Sun 24th Sept - The Boardwalk - Sheffield
Refreshed and our hunger satisfied we arrived at The Boardwalk. Good venue with a nice vibe and with a fab dressing room full of mirrors and things ( and our rider! ).
We seemed to be getting on well with Joe & crew with lots of mingling involved by all. At this point our tour manager and Joe’s merchandise guy ( a German dude called Andreas) were working together selling both bands merchandise and holding fort whilst one went off for a fag break!
I really enjoyed the gig, I think the band was settling in nicely and there was some great playing too. After the gig I got talking to a chap called Roy Weisman who was Joe’s tour manager. Because I am the worlds greatest ligger, I asked him if I could have a drink with Joe
and band and with this he said “follow me dude!”.
So off we went backstage where I was immediately presented with an extremely large and expensive whiskey on the rocks! Never one for turning down such a nice gesture I sat down on the couch with Joe, and got offered one of his fine Cuban cigars!! At this point I thought that I should go and look for Carl & Michael to join in the fun but I thought “fuck it” I’m enjoying myself far too much to get off my arse!.
Michael & Carl must have seen me disappear backstage because after five minutes they turned up, “but I was just going to get you both!”
I think they both saw through my cunning plan!!
We all had a good chinwag, and Joe & band commented on how well they enjoyed us being on the tour with them - which was nice.
Off we went back home rather drunk, basking in the knowledge that everyone was enjoying the tour as much as were.
Tues 26th Sept - The Rescue Rooms - Nottingham
After a much needed day off, we arrived at the Rescue Rooms.
Our head of marketing ( James ) had been replaced by Michael’s other brother - Stuart, who amongst other things deals with our website. His official tour title was road manager ( and he did a spiffing job in making sure the rider was replenished at all times!! ).
A gig which wasn’t new to us as we played there with Robin Trower early on in the year. If you have never been to this venue then it’s worth a visit.
The bar area is like a coffee shop in Amsterdam ( not that I’d know!! ), and the grub’s cheap and very good too! The venue is part of Rock City so there’s always plenty going on. Another sold out night which ended with a classic Spinal Tap moment - During our last number - Ain’t No Sin, instead of Michael thanking the crowd “ good night Nottingham” he shouted out in his usual rock and roll way “ good night Sheffield!” I thought to myself - what a pillock!! And couldn’t stop laughing all night………well, you had to be there I suppose!!
Good gig and good crowd - we had a blast and ended up in the bar after the gig getting pissed with Joe Bonnamassa with the drinks on him!!! Not bad eh?! At one point I looked at my drink and found to my horror that I had actually amassed half a pint of pure Makers Mark!! I don’t even like the stuff!! Then I wondered why I had a bit of a wobble on afterwards!!
Off we went back home to get ready for the big leg of the tour starting the next day which would see us leave our family and friends for five nights ( Travel Lodge’s again - bastard!! ) fun and frollicks in store - I promise!!!
Wed 27th Sept - The Robin 2 - Bilston
Arrived at venue usual time - about 5ish. Aaron ( who was Bogie the drummer’s tech) met us outside and was fascinated by the the English word “Bollocks” & “Mate”. Every time either one of those words was mentioned he just fell in stitches - funny people these Yanks!! Brought some nasty cheese butties with me which was my tea - marvellous!
The Robin itself was a big venue to be honest and great acts from yesteryear perform there : Slade, and other cracking turns from the area.
Backstage was like a maze of corridors, but we found our dressing room and it was fine.
My Dad, John, joined us and said he was coming to the Falmouth & Exeter gigs, but was a little stressed on arrival because he thought the gig was at Bilston, Leicestershire - daft bugger, so he was a few hours late and he needed a few liveners to chill him out a bit!
Again it was another sold out venue - about 700 or so people and we went down well and sold some more gear.
What was starting to happen after the show when we were hanging around the merchandise stand, was that when people purchased one ( or more ) of our C.D’s, they wanted them signing - rock n roll!!
I enjoyed this part of the evening because it was good to talk to the crowd, to hear opinions good ( or bad! ) regarding the gig. It was a fun night.
After the gig we went to our Travel Lodge, which was situated right in the centre of Birmingham!! Tired and pissed ( there’s a trend developing here, don’t you think! ), and looking forward to our monster drive to Falmouth, Cornwall, for tomorrows gig at the Princess Pavilion.
Thurs 28 Sept - Princess Pavilion - Falmouth.
Bleeding hell what a drive!!!
Stopped off at Okehampton ( which is in Devon ) at the worst excuse for a service station I’ve ever seen. The toilet looked like a Porto cabin and the only fuel I saw was a bit of wood on the floor. There was a few phone numbers on the wall in the bogs, sure I saw Carl taking down one or two...not too sure though...
Ended up getting lost about 10 minutes from Falmouth ( blame Sat Nav ), and ended up down a dirt track with trees on either side of the road, not wanting to alarm anyone but I felt like telling them that Deliverance was on telly a couple of weeks back.
I’ve been to Falmouth a long time ago on a family holiday and it really is a nice place. The venue was like a Tardis - smallish on outside but a fair size inside.
We waited for Joe to sound-check, then we set our gear up, sound-checked, and went for some grub. We only had about 45 mins so we had to act a bit lively - we found a nice fish & chip shop at the harbour and sat on a bench admiring the wonderful sunset and the sea. We returned to the venue and it was filling up nicely. Dave ( Joe’s guitar tech ) said he heard a rumour that Pete Townshend was coming to the gig ( must have heard of us then! ), apparently he has a house in Falmouth. I did keep a look-out for him but if he was there then you could mistake him for hundreds of other bald heads in the venue!
It was a good gig, nice big hall and another 10 out of 10 dressing room!
Packed up - nicely drunk again and off we went to our Travel Lodge. Long drive tomorrow for the gig at Exeter - no rest for the wicked.
Fri 29th Sept - The Phoenix Arts Centre - Exeter.
Exeter, although a lovely place, is a complete bastard to drive through.
We eventually found the venue and was greeted by the Stage Manager, Simon, who looked like a hippy type - groovy! My Dad had got to the venue before us and met up with Simon who he didn’t know from Adam but you’d think they’d known each other for ages! Don’t worry, this tale’s going somewhere!
A cracking venue - all dark inside and the guys who run the gig side of it were very proficient in what they do. Nice size stage and the Annexe part of the venue served up some good Tapas food which was washed down with a snifter of finest Claret.
Joe found the time to let Michael use his gear during the sound-check and a couple of his guitars, as you can imagine for him, it was like a train buff going to Crewe for the first time! Joe, early on during the day, purchased a new Fender Strat in Exeter and Michael ended up playing it! Techniques were exchanged and they both had a jolly good time.
Really enjoyed the gig, and discovered that we had started to get fed up with drinking beer, so we moved on to wine instead!! This move was to last us to the end of the tour!! Seeing as I love red wine, I was as happy as Larry.
At the end of the gig my Dad appeared in the dressing room looking absolutely wasted!! Apparently he and his best bud Simon had spent the whole evening in the sound booth getting trolleyed ( where the stage manager controls lights etc ).
So at the end of the gig we were over at the merchandise area talking & signing stuff etc, when these two proper stoner dudes came over. They looked like Bill & Ted, with little woodbines in their mouths and told us in a very funny way that " we had no right to rock that hard, man!!! ", we fell about in stitches, you had to be there!!
Something I forgot to mention about getting to the venue was that, because we had to get through alleyways to get there, Joe’s tour bus had to park about 200 yards away from the place, whereas we just drove straight to the stage door!! The benefit of being small,eh?!.. At least that’s what they tell me!!
Off we went again to our wonderful 5 star Travel lodge, looking forward to the following nights gig - Frome, and also because IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!