Finally it was time for the debut visit to Worthing and Si’s hometown gig.

Telford to Worthing normally takes between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 hours in the car depending upon traffic conditions. If we leave Newport at 11:15 we should hit Sussex by about 5:00. Time to relax before the gig.

Happy

Happy

All was going well until we were approaching Warwick Services at the top of the M40. A sign indicated that the motorway was closed between junctions 10 and 9. The usual alternative of dropping onto the A34 past Oxford was no good as this was at the far end of the closure, so we figured out a detour which took us off the motorway before we hit the delays and past Banbury and Oxford. Rejoining at Junction 9 we’d lost about 1 1/2 hours, but we still had plenty of time in hand as long as the M25 wasn’t too bad. Of course, describing the M25 as not too bad is somewhat subjective – the only motorway worse is the M6 – we expected traffic. It was, however, worse than I’ve seen it in a long time. When we saw signs indicating heavy delays due to an accident between junctions 7 and 6 (where we planned to drop onto the M23) we decided on using the A24 instead. We managed a little over walking pace from Leatherhead to Dorking before the traffic started moving. Now we were cooking – 70 mph on the open road!

Cutting across to the bottom of the M23 as we passed Horsham meant we were getting close to our destination of Peacehaven, it wouldn’t be long now.

Or so we thought. We hadn’t banked on a Rod Stewart concert going on just round the corner from our gig at BHA’s Amex Stadium. The tailback added a little more time to our journey. In the end, instead of taking the planned route (which would have involved driving straight past the stadium’s entrance, we drove further down the coast to Newhaven, then turned back along the coast road. Finally we had arrived.

7 3/4 hours after leaving Newport.

Less Happy

Less Happy

The gig was at The Cliff Inn, Peacehaven, a pub and guest house recently taken over by Si’s old friend, Dani, and her significant other, Fred. The pub only opened the previous night, so this was to be the opening party. It was an intimate affair with a small but enthusiastic audience, but the fun really started after we had packed up. We were staying in the pub overnight, so we left the gear packed away on stage and took to a table with the staff to drink and chat and ended up with an acoustic jam session, with Ed and Si on guitar and Paul grabbing what he could find out of the percussion bag. We played 3 or 4 numbers not included in the evening’s set plus jammed a few that we don’t play (A Little Respect sounding like it could join the live show at some point in the future). The party ended at about 4:00 AM, with the pub staff due to start again at 7:30 with the breakfast orders…

Ninja Duck Missed The Bus

Ninja Duck Missed The Bus

The next morning we headed to Worthing, Si’s hometown, for bacon butties at his parents’ home. Si introduced Ed and Paul to his nephew, Austin, who went into a screaming fit at the sight of them. You’d think he would have grown out of such things at the age of 22.

A pub lunch in the Hare and Hounds and it was time to head to The Smugglers Return for the evening. The gig was moved forward to 8:00 due to the England match starting at 11:00, so we got on early and hit the ground running. The pub wasn’t as busy as normal as the football seemed to keep many away, but the crowd was a healthy size and got into the silliness very quickly. We’d just like to thank the staff and crowd at the Smugglers for their generosity – at the end of the evening we put out a bucket for donations to Si’s Mum’s forthcoming Race For Life (this coming Sunday) and were blown away by the £50 that people threw in. Sincerest thanks to all who so kindly donated.

"Using a bassist as the drum kit. So many levels of right!" - Gav Best.

“Using a bassist as the drum kit. So many levels of right!” – Gav Best.

Before long the night was over and we headed back with a small crowd to Si’s friends’, Jenny and Gareth, for drinks, footie and bed. The plan was an ‘early’ night so we were fresh for the morning trip home. As the football came to a close, two friends (who shall remain nameless, although one was mentioned in the previous sentence and the other shares his first name with Si.) flagged and started checking their eyelids for holes. Ed took a moment to take the piss, commenting on how rock ‘n’ roll they were, before promptly passing out himself.

The good news is that Paul and Si also turned in much earlier than the previous night. It was 3:30 this time.

The journey home the following day was a much more civilised affair, with the journey taking a mere 4 hours. It was also notable in that we overtook Wallace and Gromit on the A27 out of Worthing:

Cracking Cheese!

Cracking Cheese!

Both pubs are keen to have us back, so we’ll be looking at a return trip for early 2015.

This week we only have one gig – Sunday afternoon at The Wrekin from 4:00. Sadly, Friday’s debut visit to The Turf in St. Georges has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, along with the Fortune Tellers’ convention.

In other news, Ed’s debut Unlawful Men CD has had a second pressing and is again available for order – please e-mail edcase@losttheplotband.co.uk to order a copy, including a fiver and promises that you will actually listen to it.

Last week Ed took an electric version of the band to the Newport Open Mic including Paul on drums and Si driving the sound desk. A review can be read at Newport Open Mic Blog

As usual, keep up with Plot News on Facebook, Twitter and at LostThePlotBand.co.uk

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Worthing

Worthing

That’s right, it’s time for Lost The Plot to hit Sussex.

On Friday we’ll be travelling from Shropshire down to a land that Paul and Ed have only read about in books – The South.

Our first stop is at The Cliff Inn in Peacehaven, East Sussex. The pub was recently bought (and renamed from The White Schooner) by one of Si’s friends from his college days, Dani King. The pub opens officially on Thursday, with Friday being the big party night. If you already follow the band, you know what to expect. If you’re reading this ahead of Friday’s festivities… be prepared for some stupid. Come along with silly hats and bring rubber ducks to use as ammo.

Once our hangovers are gone in the morning, we’ll be heading over to Worthing to eat bacon sandwiches cooked by Si’s Mum (plenty of HP on mine please Mum!) before preparing for the evening gig at The Smugglers’ Return in Ham Road. This gig will now be starting at 8:02 PM so that we can finish before the football starts (we don’t want people throwing glasses at us because we’re in the way of the screen).

There are treats and surprises in store and we guarantee that Worthing and Peacehaven have seen nothing like this before. We may even play some songs from the Hit Parade.

Well, we’ll certainly hit one another at various points through the evening.

Invite everyone you know. This is our only trip to Sussex this year.

Miss it or miss out.

Yes, I know what I said. I stand by my comment.

More details are available by following the links to the Facebook events:

https://www.facebook.com/events/270636733103265/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1420602411528135/

May 2014

June 3, 2014

Lost The Plot, by Ed

Lost The Plot, by Ed

It’s been busy again, so time for a quick round up of the last few gigs.

On Friday 9th we were back to The Malthouse in Ironbridge. As usual, a great crowd with plenty of dancing and duck throwing. The Malthouse has become one of our most consistent venues with a good, responsive, crowd and fabulous, friendly staff (free beer next time guys?!). A couple of friends, Alex and Jason, turned up for the second half. During an ABBA rendition later in the set, Si took a wander to discover that Jason had lost control of his bladder all over the floor. Check out Si’s reaction at 2:40 in the video below.

Ed got into an interesting discussion with a member of the audience after the gig. She commented to him how much she had enjoyed the gig, but felt the humour was unnecessary, preferring the second set where we pretty much just focussed on songs that would keep people up dancing. Whilst hers is a perfectly valid point of view (and one we explored on Sunday – see below), Ed explained that if we cut the humour (hats, toys, hitting each other, etc) we’d be no different to any other pub band on the circuit. In fact, there are a number of songs that we feel would be almost impossible to pull off without the audience realising that our tongues are firmly placed in our cheeks. You can only go so far down the cheese route as a ‘serious’ band before people give up on you. By introducing the humour early, the audience are ready for whatever we decide to throw at them (metaphorically, as well as physically).

Stupid

Stupid

We left The Malthouse much as we found it, but with more empty glasses and bottles and went our separate ways until the next day, when we headed back to Tipton, to The Kings Arms for our second visit. Our last visit was to a quiet audience – we weren’t sure whether it was working until we finished, when everyone we spoke to assured us we were amongst the best bands they had seen there (we can only assume we were the first they had playing there!). We were ready for a quiet reaction this time, but were pleasantly surprised as the crowd started singing and dancing like the Malthouse had the previous night. A group of women who had seen us on our previous visit sat alongside us, snatching Paul’s hats throughout the gig. Ultimately one left with his favourite hat – Paul has been in a daze ever since.

Paul's Workspace

Paul in a daze

On Sunday we headed into Shrewsbury for The Telegraph. We’ve lost count of the times we’ve played here and we’ve never had a duff gig yet. So, following Ed’s conversation on Friday, we decided to tempt fate.

As our set has developed over the last 27 months, the amount of ‘peripherals’ has increased. Soft toys, hats, ducks, etc. What if…

What if we played with none of the rubbish, none of the toys, hats, ducks, etc.? No crutch, just the music. We ran the risk of regular punters being disappointed, but it would prove whether or not we could do it. So we went for it.

To be honest, the first half a dozen songs saw little more then a polite ripple of applause, mind you it can sometimes go that way on a Sunday afternoon. Before long, however, we hit our stride and forgot the hats and the crowd came along with us. The pub’s ever generous landlord, Alan, tells us it was one of the best gigs we’ve played there. We’re not sure, but we’ll certainly take the compliment.

The following Thursday was a return to Harper Adams University for a private party. In an almost unprecedented move for us we spent our time between soundcheck and gig working out a set list. Some took it more seriously than others and, in the process got quite grumpy…

Harper gigs are always raucous affairs and this was no different, with beer and vomit flying.

On Friday 16th it was the turn of The Old Post Office. What can we say that we haven’t already said about this place? The audience are great, the staff are great, the beer is great and we bring it all down.

Saturday was time for our first festival appearance of the year at Glenstock in Leicestershire, for Festivals 360 (who run the music for the Dorset Steam Fair). As this was only a 60 minute set we, again, turned to a set list for the gig, honing it in the van before hitting the audience with it. The sun was dropping as we played and the lights and smoke helped us create a great atmosphere. More of these please!

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Our final gig of May was on the following Wednesday at The Swan Inn in Stone. Normally a quiet night, there was a great audience in this time and they helped us by cheering anyone entering the pub and booing anyone who left. At one point two guys walked in to a cheer, looked at us in our silly hats, had a quick discussion and walked straight back out to a loud BOOO! 20 seconds later they returned to a huge cheer and stayed for the rest of the evening.

May also saw the release of Ed’s debut Unlawful Men CD, Rope Or A Ladder, a folk odyssey. Jam packed with folk songs, it’s Ed returning to his roots (and includes guest drunk vocals from Paul Crewe). If you want to buy a copy (the first run is almost sold out, so get in quick – only 2 of the original 3 are left unsold), drop us a line at edcase@losttheplotband.co.uk or come and see us at a gig. You can get more info at www.edconwayandtheunlawfulmen.co.uk and listen to some of the tracks on Soundcloud – here’s Ed’s own composition, White Horse:

If you’re not all folked out, you could also get along to see them in a rare live appearance on July 19th at The Wheatsheaf Inn in Chetwynd Aston with Paul and Adelle Parker. Go on, treat yourself. Tel;l them I sent you.

And that was that. May was finished. Half term saw the band go their separate ways for family holidays to return, relaxed, for the upcoming trip to Sussex, where Ed and Paul will learn what a proper accent is all about.

GlenstockGlenstock a success