the first of two night at this tasty little theatre.
The staff were outstanding. I was still in pain with the dreaded gout. I was also slightly miffed at missing PFM a brilliant band from Italy who were playing in Southampton that evening. By chance the excellent sound man called Luca was Italian. I told him. He loved PFM and we used their live album for the walk in music. Thank you for the kindness Luca…I will vote remain next time
The audience was grown ups, classy and 60% jewish….we had a ball especially slagging of the labour party he he
I have never played Morley before. A nice local promotor called Paul contacted Chris and asked if we could do the show in the town hall…he would pay a fee. Chris’s eyeballs saw pound signs…a deal was done…I smelled a rat!
On arrival I was met by Paul…who looked relieved that I had turned up,albeit on one foot. I was in agony and have had to perform in my super light golf shoes!!!!
The sound man wandered over…he had a cowboy hat on…was this a sign?…it was. before we started I noticed a speaker at the back of the room. I asked the Hat if out was delayed(* I will explain) he looked off into the sunset and said….”A Bit” he did not know what I was talking about.
* the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. That is the speed that my voice does to get to that back speaker via a wire. It also travels at that speed to get to the PA speakers on the stage. From them it travels at the speed of sound (700 MPH) to the earholes of the audience. So, the the problem is, by the time the stage speaker sound travelling a 700 mph reaches the people by the back speaker they would have already heard the back speaker causing a railway anouncement effect, The answer is to hold back the sound to the back speaker by delaying its departure from the mike!….simples and the first thing a sound engineer learns…..not this one.
I did a quick one two and realised it was all wrong!! I told him to unplug the back speaker. This cowboy did not have a clue. The sound desk was onstage behind me in the wings. We tried my mike….no better.
The first 30 minutes was me talking to the audience with no sound.. Then the hecklers that had partaken of the buckets of beer they had carried in with them started. I called for a interval, I have been on 50 minutes 30 without a mike, ten minutes of nearly a mike and ten minutes of hecklers with bald heads walking about!
The promotor had to be dragged off the sound man and I did my best to stop him from hanging himself. We had to cancel the charity merch sale as the interval came on us ,including me, as a surprise. Poor Kev had to pack the stuff up!
The second half another bloke turned up with another Mike… it was still shit and there were no monitors but I did an hour and a half which went well as the hecklers were asked to leave…..
I gave Paul a hug and said …”If you pay peanuts……” I walked past the sound man who was looking at the desk as Catweasle would look at the Starship Enterprise control panel x
The winter gardens is a old venue. The set up is odd. The stage is where the umpire sits at a tennis match. It therefore causes sight line problems. It is a hall really. The should and lighting controls are at the side of the stage so the sound man can’t hear and the lighting man cant see! However I love the place. The new manager is a superstar. The staff are friendly and down to earth. The punters always have a good time. I have changed the talking to dead people routine and it is really happening. I have also changed the ending of the act.
I have been suffering from Gout….I know! what thing to have. It is like having the worst pain you have ever had continually for 24 hours a day. As I type this it is Tuesday and I have to hobble off to Dunstable for tonights gig. I should cancel but I can’t let the people down. I will have to dose myself up with painkillers and hope the liver deals them!
We are looking for people to join a hike across Dartmoor on 24/25th May go to Care after Combat web site and go to Tab and Yomp. or call 0300 343 0255 and ask for Sam.
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 less “Luvie ” venue.
The sound person was a Girl in her 20′s………. Brilliant
met lots of old friends x Cant help thinking that HQ theatres are kicking arse. Owner Nick Thomas was an “Act” his staff reflect that in their treatment of other acts. ATG must have a look at them selves.
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 mayor…he took it well…I think
Drove home Bromley tonight so… Clean suit
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…..
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..
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 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…
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