Our return to Molloy’s in Bury last Friday was as successful as we hoped it would be. On the way we decided that, as the previous gig here without Clatter had been such a success, should we fail this time it could only be the fault of one man…
No pressure then, Mr Crewe!
The first half went well, but with a slightly smaller audience than last time.
“Last time it was rammed!” The comments were thrown back at the drummer throughout set one. “You couldn’t move off the stage.”
Fortunately for Paul’s ego the pub filled up as we hit the second set and went as well, if not better, than our last appearance.
Saturday was time for the school summer ball at Adams Grammar. We arrived to set up in the marquee at about lunchtime and all was going well until we started to make a bit of noise ahead of soundchecking. A gentleman in an army uniform walked in asking if we could hold off making any noise until they had finished making their speeches. It turns out that the cadets had decided to use the grounds for a ceremony of some description without prior booking and took exception to us making any noise… It looked like the guy in question wasn’t used to people saying “No” to him as we pointed out that we were limited for time as Edcase was off shortly for another gig with his old band, Spinal Tap The Keg, supporting no less than Joe Brown of The Sixties. In the end, we let them finish, then rushed our soundcheck.
We were bolstered once more by the great Sir Simon Prattle on keyboards, who put in a couple of rip roaring solos. Shame they were while Ed was trying to sing.
Wednesday and we were up to Stone in Staffs to play at The Swan. Being a mid-week gig it was always going to be a little quiet, but we had a respectable audience which even included a family who had travelled all the way from America to see us. Well, they had travelled from America and they saw us. It amounts to much the same thing.
Friday and we were back to what is fast becoming one of our favourite venues, The Old Post Office in Shrewsbury. The staff are great and the audience rarely lets us down. On the whole this turned out to be one of our best gigs to date. We felt that we performed well in every sense and the audience were with us all the way. There was little standing room left and the beer garden was also full (WeeMann using them as his own private audience throughout the evening).
There was just one fly in the ointment. Pretty much since we started playing together we have included Simon & Garfunkel’s The Boxer, hitting each other over the head with beer trays to add percussive interest. Following the second chorus, it’s time for the audience to get involved by becoming our targets. For the first time we misjudged the situation and first Clatter and then WeeMann focussed in on a couple sitting near the bar. It seems they didn’t share the sense of humour that the majority of people who come to see us do.
In turn, Clatter & WeeMann both found themselves being threatened by the gentleman, Clatter even offering a peace-offering of a drink in the interval, while Ed battled on, blissfully unaware of the seriousness of the situation. We were unable to smooth out the situation as they left before we took our break. Should they read this, we would like to make it clear that, as with the rest of our set, all is meant in fun and no harm is intended. If we offended, we apologise.
This aside, the evening was a blinder and we can hardly wait for our return on 20 September, an evening which will also double as a birthday celebration for barman Ed.
And finally, on Sunday we travelled back to The Swan in Stone to play for their beer festival. This time we played in the beer garden and the sun shone (at least for the first set). Geoff Blundell, the pub’s Landlord, joined us for a few songs at the start of the second set adding some very tasty keyboard work. And upstaging us with his shirt.
On Friday we’re back at Burton Borough School for another night of food and music, ably supported by the school’s bands, Saturday it’s our first Saturday night at The Telegraph, Shrewsbury, following an appearance in the afternoon at the Clavstock Festival in Claverly at The Plough Inn and finally on Sunday we will be playing our first gig at a new venue in Whitchurch, The Bulls Head. Recently taken over by Erin & John, this will be their first attempt at putting on live music.