I had a day off after Bournemouth with tífamily and suchlike, then was chauffeured in a big old Merc (shit life) to Margate, home of Lord David of Salt, had a quick pint in Broadstairs, which was where Dickens lived, todayís factoid. walked along the beach, you canít beat it, especially when the tideís out. Whilst weíre talking about Margate, I was listening to the radio today, and there was a story about the Irish author Brendan Behan at a cocktail party. He was getting bored to death by this bloke, and just turned round and said to him "excuse me sir, but my leg seems to have gone to sleep. Do you mind if I join it?".
The gig was a fairly warm affair, no guitar smashing or anything like that, Liam, or UTI was there rocking out with some of his mates and yes, we have indeed sold out, whoever it was put that message on the board. Every show in fact. Saw an ad in the paper today for the tour, looks great to see all the sold out signs. Ah yes, Margate. The worst smelly dressing room you can imagine, even worse than my house, and thatís saying something...
Off to Ipswich, where I was given the honour of going to visit a little girl, Shona, who was not at all well. Occasionally you get given a real piece of perspective on your life, and you realise just how unimportant petty jealousies and vanities really are. After spending some time with Shona and her lovely family the first thing I did when I left was call up an old friend Iíd been having a feud with for some years and bury the hatchet. Maybe thatís Shonaís gift to me, a real positive outlook on things, I will never forget my visit. Once again, thank you for having me.
Back to town, and met up with Sir Robert of Green, purveyors of fine bass guitars to put the finishing touches on the design for my RHINOBASS, not a plug of course, my hand just slipped onto caps lock when RHINOBASS was due for digitising. Got to tell you budding bassists out there, itís a bitchiní bass this SSABONIHR (RHINOBASS backwards), save up your dosh, you KNOW It's worth it...
Gig was good, lot of usual suspects there, I like that sort of whites of eyes vibe from the stage. What do yíall think of Thinking of You? Should do well, same reason as Youíll Come Round did, thatís a little cryptic I think, just remember my comments in a previous log...
Then Sarfend, stage with a rake, not good if youíre drugged up, which we werenít of course. What do you think we are, a rock group or something?
Did an interview with the Loyal Family Dutch site in the pub of course, Rhino the Winoís in town! Lock up your cheap wine! A well thunderous gig, think I may have been a tad tired and emotional by the end. Some people I know (I didnít mention us by the way) find a way to get through tours by ticking off the days to the end. That, is to me the Howtohaveashitimeontourandbeamiserablegit handbook. Hey, each to their own, but youíre out on the road or you isnít, get used to it...
Another day off, great to see the family, if it wasnĎt for them IĎd be a right nutter. IĎd like to be but Kath tells me I canĎt, so thatĎs that.
On the way to Brentwood me, Mr. Bown and the big Merc saw a really gruesome accident on the other carriageway, must have happened about 30 seconds before we passed it, thatís someonesí life changed I thought. There but for the grace of God go I... Onto more pleasant things, like the gig at Brentwood.
Essex man and woman have, whilst coming to see the Status Quo in large numbers over the years not been the most vocal of audiences. Iím pleased to say on this occasion, final score was Essex 0: New improved Essex 432,563 (HT 198,000-nil). Brilliant billy, the people over Ricksí side Iíve come to recognize over the years, they can REALLY ROCK! Now all they need is a RHINOBASS (sorry, slipped again) to bring to the gig to Rock out with even more. What could be simpler. In fact, why donít all of you buy a RHINOBASS (small plug)...
I also got given a Greek football shirt from those lovely people at the front, Tassos I think or his sister/war department, is he or she Tassos, and what country do you think theyíre from?
Next day Sheffield, which meant playing at the Uni as the City hall is closed and doing a TV for ITV, "live" playing Rocking all over the world. Apparently we only got 30 seconds on the small screen, such is life. Have you noticed how the OMORRS have been on telly all the time lately? Well I have, I read the list of what theyíve been on recently, shiploads, sorry cursing again, kick this ass for a man. Iím not asking you Iím telling you.
Itís been a very full tour so far for Francis and Rick what with all the signings, I saw the book in a book club catalogue (well, what a f****** coincidence), that means itís doing really well. What do yíall think of the book?
The gig at Sheffield was not as bad as it could have been in such a small hall, and plus the fact my gear wasnít working properly (nothing to do with the R********) I can assure you, the only problem was the air conditioning, I was boiling from my nether regions downwards (Iím always hot there girls) and freezing from the waist up, a very strange experience. We saw Andy Taylor, our ex tour manager/front of house engineer (thatís sound bloke to you herberts), great to see you mate, get well soon...
F*** me, another day off, in Leeds But this time I didnít go home. I had plans. Me, Mílud Letley and our old mate Trevor drove to Manchester to see Sepulchura (check spelling) and Motorhead. Sepulchura were amazing players, with a great sound, the crowd were moshing for Britain. At first I didnít know what to think about Motorhead. but let me TELL you something. If you want rock and roll the way itís supposed to be go and see them. They were truly awesome, a bit on the loud side (joke!) but the real deal, I have rarely seen a band that does what it says on the tin as much as they do. Iím sure itís not that different from seeing Quo when they were in their pomp in the seventies, just that Motorhead are more rock and roll. Lemmy is so funny, Matt said he reminded him of Tommy Cooper, I know what he means. One time he said "Iíve got to have a drink, Iím nearly sober".
When someone threw a drink up on stage, his reply gave me the feeling that there are no crŤche facilities at their gigs. Like I said, amazing. They must have been, cos me, the meanest man in rock, BOUGHT a t-shirt! Donít faint. 20 quid as well. Loved it, weíd agreed to stay 20 minutes, me, Matt and Trev, and saw the whole thing, even Ace of Hearts or whatever it is, Serious drummer as well.
Anyway, next, Halifax, the band hadnít been there since 1970. I got the feeling it was a rough town when we arrived and there were about 300 security people on duty. Iím sure itís not that bad, but I suppose the Thatcher years put paid to any industry, as in coal. A beautiful building, one of the nicest town halls Iíve ever been in, and Iíve been in 1 or 2. Fish and chips were surrounded by Bown, Letley and Edwards at the Whitby somethingorother chippy, who informed us on a piece of paper that the chips now being FRYED were new potatoes. Quite bizarre spelling for someone who owns a chippy, eh? Still not bad, 6/10, Jacks in Brid is light years ahead, and half the price. £4.99 for haddock chips and peas? Youíre íavin a larf mate.
Gig was v.v.good, we thought the sound was going to be crap, far from it, best for ages. Ever since I, yes the great me helped Rock Parfait sort out his sound problems, weíve become a lot tighter, not fiscally you understand, and it was one of those rare occasions when we all get on the bus and agree it was pretty damn good, with some very lusty roars from the audience to help us along, place rocking from top to bottom.
Do yíknow what? I fucking hate computers. Iíve just spent 3 hours writing this, and suddenly the laptop closes the programme. AAAGH!!! That was 2 Basingstokes, so a quick one:
1) Thought Matt was going to punch me lights out, the bass was so loud in his ears, fairly quiet billy.
2) I didnít sleep well the night of Basingstoke 1 worrying about me gear (donít we all luvvie), gig much better, but I was knackered, I mean Knackered with a capital F by the end. My mum Margaret and my newly teenage daughter Mae were there giving me the Royal wave from the sound desk.
Thatís it, get out more often,
Shona - x from all of us
Photos by Dave Salt
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