Bromley

The Churchill theatre in Bromley is a but special and it knows it. For the last few years HQ theatres have turned it into a lass “Luvie ” venue.

The should person was a Girl in her 20′s………. Brilliant

met lots of old friends x

bedworth.

The little gig in Bedworth, near Nuneaton is a council run hall. It has the ability to be another Cresstt. However , it is a wonderful venue run by professional caring people.  The punters  are great , the sound check took literally 5 seconds .

Strangely the Mayor was in with his mates… a Labour mates…he took it well…I think

Drove home     Bromley tonight so… Clean suit

back to work…too soon?

So , It was time to go to work. The Swan in High Wickommmmmm    I had rested my voice all day after a night of coughing.  I would be meeting Kev at the gig as he was driving from Blackpool where for some reason he chooses to live.  I set off at 3. that would give me three hours to get there . it is about 50 miles from home. It was a Friday and traveling is a nightmare.

I arrived at the gig at about 4  30 .Kev was at in his car keeping warm. He knocked on the stage door and was met by a young lady dressed in he obligatory black. She summoned another person who would be looking after us. The head technician/stage manager. Another female  in  black arrived. She was very pleasant. “hello I’m so and so..I will be looking after you tonight, it is so good to have you here. The house is very busy and we’ve set everything up for you, would you like me to show you too your dressing room?  This sounds good right? wrong..she was addressing Kevin.  I asked her if she knew who was who? she didn’t.  I explained…

 

The sound check would be important as my voice was pretty weak. It was a disaster…learning that all things are my fault. I told the nice sound engineer,who incidentally was wearing hearing aids, that I would bugger off for an hour while he fixed it. We joined the millennials and had a cup of tea.

I returned to the stage when asked and he had done a brilliant job and nailed the PA…  well he certainly did the best job with the set up. well done Tom.

Before I go on stage I get clearance from the person in the “Corner” to say the Front of house is ready and the bars are clear. The walk in music was very loud. Our girl in the corner was talking on her head phones. She paused and asked me what the start procedure was? I told her to fade music and house lighting and go to my lighting condition.  She didn’t…The music playing was coming to the end of the song. I asked the girl to tell tom to not play anymore tracks…she looked at me and said “Schhhhhhh” The next track came on. I said’Excuse me, you asked me the start procedure and I told you…you ignored me” she said..”eh”  I walked on …. she then stopped the music and the lighting eventually changed….My fault obviously.

At the end of two hours and signing in the interval my throat was hanging. Rest today then  north to Bedworth….

The grown up volunteers…loads of em   where great…Tom  did a fair job. I did 2 hours and the lady in the corner got through the night and as we left I had the thought that she still had no idea who I was…..

some funny people about,

Chris got a letter today from a grumpy man who apparently bumped into me at the Southampton Boat show.  he said hello and I grunted!!   how rude  he goes on to claim that I have a boat at Ocean village and have instructed everyone not to talk to me.  Firstly…..has this bloke got anything better to do? and secondly My Boat is not in Ocean village…so I suggest the grumpy deluded fucker moves to there…..  Time to fight back..

Peterborough

As I  predicted to the audience as soon as I walked on stage on the night, I have now heard via my agent that I am banned from the mighty Cresset in Peterborough. So that’s me and their MP the town won’t be seeing for a while.

The Cresset has a small man syndrome. The petty managers and their cronies will be dripping now, not to mention the labour councillors who believe every non socialist is a racist and any male is a potential  sexual predator. The fact is,  this is a sub standard dump. A poor sports hall  in a town full of great people who deserve better. It’s not a coincidence that this tour is called” the public fight back.”  The reason that I am banned two days after them putting on their twitter feed “Looking forward to seeing him next year” is a slight mystery. However, apart from lying about the PA system and a warm dressing room they have now decided I was rude to the audience before the show. I don’t remember that. I wasn’t in a good mood because I had to sit my car outside while they tried to fix the “perfectly fine ” PA     whether someone might have been rude to me is irrelevant. They paid, so they are entitled to barge in, interrupt, take pictures and immediately want a “Selfie” before saying hello.  thats all part of the game…but to have incompetent morons  blame you for their failures and “don’t give a fuckness” is irritating.

The people were Jammed in like sardines yet we were told the place wasn’t full…someone is telling porkies because people in the front row nearly had to sit sideways the chairs were so tightly packed.

Because they re amateurs “There’s no pleasing him” attitude  I had to struggle in a proper theatre in Bellingham the next night. Their magnificent fully trained technicians tweeked the sound system so my minute voice (thanks to the Cresset’s “No one’s complained before” man) was audible.

Thanks to the Cresset  I let down over 2000 people  in Scotland and Workington….but  go ahead ,blame me…play your card …then go away and put on tribute bands  they are no problem…thats why they will always be tribute bands

The “Posh” should fight back…by God you deserve better.

I am not better

I have had to cancel the little gigs in Cumbria.. the worst thing is, apart from feeling like shite and having to let people down is the fact that the people around you say  ” you should have cancelled on Friday”  ” you should maybe give it a go” then there are people on twitter who don’t believe you….well I am sick!  I cannot do it. I have no voice . I am full of cold and when I cough it feels like I am gargling fire ants.

I tried to call the theatre but it’s web site and answer phone says it is  shut Sunday..whats that about?

I called BBC radio Cumbria and told them….I am sorry to disappoint…

 

BILLINGHAM…AGAIST ALL ODDS

As I imagined my throat was in a shocking state the next day after the cresset. The long drive would give it some rest. We were staying outside of Billingham in a wonderful country house hotel called Wynnwood park…or something like that. An emourmouse country pile owned by John Hall a former part owner of Newcastle United.  I was good in daylight hours but as the grown ups departed for home the milenials took over. We got back to the bar at 10 20 . The bar was shut and a homely girl was making it up for breakfast. we asked for a drink and something to eat. we were told it was room service only. I said ok can we have a menu? and was told it was in the room. I then asked if they had any menus down stairs. She said she will go and look.. she vanished. Resisting the temptation to eat some of the weeterbix on show I visited reception. I was told by a young man that he would have look and see what he’s got… (I paid £220 for my room)  I said two ham sandwiches…20 minutes later he brought One! we were reluctantly served a drink…

I went to bed at 1115 and woke at 1 30  my throat was in agony.. I lay there for 4 hours then woke Kev and we drove 300 miles home

I called Chris and told him to postpone the gigs in Dundee and Dunfermline   I could not talk…I had laryngitis

 

As I type I am a bit better and will set off for Workington tomorrow…..wish me luck

the crew and staff at the Forum Billingham were first class…and so were the hot toddies

Peterbourlgh

I told myself that I must not mention that MP who has gone to prison for failing to declare that she was the driver of the car allegedly. If she was  a white MP I would have gone to town… But there you go.

The Cresset has always been a dodgy old gig. It is a sports hall really. It is run by people who understand sports halls. We arrived there was no parking space of course. And as we walked into the concert room I spoke to the man who was behind the sound desk. I asked him if he was ready for the soundcheck? He told me not yet. So I waited as he ran up and down the aisle trying to fix the broken PA system. Actually it wasn’t broken he just did not know how to work it. The sound was appalling. When it wasn’t distorting it was too quiet. I am aware that I am the bad guy when it comes to these situations. The gymnasium manager arrived and had a listen  to the sound. He said I’m not a sound engineer but it sounds fine. It didn’t, and Kevin told him that it was distorting. I had a bit of a cold and sore throat and I was relying on the P a system to help me through the evening. Instead of trying to get the sound right the sound engineer decided it was more fun to argue with me.   I went on to a shit sound system and at the end of two hours I had no voice left.

Oh well what do you expect when you play gymnasiums.

Stayed at the premier inn …great

Crewe

Frank Matcham was a fantastic theatre designer. Some examples of his work can be seen in southsea in Hampshire, Wakefield and the Hackney Empire.

The theatre in Crewe was designed by one of his apprentices. It has a wonderful old device in the centre of the roof. When switched on Little gas burners light up. The heat that it generates encourages the cigarette and pipe smoke to rise and is expelled via a chimney…. Brilliant. I believe it is the only functioning device of its kind in the world.

The crew here are fantastic. What else would you expect in town named after them?

It was a good gig, but I found myself getting tired towards the end of the first half. A stiff whiskey sorted me out.

I sign books for the charity in the interval. On the inside cover of the book is the recommended retail price of £18.99. I charge £20 for the book and all the money goes to care after combat. I received a couple of emails today from a woman who complained that she spent £20 pounds on the book when it should be £18.99. I replied to her that I had signed the book personally for her. She replied that I didn’t even look up and she feels she has been robbed. I told to send the book back to the charity and she would be refunded. I also told her I think I know who she was. There was a woman complaining a lot. Kevin resisted the temptation to tell to fuck off.  I bet it is her.  Some people ?

The hotel was deserted. Kevin I were charged £30  for 3 slices of bacon and for poached ..

The drive back to the office in Whiteley took 4 1/2 and a half hours. I seem to spend my life in the car.

I am very good at predicting what time I will arrive at home, usually within the minute.

Looks like Liam Nielson is in the shit today… Oh well it someone else’s turn for a change.

hastings

The White Rock Theatre in Hastings is an odd shape. It is wide as opposed to long. Hastings looks as if it is suffering from the recession and austerity measures more than some. The peir opposite the theatre has had a facelift and the hotel we stayed in needs one. I stayed at the White Rock Hotel. I’ve never seen so many dogs. It is a good idea to have dog friendly hotels. This hotel was not heat friendly. Kevin had to get up in the night and put a jumper on.I’m used to being freezing because of a menopausal wife, so -5° was nothing to me.

The hotel had a very charming millennial receptionist. I pointed to the globe that was rotating on the reception desk. I asked her where she thought Angola was. She said she knew nothing about geography at all. And why should she?

The gig was quite good including four people who shared a tooth, giggling a lot.

I think I’m getting a bit tired now.