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Saturday 4th August 07                                                                                                                                     

The 3 B's, Bridlington.

As Roy and I walked round the promenade and amusement area of Bridlington, we agreed that there was something really quite appealing about the tackiness of the place.  Like all the splendid Victorian seaside resorts, Brid' has had to move with the times and introduce modern attractions to draw it's discerning visitors.  A couple of miles of sands, a glorious promenade and the bustling harbour, would no longer be sufficient to satisfy our reduced attention span, so the promenade is now full of kitschy fairground rides and enough fast food outlets to satisfy the most greedy of appetites.

The 3 B's was opened in July 1937 and I guess that in that time it must have looked spectacularly modern.  The ceiling was the architectural highlight for me, but I'm not sure that it did the sound any favours.

Coming off stage after the first half, all of thought that we had played well.  The band gelled as well as ever, there were no problems with voices and the whole performance had the right amount of gusto.  The theatre was nearly at capacity and had sold better than any of it's previous summer shows.  In spite of all this, we all felt a little deflated by the audience reaction.

The collection of vintage trucks and a fire engine parked up in Birch Services lorry park, proved an irresistible attraction for Roy after we dropped Derek off, and a good 10 minutes was spent oooing at the paintwork on these immaculately preserved vehicles.

Tuesday 7th August 07                                                                                                                                      

Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe.

Number 2, of 3 performances at The Landmark.

Friday 10th August 07                                                                                                                                        

The Robin 2, Bilston.

We've done 3 gigs a year at the Robin for the past few years, and it is the one in August which is usually the less well attended.  It was our impression that this one was was better in terms of numbers than previous summer dates.  Being a Friday sort of cocked up our travel plans.  On Saturdays, you can normally guarantee a straight-forward journey with little traffic...on Fridays, the M6 is much more of a lottery.  Anyway, as it turned out, we had no particular issues with the traffic and we all made the sound check.

As a band, we rarely agree on anything unanimously.  Tonight, three of us felt that this gig was probably one of, if not the best, we had done here.  Whatever...we all had a good gig from an enjoyment point of view and the Robin crowd were really up for it as usual.  I say it every time, but this is the most enthusiastic audience on our calendar and remains one of our favourite venues.

Saturday 11th August 07                                                                                                                                   

Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne.

No one has particularly good memories of Eastbourne.  Last time we were in town, we had a horrendous journey which caused us to be a little late for the show at the Congress Theatre down the road.  We were in plenty of time today, but the 300 mile trip was never going to be pleasant.

The Hippodrome has clearly been a magnificent Theatre in its day, but there is much evidence of it being slightly run down these days.  The steep rake on the smallish stage, coupled with the venue's lack of a drum riser made the band feel a bit cramped and claustrophobic.....but we've had worse.  The theatre was set out for another show which was currently playing, so we did have some fun with a few props that were knocking about, but Eddie refused to don a daft hat.

It was quite a disappointing turn-out, and although the band played and performed pretty well, it was hard to summon the adrenaline that had been free flowing last night.

Saturday 18th August 07                                                                                                                                   

Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay.

Probably one of the worst days on the roads we can remember.  The traffic on the M5 was horrendous all the way from Birmingham to Exeter, with all three lanes full and slow moving.  The jack-knifed, over-turned caravan didn't help much around Tewkesbury, and by the time we got south of Bristol, we were all pretty pissed off.  A little Peugeot slowly passed us in the outside lane and it's rear window brandished the sign.. "Don't Worry - Be Happy!"  Roy expressed his desire to get out and smear it with dog dirt.

Arriving at the Theatre at 6.45, we found Ade and Paul still unloading the van.  Evidently, their journey had been no better than our own.  The theatre staff didn't want to hold the doors past 7.30, so there was frantic times setting the front of house system before everything else was finished behind the curtains with the audience in situ.  Paul did manage to find time to begin an enquiry as to who had run off with his pop at the Bridlington gig a couple of weeks ago, but had to face the fact that it was all an innocent misunderstanding with no malicious intent to deny him his thirst quencher.
As the intro was playing, the scene on stage behind that curtain was one of total panic.  Dirks bass amp wasn't set up, the monitoring system wasn't on and there were a few flys down and skew-whiff hair pieces adding to the general chaos.
In spite of it all, as the curtain went up, we must have looked as though we were completely prepared and apart from that problem with the monitor, we had a good gig.  The audience was one of the warmest we've had from the seaside towns this month and the whole band enjoyed themselves.

Tuesday 21st August 07                                                                                                                                    

Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe.

The show must go on.
Just recently, there have been many problems affecting this group.  Some of them get described on these pages, some of them not, but it seems that there are more and more obstacles to overcome in order to put some sort of show on. 

On Monday afternoon, Dirk called to tell me one of his best friends had died in his sleep that morning.  Adam was 42 and probably as nice a bloke as you would choose to meet.  The news shocked and upset me, but devastated Derek and it puts a lot of other trivial things into perspective.  

As far as I was concerned, there was no question of Dirk travelling down to do this show, so I gave our old mucker Karl Lornie a call, who was able to step in at very short notice and keep the boat afloat.  Our agent would tell you that it may have suited us better to have cancelled the performance, but that's just not what we do.  If we ever cancel a show, it is when all the possibilities have been exhausted.

Karl, who still refuses to be drawn into a syrup wearing scenario, had a nice day with his Uncle Beatles and seemed to relish the Ringo/George feud which began in earnest on the road to Coombe Martin.

Friday 31st August 07                                                                                                                                        

Lydney Town Hall, Lydney.

Exactly 45 years ago on Friday 31st August 1962, The Beatles performed on this very stage, to a smaller and less enthusiastic audience. Ringo had been with the group a fortnight, and 4 days later the band went into Abbey Road to record "How Do You Do It" and "Love Me Do"
Apart from some plastic chairs and an electrical re-wire, I doubt that much has changed in this venue.


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