“Ain’t it funny how the time slips away…’cos now I’m leaving and I wish I could stay…”
Paul Stanley definitely wrote that song for me. It’s 5 years on from my first show as a full Dressed To Kill member at the Nottingham KISS Expo, and now my time in the world’s longest-running (and best) tribute to the Hottest Band In The World is at an end. I’ve already bored you witless with the reasons why in a previous blog, so let’s just get on with the story of my last 4 gigs shall we?
Witney, Swindon, Cardiff & Norwich – 4 places where we’ve been before recently and were hoping for as good a response as we’d got at each venue in 2009. To be fair, 3 of the 4 were as good if not better than last time out – only Witney Fat Lils seemed a little flatter than I remembered it, but maybe that was because we hadn’t attempted to set the stage on fire this time around!
I recall that night, with Gary calling a halt to Deuce 2/3 of the way through drawing our attention to a little bit of smoke coming from the stage right curtain after our first pyro salvo went off. This we quickly extinguished before carrying on where we’d left off. The crowd loved it though – almost happy to see the place go up in flames…which was odd.
Anyway, this show was a tad more run-of-the-mill for us. It is interesting how the set has really tightened up nicely during 2010 and flowed so, so well throughout the 2nd half of the year. Modern Day Doris opening, Cold Gin 2nd, Creatures popping up now and again, Say Yeah going down a storm…even songs like God Of Thunder seemed to have a new lease of life for me. And God Gave Rock And Roll To You II has become quite the show-stopper. Everyone sings the breakdown section so loud at us, some louder than I thought possible (Glasgow I’m looking at you!) and our little pause before the last chorus generates a huge roar every time. And these are just some of the things I’ll miss.
I won’t miss the travelling through the dead of night to get to the next town/city though. Nobody would miss that aspect of it. The drive from Witney to Swindon was mercifully short by comparison with some we’ve made this year. But it always seems you never get enough sleepy time at the hotel before you have to check out and head off again.
Swindon Furnace was a blast (geddit?) for us thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of the local promoter who took us there last year to play for a small-ish crowd, but promised many more if we returned. We did and they came! Both Ash & Gary were on their last legs due to them both having heavy colds, but they made it through with flying colours. Of course, the professionalism that Danny & I displayed in covering for them was vital ;o)
Rather than the post-show kebab, roadie and local lad Gary ‘5150’ led us to the local burrito house for a slight change in menu – we were grateful for the change, and I happily devoured one that Ozzy would probably have as a hors d’oeuvre before some massive main burrito to follow, judging by his penchant for them during THAT tv show.
Cardiff was a great night as always. The Globe is yet another venue in the Welsh capital that’s had pressure from local residents complaining about the noise, but thankfully Alan and the management there have been able to ride out the storm where other venues have failed. Which is nice.
The soundman, Pete, sprung a surprise on me as we set up the gear by declaring that he was in possession of a Breville talking toaster as voiced by yours truly. That was done about 8 years ago when the Breville people (as Alan P would put it) approached me to voice a talking kettle toaster & sandwich toaster and I remember the huge swell of pride when they went on sale at John Lewis in Solihull not long after – that swell reduced somewhat with the ‘product recall’ notice that appeared in the tabloids a couple of months later with the kettles being less prone to boil, more explode. Hey ho.
But Pete’s toaster still worked evidently, and there’s certainly been no ‘product recall’ for Danny’s smoking guitar lately – the axe belched smoke as required all 4 nights right on cue during the guitar/drum solo and the Cardiff fans responded loudest of all to the smoking pickup. I’m going to miss that part of the show loads, as it gave Danny & I a chance to show off within a framework of a ‘song’ almost. It certainly went down well - hope it continues into next year.
Gary had an eventful night at The Globe – his battery gave up the ghost in his wireless unit during ‘Creatures…’ and, once he’d fixed that in time for ‘Deuce’ promptly fell on his arse halfway through that tune as he went over on his monster-booted ankle. Amazingly he never missed a note! In fact, Danny noted that he played it better than normal!!
Anyway, great show and these last 2 shows gave the lads the opportunity to embarrass me in front of the punters by presenting me onstage with a gift for my 5 years of service to the band – namely a book; Drums for Dummies. Danny’s idea you can be certain! It was weird singing Beth for the final time at Norwich, but as we were in Alan Partridge country I felt duty bound to not ‘sing’ the last note but more shout ‘A-HAAA!!’ instead – that brought a giggle or two from stage and crowd who weren’t expecting it.
And before you knew it, the last pyro had gone off after Rock n Roll All Nite and that was it – my time in DTK was over…aside from breaking down the equipment and enduring the 4-hour drive back to Birmingham to unload the gear into our storage room of course.
I thought I’d leave you with some phrases that I shall never hear again now that I’m no longer on the road with DTK (I shall leave you to work out which band member/roadie uttered which phrase)
“Shurrup ye gurl”
“It’s quite a hot output so you may have to pad it on the desk”
“Can’t believe we’ve got a gig tonight…”
“Can you give me a spray darling?”
“Hello, I see you do a chicken sheesh and a lamb sheesh, but would it be at all possible to have a little bit of chicken mixed in with a little bit of lamb and a mixture of all 3 sauces please? Thank you ever so much.”
“Shurrup ye peenus”
“Come on…Come ON…COME ON!!!”
“Hello Joey!...Hello Joey! Say something for Mummy!”
“I can’t hear myself for your elephant farts”
“Can we have the table of death next please?”
“There was this marvellous documentary on Tudor Britain that I heard on Radio 4 before the shipping forecast…”
“Did you pack my strap?”
“Can you tie me up please, darling”
“Right, where’s the nearest filth?”
“I’m just going for my third poo…”
“Have I gone green?”
“Ba-dap-bap-dap-DAAAHHH-da dap!...Yeah that’s fine…”
“Doo-de-doo-de-doo-doo. Doo-de-doo-de-doo - PEE-NUS!”
“Oh we’re not playing THAT one are we?”
“HOW much was the van hire again?”
“Where’s my Gorilla Snot?”
“Are you positive you packed my strap?
“Well, you SAY that…”
“For fooks sake, before we do anything else – logo!”
“I resemble that remark!”
“Could I have his vocal at 75% to mine in the wedge please?”
“Let Danny go in the front on the way – they’re only going to listen to the bloody football anyway…”
“Let’s have Bertrand then!”
“Who needs a blowy?”
“My make-up looks shit tonight”
“What is he wittering on about NOW???”
“So where’s my strap that you said you’d packed, then?”
“I WOKE UP THIS MORNING, AND I SAID TO MYSELF…SELF – WHAT A GREAT F***ING DAY, FOR ROCK AND ROLL. YEAH!!!!!!!!”
And it’s been a great 5 years of rock and roll for me in Dressed To Kill. They’ll be back better than ever in 2011, and I’ll be in the crowd to see it as and when. Don’t be a stranger if you spot me – it’d be nice to catch up as we all watch our fave tribute band doing their stuff. And like I said before – never say ‘never’ about a comeback…!! ;o)
Bless you all and thanks one more time to Ash, Danny & Gary – I’ll miss you, guys
What a shame that my undoubted pleasure at witnessing Blues win over the old enemy in the League Cup had to be ruined by the ensuing pitch invasion at the final whistle and the ugly scenes we all witness inside and outside St Andrews for the rest of the evening.
I had hoped that the first evening kick-off between the 2 sides since 2002/3 in the League wouldn’t fall victim to the braindead nerks who seek to besmirch our clubs’ reputations, but there they were, either taunting, throwing chairs & flares, wrecking an entire stands’ toilet facilities or generally dragging both Blues and Villa’s names through the dirt.
I am not in the least bit interested in the ‘they started it’ arguments that began seconds after the violent clashes – more interested in nabbing every single one of those on both sides who re-created Green Street for no good reason…and whilst I’m on the subject, Danny Dyer and his ilk have a lot to answer for for glorifying violence in their recent films and projects. Monkey see, monkey do I’m afraid.
Blues’ form since that win has been hit and miss however – a draw against Spurs and then a pitiful surrender to Wolves today. The vast majority of the XI that played at Molineux need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask whether they were committed enough to the cause against a Wolves side decimated by injuries – not that you’d have known it the way they were allowed to stroll around and dictate the pace of the game. Not one shot on target in 90 minutes? Unacceptable.
That said we could go and tonk Newcastle next weekend, such is the barmy nature of the Premier League this year.