After 3 months, its our first gig back in action. Lots of illness - colds and that sort of thing, means we haven't really had a great deal of time to sort any new stuff out.
But that said, Creeping Up On You is new, and is given its first outing tonight, while Gerdundula returns after a year or two's absence. And then there is Ace Of Spades, still quite rusty,
but getting there!
Getting to the pub, I'm feeling decidedly under the weather, the consequence of that viral factory that is called a baby! OK, its early, but it is very quiet. It then dawns on us that it is
"Valentines Weekend", so I'm now starting to think that possible punters may well be out wining and dining, rather than numbing their ears to us! Sound check went OK, we deliberatley made an effort to start reasonably
low on the volume, and build it up. It seemed to make a great difference. Come the gig, and surprise-surprise, I can actually hear everyone playing, including Darren! How long this approach will last is anyones guess,
but the clarity of sound was back, rather than a mushy wall of volume!
Even more surprisingly, there were.....wait for it.....punters appearing.....wait for it again......the first set!! Unheard of! So we get going to an audience! Well, will wonders never cease!
Actually they didn't, 'cos we played pretty dammed well considering how long we'd been layed off! OK, so not a raucous cheer after each song, but the crowd graually built during the night.....and stayed! Result!! Both sets went well,
the odd bum note crept in.....Creeping Up On You got its inaugral outing....probably a 7/10, but with a few more performances the tightness will be there. Calls for Spades at the very end, meant guitars back on for a larf, so we had a go at this
classic! Not the greatest, but then I am also calling out the chords to Mark, who hasn't really played this before, while trying to concentrate on what I'm doing to!
So, good night? Yep! Think we probably all thoroughly enjoyed it, great to have a crowd to play to for all the night, rather than the last 30mins! Cheers to my Bruv for (i) turning up (ii) actually staying!!, and to Mark C and Ben for dropping in.
Next time Mark - get your voice warmed up before the gig ;) !! (AA)
I had every good intention of being here at 7, so we could all be sorted and checked by 8 to 8.30. Well, it didn't go well.....late to leave the house, I get to
the outskirts of MK.....suddenly I realise I haven't got the faintest where to go! We've played here several times, but all the directions just left the brain and slammed the door
behind them! So, I think I'll go this way.....sure it must be this way.....no! I go right the way through MK, without even seeing a sign for Bletchly! How can I loose a whole town?!?
So, its getting a bit late now, turn round and head back......still no signs. Right....head to the center of MK...surely there must be some sign! Phew! Found one at last, and eventually turn up
Feeling the pressure now, 'cos Laurie, the "entertainments secretary" likes to have the bands sorted so as the club members arrive, it doesn't look (and sound like) an earthquake is just happening! Which is just what happened as Mark plugged in
(yet another) new guitar......an electro-acoustic..... but the feedback drone surely must have knocked some plaster off the walls! The look of "what do I do" on his face is funny, as he prods and pokes a few
eq levers etc, and finally dulls the drone. So, quick fiddle and there appears from out of the darkness, some kind of reasonable tone. With the other members prowling the stage, I am left still setting up, but finally don the bass! A sound check was had, and
within minutes a fine sound was obtained.
So we wait til 9, and notice not as many punters in as last time we were here. Apparently the numbers coming to the gigs has been badly down since the new year, so it isn't any reflection on us, apparently! Phew! First half gets under way.....wait for it.....
with classic Mark. The drone intro.....and Mark fires up, sounding like Concorde on full afterburn! Jeeeeeesus......the wall of sound almost knocked me off the stage! Not sure what he has against the plaster work in the hall! But now he has started the
rhythm intro, he can't stop, so continues......I can see Darren start the riff but can't hear him at all...me and Carl come in......can't hear me either, and I'm standing in front on my amp! Anyway, he is so loud, that even Mark
knows he is (!!!!), and quickly adjusts! Now we can hear each other, we get into the set seriously! 2 new ones tonight - Claudie (a little rough actually), and Wild Side Of Life - 'cos Laurie has asked for this one for ages, so finally got around to doing it
in its entirity. Gerdundula arrives quickly, a great rendition, including me + Darren doing the "playing each others instruments while still wearing our own" thing....difficult, but nailed it! First half draws to a close, dead on an hour.
2nd half goes much the same way.....and with a shouted for encore, we call it a night just after 11.30. Not allowed to do anymore apparently, even though most of the people are calling for some.
We had a few people comeup for a chat afterwards, one blokein particular was very complimentary. Several said we were the best band they'd seen in the club for a long time, and the club does have some very talented (and therefore probably expensive) bands in there!
We came in for particular praise for.....surprise surprise.....Comfortably Numb again....this song just goes down so well at most places we play! Apparently not many bands
that cover the song understand the emotion of the song, but we do! Well, a fine compliment, but not sure what that says about us personally!!!
Another good gig, probably a good 8/10, the crowd showed good applause/cheers after each song, and a superb sound, both on and off the stage. Again, we were playing more quietly than we have in the past, and as with the last gig, it certainly gives
a much clearer sound and definition. Lets hope we can keep this restraint up! Thanks to good ol' Martin P for coming down.....as ever bugger all other Quo fans (apart from some of the club members who know their Quo, so to speak). What is it with us? So many other
Quo cover bands seem to have support....not sour grapes, just really don't understand why we seem to be completely ignored wherever we go. Is it really that we don't don the wigs and waistcoat and look like a cabaret act?!? Oh well.....onwards to the next gig....
hopefully a good one, it certainly was the last time we were there - The Red Lion in Stevenage. Cheers. (AA)
Looking back, it comes to pass that we were last here 4years ago! Blimey, doesn't time go quickly! As it turns out not a lot has changed with the place!
Anyway, our story starts with a plead from Carl - don't know where it is, meet me at the services on the A1M. So, there's me plodding in the diesel, The Oracle trundles past, and amazingly
we meet Carl, on time and at the right place! The only problem with the picture as we arrive is......hmmmm.....drum kit bits and pieces on the car park floor. Don't think he was setting up for a
bit of night-time busking! Oh - flat tyre! OK, this won't take long......wrong! Now old (sorry Carl, but it is getting on a bit!), French car, means spare tyre hanging beneath the back of the thing - therefore rusted in place
and no way we could extract it! There has to be a joke in there somewhere (how many band members does it take to change a flat tyre......etc) but 20 mins later and we're no closer to getting the thing out! So Carl eventually decides to
try the AA.......only for Darren to kindly point out, "why not try the AA bloke parked over there"! Now over there, actually means 20 yards away!
Never seen Carl run before, but off he sprints and comes back saying the AA bloke was on a/the job.....but he'll be finished quickly and be here to help! Even he couldn't free up Carls undercarridge, so out comes the hacksaw
and some cosmetic surgery was had before the satisfying thud of something dropping was heard! So with Carl standing around, the AA man kindly changes his wheel for him, before kindly pointing out that Carls spare tyre is almost flat to! But fear not, for there is a garage next to us, and before long, the Sparts Convoy is rolling again!
So, pushing 8 (we're due to start at 9), we all get into the pub. And guess what?? The landlord has to move the pool table! Haven't seen that for a while! Small pub, but lots of rocky type music blasting out of the juke....sees us setting up as quick as we can. Tiny area to play, doesn't help
with a table with punters quite happily continuing to drink right where the amps and lights need to go. Soon they're gone.....not sure if left the pub, or just getting another drink, either way.....they ain't coming back to their table! So with a bit more room,
we finally get to do a quick sound check! Interestingly, when we strike up a few chords, the barpersons (see, we can be politically correct!) actually turn off the juke! Miracles, hey! Ta!
A good sound right from the off, we get going at 9. I suppose a little disappointed that there weren't more people in....but we play nonetheless. First set goes pretty well, a few people get up and strut their stuff.....and cheers/claps after each song is appreciated!
As the set progresses, more and more comein, including a piss-head who insisted on grabbing the mics and squealing like a castrated sheep! Didn't see him the 2nd set, though! Break the Rules sees The Oracle step forth into battle with his harmonica - only for it to win with him chucking it over his shoulder in defeat! We break for 10mins then continue -
by now the pub is alot fuller, lots of people gyrating infront of us, until the end. Mark as ever, cranks up - meaning the 2nd half was less balanced - he was so loud at times, I could not hear Darren at all, and Carl
seemed to be shrinking into the back ground to! (And he is a pretty loud drummer!) But oh well.......Lots of calls for more.....1 more is played, during which we are told by the landlord that this is the last one! Oh well....
Oh yes, must mention 2 "hilarious" comments......bloke leaning over to Carl, who is looking knackered during the set interval....."you the drummer then?" "yes" "you're not working hard are you....I've seen loads of drummers in here soaked 'cos they're so hot!" Oh how you made Carl larf.....!
And no.2.......bloke comes over to me....."you Spare Parts then?" "yes" (thinking he has something thoughtful to say)..wait for it....."think you need a spare part for guitar mate!" .... pointing to my headless bass.....Oh how I love my stay
in hospital waiting for my sides to heal up after splitting wide open at such humour!
Anyway, thanks to Micky Spectrum from airradio.net for making the effort to see us! Cheers! And for the write up on the Status Quo message board....appreciated! Review was as follows:
a great gig at the red lion never seen so many pissed nutters in one pub before thought i could drink but dispite the pratts the gig was very good.openned with caroline sound was good and soon a great version of roll over lay down this was top class !!! then a cover of bac co,s cant get enough and zz tops sharpe dressed man , one of the funnyest monents ive seen in years was during break the rules ( now what was round do you play a harmonica ?)a quick break then a powerful 2nd set including creepin up on you and a very well played oriental i give this band full marks all round for a tight set and the way they got on with the job dispite being in the pub from hell this is a band well worth seeing again made exit during roadhouse blues thanks guys for a great night ...micky
As a parting gesture, the landlord Wayne got us to sign one of Carls drums sticks, "just in case you get famous one day"......err...yea, OK!
So another enjoyable evening at the Red Lion, looking forward to the other 2 gigs we have here, esp now that the see the pub is pretty much the same as it was those few years ago! (AA)
Quick review time......our 2nd gig as a 3 piece, Mark seems not to have turned up again. Oh well, not a problem, we've reheased alot as a 3 piece this year, so feel pretty comfortable doing this.
Problem straight away.....pool table! The barman today says, that the pool table isn't normally moved 'til 8....first we've heard of it! So we hang around, amongst the many drunks here today! Blimey, seems like
Stevenage finish work early to headdown the pub early! Business looks good, considering the glasses and bottles everywhere, unless they haven't cleared up for a week!
So the gig...hot, sweaty....err normal then! Used my new box-o-tricks, and the sound was gooooood! Fills out alot better etc. Good 1st half, then we break. Some bloke sticks his round the lights to ask how long we break for. I'm thinking "ah! someone is interested"......
er no. When I say 10mins, he then offers to act as a filler band with his mates during the break. Think not mate! 2nd half is delayed with more mayhem....some drunk Scottish geezer is going around touching up the ladies....and one finally blows her top.....so do we start and drown out the shouting etc, or be polite and wait??
We decide to wait for a few minutes, then get going! Well, it is our gig time she is eating into! 2nd half goes well, a couple of encores then call it quits. But thats not to say another 3 blokes on my side have stopped! Oh no!
Play some Rolling Stones.....go on...... we'll give you some notes to do one number.... (as the bloke puts 30 quid into my hand!!) Finally got rid of them, after handing back the money!
One funny point of the night......one bloke so pissed he is trying to dance.....finally falls flat on his face right in the middle of All Stand Up! Couldn't have planned that one better! (AA)
On what seems like the hottest day of the year, we turn up at a new place for us. Darren was mentioning that it was a small hot pub, so on htis day, I was not looking forward to this at all!
As it turned out, it was a large room and pretty well air conditioned to! Nice! There is also a good sized stage so good room for the 3 of us. Downside was that maybe 30 people at most bothered to come out.....hopefully the weather was partly to blame!
Pretty good gig, and I think we all seemed to enjoy it. Nice banter from some of the crowd with Darren, which kept them amused with comments about me wearing shorts! Well, it was bloody hot!!
At the end of the gig, we had the bloke that booked us say he would be in touch to get us back, along with another club from down the road saying she'd definately want us in their WMC, plus yet another place in Rushden wanting to book us. As
usual though, several days later and still no phone calls! I am awaiting the ringing to begin.... (thats after the ringing in the ears from the band has stopped, of course!) Once this place gets back on its feet, it should be a really great place to play.....
look forward to being involved in the future!(AA)