NOVEMBER | JANUARY
E C E M B E R 2 0 0 7
writing this month back to front, so now that I have
arrived at December 1st, I realise why I always wanted
to get the blogs down as quickly as possible after the
gigs......I can't remember a thing about them after a
During the month ahead (oh this all sounds very
wrong...but hopefully it will eventually make sense!),
we will have discussions in the car as to whether of
not we really want to have a blog at all. We all
like to look back and remember some great times, but
we aren't so sure we want it public anymore, even
though the blog pages are the most often visited pages
Oddly, I'm really enjoying doing the photographs, but
the writing seems to be getting quite tiresome, less
funny and less entertaining. Some of the things
I really want to say are not fit for anyone outside
Anyway, getting back to Doncaster, I recall that this
was a really good gig, quite a full house and an
enthusiastic Yorkshire audience. We seem to do
quite well in this part of the world.
as usual, making his own way to Nailcote, Roy, Eddie
and I spotted the warning on M6 gantries: J13 - J14
LONG DELAYS. At this point the traffic was free
flowing and not altogether busy for a Friday
night. Even though these signs have an
infuriating habit of crying wolf, I quickly made the
decision to pull off the motorway and use the parallel
A34. I figured that even with the reduced speed
limits, we would be in enough time to get back on the
motorway further down. We tried to get back on
at J13 but found it to be closed off with about half a
dozen Fire Engines visible just up the slip
road. I called Dirk....he was in the jam.
The three of us arrived at Nailcote at pretty much the
usual time, about an hour before we were due on.
Dirk called, he was still stuck on the M6. It
was apparent that there was no way he would be here by
10.30, so we started to make contingency plans.
By 10.30, Dirk called to say that he was clear of the
accident and had a straight run through which should
take him 45 minutes. The DJ kept spinning discs
until we could finally make it on stage at
11.15. This was the first gig we've done I
think, where one of us had a beard!
Some very unpleasant people in the audience tonight
who were very rude to the owners.
Weston Super Mare.
and windy in the birthplace of John Cleese and Ritchie
This is a Christmas ball taking place in the grand
surroundings of the Winter Gardens Ballroom, a room
that would give a any sound engineer a headache.
Chris managed with aplomb.
two hard bits to this journey. The first is
Birmingham, with it's seemingly never-ending stream of
brake lights and the, perhaps, more obvious snail pace
of the M25 round Heathrow at four o'clock on a Friday
afternoon. In between the two, we stop off at
Cherwell Valley Services. Warwick has lately
been abandoned in favour of the pull-in which has a
Marks & Spencer food hall, the good coffee and
reasonably clean toilets.
It seems that we are not the only discerning tribute
on the road today! As I am browsing the cold
pasta dishes, I hear the unmistakable Jaggered tones
of Nick Dagger, lead show-off with country's second
greatest rock 'n' roll band, The Counterfeit
Stones. He and Charlie Mott are travelling north
for a corporate in Brum and we spend a couple of
minutes discussing the merits of M&S's chicken and
basil thingy and if astrakhan coats are making a come
Unusually, the sat-nav finds the venue first time and
in no-time at all we are settled into our dressing
rooms. Eddie manages not only to get his own
room, but also the one with all the sandwiches and
drinks in it, while the rest of us are left with the
much bigger and much, much colder room. Ed soon
finds that he has squatters.
We opt against a full sound-check as things seem to be
very much under control. The room has excellent
acoustics and Chris is supremely confident of getting
a great sound.
I looked across at Eddie as Dirk counted in the first
song and noticed that he was without guitar
lead. How did this happen? Steve would
normally be in the wings and could have remedied this
in a flash. Unfortunately, The Maltings ain't
got no wings so there was no Steve on hand and this
left Ed with his hands behind his back for two and a
half minutes till the end of the song when I could
chuck him a spare over.
I think this may have set a tone!
By all accounts we played very well and were fully
appreciated by the full house.....even Chris said
so. The four of us on stage had a radically
different perspective on the night, to the point where
we were all rather down after the gig. I guess
these things just happen now and again. I can't
remember the last time a string broke on the acoustic
guitar....it may have never happened during a gig, as
they do get changed (occasionally). Tonight 2
strings went at the most inconvenient time in the set,
when there was just not enough time to replace them
and tune them up before the solo spots. Alas, we don't
carry a spare acoustic and it just made things a
little awkward. My solo spot seemed to very
accurately represent a sticking CD, as I completely dried
at the beginning of the song.... "I look, I
look, I look, look, look at you all......"
We packed up in silence and trooped off towards our M3
base for the night. Driving through Farnham, we
spotted the Police out with mobile speed traps....at
11pm!!.....never seen that before.
The Sunbury Travelodge gave the 6 of us our first
chance to socialise after a gig.
the Travelodge at mid-day there is a lot of time to
kill before we have to arrive at the gig which is only
about 20 miles away. We drive into London and
park up in Mayfair, figuring we can walk round
anywhere we fancy from here.
We stick together until Dirk gets his Café Nero
loyalty card stamped a few times and then split in
half. Dirk and Eddie wander off to Regent
Street, while Roy and I embark on a hike that will
take in miles of crowded streets full of Christmas
From Savile Row and the old Apple building, we wander
into Soho which is, as always, alive and
vibrant. As we get to St. Martins Lane, we come
across thousands of pissed Santas all making their way
towards Shaftsbury Avenue. We never found out
quite what was going on, but they all seemed to be
having a fine time. Roy spotted Tim McInnerny
taking photos of the colourful sight.
After five hours, and with freezing feet it was time
to meet up back at the car and make the crawl up the
Edgware Road to our destination. Chris and Steve
had everything in hand when we arrived at the gig, so
there was little to do except wait for our stage time.
I think we all quite enjoyed our performance in the
marquee, but considering this is December, it was
probably one of our hottest gigs all year. As we
began to head up the M1, I know that we were all
looking forward to getting home.
Nailcote Christmas Party, another Christmas at the
This time, we are all present and correct well in time
for any performance time the staff want to throw at
us. Nailcote is by no means a cheap place to
come to, but it still manages to draw some scum as was
evident a few weeks ago and again tonight when there
was a huge kick off near the bar and a fight broke out
which nearly caused the front of house speakers to be
Pretty much run of the mill for us.
though we have a couple more dates left this year, we
always feel that this gig at The Robin brings the year
to a close. The best audience in the country at
the best Rock n Roll venue, always makes this a
Las Dunas Hotel,
NOVEMBER | JANUARY
© Fab Productions 2007