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Thursday 8th June 06                                                                                                                                        

Beck Theatre, Hayes.

I was going to start this blog entry with a warm welcome to anyone reading this on MySpace.  I figured, rather pompously, that this may count as syndication, if it were published in two places.  As it turns out, it won't be published on MySpace.  You may have seen on the front page of the blog, that we have been kicked off that website, for infringing their Terms of Service.  I am still confused as to the reason.  They say that they have received a credible complaint, but they don't say of what nature.  I assume that since there is no nudity or sexually offensive material, they must be referring to copyright infringement.  Seeing as they left up the 3 mp3's of our live performances when they originally warned us that we were in breach, I can only deduce that their problem lies with the two pastiche photos of With The Beatles and Beatles For Sale.  We have had no other complaints from any other sources regarding these two images.  The images are NOT of the Beatles, so I don't see how they can conflict with anybody's copyright.  It's a mystery that I will try to get to the bottom of.  Maybe the complaint has come from another band who are jealous of the amount of hits we were receiving on the MySpace site.
I have to admit that I am a tad pissed off about it all.  The MySpace site was a good way of networking more people to be aware of our group, after all, that is what the site is about.....promoting your band.  I am only trying to forge a living.  I have no idea how many people read this blog...well about half a dozen for definite, so I guess it may all be a complete waste of time from a promotion point of view.  Publication on MySpace, would have given perhaps a bit more opportunity to find out, as people can respond to posts on there.  If anyone has a mind to do so, I guess they could always use our message board.

Anyway....  that is my winge over with for the time being.....on with the diary:

Summer is definitely here.....I can tell that because the car's air conditioning system has decided to pack in.  Derek, myself, and a couple of flight cases on the back seat, make a very sticky and unpleasant journey south.  The windows are open, the windscreen is covered with bugs and the only saving grace for this excursion is that the roads are free flowing and we don't have to sit in any traffic jams.

When we arrive at the Beck, Dave, Ade, Roy and Eddie are already there.  We've traveled separately because tomorrow we have to fly out to Denmark, with Ade and the flight cases and we can't all fit in one vehicle.

This date was put in the diary quite late, to give us a gig on the way to Stansted Airport, which is the only economic way of getting to Esbjerg.  The big problem with this, is that we missed inclusion in the Becks brochure which is mailed out to 25,000 people.  I would like to think that this was the largest factor in the poor ticket sales for this show.  Those that did come, seemed to really enjoy themselves and they gave us a great reception.

Half-time relief from the heat inside the Theatre!

Friday 9th June 06                                                                                                                                               

Nord Als Festival, Nordborg, Denmark.

I'm not sure if we vowed never to stay in a Travelodge again, but if we did we broke it, and stayed in the damp beds at Brentwood.....hey come on...we're on a budget!.
After a shower and a reasonable attempt to contain our bewilderment that Eddie was up, dressed and out at the allotted time, we set off on the 30 minute journey to Stansted.
Travelling from any UK airport these days is a stressful affair.  Never quite sure if you are heading for the correct car park, and if the bus will get you back to the terminal on time.  Roy and I queued for a ludicrous length of time to get through the security control, and then met up with the others who were queuing for a coffee.

It is just a short flight across the North Sea, but long enough for Derek, never shy about speaking his mind, to sell me the idea that if I get rid of a couple of guitars then I will be able to afford some plastic surgery. Thanks mate!  Eddie casually asked Derek where he got his trousers from, but Derek refused to let him in on the information, feeling that Eddie had cloned him enough in the apparel department.

We amused ourselves by getting Ade to take some band photographs, while waiting for Fleming to pick us up from the airport.

Clients have been know to shit themselves!  

We were collected from the Hotel at 7.00, to be taken to the Festival for food.  After the ritual of the wristbands and the cringing explanation of who we were, we were shown to the food tent, where we stuffed ourselves with two different varieties of sausage, an unidentifiable piece of very tasty meat and all the trimmings. Dirk did his customary "wrap some up for later" routine.

We found out that Slade were also on this Festival, unfortunately we would miss them...they were playing Saturday...what a bugger.  Also on the bill were The Jeff Healey Band, Eddie was very excited about this!

We were hanging round the stage we would be performing on later that night, watching the Lis Sørensen Band.  There was some back-line at the side of the stage that had our name on it.  I told Roy that we had apparently been given our exact spec.  Roy put his ear to the tube case that contained the drums, and started gently tapping and listening. "Hmmm......sounds more like Yamaha than Ludwig"  Of course, he was joking and was pissing himself at the very idea that ones ear could be so finely tuned as to recognise a drum when it was in it's case.  As it turned out...the drums were Yamaha...all a bit spooky!

Lis Sørensen

Our stage time was not until 11.45 so we had time to go back to the hotel, squeeze in a shave, a shower another photo session and watch Life of Brian before the minibus came back to pick us up.
The sound check was quite a hurried affair, and Dirk was not at all happy with the monitors.  The back-line on the other hand was superb, the AC30 I'd been given was the best I've ever had...I wanted to take it home.
When we finally got on stage, there were only a few punters in the audience as the other stage was just finishing.  After a couple of songs though, the audience filled up nicely and we had a gig on our hands.  It was a shame that Eddie was plagued with tuning problems during the show, but we made it through.

The post gig wind down was very pleasant, if a little hurried, with some ice cold lagers and hot sausage being provided.  We have to be up at 8 in the morning for the 2 hour drive back to Esbjerg. Still, we couldn't resist the temptation to stand at the edge of the lake behind the hotel, soaking up the night-time serenity and the distant sound of a was magical.

We are leaving a bit early for the airport, as Fleming has to go and pick up The Jeff Healey Band. (did I mention them, already?)  If all airports were like Esbjerg, it would be a dream.  We'd arrived before the check-in actually opened, but the staff were so friendly and helpful that they opened it for us anyway.  We were the only passengers in the terminal.  I'm liking Denmark more and more.

Rasmus Nøhr
Pic: Eva Pic: Eva Pic: Eva
A t shirt that has Cavern Beatles on it somewhere

Friday 16th June 06                                                                                                                                            

Alnwick Playhouse, Alnwick.

The fastest way to the North East from here is M62 - A1.... but we got caught out with horrendous traffic on our last journey to Whitley Bay, so we took the scenic option up the M6 and across the A69.... a good move.

We've never been here before, but Alnwick looks like it might have quite a lot to offer.  There was no time to explore, but we would like to come back and have a proper nose round.  There is a huge memorial column on the way into the town, which I found out is known as the Percy Tenantry Column, apparently erected in 1816 as thanks to the Duke of Northumberland for lowering tenant rents after the Napoleonic Wars. (Well!.... we like all this sort of stuff)

Eddie and I were in the dressing room when Roy entered in a bad mood.  It seems he had mislaid the ear defenders, which he sticks in his lugs before he even looks at a drum set.  He was in a bit of a panic in case he had lost them, they cost him best part of a hundred nicker.  A couple of phone calls confirmed that he had left them at a session he played on in the week.  He left the dressing room with bits of wet lavatory paper in his ears, and began beating shit out of the Ludwig.  "That's an angry sound check" commented Eddie, thoughtfully cradling his cup of tea.

The Playhouse is only quite a small venue, but it had sold out.  We always seem do well in such situations.  Give us a crowd and we will go down well.  With this in mind, we were quite relaxed about the gig and really looking forward to playing.
The audience were fab, and really got into it.  We all enjoyed playing for them and I think it was one of our better shows.  The only problem came in the second half, when my AC30 started behaving badly.  It flickered on and off during It's Only Love, and completely gave up the ghost on Day Tripper.  Dave and I furiously struggled to get it going again and had the emergency processor ready to DI into the PA.  Just as we are about to DI...the amp decided to play ball again and fired back into life and caused no further problems.

We stuck I've Got A Feeling back in the set tonight.  It's a song that doesn't get the best response of the night, but we all love playing it and we know that the die-hards really like it.
I'd just like to thank Steve at the Playhouse, who was really very helpful and seems to run the place on his own.

Sunday 18th June 06                                                                                                                                          

Paul McCartney, 18th June 1942

Birthday Greetings.......   difficult not to feel a bit sad though....but I don't think I'll go into that.

Saturday 24th June 06                                                                                                                                       

Holmewood House School, Tunbridge Wells.

We've done some pretty strange gigs in our time, and I can't say that this was the strangest, but it is certainly up there with the honourable mentions.

It is the perfect day for a garden party, no sign of rain and not ridiculously hot.  We arrive at Holmewood House School to be greeted by one of the PTA organisers, Lisa, who also claims responsibility for coming up with this themed idea for the school's Diamond Jubilee celebration. (that's 60 years for those who don't know their wood from their crystal.)

Before we go on stage, 6 groups of children perform 6 Beatle songs in front of the stage.  Perhaps this is confirmation that these tunes will be timeless pieces...well we thought that anyway....but when you see hoards of primary school children be so enthusiastic about them, it just rubber stamps it.  Pop music! was it ever meant to have this longevity?

It was dark when we began our second set, and I think a few bed-times had been exceeded.  There was lots of enthusiasm from the kids, and it was amazing to see how many of them knew all the words to the songs.
I'm sure Roy could have done without the firework display at the end, but it was pretty spectacular.  All in all, a very enjoyable day.

Wednesday 28th June 06                                                                                                                                  

Grosvenor House, London.

I'd forgotten my car was due for a MOT, so I had the annoying inconvenience of having to hire a car to get down to London.

It's Derek's Birthday today.  We didn't exactly go wild with the celebrations, but "Many happy returns mate" is about all we expect from each other...and sometimes....not even that.  Miserable bastards that we are!

Trying to time our arrival time in London to just after 6.30 to avoid the congestion charge, we stop at Oxford Services.  It was here that Eddie had a bit of an incident with the Pick'n'Mix sweets.  Somehow, those Pick'n'Mix look like they are going to be quite cheap, but once Eddie had loaded up his bag with cola bottles, white mice and the like, his bill came to about £8.  There was no way Eddie was about to part with that sort of money and who would blame him.  We left the shop leaving him to start again and be a bit more selective in his choice.

This is the first of four engagements for us at the Grosvenor House this summer, all for the same client.  We did these last year as well, and they were all good shows.  Tonight was no different to last year, a room full of Americans, who were very responsive to our set.

Friday 30th June 06                                                                                                                                            

Theatre Brycheiniog, Brecon.

Last time we came to these parts it was in 6 inches of snow, so the scene outside the theatre was a total contrast today.  Dave had arrived without Ade and so was busy completing the set-up, while Dirk and I sat out by the canal enjoying a refreshing beverage.
There wasn't much time for a sound check, as one of the monitor speakers had gone down and most of the time was taken up with fixing that before the doors opened at 7.30.

The show was really quite good from our end.  We played well and the whole thing felt very tight, although Roy wasn't to keen on it for some reason.  Eddie surprised us all with a solo rendition of Baby It's You instead of his usual song.

I'm not sure exactly what happened after the last song.  We left the stage after the bow at the end of Get Back...and waited in the wings to go back on for an encore.  Either we had really left the audience disappointed, and they all just wanted to go home, or we had grossly mis-read the situation and they wanted us to come back for another song.  Whichever it was, we felt a bit stupid going back on
stage when the applause died away so we just looked at each other with a "what the f...?" expression....and decided to head for the dressing rooms, wondering what we had done wrong!

Some great pics. and videos from Ash!! - More on the Message Board.


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