the first half.

With the luxury of 45 minutes after the sound check before curtain up, Chris impressed everyone by having a shower.....and he didn't even smell!  How weird!

The show was really well received and was probably a bit better and tighter than last night.  Only to be expected.....I mean, we have played together twice now.  The highlight for us full time members was definitely Nowhere Man again.

 





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