Classic Rock Cover Band

2nd July - New Inn, Bedford

The first gig for over a year for SPARE PARTS. YYYESS!!!
What a night! OK so the crowd pulling factor may not be that high (rumours that we paid them are completely unfounded!) but to do a whole set (just under 2 hours) in front of people for the very first time, was, to put it politely, just a little stressfull! The amount of nervous sweat would be enough to even turn the Sahara into a modest lake! But after all the build up and wind ups, the time finally arrived. OK, so I know I did a few mistakes on the first song, but the rest of the set went remarkably well. It seemed that Mark and Darren just enjoyed playing again. Even Gerdundula passed without too many problems, the only ones being when someone went a bit early (was it me or Darren)? At least most of the solos went well! The sound was very good, apart from Roys point of view, where he couldn't really hear much apparently. But he now has a couple of monitors in his sites, from where, we don't ask. Everyone who was there seemed to enjoy it, with several oncores called for! Battleship Chains was put through its paces, while Lets Work Together was, erm, interesting to start! Four false ones, then we eventually get going, only for Marks guitar to be very much out of tune. That was where I had hit it earlier! So, stop while he retunes, then fire up again, to round off an excellent night! Next one is in 2 days time, at The Crown. Can't wait. (AA)

New Inn
New Inn

ABOVE: Shots of us at The New Inn, Bedford

4th July - The Crown, Bedford

Well, when we turn up, how many people in the bar? None. Until a bloke and his small son turn up! This bodes well! Anyway, got things set up, then sound checked. Roy seems much happier with the sound today. Another bloke who has since turned up, turns out to be another bassist, who reckons he can't hear the bass, and I should really put the amp on the floor, since it is a hollow floor, and will make people feel it as well! So the deed was done, and the place started to vibrate! We eventually had a reasonable pub sized crowd, especially for a Sunday afternoon, and who we didn't know! And they certainly appreciated the music, which was good!. It is a bit odd playing early afternoon, and from my point of view, didn't play exceptionally well, worse than Friday. Oh well, it is only my 2nd gig. Roy was, shall we say, absent minded in a few songs, Mark busted a string in another, and Darren admitted to a few errors as well. But at the end of the day, when people say that was excellent, pretty tight, and we get a return booking, maybe I am being a little harsh on myself! I am looking forward to the rest of our gigs now!! (AA)

BELOW: Piccies of us at The Crown.

The Crown

July 18th - Fleur De Lis, Bedford

Hot! Was it hot? Too right! Absolutely baking inside the pub, even with the doors open. And nice place to set up as well, by the toilets! How annoying is it to be placed right where everyone walks through to get to the loo, and having to keep moving out of the way?? VERY!!! After we'd set up, Roy wandered off to see someone, and didn't come back for the sound check! He eventually got back, we played a couple of songs and then rested again! It was the first time we had a monitor running as well, but it didn't appear to be very loud. As the gig got underway, Darren apparently couldn't hear it at all. Oh well, something else for the music shop to repair! Anyway, the gig was good! By the end, the place was actually pretty full, by far the biggest set of people I've played to in my long and illustrious career! It went down very well, with most people enjoying the music! And lets not forget the nutter old geezer, who, at the ripe old age of 195 was dancing in front of the band, then leaped onto the table to do another jig! The landlord was not amused, which may be why he hasn't asked us back yet! Oh well. Anyway, a great time was had by all, and thoroughly enjoyed it! No doubt the others will have something to say, but as they don't have the password, they can't!!!!! See you at the next one!

Thurs. 29th July: O'Malleys

Oh dear. What a mare of a night, or "nightmare"! This kind of place has to be one of the low points of a band's "career". The pub itself was fine, but there was absolutely no atmosphere. It was the wrong type of music for a pub like this. Probably! Maybe during the night a dozen people wondered through to have a listen before leaving. Most of the night, the playing area was clear. But the rest of the pub was full! Any reflection on us? Hope not. And it surprises me how much the lack of atmosphere does affect the playing. With no encouragment or joining in, or even applause after any song, we all ended up clock watching to see how soon we could just get out of there. It all seemed like a bad practice night, and we did not play well at all. Songs were loose and there were alot of mistakes. But you have to soldier on and finish, so we did. To a raptous appaluse of 4 people!. Oh joy. And to cap it all, a drunken tramp decided to heckle the band, playing with the PA, trying to get hold of the guitars and "show us how to play", while stamping over our equipment. He did not realise how close he was to being flattened, especially during one song, where he started to adjust Darrens mike stand while he was singing. Luckily Darrens mate Rodders (or Rodderick to his mates!) yanked him away by the scruff of the neck to safety. Cheers O'Malleys staff, who really did a fine job of controlling the smelly git. That last sentance was said with, shall we say, a touch of sarcasm. Anyway, last time we go back there. Were are not in this for the money, but just to enjoy our selves, and at this place we certainly didn't! (AA)

29th July O'Malleys
Ummmmm. Got to gig / straw barn, set up and sound checked, well I use the phrase sound very loosely. This place's acoustics do for us what Jack the Ripper did to late night shopping/ prostitution. Anyway, loads of lovely ladies in Kettering, the blokes all seem very strange!!!
Start gig nobody's interested continue in the same vein throughout the night. Oh by the way cheers to the w****r with the baseball cap that decided he wanted to join us on stage, you were (holding his index finger very close to his thumb) that close to a slap from Rodders that I for one would of enjoyed!!! "It's got to be: PAR-FECT " (sung to the tune of Fairground Attraction) Oh and we got ripped off, will we be playing here again I hear you ask?? I think there's more chance of Satan skating to work.!!! Gurrreat (copywrite Tony the Tiger) night NEXT...... (Bitter Guitar Type Singer Blokey About To Really Offend People And Reduce Our Credibility Even Further With The Quo Fraternity).

Sat. 31st July: The Kings Arms

What a complete contrast to Thursday night! This was a sssssstorming night!!!
John the landlord really does make an effort to make bands feel welcome and has set up a good stage area. Even though it is not a particularly busy pub, there was a pretty good crowd! And even a member of my family turned up! Cheers Keith and his entourage!
We played a blinder! Everything just seemed so tight, and we rattled through a full set, which I think must have clocked over 2 hours. Roy played probably the best he has done so far with this band. And seemed to time Proud Mary at about twice its normal speed, which I think it should be, it sounds great at this speed, while Darren and Mark just collapsed after it ended! OK, so one or two bum notes, but everyone does it, and its to be expected when playing live in only your 4th gig! John The Landlord sang Lets Work Together, in his best Lemmy style. He may not look like the great man himself, but certainly has the voice! Apparently when he first sang the song with the band many years ago, Mark was heard to ask whether he had got a sore throat!
Having a good atmosphere, with people appreciating the songs makes a tremendous difference! It really does get the adrenalin going, making the whole evening so much more enjoyable, than in places like O'Malleys (see previous review). It was so good, that some guy walking through, wanted to try and book us into another pub in town. What better compliment than someone you don't know asking you play in a pub, instead of us trying to get ourselves in?
Great night. (AA)

31st July Kings Arms
How confident were we before this gig????? Answers on a postcard to Mark Walsh, 10 Downing Street London The Queens Engurland. Not very, but the boys did well Walsh set the ball rolling with a neat one two with Austin who calmly netted the ball. Oh yes we were the men, all thoughts of Thursdays debacle were forgotton as the Parts played their best gig yet!!! Landylordy Joooorhn was very impressed and joined us on the floor for a few numbers.
Cheers to Gary and his mates for coming. I did well, despite the finger rot I appear to have caught. Onto Welleyburg and the Oxo Tavern........ (Love Darren Woodhall aged 26 3/4)

Sat. 7th Aug: Oxford Tavern

Well, would you believe it! To be honest, I thought playing here was going to be another "Kettering" experience, and was not really looking forward to it. The landlady had warned us when we booked, and during setting up, that the pub can either be busy or not. Probably not, though. And she then told us there was a separate function going on upstairs, a wedding reception, with disco! Oh joy. Oh yes, and to cap it all, there is a bloke across the road who enjoys complaining at the noise of the bands that play there, so we had to be carefull with the sound and bass. So, an evening to look forward to!
We set up and sound checked, it all seemed OK. Not many people in though. So we went home (I live just down the road)! Came back a little later, and .... oh boy, the pub was full! Now the nerves start to kick in!
Then we started. And a few were seen to move pretty sharpish away from the amps, but at least not many left!! And from what we could see, a fair few of the crowd were actually enjoying the gig. Its good to see that our first time in Wellingborough (or Wellyberg (copyright D.Woodhall)) went down so well! We even had some of the crowd dancing away!
And what about the wedding reception upstairs? Well, we had our break, only for the start of the 2nd half to be delayed by the mysterious absence of Roy. After a long and hard hunt, including the gents (did someone also check the ladies?!) loos, he was eventually found scoffing cucumber sandwichs from the reception upstairs! And no, he wasn't invited! Anyway, off we go again. I don't know whether the reception was boring or the disco music bad, but we even managed to pull some of the wedding party into our gig!
Great night, and to cap it all, we played pretty damn well! Credit to "The Maestro", who has, in his own words, Finger Rot, and played through the pain. What a hero! And after we finished, we were approached to play at several other places! Whether these people follow it through, we'll have to wait and see. No return gig though, since the landlady is giving up the pub in a months time (well thats what she told us anyway!!!) Onto the next..... (AA)

Sat. 13th November - The Wellington

An absolute stonker! And we're talking about the gig here!

But first lets set the scene. We had said to be at the Wellington for half six to seven, so I got there at 7.15, expecting the rest of the band to setting up. No-one. Hmmm. And when I'd had a look at the pub it was blue, while friends at work had said it was red! OK, so the colour of the pub is wrong, and none of the band is here. many Wellingtons are there in Kempston?! After a quick scout around, our posters were in evidence in the windows..phew the right pub! But did it look small or what! The rest of the motley crew turned up, and we descended on The Wellington. Anyone remember the TARDIS? Of course you do. Small on the outside but huge on the inside. The Wellington was the other way round! Small on the outside, but minute on the inside! It is like stepping into someones front room! Looking good so far! And the look on Darrens' face just about said it all.
Oh yes, it was also the evening of the England/Scotland match. And…wait for it…it seems to be Scottish pub! With several drunken Scots and English fans staggering around inside. Wheres the band security when you need it?!?
Anyway, people were ousted from their seating, drinks were moved, and tables were shunted out of the way, and the gear was off loaded. We eventually set up, very tightly packed into one end of the room, which in its self was about a quarter of the room! And guess what, its me again stuck at the end by the corridor to the loos! Any power points for the plugs? Er no. Just the one. So we go off in search of another one to run an extension lead from. Its great for pubs to be ready for their bands, isn't it!! The landlord in his inebriated state of mind suggested that the one plug was enough. Go on, run everything off that one. We politely argued, of course, and managed to find another one. Once all was set up, including, wait for it, a second mike for me and Mark(!!!!!), we had a quick sound check. Yep, sound was there! From both us, and the Scottish hecklers at the bar! Anyway, we warmed up with a couple of numbers, and at the end, guess what? The Scottish flag behind Roy fell off the wall!! Not that anyone seemed to notice, or if they did, left it!
So, time to perform, finds Roy trying to nick the light bulbs! Er, what are you up to? Its too bright, and he wants a bit more atmosphere, so because we can't find the plugs, Roys decided to remove the bulbs instead! And we still don't know if he replaced them before we'd left!
Anyway, we launch into Paper Plane (intro is still a bit iffy, since it is the Caroline riff) and get to about the middle of the song, when three quarters of the band's decibel output suddenly stops. We look around and Mark is looking puzzled. He isn't making any noise! Hallelula!!! Er..sorry. Oh no!. He them procedes to prod and poke his amp and head, but to no avail, while shouting to Darren that his amps blown! As a 3 piece, we finish PP, and Mark starts to fiddle with his knob. The problem is found to be one his round ones on his head. Just a dodgy connection. With that, the wall of sound is back, and we procede to storm through the set.
I think we all agreed, that it was a superb atmosphere, all night long. The sound was not great, but OK. But it was the reaction from all the people that had turned up, most of which we probably not here to see us. They we not just clapping after each song, but cheering!! And also dancing on the seats and benches, and on the floor in front of us! It was tremendous! After 2 and a quarter hours, we had to call it a night, I think Darren was knackered, as well as the rest of us. But a great time was had by all! And we have even been asked back, which apparently is not that common in here!
Right, that's it. Time to practice for the next one, at The New Inn on 26th. Go on, be there! (AA)

Fri. 26th Nov. - The New Inn, Bedford.

An eventful lead up to the gig on Friday night. Roy, during the week, decides to let us know that he can't make the practice session on Thursday. The previous week was, how shall we put it, a little unmotivated. Still coming down from the Wellington gig several days before, practice sessions always seem to be poor after a gig, so not much was done, apart from a few run throughs of another of Darrens' songs, which may find its way into the set. So we needed Thursday night, not it was not to be! So, do we cancel or not? Of course not! So we plan to be there at 7, to get a good long sound check (i.e. practice!!) in before the gig starts. But no! Hold those horses Tonto! Iiiiiiiits Roy again! He rings Mark at about half 6, to say he has to go to Northampton! Life is never dull when Roys around! Anyway, its 8.45 by the time he arrives! 10mins to set his kit up, 2 mins sound check, 3 mins for a beer, and we're off! (Apparently he was playing The Lone Ranger, coming to the rescue of his daughter after her car broke down).
Are we all playing the same song? Yes? Ah, but just out of synch. A slight adjustment, and that sounds better! The set went pretty well, but a touch on the loose side, some beginnings and endings were absent, but overall, not to bad, considering. The second half seemed to be that bit better, maybe because of the songs, or just because the crowd had now had a few beers by now! But it all seemed to go down well, which, to be honest, was not what we were expecting. Thanks to all those who turned up (and especially the ones who we didn't pay!). And then the Parts band wagon (actually the wife's car!) trundles on. The Wellington, here we come (again).

BELOW: some pictures from The New Inn, recently revamped giving more space to play in!

New Inn
New Inn
New Inn

Sat. 11th - The Wellington,

Mark and his equipment strikes again!

All went well, initial setup and squeeze into the shoebox, with the soundcheck OK. We played the new game of "What Time Will Roy Be Here Tonight?". I think I was was closest with 7.45, when he did actually get there at about 7.40. No prize though.
Overall quality of the set? Hmmm, average. None of us were immune from the odd small (and large!) blunder. My rather large one, was in the worst song for it, Living On An Island. Slowish, mellow, and played in a restrained manner, until, that is, I come thundering in, thinking it is the bridge section, when in fact, it is only the second verse! Several acidic glances came flying my way, I have no skin on my right hand side of my face now. Darren left off his lead sound during Paper Plane, so his solo was, a little quiet. WYP also went by solo-less! Mark decided during the second set to have instrument difficulties. Just into Summer of 69, and his we all notice how good the sound is. What is going on? AhAh! Marks not making any noise! His wall of noise had collapsed! We continue as a 3 piece and get a rapturous applause. We then spend the next 15 mins (while Darren and Roy desperately try to fill in) swapping leads left right and centre, but to no avail. Mark eventually figures there is something wrong with his pedal board. Bugger. So he borrows my archaic Overdrive pedal, carved from the finest stone, and we carry on, to the sighs of relief from D and R. But wait! 2 songs later, and Mark decides to liven events up again, by breaking his A string. And he hasn't got a spare! Being tight gits, we don't offer him any of ours! No, really, we are late to finish the set, so Mark borrows my chipboard and paper mache guitar and continues to make horrible tinny noises to the end of the set. So, another gig draws to a close, and as it happens, is the last one we play for the year.

Footnote: upon investigation, Mr Walsh, muso-extrodinaire, discovers the reasons why his sound went. Wait for it……his volume pot on the board had been knocked to 0! Its good to know we check the obvious first before changing everything else possible!!

24/3/00 - The Wellington

Well, here we are again, at The Wellington, and what joy it is to be back! We actually all turned up on time, and immediately moved a couple of disgruntled punters out of their seat. OK, that's the audience gone. Now time to set up. Marks got his new Marshall VS100 amp, which is far smaller than his previous head and speaker set, and actually gave us room to move about. Sound check was good, with a fine sound coming from the band! Marks' Marshall makes the world of difference, and I've started to play with a lot more bass, rather than the trebley sound I used to use. So, checks finished with, 8.20pm, and time to just sit and wonder whether anyone will turn up! Darren says he's just going out for 10 mins. He does this everytime! Some odd ritual he has! Polar explorers, anyone? Anyway, maybe he's missing Roy, since he doesn't return until 5 mins before we start!
So, plug in, and turn on. Face the crowd and ready to go! Great. There goes another couple of people! Maybe we'll get the hint one day and not actually bother turning up! Anyway, we said we'd use this gig as a warm up for next weeks one, since Macs only played with us during practice, and not in a live arena!!
As we said to Mac…Welcome to the world that is Spare Parts live!! My wife, Marks girlfriend and couple of friends. Hmmm, we did predict that the band may actually outnumber the crowd, and we weren't far from the truth!!!
The whole set went OK. As I've said in previous reviews, it does make a difference to the drive you put in if you have a crowd enjoying the music, so this gig was a little cold. But even so, the noise our little entourage was making, probably gave the impression that the place was packed!
Now time to score the cock-ups!! Mac "New Boy", well, as a drummer, you can only really hear mistakes if he overruns in breaks in songs, which there were a couple, so on the cock-up scale, probably a lowly 2/10. Mark "listen to my new jangly sound for Living On An Island", to be honest, didn't hear any! But we can't believe that, so I'll give him a 2/10 also!! Darren "The Oracle", the odd blooper, and a mighty big brain block during DWMT, where the solo just vanished! Score: 3/10. Any finally me. As ever, leading the way! Since I'm playing, I know what I was doing wrong, so am more aware of the little errors, and there were quite a few! As well as several major mishaps, especially during WYP, where the song structure just vanished! Score: 6/10. Wooden spoon and beatings from the band for me!!
And so onto The Fox and Hounds. Oooo scrary!!!! (AA)

1st April - Fox and Hounds, Stony Stratford

As ever, what can you say? This has to be one of the best gigs we've played. What a contrast it is to play to a packed place, where everyone actually wants to hear the music you are playing! While its great to get any gig (well almost!) it feels a bit like a West Ham fan would when you mention Man. U, when you start playing to …er…not many punters! Bearing in mind we don't have any reputation (good or bad) at this pub, where no-one has ever heard of us. So to set up and be applauded for the sound check, all bodes well for the gig!
I was doing my builders impression, no, not the arse thing, (well, couldn't see, so maybe I was?), but lots of bricking! It felt like my first gig last year, very nervous. Probably due to the reputation the pub has, of having good quality bands, and being of bluesy, country type stuff. Hmmm, how well will we go down?!
As we sit and wait, the place just fills up! Not used to this! It was packed! The landlord reckoned on about 80 people squeezed in, I won't argue with that, since it sounds good!
Not much room for us to play,it must be said, with Mac squeezed into the skittle shelter! Being the pro. that he is, he wants to hear everything, so my bass amp is stuck down behind him. After the sound check, he says, shaking his head, that he can't hear a thing, apart from bass!! My amp must move! So a quick re-arrangement and all is better. Me , Mark and Darren all stand in a very tight line, with little room for movement, but so what?
9.00pm arrives, and we are away! Not sure if the crowd knows what's hit them! It probably sounds as though the 78 button's been hit instead of the 33! But sound is good, Darrens vocals are great, esp. with the new mic. And we all seem to be playing a blinder!
A special mention to Mac, since he played Friday night up in Scotland with the Bullfrogs (his other band), then caught a train back to be here tonight! Tired? We think so! But needs must!
Mac decides to take control of the set, after much deliberation from mine and Darrens camp. He's played here many times before, so knows the crowd, and decides to play some songs in a different order. Gerdundula popped up in the first set, completely putting me in the proverbial dogs do-do! My leads for the guitar are not set up, and stuffed out of the way behind mine and Marks amps. So the crowd wait patiently while I try to un ravel black leads, in the dark, behind amps, where I can't reach, with all our other leads in the way, and Marks wireless system hanging precariously off the back of his cab! Oh boy, what pressure!! Living On An Island also went well, with this time being the first time I think we all played it note perfect! Darren has at last a smile on his face, not the usual scowl of "cock that up one more time and you're out!".
People singing, raptuous applause and the first half ends.
The second set went along the same lines, but more people had now squeezed in. I was being battered by some women dancing on the end of the bar, with red wine going everywhere, but I didn't mind, since it was Marks pedal board on the floor getting wet! We had people (young and old) up on the seats at the back, and much more chorus singing and clapping during the songs!
And after it all ended, a quick encore of Bye Bye Johnny, to close up the night! Another word to Mac, (we'll blame him, since he is the drummer!) for the thrashing pace of several of the songs! Darren had to plug in his oxygen tank, and charge up his pacemaker after these!
Evening over, and many compliments, wrap up a great night. If only they could all be like these! Lets hope we get invited back!
Next gig is back in Bedford, at a pub we haven't played before, The Balloon. See anyone there? (AA)

22nd April - The Balloon

Quite looking forward to this one, since the landlord seemed to be keen to get us to play there. It was another one of those "you want us to play where?!" pubs. The pub itself was a reasonable size, but L-shaped, and we were placed right in the corner. Er…not much room! Setting up took a while, since the space was so limited, but as long as The Oracle has his room, he's happy! Which is fine by us, since he sweats buckets, and sprays everywhere. Oh, the sweat, that is!. Mark is quite content to get set up, and then bugger off to drink beer! Cheers matey! A few people are hanging around as we finish getting ready, and things are looking hopeful. That is until 9.00 approaches, when there (as usual) is the mass exodus! Great! I am also heard to comment "this is the last time I play Bedford!". But as we crank up, there is a sudden influx of people! Cor blimey guv! Even a mini bus turned up, and let out a handful of rabble! It actually turned into a pretty good night, I reckoned on a good 40 or 50 people hiding in the woodwork! The set went OK, but its quite worrying at times, when we can practice songs almost note perfect, but come the night, why does your memory suddenly go blank?! It was nowhere near our best performance, but still pretty good. We all had our cock-ups, with the highlight being Darren trying 2 or 3 times to start The Wanderererer, when the rest of us were starting The Way It Goes! The usual glance of "what are you lot playing, it should be like this!" was doing its rounds, but this time, we were correct! YES!!!! A bit of crowd singing, and a dancing was thrown in as well, to round off another good evening. (AA)

23rd April - The Fox And Duck

Half asleep, we all pile into the pub during the early afternoon. Amazingly, Dave the landlord has already prepared the room, ready for us. And it seems like a palace, compared to last night! Space! We take our time setting up, since we'd said we play a 2 hr set (basically 'cos we only know 2 hours worth of songs!), even though Dave had initially wanted us to do a 3hr slot. But as it turned out, we were "persuaded" to carry on and do 2 and three quarter hours anyway! It seems odd playing during the, everything is so bright, and very little atmosphere. Most people weren't that interested, with the 2nd bar next door, and the outside seats, full. Surprisingly, we actually played better today, than last night! We also had one of our youngest fans making an appearance, all of about 1 years old! A couple of other kids were seen to walk through the bar area, with hands clamped firmly over their ears! Trying to tell us something? Anyway, onto the second half, and as we get set up, a lady with baby sits down right next to us. Question: how long will she last for? Answer: about 2 seconds, as she jumps up and burns out of the bar, as we start into Can't Get Enough. Second half was better, simply because of the good old British weather! Its raining! So all the young lads have to take shelter in the bar, and are forced to listen to us!!! And going from one extreme to another, we had the oldest lady in the pub dancing away, all of about 80! And as she told us later, "I really enjoy music"!! We call it a night (or afternoon), but landlord Dave is having none of it! "Don't you DARE put those guitars down!" he growls over at us. OK, so we do another couple, repeating them from earlier. That's definitely it, now, Darrens throat is hurting, and he has a blister on his playing fingers. But wait! Dave suddenly appears, with a beer mug half full of a whip around from the other bar! And to be honest, there looks to be a lot of money in there! Maybe we weren't that unappreciated after all! So how can you refuse, especially when Mark The Salesman jumps in and straight away says yes! So a further 2 songs, with Mark even adding some vocals to RAOTW, rounds up another gig. Phew! We turn off, and look round at Mac, to see him already, bent over his stool (no not that kind), and counting the money pot! He didn't waste any time!! It was a long hard slog, but cheers to Darren and Mac, who have the hardest jobs in the band. So, next up is the big one, at The Woughton Centre. See you there? Oh, go on. (AA)

Sunday 30th April - The Woughton Centre

If someone last year had said that we'd be playing on a large professional stage to an enthusiastic crowd, through a 5Kw PA, we'd have replied : and pigs might fly!
Hey look! A joint of bacon orbiting Planet Earth!
We came, we saw and we conquered! Apart from "ice-cool" Mac, I think it was fair to say that the rest of us were nearly … how can I put this politely… touching cloth! Boy was I nervous! Biggest gig of our lives and being recorded for a live CD as well!
Eventually got there, and went in. It was bigger than I remembered it. PA system was being set up, as well as the mics for the amps. What a great change to have people doing things for you! All we had to do, was put the amps up and plug in. Wonder how much to hire some roadies? If its anything more than 3p, then the band coffers won't stretch! After set up, we all sound checked individually, to get levels correct both for the PA and for the recording going on behind the scenes. Darren and Mark fiddled as usual, getting great sounds, while I was much the same as usual, play a few notes, yes that's OK, and finish! The sound check sound excellent, and we all had monitors running on the stage so we could actually hear what was going on elsewhere! Macs kit developed a rattle, but couldn't track it down, but the sound engineer reckoned that his sound was very good anyway!
So, we then sit and wait. Not many people here, so we were told to wait until 1.15pm to start. Come about 1.00, and suddenly people just appeared, who knows where from. The bar? Very probably! Anyway, we crank up, and set off! Comments later that we were very loud were had, but to be honest, on stage, behind the main PA speakers, it didn't seem to me to be any louder than when we played in a pub. Apparently not so out front! We get applauded after each song, and get people joining in. The first set finishes with Roadhouse Blues, minus the normal jig, but with a friend of Macs, Andy Powell of his other band The Memphis Plates, playing the harmonica. What a great sound, and brings the first set to a close. The second half goes much the same way, but we also have some people dancing down at the front and at the back! Darrens doing a great job of being compare as well, and persuades the powers to be to let us do an extra number at the end of the set. Well, you know, the crowd was baying for it!
What an afternoon! Cheers to Mac for getting us the gig, knowing the right people in the right places does help! I think we all enjoyed it immensely, so much so, that we just want to do this now! If only! Apparently the lady who was running the show, commented that usually, after the bands start playing, a fair number of people go back to the bar, but for us, she said the bar was unusually quiet! We managed to keep most people entertained! We had a lot of compliments after, which are always nice, but no offers of "come and play here". Pity. But!! Stop press!! Hold your horse Tonto! Great galloping horny rhinos, Batman! We do get a repeat gig back at The Woughton Centre! Hoorah! So, we will be back, at the end of October, and can't wait!
Apparently, the recording went really well, and we will try and get the CD sorted very soon. So, get your coppers (of the money kind) at the ready and order your copy now! They'll cost about a fiver, which will allow us to cover our costs etc.. They should have about 70mins of music packed on, so we will have to loose a few songs, but you'll get the best instead!
If anyone who is reading this was there, please put some comments onto the guestbook, since it is rather empty! If it doesn't work, email me instead, and I can always include your comments on the web site elsewhere! And if anyone has any suggestions of pubs that we could try and play, let me know.
That's enough for now. Next gig is in July. See you there. (AA)


1st set of pictures: The Foxy Hounds
2nd and 3rd set: The Woughton Centre
Updated: Nov 06
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