Guten tag meine damen und herren. Obviously I'm in Wales, the first of 2 shows at the deelaytfull (how posh) resort of Llandudno. Our driver Mr. Shea, (whose wife Jane gave birth to a bouncing baby boy last week, congratulations from us all) told me that the last time he called a Welshman a sheep shagger, a commonly used light hearted insult between the English and Welsh the reply was: "that's right. We shag 'em, you eat 'em" Boom boom!
It's been a while, or whale if you're posh, hasn't it? Been sooooo busy darlings, with all this sex and drugs and Status Quo thing, one hasn't had time to throw you missives from on high regarding what one's been doing of late. Well actually I've been doing not very much except being tired and aching, in fact I have to stop this in one one half hour to go for some physiotherapy, as my right arm is killing me. Hmmm... Actually it's me left shoulder. I tend to play the bass at a bit of a funny angle, which really does give me back and shoulder trouble. In fact I actually get a Christmas present from my chiropractor to thank me for all the money I've given him over the year. Ah, but the show must go on dears, one can't be temperamental, unless of course there aren't at least 3 horses at the meet and greet, in which case I have every right to throw a wobbler, don't you agree dear mere mortal reader?
Now, on with this bolg, as I shall now call it. BLOG MY ARSE!! I hope that's not a sexual act...
I don't have a brochure, (itinerary) so this is from memory, let's see.
After the end of Germany (so to speak) it was overnight to Leuven, or Louvain in French for a day off, so I went straight off on Eurostar to Paris (262 shitters, sorry Euros, return. How much?) to see my mates there, who plied me with 1986 St. Emillion grand cru, which was very nice indeed of them. Although I did think it a bit rude they didn't offer me anything newer. Paris is such a brilliant city, ok so I'm poncey but sitting having lunch in a gorgeous restaurant in Montmartre with my favourite girlfriend definitely floats mon bateaux (that's French for cake by the way).
I was actually spoilt for choice, because Leuven is also beautiful and cool, in fact I'm going to take my other favourite girlfriend there next year for a weekend. But I'm sure you wanted to know that, didn't you. Well didn't you? I drop these pearls of wisdom, and you don't want to know? Put me through to the pentagon!!!
What the fuck am I talking about? Not drinking, that must be it, sorry.
The gig was in a hall which from the moment you walked in you knew would sound really crap for the billy. I know Andy May our out front geeser would have done the best possible job in the circumstances, but as I have said before, you have to trust the promoters' judgement. In this case his name was Daly something, That's it, Arthur Daly, you got to be of a certain age for that one. And you know what? I was watching the Weakest Link today, and one of the questions was about Arthur Daly. Cue theme to the Outer limits etc, but weird nonetheless. Mind you, over 4000 of you lot turned up, we thankyez.
And then there were the Vipers, the opening, I suspect local, act. They came, they put green fabric snakes on the stage, which I'm sure were actually draught excluders, although they glowed in the dark and then they did a soundcheck. I knew right away we were in for something special. The bass player had twice as much equipment as me (amplifiers you crude lot!), there were loads of rock chicks and hairy roadies, This was gonna be something to watch, and I did. Light my fire was the best one. The singer sang the whole of the verse in the wrong key, I don't know if the rest of the mighty Vipers knew. When the chorus started he realised he was totally out of tune, but the look of sheer confusion on his face I shall never forget, and as he sort of vocally slid into nearly the right note, I coincidentally slid off my chair pissing myself. Maybe you had to be there, but it was pure class. And they had to stop in the middle of Child in Time as they'd overrun timewise, I would have paid a lot to hear the bit where the vocal goes really high, but that wasn't to be. The best thing I've seen since Spinal Tap. I'll probably get the shit kicked out of me next time we see them, sorry guys, but don't give up your day jobs.
Great crowd, Rick still pissed off with his gear, but chosen profession and all that, live with it...
On again to Paris, L'Olympia, one of those places where they really can say oui 'ave 'ad zem all 'ere, and they have. Well now they've had us. If we were sponsored by Carlsberg it would have probably have been the best gig in the world. Guess what? Carlsberg is in the computer dictionary, now that's impressive. We started, curtain comes down and the whole downstairs is covered with red white and blue balloons and a rabidly mad for it audience, ranging from TTT (top teenage totty) through MSIK (mad scotsman in kilt, you were fuckin' awesome mate) to EHROQF (eighteen hundred rockin out Quo fans). I'm not normally lost for words, but this was something special, maybe it was a bit like the Apollo used to be, silly me of course, how could it ever be? Andrew's daughter Sophie was in the balcony, she said it was moving all night and that she'd loved the gig, praise indeed. Everything about it was just brill, in my top 3 all time gigs anywhere.
Off then to Northern Ireland, a 20 hour trip, Paris to England via the Chunnel, then all the way up to Scotland for the ferry to Larne, near Belfast. Good fun though, and met my Freddie, who's out with us for the Irish shows. Did I tell you he's in a band with me? Yeah, Woodedz we're called (cont'd p94). Nice to see the Payolas again, who did a storming job of opening up for us, big noise for just 4 of them.
Just returned to laptop central after dinner and the work of one half of one one hour has been lost £$%^*())&%£"!£$%^&*(!!!!!!!!!
I was saying before my computer so rudely interrupted me that the Odyssey in Belfast is a dead modern building, and I'm sure it's great for whatever it was designed for, However, I reckon music was quite a way down the list of priorities at that stage. It just seems to be really sterile, the audience seems to be a heck of a long way away. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think someone somewhere should ask us what makes a great venue. 'Cos we've seen a few. Honest. Anyway, it was probably a hangover from Paris...
On to a chucking it down Dublin, where I dragged a constantly moaning Freddie around for 3 hours, but the rain and the moaning didn't stop, so I packed him off early to the gig, had a glass or 2 of G****** (that's Guiness but we don't advertise on here) and walked the 3 miles to the Point in the rain as I was too mean to take a cab. After all, I have my reputation to think of...
Well, I think I was right re Belfast. What a rockin' gig, Dublin was, with a great crowd, even though there were less of them than last night, just something good about the venue, anyway, that's just my opinion.
On to Killarney, nice town but very touristic. Trying to get Freddie to come for a drink with me in the day, bad influence or what? I mean he's 7 now, it's about time. I remember one of my attempts. "Fred, look at that little bar, it's tiny. When the old woman running it dies it'll be gone and never replaced, come on, I'll buy you a half". "Dad, she's about 25" "So she is" So we walked around a bit, and I glanced at the menu of the first bistro type establishment we passed (of which there were many). First item on the menu: "Pan fried ostrich". Jesus, this is Killarney, not Melbourne man! They're trying to make money out of being this quaint small Irish town, and they're selling Ostrich. I tell you, the international experience is rapidly being diluted, and the world is a lesser place for it. OK, you're the Body Shop for example. Idea. At least don't call it the body shop in Germany, call it something else that has a different "corporate identity" Everywhere is so starting to look the same everywhere you go. I won't even mention Mcshit although I just did, apart from being global, it's fat and cholesterol in paper and plastic. I have one every couple of years to see if it's still as crap as I remember it and it never lets me down, rant over.
Great gig, the crowd weren't what you'd call Quo regulars, but they were well up for it. Afterwards, Andrew, Freddie and me went for a drink in the venue bar as we weren't travelling home for a few hours. What lovely warm people we met, I love the Irish, it's always great to come here, but please keep it local, there's so much to be proud of. Does that sound condescending? It ain't meant to. I have all your names by the way, and thanks for the drinks, but as you won't pay for a mention I'm going to throw them away. That's the kind of guy I am. Except I must give a high 6 string to young Richie and his dad, who came to all 3 gigs, rockin you were guys. And of course the excellent Payola, see you about, why not check out their site: www.payolarock.com.
It was then home and country seat for me, I'm just off to not have a drink, so humbug to all of you.
Now over 53 and a half and 2 years and 12 days since I gave up the fags. Hoorah!
All pics on this page taken in Paris by Monica Geismar.
Just Doin' It 2006/7 tourlog:
Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
To Rhino's Tourlog Index