NOVEMBER | JANUARY
E C E M B E R 2 0 0 4
4th December 04
The Brewery, London.
I don't know
where to begin with any kind of report of this
gig. We've played the Brewery on many
occasions. It is a splendid location in the City
and the main hall, The Porter Tun, is a magnificent
room with high wooden beams. The problem we have
had in here the last few times we have played is the
decibel meter, which monitors the sound volume in the
room, apparently on behalf of the Barbican
residents. Anyway, an un-miked snare drum sends
this bugger into the red, so the band has no chance
through the PA.
The "do" was for French pharmaceutical people,
like the one we did back in September. I remember
then, saying that that was a really good gig. This
was was the complete opposite. I don't think
anyone in the band enjoyed it too much. We were
asked halfway through the show, not to talk between the
songs as the audience couldn't understand us. I
mean, it's not like we have long monologues or anything,
but we have to cover the gaps between guitar changes and
the like. It just pissed us off a bit.
9th December 04
Deja Vu, Dundee.
It must be
years since we have played a nightclub, and it seemed
bizarre setting off for somewhere as far away as Dundee
as the sun was setting with the knowledge that we would
be in plenty of time to make this gig. We like
driving north.... much less traffic. Eddie still
always asks if we have passed Birmingham yet, but I
think, by now, we all know he is taking the piss.
After the sound check at the club, Eddie had his first
spectacular tumble. He was sharing a rather badly
designed double seat with Dirk..... Dirk got
up.... Eddie went arse over tit and ended up in a
rather untidy heap on the floor. A promoter called
Davey took us over the road to a pub for some sandwiches
and took Rick off to a pub to see some old chums from
Beatle Week, Steve and Grant playing in Tripper and Ian
and Willy in Ringer.
The gig itself was fairly uneventful, and we set off in
search of the Travelodge in Dundee which was to be our
home for a few hours.
10th December 04
Staff Night Out, Somewhere
We all arose
late, very late! In fact, in all the years of staying in
this chain of accommodation I can't remember being
allowed to stay until 1pm without at the very least
being barged in on by the housekeepers. As we
pulled back the curtains in the room, Roy was totally
impressed by the view of a brick wall from the
We breakfasted in the adjacent Little Thief whilst the
crew had opted for the cheaper alternative of the
massive Tesco further up the road.
It was decided that we would press on to Falkirk, where
we would have our "staff night out".
There was no gig tonight but we are in Falkirk on
Saturday so it made sense to base ourselves here for two
nights. Eddie pointed out that Scotland has some of
the most beautiful scenery in England, as we drove leisurely
from Dundee to Falkirk. On the way we come across
the fascinating "Falkirk Wheel", which we all
agree, is the most elaborate canal lock that any of us
has ever seen. Roy had seen a documentary about it
on the discovery channel, but frankly, he failed to
impress us with any facts and figures which we so
eagerly required. We are such lazy tourists and
never even got out of the car. (except
Eddie....who was by now gasping for a fag). After
checking into the hotel, the afternoon was spent giving
some much needed attention to the more smelly items of
stage wear. The seven of us met in the lobby to discuss
what we would do on our annual night out. Roy
exercised his unquestionable raison d'etre, and opted
out of the proceedings in favour of a bar snack in the
hotel followed by a long bath, feet up on the bed and
Friday Night with Jonathon Ross. The rest of us
met back in the lobby at 6.30, bent on painting the town
red. Eddie had brought all his smart gear with him
There just wasn't a decision to made about where or what
to eat, so we hit a pub for a drink to decide.
When we STILL couldn't decide.... we split up into two
camps. Dave and Ade trooped off after John to a
Chinese and what was left of the band headed off over
the road to the Comma Bar for wine, nice food and some thoroughly
lousy music. So much for the staff party!
Happy to report though, that we all had a splendid time
Back at the hotel, Rick and Dirk retired to the
bedrooms. Rick found Roy, wrapped up snuggly in
his sheepskin greyhound trainers coat and wooly hat
(just like Justin Timberlakes),
window wide open puffing away on a Wills Whiff (or at
least the modern equivalent). Meanwhile, young
Eddie had stayed downstairs and gate-crashed both the
private functions in the hotel. Apparently he came
to the attention of the duty manager and several burly
hotel staff when he was suspected of stealing some
ladies handbags. It was all a hideous
misunderstanding.... Eddie was merely 'minding'
about a dozen handbags for some drunken revelers who
took advantage of our Ed whilst they went for a
piss. The manager had a good laugh about it and
tried to book the band.
11th December 04
Falkirk Town Hall, Falkirk.
managed to make it down for breakfast this morning,
which is pretty disgusting when one considers that this
was supposed to be the morning after the night
before. After this, we all split up and do
different things ranging from Christmas shopping to
watching the mighty reds getting beaten by Everton.
(We were robbed!)
Not much to report about the show except that we found
it quite hard work. At times it seemed like the
audience weren't interested at all, which is odd for
Scotland cos we have always felt a great buzz off the
While the crew were setting down, the four of us headed
off into town for some nosh and a couple of
scoops. Thence came the comedy moment of the whole
trip...... He will forgive me for saying
it...but it just had to be Eddie. To
explain... Eddie goes to bar to get a round
in (Dirk-red wine; Rick-white wine...poofs drinks;
Roy-coke top...bigger poofs drink; Eddie-a few pints of
lager...I'm sayin nuffin), he makes 2 journeys to
the bar, so far so good - not a drop spilt, no wrist
shaking because of wet sleeves, no arguments with the
bar staff. All in all, perfect service from the
youngster. All the drinks are placed carefully at
the table. Eddie smiles, clearly pleased with
himself. He leans on a chair as he stands over the
table, the chair has but 3 legs and is not stable, the
chair gives way, Eddie is startled...looses his
balance (everything is now in slow motion) he hops
backwards three steps, stumbles over another chair at
the next table, sends it flying. He falls to the
ground and rolls over twice. People are staring,
open mouthed, we are staring open mouthed. He
stands up, we breath again realising he is ok. The
silence is broken by Dirk who emits a shrill laugh,
which starts Roy and Rick off, urine is beginning to
appear on the floor at the next table as they see the
funny side. The incident is watched from upstairs
on CCTV and the bouncers are alerted by radio to check
out suspected drunken behavior. They bungle over,
presumably with the intent of ejecting the trouble
maker, but are quickly placated and they smile -
knowingly. The great tragedy is that the tape
wasn't running and the moment has been lost
forever. We, however, will never forget!!
12th December 04
Avon Rooms, Hamilton.
As Ade, Dave
and John set off on the jaunt over to Hamilton, the rest
of us trooped off to Morrison's as Dirk and Eddie hadn't
made breakfast this morning.
Arrived at the venue very early and performed exhaustive
sound-checks, before heading to yet another hypermarket
Show was very well received tonight, but I'm sure the
audience had difficulty understanding our accents at
times. the boot was, for once, on the other foot.
17th December 04
Nailcote Hall, Berkswell.
would just not be Christmas for us, without a visit to
Nailcote. Every year we play in the marquee at the
back of the Hotel. Every year the sound
restrictions get tighter. This year it is down to
90Db. In the past we have found it rather
disconcerting to have people pointing sound meters at us
while we play. Tonight, we are Val and The
Valtones and all play as soft as possible. This is
great for the neighbours of the hotel, but not very rock
n roll. As it happened, we went down very well,
probably one of the best.
After the show, Dave and Ade were about to set off home,
but the van was stuck in mud and wasn't going
anywhere...hmm...that's saved us a bit of petrol
18th December 04
Nailcote Hall, Berkswell.
say good things come in pairs, so here we are for our
second night in the marquee.
Totally different crowd in there tonight, and it has to
be said, there was some scum. Someone had
disconnected one of the PA stacks and farted about with
microphones. Also, Dirk heard some chatter from
one group planning to whip the wigs off.
A full dance floor all night, but on the whole not as
enjoyable as the first night.
24th December 04
The Robin, Bilston.
I have to
admit that I, for one, would not normally be looking
forward to a Xmas Eve gig. A few sherries, a box
of mince pies and "It's a Wonderful Life"
would seem so much more appealing. However, this
being the Robin, with it's sweaty stage and the most
enthusiastic audience in the country....it's hard to top
at any time of year. This will also be our last
performance here in its present state, as the venue
closes in a couple of weeks for a refit.
The Robin is an especially hard gig for Dirk and
Eddie. With them doing the majority of the singing
in the heat and lack of oxygen it takes it out of 'em,
but they still enjoy it. Roy came off stage
tonight also having found it a hard gig, especially as
he played the last half hour in his "Ann
Summers" rooftop mac. The audience was in a
festive mood, including the couple at the front with
their mince pies on the stage, and they sang and danced
along to the whole set.
A pianoless version of Hey Jude brought the set to a
close with a tremendous ovation and it was back to the dressing
room for a towel down.
Forgot to take any pics at this gig except this couple
of Roy and his mac, so if anyone has any...please send
to us, we would be most grateful!!