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E B R U A R Y 2 0 0 6
3rd February 06
Bay Playhouse, Whitley Bay.
4th February 06
23rd February 06
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
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.
24th February 06
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
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!
25th February 06
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
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
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.