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E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 4
3rd September 04
Leicester University, Leicester.
party for the Land Registry. Big, comfy dressing
room, tons of Domino's pizza....what more could we ask
5th September 04
Princess Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea.
Is it really that far to Clacton?... you betcha.
Got stuck for 20 miles behind a convoy of about 100
motorcycles, presumably on their way to an appointment to do
some distasteful things to a chicken. It all got quite
interesting when the Cheshire police showed up to try and stop
the erm... cyclecade from blocking 2 lanes of the
M6. Still.... at least we had a good old reminisce
about "Any Which Way But Loose", and pondered why it
is only available on region 1 DVD. Lots more
unpleasantness to each other on the way down.
Show was really good tonight I think. Shame it was not
as well attended as it might have been.
Even with Eddie having a post show shower and us all getting
take away food, we were still on the long road home by
11. Amused ourselves on the A14 by trying to predict the
outcome of some car overtaking a police car at 90mph
6th September 04
Radio Interview with BBC Radio Newcastle,
promoting show at Gala Theatre Durham.
This should have taken place in the Radio Merseyside studios,
but I have to confess, I completely forgot about it.
Mainly due to to having got in very late last night and then
waking up with a cold. The interview was done over the
phone...which seems to be a lot more civilised really.
11th September 04
Christchurch College, Oxford.
Corporate booking for Pfizer drug
company. Travelling down the M6, we get a phone call from
Dave and Ade, telling us they can't get into the venue because
there are 32 steps; the hall is 600 years old thus no lift;
Simon is not with them cos he is on a date!! (stop the world -
I wanna get off) ; the client has
not been informed by our manager that the equipment weighs in
at 3 tons and thus is impossible for 2 blokes to get it all up
stairs; oh and by the way, this is the room that was used as
the Hogwarts Dining Room in Harry Potter. Our in-car
discussions were now centered around whether or not we would
have a gig at all when we arrived in Oxford.
Fortunately, our trusty crew were able to grab 4 blokes off
the street who were able to assist with getting this ludicrously
heavy gear up these stairs. By the time we arrived, we
were able to assist in the final set up of the gear and just
about made it 3 minutes before the guests arrived. Close
shave, and well done Dave and Ade. "There's nothing
you can do that can't be done"
We now had about 90 minutes to eat our sarnies and get changed
into the suits while the guests scoffed their food in the main
The room was fabulous, and filled with 200 very clever French
people. "The French won't dance" we were told,
so we played an unusual corporate set for us which included
far more slow numbers than we would normally play. This
Boy, If I Fell, and And I Love Her, all made the cut. We
stormed it! In fact we were a little taken aback.
We are used to going down well, but the reception we got from
this audience was amazing. They watched and listened
intently, applauded enthusiastically, came down the side of
the room to get a better view, danced in the gaps between
tables, and at the end of the set, clapped and cheered for 5
minutes. Yeah... it doesn't get much better than
Pretty much as soon as we had got changed, the guests were
filing out and off to their hotel. This was going to be
the bit of the evening we were not looking forward to with
much relish...... 3 tons of gear had to be taken down
these bloody stairs by 2 able bodied crew, 2 "bad
backs", 1 "bit of a twinge in me shoulder.. lar"
and 1 "I'm bound to fall down those stairs without
Somehow we managed and it was back to the car for the journey
home, all in a good mood in spite of it all. Of
course...this was gonna change when we were stationary for 40
minutes on the M40.
photos courtesy of John Kirby
coffee The thought of the
12th September 04
Second visit to the Gala for us. This show had sold much
better than our first show so the seating configuration was
different, and much better than last year. There were
problems with the pick-up on the acoustic guitar before the
show and Eddie and Ade spent an hour taking it to bits and
fixing it. The girl operating the curtain was very
nearly taken up to the roof as she pulled the rope, which
caused us much amusement, but as Rick hit the opening chord of
the first song, a string broke on the Country Gent, which
meant playing the entire first half on the Casino, which is
less than ideal. Also, tuning problems with the acoustic
meant that we came into the interval a bit miffed and
determined to make Act 2 a lot better.
I think we all enjoyed the second half more, and by the end of
the show, most of the audience were on their feet, which
according to the theatre manager, was no mean feat. (Does that
No worries tonight with the equipment load out.... Dave
and Ade were off, and on the A1 before we had even got out of
the theatre. See what I mean chaps......
swings and roundabouts!!!
19th September 04
Trent Bridge, Nottingham C.C.C.
am sure that if any of us was in the slightest bit interested
in Cricket, then we would have been fascinated to have been
playing at this illustrious venue.
24th September 04
We were all looking forward to returning to the Borough. We
did two shows there last year and got a great response.
Lots of traffic on the road today and the M6 was just crawling
for the most part. There was the usual conversation
about "what it's going to be like in 5 years time"
and "Look at that stupid %£@ in the middle
On M5 we get call from Ade and Dave saying that they have
broken down 30 miles from Abergavenny.
Note to Spectrum Sound Systems: GET A NEW VAN !!!!!!
On A40, screamed at large man in French car eating sausage
roll whilst 'drifting' into our lane. (YOU know who you
are... you nearly killed us you
I mean...let's call a spade a spade here.....a sausage roll in
the hands of such a man would surely be at LEAST as dangerous
as a cellphone in the hands of a cool, unstressed-out,
unworried about a break-down, member of the Craven (sic)
Beatles. Have you noticed how we all give filthy looks to
everybody in other cars who have things in their hands, these
days? We were unanimously OUTRAGED by this man
and his sausage roll.........we get SOOOO bored on these
journeys, that we resort to inventing the most foul curses and
unpleasant names for people who dare to invade our
space. All this is actually quite good for the
group... it helps us bond.... like some sort of
pre-match "huddle" !!! So we arrive at a
gig - all of one mind. I think, secretly, that we
all quite like it...(being in a group), even though all of us
are 'grumpy' sometimes....... We laugh a lot.
They HAD made it to
the venue, albeit a little late. But assisted by the very
helpful, pro and efficient Theatre crew, led by Johan, we were
able to sound check without too much stress and they only had
to hold the doors for 5 minutes.....phew!!
We all changed
strings on guitars tonight..... bad move!!
The half-time inquest found that we had been monumentally out
of tune for at least the last song of the
set!!!... Much stretching and pulling later (fnarr
fnarr.. ooooerrr missus!!) we psyched ourselves to
give a "Guielgud" performance in the second
half. (not that I am implying - in any way -
that Sir John Guielgud has ever performed in a
"tribute" band). So things are cookin
along quite nicely... Help... I Need You... Gonna
Lose That Girl.... "Hang on Rick.... me snare's flipped"..
"Look at it!".....
"Oh flip! ....... what the flip you gonna
"OK we'll cover ya"
INTRODUCE EMERGENCY PLAN B....(cos we have ALL this pre-worked
out just in case)
Play "Michelle"..... "OK good
idea!" whispers Dirk... who then proceeds to tell the
audience that we are now The Bachelors... much to the amusement
of a relatively small proportion of the audience at the back
of the auditorium.
So Roy did a great job of changing his snare skin in 3 minutes
and was ready to carry on the set with Ticket To
Ride..... so pro'.!
Roys night was
going to take a turn for the worse when we met some people
after the show to chat and sign posters. Two ladies were
rather clumsy in their way of pointing out that Roy actually
does not have a mop-top of hair..... Roy took
offence..."and now it's all this!!!"
26th September 04
Medina Theatre, Newport, Isle
First stop of the
day on this long haul down to Portsmouth, is at Cheively
Services...A34/M4, where we all enjoyed a healthy brunch of
Burger King and coffee. Dave phones to tell us that they
are at the docks but Wightlink won't let them on the ferry cos
the booking is made only for a car and not a van.
Several phone calls later, the situation is sorted and Ade can
at last live out his fantasy as Captain Birds Eye as he bobs
up and down on the Solent.
Leaving the services, we are scared to our wits ends by the
picture of Moto's area manager in the foyer. Surely we
have seen this on Crimewatch.
Eddie buys Roy a present..... "Great Aircraft of
WW2"... Roy is thrilled, and for the remainder of the
trip he does not even pick up the copy "2-stroke engines:
An enthusiasts Guide" that he has brought along.
We spend most of our time on the ferry on the top deck,
talking about how many people were killed building the port
defences. Dirk, a keen historian, and Roy, a keen satellite
TV documentary viewer, discuss eagerly. Rick likens the
defences to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge in NY,
Eddie is still worried about Iraq and loses his footing
descending the stairs.
We shall always remember this day for one thing if nothing
else....... Eddie's new impression. I must have
told you by now that Eddie is the most amazing talent when it
comes to "taking people off". Whether its a
voice, a walk, a hand gesture...he gets it down to a
"t". The latest addition to his repertoire is
a publicity still of another tribute artist whose name we dare
not say. (NO WAY will a search engine pick it up on
these pages baby!!) There is a photograph below... if
you recognise it, then I'm sure you will appreciate it, if not
then you wouldn't find it funny anyway.
The Medina Theatre
is one of those venues where the audience is looking down on
you. Not in the way that they are snobby or
anything.... just that the stage is on the floor
and the seats rake back...(dunno what you call that
type). There is a major problem at the sound check.....
the theatre's 3 phase supply is faulty, so Spectrum have to
run the PA and back line from one 13amp plug. Now I
don't pretend to understand what that exactly means, but there
was a lot of ooos, aarhs and chin stroking going on by
the people who did understand it...something to do with
compression. Adrian loses his rag infrequently... but
when he does.... boy...... you'd better be sure
there is nothing around that can be kicked. As it
happened, today there wasn't, but he did slam his tool case
down rather harshly when it became apparent that one of the
monitors wasn't working and he had to set about it with his
allen keys. It was all too much for John... who
went off to find a café.
Agent Mark Lundquist had come along with his wife Anne.
We did a bit of bitching and I tackled him on the subject of
why we hadn't been invited to his birthday party.
Suitably (and deservedly) embarrassed, they invited us to
their next party in December....... A Saturday
Night!!!!!..... In December!!!!....
are you taking the piss Mark????
And so it came to pass that someone from the theatre was
placing flyers on all the seats in the auditorium. It
was Roy who noticed (as he often does notice the little
details), that the flyers were advertising another tribute
"artist" who was playing on the island in 3 weeks
time. It was the very same one that our Eddie had
perfected the impersonation of.
"Oh no you don't" we said, and made the poor chap
pick them all up and hand them over to be used as toilet
As a great man once said.... "Instant Karma's
gonna get you...... better get yourself
together.... join the human race"
Ade wasn't over
the moon with sound in the venue, and still had a cob on at
the interval. In spite of it not being the best sound we
have ever had, the show went down very well and a good
proportion of the audience had to be restrained in the second
half when they attempted to dance. The signs in the room
were quite clear..."Dancing is not permitted in the stage
area"... people were shouting out to us that they
wanted to, but what could we do....."It's not our gaff
At the end of the
show, Dirk and Rick were ready to leave first (now there
is nothing unusual about that). By the time Roy and,
finally Eddie emerged....we had already missed our ferry, so
we would have to wait another hour. We set off into
Newport in search of food, as we'd not eaten since that burger
at midday. I'd rather not go into too much detail about
what happened next, suffice to say it was the most costly four
feet I have ever driven in reverse!!! Still... on the
bright side, no one was hurt and the police inform me that I
have an exemplary record. Also... it should be
pointed out that German cars are much stronger and better
built than British ones, making them ideal vehicles for this
job. (watch out for BMW sponsorship on this site very
After this trauma.... Eddie and Dirk were in no mood to be
messed about, on arrival at the local all night Sainsbury's.
After being forbidden access to the said pastie emporium, they
said something like "Sod your Ginsters" and we drove
off into the night with Eddie venomously giving them the
By the time we got
to the ferry, Spectrum were already in the queue. Dave, Ade
and John were in the van, Simon had already boarded as a foot
passenger. Turns out Simon is down here because he has
an interview at Butlins on the south coast. Apparently
there is a shortage of quality drag acts. So this was
the first time that we can recall the "full
squadron" being all together without jobs to do. So
we all sat down to a travelers supper of Ginsters, coffee and
king size Malteasers and after the magnificent feast we asked
a fellow passenger to take the photo shown below. Here
is the BIG version
The tannoy announcement...."Would the
owner of the black Porsche please return to the car deck and
apply their handbrake" brought a few smirks to the faces
of the passengers.
We returned to HQ
19 hours after we left...but never a dull moment.
the pic above for the bigger version