SUN 17 FEB: PLYMOUTH, THE NOWHERE INN. Poor Moon - he was expecting The Bus Station Loonies for his birthday, and all he got was the geek.
SUN 24 MARCH: PLYMOUTH, TRAMPS for Darren's "Dazzle" underground film night. No-one knew what the heck was going on when I began the intermission. The night my wishes didn't come true; I didn't drop dead mid-set.
SAT 13 APR: NOTTINGHAM, THE PALM TREE w/Eastfield, Mafia Vs. Ninja + The Bus Station Loonies. Nervous and as bad as the debut, but this time I needed to sit down throughout the performance. Still amazed to get asked back.
FRI 10 MAY: PLYMOUTH, TRAMPS w/Pog. Poor Sim, she was hoping for Gorgeous, C.D.S., The Dregs, Anal Beard, in fact, anyone but us! Happy 30th, ducks!
SAT 1 JUNE: MANCHESTER, THE RED HOUSE w/Rev.Porl (in Cabaret Room), plus Dogs**t Sandwich + 3CR in main room. Really enjoyed this gig (but was somewhat lubricated) and got giggling fit as hardcore punx danced about to my dire electropap, realising how ludicrous life can be.
SUN 2 JUNE: BRISTOL, THE BLACK SWAN w/Cupid Stunt, The Dangerfields, Eastfield, Disorder... Didn't intend to play, but time was getting on, no other band was playing and I had my keyboards. Great laff with special thanks to Ade & Yaga (Disorder) for dancing gleefully throughout.
(I've missed out a few, 'cos I'm hazy about dates & gotta check 'em all, but will get round to filling reports on each gig)
SAT 22 JUNE: SHEFFIELD PUNX PICNIC, THE CORPORATION with The Rong 'Uns, Contempt, Kismet HC...
Somewhat bizarrely, found myself too nervous to leave venue & drink in the sun with all the other punkers, but hung around slugging wine & waiting to soundcheck like a ponce. Did odd sets in between decent bands to an audience who I think were bemused by the whole spectacle.
SAT 13 JULY: LEEDS PUNX PICNIC, THE PRIMROSE with Mr.Nipples (who love me!),Stress, Dogsh*t Sandwich, Active Slaughter, Barse 77... Fortunately HAD been out in the sun AND on Bucky with the Stress lads, so by the time hit the venue was ready for anything. Most others weren't, I fear.
SUN 15 SEPT: PLYMOUTH PUNX PICNIC, NOWHERE INN with Dick Mental-Fish-Lucas, Rev.Porl, Jessi & Pog. Acted like a prat on my home turf again. Dick & Porl were inspired & thoroughly entertaining; Pog & Jessi proved themselves to indeed by the true Everly Brothers of punk.
SAT 22 DEC: PLYMOUTH, NOWHERE INN (at a different part of pub, on a different table (closer to the fire))... Smelly (Sim's Brother)'s birthday this time. Didn't have an amp or PA, so this was as close to acoustic electropap as you could get. My big gob virtually drowned-out the keyboards, as Andy & Pete clapped & sang along, Nikki went round the poor few with a collection plate, while Smelly looked on with a surprisingly contented grin on his face. Apparently, he enjoyed it all, but was in no fit state to speak.
SAT 8 FEB: PLYMOUTH, TRAMPS... Anti-War Coalition Benefit w/The Once Over Twice, The Bus Station Loonies, Bark & S-Punk-3. I wasn't meant to play, but 16 Stone Mullet had to pull-out at the last minute, so poor Pete & Matt had no choice but to rope-in the useless buffoon & his organ. Amazingly busy early on (from around 9) and even more amazingly busier by the time I'd finished. Debuted "I'm in Love with Your Mom" which seemed to hold a most unexpected appeal amongst 'the kids'.
FRI 14 FEB: PLYMOUTH, FREEBOOTER & FIRKIN... This was a real pants-filler for me, as I knew I'd be playing in front of a whole load of people who might not get the joke & think I was serious. I was the before, middle & after a couple of rounds of 'Blind Date', hosted by local TV presenter Natalie Corner (who stole the show by tripping over my organ & doing a backflip offstage). Thanks to Steve for sorting it (and buzzing off on holiday a few days before! Wise man...), Tanya for stepping in, Freddy & Steve (S-Punk-3) for supplying a mic when it turned-out they already had one already there (I expect it was 'cos it was a swish radio mic & they didn't want me spitting biscuit crumbs into it), my impromptu dancer, Andy, Helen, Tara & Spud for the much needed support, and Phil for being my roadie! Things improved the more drunk I and everone else became, although a whole load of people didn't get the joke & thought I was serious.
SAT 22 FEB: EXETER, NORTH BRIDGE INN... Yet ANOTHER poor schmuck has their birthday celebrations & street-cred torn unsunder in one fell swoop. Good ol' Eddie (of said North Bridge Inn) got me & a barrel load o'lovelies to pop-up from Plym to celebrate his special day (he DID know what he was letting himself in for though, it has to be said). Fortunately, finished early, to make way for the DJs who Eddie wasn't expecting (light relief all round). One regular said my act reminded him of THE DAMNED... what the hell was he on?
SUN 23 FEB: SWANSEA, THE MONKEY CAFE... Another day, another birthday! This time, 'twas poor Sian (her 21st, I do declare!)... Nervous about going without my stalwarts but, within minutes of getting there, the friendliness & hospitality of the staff, Richard, Chris, Tiz, Peran & BLACK EYE RIOT, the SMILING WITH SEMTEX boys, Sian and all her chums, and I was happy, relaxed & comparitively nerve-free! Supassed last year's Manchester picnic for giggling fits and generally had a ball! Did a coupla duets with Richard who merely got repaid by having a guitar split his head open during BLACK EYE RIOT's set. Fun & games throughout and, I truly hope they'll have me back.
SAT 15 MARCH: BATH, THE PORTER BUTT... Dick's Fish/ Birthday party with Reverend Porl! Much to my amazement, it was agreed upon that the camoflage netting backdrop should be strung-up IN FRONT of the stage (what twit suggested that then?), so twas all cozy being hidden (whoever said that punk destroyed the division between audience & performer was right~ but what kinda punk am I?) Gob Dylan turned-up and we DJ'ed The Wombles & The Specials together, Rev.Porl was on tip-top form, and da kids were thankfully steaming yet again by the time I began flicking switches & bogies.
SAT 22 MARCH: LONDON, BRIXTON, THE WINDMILL... The People's Republic of Disco 1st anniversary party!Cheers Dawn & Lee ~get ol' wheezy here to blow-up balloons, why don't you? Actually, Goz blew up about 127, while I managed 3 the size of a weak (my) bladder... The People's Republic of Disco is a fantastic concept and I strongly recommend you lot go along (check out www.peoplesrepublicofdis.co.uk for their next dates). I was undemocratic & played what I wanted and got undergarments thrown at me. Left, happy, minus a hooded top & feeling more like Tom Jones than Liberace. Made it to a squat gig that night but missed the bands. Goz tried to get me to do a second stint, but I got too scared & wimped-out. Helluver night.
WED 16 APRIL: PLYMOUTH, THE NOWHERE INN supporting The Fish Brothers & Gob Dylan. Too full of anticipation to get as nervous as usual. Got justifiably ticked-off by Adey the Duke (Fish Bros Boss/Chauffeur/Monger etc) for talking all the way through Gob's set (he didn't know I used to be part of Gob's backing band, nor realised I was lamely endevouring to impress at the time!). Shouldn't have made that comment about the guy who ALWAYS follows me about shouting "Get On With It!" at every gig - cue for half a dozen of his clones to pipe-up too! The Fish Brothers were excellent and, holy mackerell, didn't I just have the best night of my life?
THUR 17 APRIL: EXETER, NORTH BRIDGE INN supporting The Fish Brothers & Gob Dylan. Pausing only in the morn to sweep up The Nowhere, sit in the sun and pick up Big Bob for the ride, then we were at Eddie's bar on what must've been the hottest day of 2003 thus far... and he's got a beer garden! I played first and half the pub left (to get in touch with EMI, so one cheeky pup promised -and I'm still waiting!)Can't fault the other 2 acts... Well, I can; Martin Fish's shirt didn't take the years off of him and Gob's very metal belt was... very metal. Apart from that, brilliant.
FRI 18 APRIL: BATH, THE PORTER BUTT supporting Oedipus, The Fish Brothers & Gob Dylan. There were about 60-odd who turned-up tonight. Without Oedipus and their fan base, there would've been 6. Attempted to do a 'kids' selection (Fugazi, Screeching Weasel, White Stripes (which I always seem to get wrong, but no one notices 'cos my version sucks anyway), Sex Pistols, etc (hardly Kids I know, but more recognisable than Dr.& The Crippens)) to polite applause. Sadly, "I'm In Love With Your Mom" seemed to lose all comedic value when considering the average age of the audience was 16. That night I attempted (nay, succeeded) in tucking one foot behind my head & I wonder why my back's still knackered. We also DIDN'T steal any vodka, but only drank what was offered to us, although we are guilty of leaving the kitchen cupboard doors open. But hey, that's rock'n'roll, hep cats.
SAT 19 APR: BRISTOL, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE. Unexpected support w/Disorder. I tinkled for 40 minutes and Disorder played 4 songs. The Spanish people seemed to enjoy "I'm in Love with your Mom", but suspect they were laughing at my combination of sad glittery waistcoat & tramp's beard.
SUN 20 APR: BRISTOL, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE. With Disorder. All 6 of our audience left before we started. The old fella with the mouth organ liked both Harakiri & Disorder though. The 4-year old little girl wanted me to dye her hair red (student discount, mayhap?)and Taf nearly got a pummelling for over-excitement on the PA.
SAT 17 MAY: BRISTOL, THE BLACK SWAN supporting DINGO (japan), DISORDER (Bristol) + CUPID STUNT (Brum) Goz & I went to offie for cheap sherry and provisions for DINGO. I played first, while Taf encouraged a small boy to down me out on the drum kit. CUPID STUNT were very kind to me,however, and clapped.
SAT 7 JUNE: MANCHESTER, THE REDHOUSE punx picnic Didn't play until summit like 4 in the morning. Flora & I spent much of the time hob-nobbing with Rev.Porl. By the time I went on many were asleep (but I'm used to that). The PA stopped working, so I just sang along to an unamplified organ until some enterprising guy with dreads produced another amp from somewhere. A very long evening...
SUN 8 JUNE: BATH, THE PORTER BUTT Walcott Festival: Ah, Niki & Dom's ancient Greek extravaganza was a delight. Beautifully decorated and b*st*rd hot. Appallingly, I can't remember the name of the band I supported, but they were ace in an unexpectedly gothy fashion. Cheers to the singer(Chris?)for letting me have swirly effects on my vocals. Sadly, somewhere along the line, the leads mixed, my vocals remained normal while the tunes went all swishy. Noone noticed, so who cares? Bath is now my second favourite place to play.
SUN 22 JUNE: SWANSEA, MONKEY CAFE Jan's Party. This place is my first. I LOOOOOOVE playing in Swansea! Everone at the Monkey Cafe makes me feel SO at home, so welcome and so comfortable. This is home of the most responsive and appreciative audience ever. I wanna go back!
SUN 13 JULY: PLYMOUTH, BARBICAN THEATRE Weird Cabaret. Closely after the debut at Moon's birthday, this gig has GOT to be my most brown-trousered yet. I now completely sympathise with Tony Hancock, for I genuinely thought I would be sick with nerves before the Weird Cabaret started. To call it weird is an understatement; has to be experienced (next one Oct!). Once it began, however, all was calm and my butterflies flew away. Only played 2 songs, but that was enough for anybody. Acts I loved inc.the geezer who screamed
'Die Fleidermaus' whilst burning his hands on candles, Mrs.Askew and her ludicrous dance, the white-faced posse (especially "3 Heads")and the start of the Half Human Video Show. Intrigued? Come along to the next one!As you can tell, I was the least weird thing all night.
Special love'n'thanks to Flora for putting up with my pre-gig jitters and helping me buck-up and pull myself together. What a star.
As is the way with all diaries, you start-off all keen, then get lazy and forget to write stuff. I'm blowed if I can remember the last batch of humiliations, so let's just start a-fresh...
During 2005 have played a few picnics, parties and (every) Odd Ball. But then, came the pinnacle of success...
MON 29 AUG: Stars In Their Eyes contest at The Phoenix, Plymouth. Tonight, Matthew, I was meant to be DEAD KENNEDYS, but as the only other people in the building were the PA geezer and bar staff, it didn't happen. Have never played a gig before where even the other bands didn't turn up! Got a coupla free drinks and a lift home though, after some pleasant chat, so could've been much worse.