The internet proved, yet again, to be a wondrous
place. Surfing YouTube I came across this
video which uses clips from Amélie, (I guess my
favourite movie for many reasons) backed with a
soundtrack of Aimee Mann's "Save Me".
I suppose I never thought that I would have these
two on the same plate, but I think this works
beautifully and it quite mesmorised me.
So..thanks to Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Aimee Mann and
MissesJaneDoe for bringing them together in such a
10th April 07
14th April 07
It's hot, the air conditioning is broken
again, the Forth Road Bridge and Kincardine Bridge have
90 minute tailbacks, it's the Scottish Cup Semi-Final,
and there are road works round Sterling. In spite of
this, we arrive at Glenrothes not much behind time.
This is the re-scheduled February gig and the first half
goes swimmingly. We recalled the last time we
played here, when a sizable amount of people began
leaving a few songs from the end. This was a bit
upsetting at the time, but we were assured it was
because the last bus was due to leave. Tonight we
were told in advance that a bus was leaving at 9.50, so
could we finish by 9.45. No problem, we just cut
the interval time down a bit and dropped a couple of
tunes out of the second half.
I think it was around Baby's In Black that things
started to go a bit "tits up". The drums
started to sound a bit peculiar....like there was no
bass drum or something. Sure enough, there was no
bass drum, the metal beater shaft had sheared off which
left Roy beating shit out of fresh air. Dave raced
up to the drum riser with the spare bass drum pedal, and
then Roy became entangled in the mounted tom tom as he
bent down to remove the broken one. The comedy was
to continue a few songs later when the spare pedal also
broke. I think this may have ruined Roy's gig!
With the dressing rooms being a very long way away, and
the problem with the bass pedal, I was to do 2 solo
songs to give Eddie and Roy time to sort their stuff
out. Having to restart While My Guitar because I
had put the capo on incorrectly, unsettled me a
bit. Then I fluffed the words and really started
to get rattled. I know a few people who suffer
like this....your mind starts to go just about
everywhere except on concentrating on the job in
hand. Two pants versions!
15th April 07
Fresh from their overnight stay in a
Travelodge, Dave & Ade arrive at a very nice house
just outside Southport to find.......steps!! Nothing
terrifies them more, with the possible exception of
having a stage-right monitor go on the blink. Once
set up though, they were able to unwind by the pool side
and have a work-out in the purpose built gymnasium,
which would later double as changing room.
By the time we, the band arrived, the party was in full
swing inside the marquee. We'd heard that the
inside of the "tent" had been decked out in a
rather special way, but we were not allowed in to have a
look until it was time for us to go on stage.
There was nothing to do except loaf around for an hour.
We thought Dirk might have done a bit of light training,
but no, he would wait till later on in the day.
Roy was getting quite giggly as we were putting wigs on
in somebodys back garden. We got quite giggly when we
realised that when Roy donned his sunglasses with his
wig, he looked more akin to an Italian film director
than a mop top drummer.
When we finally got to go on stage, we were all pretty astonished
at the marquee interior. It was dressed up to look
like the Cavern, with fake brick walls and arches around
the whole tent. If you didn't know, you would
never believe that this was in a suburban garden.
We've seen some pretty amazing party layouts in our
time, but for its size, this had to be the most
impressive and it must have cost a fortune.
The actual gig was really good. We had a good
sound on stage, and although we had been warned about
volume levels, once we kicked off there were no
complaints about the front of house level. The
place was rockin', and we had the dance floor full for
18th April 07
It's a damn cheek and a bit of an impudence,
posting these things here when you've come here to
read all about the life and tribulations of a copy
band. But....sod yer! I haven't banged
on about Aimee Mann for ages (except that post at
the top of the page!), so I feel no guilt in
posting this old video I've never seen
before. It is clearly from the 80's, and is
taken from Til Tuesday's last album,
"Everything's Different Now".
This is one of my favourite songs and shows, to me
anyway, how exquisite a song writer Ms. Mann was
"Believe in life, believe in fate, believe
you are lucky and worth the wait.
Cos life could be lovely, life could be fucking
Back up to Scotland again, and a journey
that always seems more appealing than the drive through
the chaos of going south.
Roy is thrilled that at long last Dirk has remembered to
retrieve the Sweet CD that he loaned him in 2003, and
has also brought him the promised UFO box set. Today
also marks the start of "Dirks Summer
Clear-Out"!, the day when Derek brings a big bag
full of DVD's and CD's for his band mates to browse
through and make sensible offers on. Eddie and Roy
in the back seat, are the first to get to rummage
through like a couple of elderly ladies at a bring and
buy sale. Dirk was mercilessly teased about the
time he sold a DVD to Eddie that had been a gift from
Because we will usually arrive for a
corporate function after the guests, there is often some
sort of rigmarole involved with us getting into a venue
without traipsing through the punters. Tonight was
one of these occasions. The Jam House staff were
very helpful, and directed us round to the back door, up
the steps, past the chefs....then back again, where we
had to wait for ten minutes while the punters were moved
from upstairs to downstairs. Eventually, we were
shown to the dressing room after a detour out of one
back door and into another. Unfortunately, the
allocated room is not really big enough for four blokes,
and certainly not when one of them is Roy, who as
previously discussed, requires a considerable amount of
personal space for his sundry items. He and Eddie
found a broom cupboard to set out their stalls.
This gaff has apparently got something to do with Jools
Holland. God knows where they would all get
changed if his band played here.
This gig had come in quite late, and one of the
stipulations on our contract was that we perform a song
with some of the clients, who wanted to sing. At
first, they did not know which tune it would be, but
finally the e-mail came through with their choice of
song. I was quite shocked with their selection of
"Another One Bites The Dust", and had to
politely point out that this tune was actually written
ten years after the Beatles broke up and consequently
did not feature in our repertoire. They settled
for A Hard Days Night.
Tonight, though, the client had decided that they were
not going to perform with us after all. Phew!
The gig is tremendous! We are playing for a party
of 150 or so Swiss roller shutter manufactures ( I may
have got that wrong.... Google occasionally gives
you a bum steer). From the first song they were up
on the dance floor and pretty much stayed there for 75
minutes. According to the organisers, they have
been doing these events for 15 years and they have never
While we were eating our post gig dinner of guinea fowl
and risotto, we were thanked profusely for making the
event their most special one. This is always nice
And so that was that! Dave and Ade, with the
assistance of a couple of burly Polish blokes, had the
gear crashed down and loaded in the van well before we
got out of the venue and were even able to give us
directions to our hotel. Here at the Ramada, we
were afforded the luxury of individual boudoirs and
bottles of Bud at £3.50 each.
20th April 07
Getting up early to move the car to a
discounted NCP car park 10 minutes walk from the hotel,
I was amazed how cold Edinburgh was. I had not
made provision for such weather, so found myself digging
out my stage polo neck to keep the chill factor at
bay. Over breakfast, Roy, a frequent visitor to
the Scottish capital, assured me that it is always cold
here, even for his tastes.
This is a beautiful city, and I was delighted to have a
few hours to walk around. The "new
town", looks very similar to parts of Birkenhead,
and so it came as no surprise to learn that the
architect was the same fella. On Princes Street,
opposite our hotel, is a magnificent, life size stone
replica of Thunderbird 3, complete with a statue of its
famous pilot, Walter Scott Tracy. The locals
seemed very friendly, there were welcome messages
everywhere and one lady was keen to extend her
salutation to the North American homosexual community.
(see photo) Eddie was the first to notice that all
the statues that abund along Princes Street had their
heads dripping with bird shit.......maybe they should've
been sculpted with hats.
Roy buggered off with Dave and Ade to mooch round the
Royal Yacht Britannia and the rest of us were going to
spend a bit longer in Edinburgh, but Dirk was keen to
set off for Glasgow, as he wanted to buy a
gramophone. Eddie and I waited patiently in an
excellent coffee shop called The Bean Scene, while he
completed his transaction.
The Theatre Royal is glorious! I guess one of the
finest theatres we have visited. Although by no
means a sell out, we strode onto the stage for the first
half to a really respectable sized audience. Like
Liverpool audiences, Glaswegians have a reputation for
being difficult to crack. You can't get away with
a substandard performance in these places, if you're no
good....they'll let you know, but if you're cookin'
.....there is no better place to play.
Tonight.....we all got on very well indeed. Some
were even on their feet in the first half, but by the
end of the concert, most of the audience were up and
boogieing. There's no better feeling as a
performer. Thanks to all of you.
For the second night running Dave and Ade were packed up
and out of the venue before us. No small thanks
for this due to the exceptional crew at The Royal.
These guys were the best anywhere, and we'd like to
thank them for all their help, humour and
professionalism. A great team!!
Dirk had us in bulk on the way home with his observation
that Eddie had just polished off a family bag of Hula
Hoops, nuetralising them with an anti-cholesterol
24th April 07
It's not all birds, booze, drugs,
glamour and Ginsters pasties in this band y'know.
No! ...occasionally even the drums need a bit of
TLC. Today Dave and Ade have brought the gear over,
and supervise Roy giving a much needed change to the
drum heads. This Ludwig kit was manufactured in
1965....but no one is quite sure the last time the heads
got re-newed. We just know they were sounding a
26th April 07
7th April 07
Weston Super Mare.
Dirk had come in for a bit of stick over
having one button too many undone on his shirt. We felt
that this was simply beyond decency and were not
prepared to accept any explanation that it was pectoral
development in the gym causing a tightness of the
garment. Eddie took the opportunity to ape from
the back seat, causing TheBronze Hand* to
reach round in an attempt to give him a donkey
bite..... we're on the road again!
Frankly Services, M5, is not a common stop for us, but
as we had been sitting in a long tailback round
Birmingham, we were all hungry, thirsty and needing a
The Playhouse is a lovely old theatre, really well
maintained and run in a traditional way by very smartly
turned out ushers.
It was one of those shows were we felt we had a bit of a
battle on our hands. Dirk and I often use the bow after
the first song to exchange brief comments. Tonight
it was an "oh oh". From what we could
see, there was a decent sized crowd, but we both felt
that, as a body, they weren't entirely "with
us". It is probably just our own paranoia,
but it doesn't help when you can see a po-faced couple
on the front row who appear to show zero emotion at the
end of every tune and flatly refuse to applaud.
Perhaps we weren't any good....but, we thought we played
well, and the new drum heads sounded ace!
The Severn Bridge Toll costs £5.10 for a car, they
accept cash sterling, US dollars, euros and cheques, but
you can't pay by card......how very queer these days.
We are settled into our Pencoed travelodge by midnight.
* Yet another nick-name for the bassist.
28th April 07
1. It's 12.05 and
the band have just exited the travelodge. Catching
sight of Paul and Ade at the window of their room, Dirk,
as PC as ever, comments that they look like they are from the
2. Adrian: I'm quite sure that Ade
has the opinion that we are all piss taking bastards,
which of course is very true. I'm also sure that
he is unaware how much we all really like him.
This picture sums him up for me, you can tell he's a
good bloke, he deserves a lot more happiness.
3. Eddie is very good humoured about
the fact that Dirk is once again copying his dress
4. 'ave a Deco. Stopping for petrol
in Port Talbot, we come across this run down old deco
Plaza cinema. It's a sight that saddens us all.
5. The Princess Royal Theatre,
opened by...The Princess Royal. What a
6. Ring out the old.... ring in the
new. Port Talbot got it's name from the Talbot
family, of pioneering photographer, Fox Talbot
fame. Famous sons of this town include Richard
Burton and Anthony Hopkins, but it is the steel industry
for which it is best known. We could see little
evidence of great prosperity however.
7. A man with a daft costume and an orange
face, caught me taking this picture of him. Just after
the shutter clicked, he was furiously beckoning me
over. As I went to chat, I was literally saved by the
bell....or at least my mobile phone going off. Roy
was trying to find out where we had disappeared to,
giving me the opportunity to avoid finding out what this
bloke was selling, promoting or canvassing for.
8. I scream, you scream, we all scream for
Ice Cream. I realise that I have a bit of thing
for ice-cream vans.
9 -12. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
is served up by the friendly staff in Ferraris
13 - 16. Fairground Attraction. The
town gives an overall impression of greyness I'm afraid,
but seek and ye shall find. I wasn't prepared to
pay the entrance fee for the rather tatty funfair, but
managed to capture some colourful images by standing on
a wall to see over the herras fencing surrounding the
17. I'm not sure what this sculpture represents, but I
thought its modern ness looked interesting against the
18 - 19. Last week, I was raving about how great
the crew in Glasgow were. I have to repeat myself
here, because these fellas were also exceptional.
20 - 24 Tescos, both sides of the curtain, half price
Chablis and some throat pastilles.
It's a really great turnout for this concert, maybe a
few over 500. In contrast to last night, we were
all getting a great vibe from the audience. There
was a fair bit of shouting out, although why anyone
would want us to play Yellow Submarine is beyond me.
Thanks to the bloke who was screaming for Jumping Jack
Flash and special thanks to Nicole.....cos we all need