Return To Borth

July 29, 2013

We played two new venues this week. Friday we were at The Coracle in Shrewsbury. For the most part the crowd were warm and welcoming, although there were two or three people who didn’t seem to get it and sat with steely glares, wondering what was going on around them. No matter, we were having fun and the rest were coming along for the ride. The duck throwing was relatively tame tonight, although this could be a good thing as our collection is getting extremely depleted at the moment! we had fun here and it looks like we’ll be back in the New year – keep an eye on www.LostThePlotBand.co.uk/gigs/ for more news.

The evening ended with silliness after the pub had cleared out. Clatter went off to chat with the Landlord and relieve him of some cash but seemed to be taking a while. Edcase and WeeMann decided to go outside and wait in the van and, as is often the case, start driving off with the idea of winding Clatter up. As he was still chatting in the other bar he was completely unaware of this, so the lads parked the van opposite the front door before going back in to the bar and waiting. When he finally re-emerged we all walked out the front door, Clatter in the lead walking straight past his van to go to where he had last seen it at the back of the pub… The panic on his face as he saw it had gone was a picture, made even funnier when he saw where it was actually parked.

Ed-ding in the Right Direction

Ed-ding in the Right Direction

On Saturday morning we headed off to Borth again, this time to perform two sets at the Victoria Inn. The first was an afternoon set in the beer garden backing onto the beach, due to start at 3:00PM. Unfortunately we hit several traffic jams and didn’t arrive there until after 3:00, but this was no problem. We actually set up on the balcony overlooking the beer garden and beach and were joined by Den York, a friend of ours who lives locally and can play pretty much any instrument you throw at him. For both sets Den added electric guitar and played a blinder, barely dropping a note despite not knowing what song was coming next, let alone what key it would be in.

The afternoon set was a stripped back (i.e. no hats, toys, ducks, etc), laid back affair made all the better by an extremely receptive audience including Jim, a Liverpudlian musician/comedian who, it was decided, was a dead spit of WeeMann and who added some good natured heckling, pointing out that Video Killed The Radio Star was a seventies release, not an eighties one as we regularly announce. Pedant!

The Twins

The Twins

After finishing a couple of sets on the balcony, we started to move the gear inside in time for the evening session, at which point the heavens opened and it didn’t stop raining again until we finished loading the van at the end of the evening. Another great set and another great audience and we’ll be back again at the end of August.

We stayed at Den’s overnight, drinking into the wee small hours. As a result, Clatter was in a less than jolly mood on Sunday for the journey home. We stopped at a cafe in Machynlleth where we had a great breakfast, but even this didn’t cheer him up. We did a great job of making him even grumpier by suggesting that the reason he felt rough was the fact that he was lacking part 10. Right until the end of the journey he couldn’t figure out what we were talking about:

Lacking Pt 10

Lacking Pt 10

The weekend ended with another round of Band Buckaroo, this time with WeeMann winning with this simple, yet effective display. The skill here was to avoid waking Clatter up by spilling any of the opened can of drink:

Buckaroo

Buckaroo

We’ve got a couple of weeks off now as we enter holiday season, so our next gigs are the 9th, 10th and 11th of August. On the Friday we’re straight back down to Borth to play at the Brynrodyn Caravan Park again, before heading to Wem for our fist visit to the Lower Lacon Caravan Park on the Saturday and finally to Old Faithful, The Telegraph in Shrewsbury on Sunday afternoon.

We’ve then got another 2 week break before we head south to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. We’re really looking forward to this – approx 20 000 visitors over 5 days and we have 3 sets – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. If you’re interested in coming along, order tickets at www.gdsf.co.uk.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook & Twitter and keep uip to date with all the news at http://www.losttheplotband.co.uk

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So many gigs, too little time for blog. So, a quick roundup of the last couple of weeks.

Following Clavstock weekend we had a second 4-gig weekend on the trot.

It started on the Friday with a trip to the Welsh coast, to Aberystwyth and Rummers Wine Bar. Always a great gig, with the town’s student population stopping there on their way into or back out of town. This time, however, uni had finished for the summer, so what would the crowd be like? We needn’t have worried as it was graduation day for a large chunk of them and the pub was rammed, despite one of the hottest day so far this year.

Clatter dressed for the summer

Clatter dressed for the summer

Sunday and we were back to Brynrodyn Caravan Park in Borth. It was still hot, but tonight we had air conditioning. This performance went far better than our previous gig here as we had a much larger and more attentive audience this time including an 18th birthday party.

On Sunday morning we left Wales to return to Old Faithful, The Wrekin. Again, the temperature was hotter than the previous day and again we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who stayed inside to watch us. Many more were outside, having the sense to get some fresh air while the opportunity was there and avoid the now obligatory flying ducks.

As soon as we finished packing up we took to Moby Dick to head to Stone in Staffordshire where we were playing the final set for the Stone Music And Arts Festival after The Christians finished their set. We weren’t, however, on the festival stage. Our set was a wind down for the staff and organisers of the festival, along with anyone else left standing, at Langtrys. As such we were surrounded by some very tired and, frankly, drunk people. WeeMann’s mic stand took a beating when one patron lost his footing and it now resembles a piece of modern art more than a functioning mic stand. It’s generally agreed that it looks better this way though, so it’ll stay as it is for the time being:

The Banana Stand

The Banana Stand

This weekend was a short one with only two gigs; The Crown in Oakengates on Thursday and The Boar’s Head in Shrewsbury on Saturday. The Crown was another opportunity to play outside, although we had to keep the volume well down. Once again ducks flew, water was thrown and dogs were drowned. Edcase decided to perform away from the other band members, on the other side of the walkway, citing the fact that it would give everyone a bit more room. Clatter and WeeMann were overheard discussing the fact that he needed to be away from them as he hadn’t washed his gig shirt in about 14 gigs.

The gig finished with John Ellis commenting “That was a corker!”

“It was heading into Shindig territory,” replied pub regular Tom Tom.

The Crown 18 5 13

The Crown

And finally to The Boar’s Head. Whether it was the heat, the beer festival just up the road, or a combination of the above, the crowd was somewhat smaller than the band are generally used to. In fact, the arrival of two of WeeMann’s friends from down South doubled the audience size in a stroke. As a result, we took requests and personalised the set for the people who were there, one man in particular being surprised when he asked for “Something from Deliverance” and we immediately burst into Duelling Banjos.

On Friday we’re heading to another new pub for us, The Coracle, in Sundorne, Shrewsbury and then onto The Victoria Inn in Borth. We look forward to seeing you there.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook & Twitter and keep uip to date with all the news at http://www.losttheplotband.co.uk

Four gigs over three days. Over the hottest weekend of the year so far. If nothing else, it’s cheaper and more fun than joining a gym.

Friday was a return to Burton Borough School for one of their music and food evenings. Last time it was curry, this time hot dogs and burgers. The evening started off with their junior band (junior? They sound better than some experienced bands!), before their concert band took the stage. Well, most of them, anyway. Saxophonist and friend of ours, Phiz Jr, was returning from a trip to South Wales and arrived just in time to take her seat for the second number! We took the stage at 8:16 and played our little hearts out – we didn’t want to be outdone by some pesky kids. We were, however!

Clavstock

Clavstock

It was Saturday where things got a little silly. In August, we’ve been invited to play at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, alongside such artists as The Wurzels and Chas Hodges of Chas ‘n’ Dave. Tickets are available from www.GDSF.co.uk. In readiness for this, the promoters asked us to play at Clavstock, a small festival in the Shropshire village of Claverley, just East of Bridgnorth. We only had an hour’s set, so we went light, stripping our act back as far as practical… It’s not the instruments or amps, it’s the suitcases of ducks, soft toys and hats that filled the backstage area prior to us setting up. It was great fun playing on a full sized stage in the sunshine and the crowd seemed to love it (one audience member even e-mailing us as we played to book us for her wedding next year!).

As soon as we cleared the stage we were in the van heading to Shrewsbury to one of our favourite venues, The Telegraph. We normally play there on a Sunday afternoon, But Alan asked if we’d do a Saturday night. It’s a different crowd and a different feel to normal, but it was still a great night. The pub was rammed, the temperature was up and the ducks were flying.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

Finally, to Sunday. The Bull’s Head in Whitchurch has recently been taken over by Erin and John and they got in touch via our contact page to see if we could play there. Sadly for them we could, so we headed there on a Sunday which seemed even warmer than the previous couple of days.

On arrival Erin asked if we’d like to set up in the corner of the bar or whether we’d prefer to play in the beer garden… No Brainer.

What an afternoon. I’m sure they had no idea what was coming, but the audience were just brilliant, with ducks flying aplenty. In a small change to the normal run of things, rather than being hit by a wet dog returning from the audience in Irish Rover, WeeMann emptied the bucket of water over himself to cool down mid-set. The benefits only lasted a few minutes before the heat of the sun dried him out, but it was a welcome and worthwhile few minutes.

In The Sunshine!

In The Sunshine!

We’ll be back later in the year. let’s just hope it’s still warm enough to do the same again.

This weekend we’re even busier. We’re off to Rummers and Brynrodyn Caravan Park on the Welsh Coast on Friday and Saturday, before returning to The Wrekin on Sunday afternoon, then onto Stone in Staffs for the evening. What doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger.

Or so they say.

June

July 2, 2013

The Band with Geoff

The Band with Geoff Blundell

Our return to Molloy’s in Bury last Friday was as successful as we hoped it would be. On the way we decided that, as the previous gig here without Clatter had been such a success, should we fail this time it could only be the fault of one man…

An alert Clatter

An alert Clatter

No pressure then, Mr Crewe!

The first half went well, but with a slightly smaller audience than last time.

“Last time it was rammed!” The comments were thrown back at the drummer throughout set one. “You couldn’t move off the stage.”

Fortunately for Paul’s ego the pub filled up as we hit the second set and went as well, if not better, than our last appearance.

Saturday was time for the school summer ball at Adams Grammar. We arrived to set up in the marquee at about lunchtime and all was going well until we started to make a bit of noise ahead of soundchecking. A gentleman in an army uniform walked in asking if we could hold off making any noise until they had finished making their speeches. It turns out that the cadets had decided to use the grounds for a ceremony of some description without prior booking and took exception to us making any noise… It looked like the guy in question wasn’t used to people saying “No” to him as we pointed out that we were limited for time as Edcase was off shortly for another gig with his old band, Spinal Tap The Keg, supporting no less than Joe Brown of The Sixties. In the end, we let them finish, then rushed our soundcheck.

We were bolstered once more by the great Sir Simon Prattle on keyboards, who put in a couple of rip roaring solos. Shame they were while Ed was trying to sing.

Adams Grammar Summer Ball 22 6 13

The Stage at Adams Grammar

Wednesday and we were up to Stone in Staffs to play at The Swan. Being a mid-week gig it was always going to be a little quiet, but we had a respectable audience which even included a family who had travelled all the way from America to see us. Well, they had travelled from America and they saw us. It amounts to much the same thing.

Friday and we were back to what is fast becoming one of our favourite venues, The Old Post Office in Shrewsbury. The staff are great and the audience rarely lets us down. On the whole this turned out to be one of our best gigs to date. We felt that we performed well in every sense and the audience were with us all the way. There was little standing room left and the beer garden was also full (WeeMann using them as his own private audience throughout the evening).

There was just one fly in the ointment. Pretty much since we started playing together we have included Simon & Garfunkel’s The Boxer, hitting each other over the head with beer trays to add percussive interest. Following the second chorus, it’s time for the audience to get involved by becoming our targets. For the first time we misjudged the situation and first Clatter and then WeeMann focussed in on a couple sitting near the bar. It seems they didn’t share the sense of humour that the majority of people who come to see us do.

In turn, Clatter & WeeMann both found themselves being threatened by the gentleman, Clatter even offering a peace-offering of a drink in the interval, while Ed battled on, blissfully unaware of the seriousness of the situation. We were unable to smooth out the situation as they left before we took our break. Should they read this, we would like to make it clear that, as with the rest of our set, all is meant in fun and no harm is intended. If we offended, we apologise.

This aside, the evening was a blinder and we can hardly wait for our return on 20 September, an evening which will also double as a birthday celebration for barman Ed.

And finally, on Sunday we travelled back to The Swan in Stone to play for their beer festival. This time we played in the beer garden and the sun shone (at least for the first set). Geoff Blundell, the pub’s Landlord, joined us for a few songs at the start of the second set adding some very tasty keyboard work. And upstaging us with his shirt.

Live on Stage With Geoff Blundell

Live on Stage With Geoff Blundell

On Friday we’re back at Burton Borough School for another night of food and music, ably supported by the school’s bands, Saturday it’s our first Saturday night at The Telegraph, Shrewsbury, following an appearance in the afternoon at the Clavstock Festival in Claverly at The Plough Inn and finally on Sunday we will be playing our first gig at a new venue in Whitchurch, The Bulls Head. Recently taken over by Erin & John, this will be their first attempt at putting on live music.

Uh oh…