Been a while since my last blog and a fair amount has been happening to be fair – new band, eventful holiday (I shan’t bore you with the detail on that one – suffice to say that Carry On Abroad was actually a documentary) and a new show time for me on talkSPORT.
I am truly unique at the station as the only presenter in the entire history of talkSPORT to have presented in every timeslot in the weekday schedule, from breakfast to overnights. And now that my Football First show goes out on Saturday nights at 9pm-midnight, only Keith Arthur’s early morning fishing show remains untouched by the hand of Danter. And I don’t know jack about bivouacs.
It’s a roll call that I’m immensely proud of – cynics will say ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ and all that jingoistic crap, but the truth is that versatility and adaptability is an all too rare commodity in any walk of life or career path, and I’m happy to know that I’ve been trusted to cover weighty sports topics, light-hearted stuff, current affairs and live commentaries in my 7 years thus far at the Radio Station Of The Year.
I look forward to building yet another huge audience in my new timeslot and I hope you can see your way to join me every Saturday at 9pm.
Such Saturday night shenanigans in talkSPORT towers is one of the reasons why I couldn’t play drums for Dressed To Kill anymore as their Sat night shows are a big part of their touring schedule – so, I know that my drumming lifestyle is based around helping out folks who need a stand-in tubthumper on other nights of the week…enter Whitesnake UK.
I’ve known Carl the singer for some years now and was only too happy to say yes when he called to ask if I could play some Friday shows with his band between now and Christmas. However, with only 1 hour’s full rehearsal with the rest of the lads prior to my first show at the inaugural Steelhouse Festival in Ebbw Vale a week ago, we were all a bit apprehensive about how things would sound, no matter how many times I’d watched a recent live DVD of theirs to check song arrangements. 30 years of experience is one thing, but that counts for nothing if you haven’t done your homework.
Plus there was the fact that we’d be playing in the middle of a field in the middle of the Welsh valleys. Beautiful view as I parked up, but outdoor shows give zero guarantees that you’ll have the weather, sound quality from the PA and backstage facilities that can help a gig go well rather than disastrously. As I unloaded my bits and pieces from the car, Pure Cult were just starting their set. Only their 2nd performance, and they were terrific. ‘Follow that’ I said to myself nervously as we took to the stage not long after.
We needn’t have worried. It went about as smoothly as one could’ve imagined as I did my best Ian Paice/Cozy Powell/Aynsley Dunbar/Tommy Aldridge hybrid impression behind the kit and nailed all the beginnings, stops and endings that the lads were concerned I’d miss. And with job done, it was great to watch my old pal Bob Richards play a blinder as Pure Purple drummer, and then for the Bon Giovi lads to impress me greatly with their set (remember I’ve done the whole Bon Jovi thing for years in New Jersey, and I know what it takes to carry those songs off) at a terrific outdoor festival.
Blues in Europe eh? My Dad & Grandad would never have believed it, but it’s here. Thursday nights on C5, ITV4, ESPN, whoever fancies taking a punt on a Championship club rolling back the years. I find it hard to grasp the negativity surrounding our participation in the Europa League from fans who say such extra games will impact on our bid for promotion.
Well, that’s as may be, but the 6 group stage games finish before Christmas and, frankly, you can be just about anywhere in the Championship table when Santa arrives and still make a challenge for the playoffs come May time. And I also remind the doubting Bluenoses about our 94/95 season under Barry Fry, where a hug fixture backlog didn’t stop us winning the Auto Windscreens Shield at Wembley AND automatic promotion not long after. Ok – we did have 75 players on the books but hey…
The atmosphere down at Stans the other night for the 3-0 win over Nacional was spellbinding. Any naysayers who’d sat amongst that cauldron of noise would surely have embraced the notion of embarking on a European campaign, something we may NEVER see again in our lifetimes. Chris Hughton will steer us through as best he can – such a smart coach, such a stickler for the finer details of how to get the best out of both young and old players. If promotion doesn’t happen, so be it. We spent the best part of 2 decades below the top flight between the mid 80’s and early noughties…what’s another year when you can wax lyrical in decades to come about a European Tour? Where’s the romance gone, honestly??