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Thursday 4th October 07                                                                                                                                   

Falkirk Town Hall, Falkirk.

With autumn in the air, this is about the best time to be travelling north of the border for a bit of a mini-tour.  As we pulled up outside this very familiar venue for us, the doors of the van were still open, which indicated that we had not been far behind the crew of Dave and Paul.  There seemed to be a bit of confusion over the on-stage time.  I was under the impression that it was 7.30, but the Town Hall website gave the show time as 8.00pm.  The tickets said 7.30, so we split the difference and decided to go with 7.45.  This would, however, depend on sorting out a problem with the PA which eventually turned out to be a problem with the venue electrics.  8 o'clock it was!

I don't think Eddie and I particularly enjoyed the first half of the performance, perhaps for different reasons, but the second half was much better and the audience seemed to warm up a bit too.

After the concert, we opted for a 45 minute drive up to the Perth Travelodge, rather than stay in Falkirk.  



Friday 5th October 07                                                                                                                                         

The Ironworks, Inverness.

The McDonalds Chicken McDeli Sandwich, is the healthiest option available to us at breakfast time (noon).  We all ordered one, but they are really shit and taste of absolutely nothing, so we won't be doing that again.  Disgruntled, we set off up the A9 for one of the most pleasant "A" road drives in Britain.  Stopping off at Aviemore for coffee and scones, Eddie was becoming more and more excited at the prospect of seeing rare birds of prey, now that we were so far north of the border.  I've never heard the word "Kestrel" used more often.

We should have been playing at The Eden Court Theatre, where we did extremely well a few years ago, but due to refurbishment of that venue, we ended up finding an alternative place to play.
The Ironworks, turns out to be a similar type of venue to the Robin in Bilston, a proper live music venue with a state of the art in house PA system. 
Had there been more people at the gig, I'm sure it would have been a real stormer.  We played really well and the audience was as enthusiastic as such a small gathering could be.  I hope we can come back here and play to more people.

After settling into our Wetherspoons base for the night, Dirk, Eddie and I set off in search of the good Guinness and found it about 50 yards away complete with live music.  Eddie found a bit more of it after everyone else was tucked up in bed, but who's counting?




Saturday 6th October 07                                                                                                                                    

Whitehall Theatre, Dundee.

Wetherspoons manage to provide the most massive breakfast for a piddling £3.60, which makes you realise how much you get ripped off at other establishments.  We all had the same, except Roy, who opted for the slightly smaller £2.10 version.  Paul was so impressed, that there was no evidence that anything had been on his plate at all by the end of his meal.  We think he may have been trying to keep his strength up to fight off the advances of a potential invasion on his aris' from a fictional character Roy had been promising would be sniffing around later in the day.

We took the more scenic route back down south, through the Cairngorns and Balmoral, to a coffee stop at Braemar.  The town was lovely, which is more than can be said for the drinks, but we all enjoyed the walk around the village in the crispy autumn weather.

We've not played at the Whitehall since 1995, and from the outside, neither Dirk nor I could remember a thing about it.  As we went inside and our eyes adjusted to the light, it did begin to look slightly familiar.

The concert turned out to be the best of the three on this little trip.  From the first song, it was well evident that this crowd were up for it.  Although we couldn't see any of the audience due to the strong lights, we could certainly hear them, and they were having a ball.
Thanks to everyone who has signed the guestbook following these three shows....glad you enjoyed it!!  :)




Friday 12th October 07                                                                                                                                       

Burnley Mechanics, Burnley.

I've left it a bit late to be writing about this concert, but the overwhelming memory I have of it a couple of weeks later is that we all felt it was one of our best ever gigs.
We've played bigger and grander venues but something about this was just right.  Terrific audience, and well...we just played bloody great.  Thoroughly satisfying for the whole band, we could've played all night.


Saturday 13th October 07                                                                                                                                 

Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool.

It looks grand, especially from the outside, but ask anyone who has been to Beatle Week and they will tell you that Britannia Adelphi Hotel is very nearly an anagram of  "Total Shithole"
Corporate engagement, at which we all felt that we were very poorly
received.  Others not in our party begged to differ, but we are hard to convince.
Dirk had a perfume incident and became snotty.
Roy looked at his shoes in the dressing room.
Eddie and I were prematurely "Trick or Treated" by a poorly costumed 7 year old.  Of course, the little girl was not looking for sweets....it's hard cash she was after.  I begged Eddie not to succumb, but I'm afraid he did and I watched as the girl handed over the loose change
to the scum of a woman who made straight off to "The Vines".  Tell yer what though, inflation has not got a grip on Bonfire Night yet, the kids in Liverpool are still only asking for a penny for the guy......sensational value in these times!

Stan Boardman told some jokes in between our two sets, but our time on stage was not as much fun.
What's a Shih Tzu?........ It's one with no animals!....etc. etc.

Not a career highpoint for any of us.


Saturday 20th October 07                                                                                                                                 

St.Andrews Bay Hotel, St. Andrews.

M6 South Lakes...where did all these people come from?
60th Birthday Party.
England lose in Rugby World Cup Final.
Stopped at Forth Bridge on way back to suck in the view.....marvellous!


Thursday 25th October 07                                                                                                                                

Sands Venue, Gainsborough.

Ten minutes after arriving to meet the rest of us at Lymm Services, and before his reasonable coffee had had chance to go cold, Dirk found himself the victim of a wheelclamp.  As he drove into the services, a number plate recognition camera clocks him and checks a computer to find that he has parked here before without paying £15 so to do.  They have allegedly sent him an £80 bill through the post, and now want £120 to release the clamp.  However, they have sent the bill to an old address and so have to release the clamp without him paying the release fee.  This is all a bit scary. Aren't motorway services supposed to be on tax-payers land?  Why should some twatting huge company, making enormous profits from ripping off their captive audience, be allowed to charge us for parking a car on land we technically own?  Car sharing should be encouraged not penalised, but everything nowadays seems to be based on greed.  Oh fuck it!... we say the same things all the time, we hate the way things are going, but nothing will change while this nation remains so apathetic.

Took us far too long to get to Gainsborough, but we did, and probably too early. (I know exactly what I mean by that sentence, but I expect no one else will!)
This is a cracking little venue, the like of which was probably quite common some years back, but now appear to be a bit of a rarity.  We were spoiled rotten with a poussin and fresh veg., which all 6 seemed to enjoy immensely judging by the pile of sucked dry bones which was all that remained at the end.

The best on stage sound we could ever recall, made the gig a delight to play.  I hope we get chance to perform here again.




Saturday 27th October 07                                                                                                                                 

Four Seasons Hotel, London.

It seems like such a long time since we have set off for a gig in the dark.  Back in the old days, during the winter, we would hardly see daylight at all by the time we had slept off a return journey from a late gig.  Roy will still wax lyrical about such times.
A huge amount of packaging gets thrown away at our Keele Kentucky stop, prompting conversation about the state of our landfills, general re-cycling and government plans to tax more than one bag of rubbish a week.  The topic goes back to music in the car, while listening to a Tom Robinson programme on Radio 4 about changes in popular music since the 20's.  It seems mad to think that there was a mere 20 years between Elvis and the Sex Pistols.
We arrive in Park Lane..."well early" to the usual vain attempt to find parking close to Hamilton Place, it has to end up being the underground car park in Mayfair, which at 8 quid to stay all night is an absolute bargain in the capital.
We have quite a time to hang around in the Four Seasons before we are due on.  I just love it when a maître d''. will come over and ask if they can help us.  "No thank you" will always prompt further questions, but what they really want to ask is; "What the bleedin' hell are you doing here... you scruffy bastard?"
I consider ordering a drink from the bar.....let's have a look at the tariff. They have a fine selection of cognacs, ranging in price from £8.50 to £500.. per glass!!  I hate to be a philistine, but seriously.....What is that all about?

We are supposed to perform 11 songs at this Batmitzvah at 11 o'clock.  Naturally, things will be running a bit behind schedule, but we manage to squeeze on stage at 11.30, which is pretty good going for these affairs.  The room is one we have played before, but I think this is the best it has looked.  The events company doing the room dressing have done a great job.  Playing a shorter set at these functions works so much better than gilding the lily with seventy minutes to an audience who have so much else to do at a party.  Our performance is beamed round the room on huge plasma screens and dance floor is constantly full of people either dancing or watching.  There was a great atmosphere at this party and I'd say it was one of the more enjoyable parties like this we have played.

We are somewhere on the M6 when the clock jumps back an hour to signal the official end of BST.




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