Will you welcome Drino Edwards, 3 drinks in 3 weeks, no fags, no nuffink. Actually the last of the 3 drinks was in a glass the size of a petrol tanker, but and? your point is? I'm on a day off in Zurich, a good way to forget about the drinking was to go and see the Amy Winehouse documentary, very sad it was too. Now there was a girl who liked a drink or 3. There are some people who should hang their heads in shame for what they did and didn't do to or for her, they just milked the cash cow. I know it's not Rawk anna Roll but for me she was the greatest female singer songwriter of the last 50 years, another member of the 27 club. That's famous musicians who died at that age for those that doesn't not know.
Right, back to 3 chords, see, there's already a recurring theme here, the number 3, weird or wot? Well well well.
After the pandemonium (that sounds like a laxative to me: Hey You! Constipated? Take New Improved Pandemonium. It'll make you shit. How's that for a slogan? I know, too classy.) of rehearsals for Electric Quo, we promptly set sail for the rocking capital of England, Burton Agnes, actually I've never met her, boom boom! Anyway, it's up in the frozen North. 2 nights in the garden of a pub, the Blue Bell Hotel to give it it's full name. No we haven't come down in the world, but the very enterprising publican, our biggest fan he said, (such a huge fan he kept calling me Andy but that's OK) had a field next to the pub, he put in a stage and a screen and filled it with 3,000 happy Billy for both nights. Must have been good, the first night they ran out of Champagne and wine! I say, the average Quo punter has come up in the world, what? Katrina and the Waves opening, what a fantastic band that is. Funny that, my spellcheck just changed Katrina to Latrine. Is it taking the piss? Anyway, good on you, Mr. Publican even though you support Hull City, I'll forgive you this once.
A special mention goes to Burton Agnes house, it's near Bridlington. If you're ever up that way, go see as they say across the pond, 7 quid well spent I can assure you Brian.
God, all this guff about 2 gigs. Day 2, got the bus to Ripon, where I'd heard there was a fab fish and chip shop, which actually wasn't that good but the portions were large enough to sink a small trawler. Waddling to the bus stop to get back, Police car pulls up, "Want a lift Rhino?" which was nice. See, those 3 chords again, get you noticed. The last thing about this place, I saw that Michael Bolton was playing there, if I recall "Only UK show!" Enjoy Michael... But actually he didn't enjoy, he cancelled. Not that I know, and I'm not shit stirring but I wonder if ticket sales had anything to do with it.
How can I follow that? I can't. Off to Perranporth, Cornwall next, and a show on the beach. That's a funny place, bit like going back 30 years. I broke with tradition and had a pint in the afternoon with a Pasty, as you do in Cornwall, and very average it was too, as was the show, an awful sound on the stage. I'm not usually fussed but this was particularly bad, Mind you, I like places that go back 30 years, because if I did I'd be 32. Next was Lechlade, stunning town In Gloucestershire I think, with a really lovely festival, where I met the aptly named Curly and the Model walking around town, yah? and was able to point them in the direction of an absolutely spiffing riverside stroll I had recently undertaken, yah? Undertaken is the wrong word but I can't think of an apposite one. Great support band, 3 Welsh girls, called Kix, I, yes me, the tightest bass player in rock actually bought their CD. Love it girls, next time do it with real drums though, makes it kick more. Kick more Kix, OK?
Lovely atmosphere at the show, and all for Charity, good that is.
On to Scotland, and Dumfries, where I bought some Award winning Scottish pork sausages, don't know what award they won, but it wasn't for ingredients or flavour I can tell ye laddie. Ayee! Sorry, slipped into my Scottish lingo there. Stereotypical? McMoi? I also bought a Haggis which I haven't tried yet, could one of you Scots please tell me the best way to cook it? I'd really appreciate it. I went to the Camera Obscura there as well, check it out if you don't know what one is, thousands of years old technology, but well worth a look if you find one. Cold gig at Queen of the South football club, which also has a Curling rink attached to it, and the good folk (see? Lurching into Scottish again) working there gave me a bit of a lesson in the rules. I love Curling, the skill involved is immense.
Big Country on first, then Reef, who I'd never seen before, fantastic.
On a serious note,I could never understand why people voted for Scottish Independence, after seeing downtown Dumfries I understand why. Chronic underinvestment there in my book, that said I thought the same in Bridlington when I was there. I'm not saying they're bad places to live, don't shoot me down, but they could really do with some money, which it would appear is mostly being spent in the South of England and cack like HS2, which nobody really wants I think. Viva El Drino! Communist workers party chairperson, Teddington Branch. Ps. No Riffraff or lower class types allowed to join. Except Jeremy Corbyn, what do we make of him by the way?
Fuck me, I need a drink.
See you tomoz innit xxx
Well it's tomozz now, 09 40 hours and I'm up and at'em The next show after Dumfries could hardly have been more differenter. Near the idyllic Grade 1 listed town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, not far from where one recorded Rhino's Revenge 2. Did one tell you one has made another album by the way, coming out October 23rd this year on Molano records, available from a good website/show/record shop near you? One did? Oh well. Anyway, Stamford, beautiful place where I would not want to live, gig just outside town in the grounds of Burghley House, massive place where I would like to live, Walkway opening again if I recall, they did a great job of warming Billy up (and there was a right posh lot of 'em, in fact on this gig I should maybe call them William - except for the various members of my family who'd come to see us), rattling their jewellery and such, jolly good fun.
If it's Middelfart Denmark it must be Rock under the Bridge, I think I've played there at least 5 times. Pissing with rain, which if I recall stopped halfway through our show, but it was a pretty miserable afternoon for the mighty Danes. Don Powell, Slade's drummer lives near and he came and hung out, which I believe to be a truly fantastic cliché. What a nice man he is, really really lovely. And it's Don Powell, you know, him out of Slade. Yes, THE Don Powell. I'm such a punter me.
Also a fantastic Danish Queen tribute band were on, don't know the name but check 'em out. That doesn't really help does it...
The rain the year has become the gift that keeps on giving, and the next week at Hatfield house was no exception, although it had stopped by the time we started, which was nice.
Alice Cooper. Now he's good. He's really good. We played with him in Bonn, beautiful setting just by the Rhine, I went out the front and watched him, fab show. But, in Germany nowadays they have these awful volume restrictions. I was maybe 30 metres from the stage watching Alice (me new best mate), just in front of the sound desk and I was literally have a normal conversation with someone, no shouting, just chatting. I mean come on, that's not what Rock music is about, it should be LOUD!!!! Hamburg next, that park in the middle of town, Guess what? It rained. Another decibel monitored show, it' s a bit like playing in a pub where the landlord's shouting at you to turn it down or get off, duh.
At least that wasn't the problem in Tollwood, just outside Munich. It didn't rain, in fact it was really hot. Of course it was, we were playing in a Marquee, with the mighty Uriah Heep. Of course they idd their usual fantastic show, which just made the room even hotter, still it's what you do, you do the best you can whatever time you're onstage. I sometimes wonder if when we work with those guys we up our game a little, maybe that's a healthy competition thing, it's probably in my head, dunno, however a great LOUD, sweaty gig. I'm off for breakfasht now, Drino is getting to be an early risher theshe daysh, shome mishtake shurely shee you shoon.
Hi, it's me. Back again,like a bad penny. Backstage at the Enormo Dome in Zurich, just a quickie before I go and have a sleep before the show, got to be at one's best for showtime don'tcha know.
So, on to Preston we trundled, where I went to the Tourist office and asked for a list of interesting things to do in Preston, whereupon I was told that was a good half an hour taken up. Actually, apart from the plethora of pound shops, which as regular readers will know are my kind of retail outlets, in fact I'll have you know I purchased 2 cans of pressurised water, you know, the ones you spray on yer face when you're hot. More of them later folks... I also bought some bags you can put in a toaster and make toasties without putting gunge inside the aforementioned appliance. And they're reusable. Wholesome value at 99p ladies and gentlemen I can assure you. Anyway,there is a stunning park there which runs down to the Ribble river, which took me and my legs as I was strolling very nicely back towards Hougton? Park for a very well attended charity show, it makes me feel even better when we have a good show, which we all agreed it was, and it's also made money for a good cause. 2 great support bands as well, both local, there's maybe some life left in rock and roll after all.
Next,to Austria, fast becoming one of my favourite European countries, and the Lovely days festival in Wiesen, which we played 2 years ago I think, with Zed Zed top. The mighty Heep again, Eric Burdon and Nazareth with a new vocalist, who really fitted the bill, Dan Mcafferty's vocal chords, or what was left of them aren't easy to step into, so to speak. That is one of the best festivals that one, been going for years, and I understand why.
Right, told you that was a quickie, the digital equivalent of a knee trembler. Kids, ask your parents what that means, I'm sure there's a new expression for it. Ahm gon' git muy some shutaye.
Morning! On the bus, nearly home so when I finish that'll be it Log wise for a while Same bill again at Clam Castle, poor Heep, they went on about 5 pm, playing into the sun, it was BOILING! Bernie their singer must have been so pleased he wears leather trousers on stage, I bet they could have walked off on their own.
Onto Nantes for a great day off, one of my favourite parts of the world it is, except this time I got the shits. Bad. Did the gigs at St. Malo du Bois, where apparently it was the worst catering anywhere. Didn't bother me, I couldn't eat but it was worse than some of the Swedish catering we've had, and believe me that's bad. Same in Albi, beautiful town, me feeling rubbish, great festival but the catering was so grim people went off to the local supermarket to get food, not what you'd expect from France but I reckon their food has gone well downhill in the last 10 years. Can I say that? Yep.
I only mentioned the shits because I passed them on to Francis, you see I'm a giving kind of guy.
We got to Cork, I was really quite surprised we did the show he was so queasy for want of a better word. He then passed them on to Rick, who got them worse than either of us, which is why the Rochester show has had to be rearranged for 2016, sorry about that, I know it's not just about getting the ticket money back, loads of other factors involved, travel, hotels, time off etc.
Dr. Drino. xx
Ps. The water I bought in Preston I mentioned earlier...
I thought I could use it to spray my face to cool myself down onstage during a hot show. This worked a treat until we played in Wiesen. I used to spray some of it in Leon's face when he was overheating. However this night he'd put Insect repellant on his face and when I sprayed him it all went straight into his eyes, I thought I'd really upset him, he looked like a weeping Bambi.
The water has now been renamed Mace.
That's all, just thought I'd share that wiv ya.
Pictures by Rick and Marjolein Van Gerven - photography-rickvangerven.nl