The Start of 2015

March 10, 2015

Life’s been a little hectic since Christmas, although we stayed fairly quiet as a band so that we could recover from the last couple of months and get a break from one another.

Eleanor Rigby

Our first gig of the year was at The Malthouse to a surprisingly respectable crowd – Paul had been in the night before on a works’ outing and said it had been very quiet, but although it wasn’t full when we played, the crowd wasn’t far off capacity and were in their usual crazy mood.

We followed this with a new venue – Condover Social Club.  It seems that an old act prevents the village of having a pub, so they get round this with a social club instead and it was a lovely room with a great crowd.

The Barley

The Barley

A birthday party at The Barley in Newport rounded off January before a welcome return to the Oddfellows in Wellington at the start of February.  After Sam left The Wrekin, we wondered how a new venue would work out for us.  The simple answer is fantastically. Some of the old crowd, some new faces and a large collection of Scooby Doos filled the pub.

Scooby Dooby Doo!

Scooby Dooby Doo!

Another party followed in Sutton Coldfield.  If you read this regularly, you may be aware of Den York, who plays with us on occasion.  This was a party for an old mate of his and we are currently in negotiations to play in his pub, so we assume it went well.

The final gig of the year was a return to the Dun Cow in Shrewsbury, not a regular, but certainly a favourite for us to play.

More important than any of this, though, was the band outing to Liverpool in January to visit the Beatles Experience.  A whole day devoted to one of our collective favourite bands was a great way of spending a Saturday.  One of the exhibits was an interactive computer used for collecting statistical data.  Paul decided to have a go and took it very seriously indeed:

It should also be mentioned that Ed took his Unlawful Men folk act out on the road during February, but only because if we don’t, Ed will get grumpy.  They played some folk and Paul & Si controlled the sound at some of the gigs.  If you want to know any more have a look at the Unlawful Men FB page – we’re here to talk about Lost The Plot, not waste time on them!

Check out our March gigs here and we’ll see you soon.

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This is how the end of 2014 went:

Ed

Ed Looks Happy

We don’t like cancelling gigs, it’s one of our pet hates, so it was quite painful to find that we had to do this for the second time in a month, with illness causing us to miss our last gig of the year at Bury’s Molloys on Friday 7th. What made this even worse was the fact that we’d very cleverly arranged a Saturday night gig in the town for the first time in order to make the trip work…

By Saturday we were back up to a reasonable level of strength, so headed up to play at Bury Bowls Club. On the very night that the local fireworks display was being held up the hill with plenty of bands on an outdoors stage. As a result, the audience wasn’t as big as the organisers were expecting, but it was still a reasonable size. The room was low ceilinged and intimate and we had a great time dealing with people who had no idea what to expect.

"We've Brought Ducks!"

“We’ve Brought Ducks!”

A week later and we were back in Tipton at the Kings Head. The pub has been taken over by new owners and the atmosphere was a little different, with a much louder, more appreciative audience than normal. Considering a large chunk of the people present had been to most of our gigs here, it seemed odd, but it turned out to be our favourite here so far.

Next was The Malthouse. The last time we played here was as hot as we’ve ever experienced, but it was the end of the summer. This time it should be cooler, shouldn’t it? No. Apparently not. Not quite as hot as last time, but that’s saying little. Another soaking wet, great fun gig.

And so, onto a pub we haven’t visited for a time. The Hen and Chickens in Bridgnorth (now renamed The Friars) is a very small pub and we always found it to be very quiet, but it has recently been taken over by a new owner who was adamant she wanted us to play there. We turned up to discover that the town’s Christmas lights were being switched on and the top end of the road the pub is situated in was blocked by vehicles dealing with this. On the whole this wouldn’t cause us a problem as we had our usual spot to park in, albeit on double yellows in front of a gated car park. Normally this isn’t a problem as the car park isn’t used during the evenings, and of course it’s legal to use double yellows whilst offloading, but this time there was a car inside the car park. Whilst unloading, we kept our eyes open for the owner returning, which he did as we were getting the last bits out. As we crossed the road, a group of girls came round the van complaining that Santa was being grumpy. Paul went to investigate to find him on the phone reading out our numberplate. Paul asked him whether he would like us to move for him and was met by a very rude comment in return. Si tried again. This time he was off the phone but still as abusive. We moved to let him out, but soon all received texts from Paul’s wife explaining that the police had received a complaint that our van was illegally parked. Christmas won’t be the same again for us.

Unlike last time, the pub was rammed. Seriously rammed. We barely had enough room for even a stripped down setup, but managed and succeeded in winning over a great audience.

Rummers

Rummers

A week later and we were back in Aberystwyth playing at Rummers. We were originally booked to play both Friday and Saturday nights, but were asked if we could cancel the Saturday night as local legends Aber Jazz were performing their final ever gig. We saw this as a great opportunity to go our for the evening to see some live music and enjoy some beer and food, unworried about having to play. After a curry we headed down to catch the end of the support band’s performance (some lovely harp and bass playing) before Aber Jazz took the stage. I’d recommend you catch these guys, but as this was their last gig, it would be pointless. The pub was rammed and we ended up deciding to move on as Paul and Si were unable to see a thing past the taller people. Whilst deciding where to go next we bumped into a group of students who’d come to see us the previous night and joined them for some more beer in another pub before catching the train home. Sunday saw us stopping of at The Telegraph in Shrewsbury on the way home.

Den

Den

The following Friday saw our return to The Barley in Newport to what was possibly our best audience there yet and then we were into the last week of gigs before Christmas.

Unfortunately, Ed has a habit of getting ill in the run up to Christmas and this year was no exception. Thursday at The Crown was as good a gig as ever and all seemed fine, but as we headed for The Old Post Office the next night (with tame keyboardist Si Carswell in tow for a rare appearance) it was clear that a cold was starting to manifest.

By Saturday at The Swan, Stone, Ed’s voice was starting to crack and finally became a tuneful croak by Sunday’s gig at The Green Man in Milwich. Fortunately the pub was full of caring friends and bar staff who kept his throat lubricated with whiskey all evening. Rumours that Ed consumed a full bottle of 1923 single malt unaided are greatly exaggerated – the whisky was far younger.

And that was it. Christmas was upon us. We had a get together after Christmas with our families for some curry, wine and silly games (and Ed was still ill) and before we knew it 2014 was over.

We’ve been together almost three years now and our diary for 2015 is almost full, so this would be a good time to tell you all that we’re quitting the music game and becoming a touring band of jugglers. Except that no-one has ever accused us of being musical.

See you in 2015.

Happy New Year from Ed, Paul, Si and Hugo.

x

Merry New Year!

Merry New Year!

A few to catch up on,  so let’s dive in.

The Old Post Office.  Last time we were here our desk broke from the stress,  but all was OK this  time.

We’ve had bigger crowds here,  but fewer more enthusiastic.  What made the gig special, however, was Paul’s new flightcase.  As you probably know,  we bring a lot of peripherals to our gigs and these entail many trips to and from the van. Fortunately our ever-thinking drummer came up with a solution in the shape of a large, wheeled flightcase.  After putting everything in it we wheeled the case up the cobbles to the pub door only to discover that it wouldn’t fit through the door,  so it spent the evening just outside the pub.

A Flightcase.

A Flightcase.

Our next gig was a return visit to The Swan in Stone. We very quickly realised the flightcase wouldn’t make it through the door again,  so it stayed in the van while we played. Playing on a Wednesday we normally have smaller audiences than weekend gigs,  but we had a full pub this time.

Next up was due to be Shrewsbury’s Brittania Inn,  but sadly Ed’s voice was disappearing due to a cold.  He’d struggled manfully (?!) through Wednesday’s gig,  but this would have been near impossible,  particularly as we’d been booked for a wedding the next day and didn’t want to let the happy couple down. In any event,  we wouldn’t have managed to get the flightcase in through the door.

So, onto the wedding. This was taking place in the beautiful surroundings of a golf club in Chepstow.  The big problem here was the fact that we had to carry everything up a small staircase to the first floor – the flightcase never even made it out of the van.  We were joined by Den for this gig,  so sounded somewhat musical for a nice change.

We woke the next morning for a drive to Shrewsbury and The Telegraph, with Den in tow for another gig.  By this point the flightcase was buried at the back of the van and wasn’t coming out.

A member of the audience threw us a challenge to play an instrumental and the result was captured on video by our friend Shelley – see what you think:

We went on to Harper Adams university next for a staff/ex-student dinner,  again upstairs,  rendering the flightcase unusable. After an early setup we had a late start,  so visited Paul’s second home,  Newport’s curry house for some sustenance before returning to perform for a typically drunken university audience.

The Harper Party

The Harper Party

We then headed back to Wales and another 2 day residency at Rummers, again with added musicality from Den. By this time Paul had accepted the reality that his flightcase experiment had failed and it was unceremoniously dumped at home. Night one of the residency was a great result,  the pub being almost deserted until the point we started playing.  As usual the pub filled quickly with a great audience,  most of whom were excited to learn we’d be back the following evening.

Playing two days on the trot here makes things a lot easier as we don’t have to pack up at the end of the first night, nor set up on the second night, so on Saturday we went for a curry before the gig. All went well until Paul discovered a body part in his drink. No names, no pack drill, but eye don’t think Paul was too happy.

"Eye Love Curry!" - Paul Crewe.

“Eye Love Curry!” – Paul Crewe.

We finished the month off at The Boars Head in Shrewsbury. Having been a busy month, Paul spent a short while checking his eyelids for holes before we started:

Sandman Has Come For Paul

Sandman Has Come For Paul

You can keep up to date with our upcoming gigs at www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs and come back soon to find out how Santa has ruined Christmas for us.

See you soon!

The Calm Before The Storm

October 7, 2014

Only one gig to catch up on here and that was at The Kings Arms on 26 September.  It’s regularly been a fairly quiet affair here and this gig was no different, with the exception that a fight broke out as we took our break.  At first we assumed it was because people weren’t happy that we had stopped playing, but it became clear that it was more likely due to the fact that we would be starting up again soon.

Behind You!

Behind You!

Ed discovered a brand new way of drinking – beer flavoured with whisky, his two favourite drinks in one glass.  Apparently the effect was quite good, although the effect it had on his sobriety was more questionable…

I’ve got this far through the blog and started wondering whether anyone actually reads it.  I’m sat here talking rubbish about our gigs, posting it to the ether and sitting back, awaiting time to write another.  I wonder what would happen if I started talking rubbish here, rubbish that’s totally unrelated to the band or gigs?  Let’s try it and see.

If you’ve read this far, add a reply to the post here on the blog site.  The 21st unique reply will win a prize.  By that, I mean that if you add 21 replies yourself, they’ll only count as one.  Then I’ll know whether it’s worth me doing this!

Anyway, back to the band.  Ed asked Si to help with a couple of Unlawful Men gigs this last week, first on sound duties, then as dep bass player when Jon was unavailable.  The second of these gigs was for the Whitchurch Blackberry Fair.  It seemed to go well, with a great crowd gathering, but the highlight of the afternoon followed…

Unlawful Men

Unlawful Men

Ed had seen Ash Mandrake at the Dorset Steam Fair and had raved about him.  He followed the Unlawfuls on and was just stunning.  I won’t go into detail here, as anything I say couldn’t do him justice, but please check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ashmandrake and http://ashmandrake.com/ and get along to see him live.

Ash Mandrake

Ash Mandrake

We’re back at The Old Post Office this Friday and you can check out all our gigs at http://www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs or check out our new monthly lists on this very blog.

Things are about to get busy…

So, September. We did a few gigs. Here’s a run down.

Friday 5th – Molloys, Bury.

We’ve played at Molloys about half a dozen times now and it all comes down to one thing – chicken tikka kebabs on the journey home. The gig is fairly predictable inasmuch as the pub almost always fills to capacity and everyone gets drinking and dancing. How well the journey is rated by us all comes down to whether Ali’s Kebabish is open. Despite some excellent chicken tikka kebabs elsewhere, we have yet to discover anything as good as theirs. The shop looks like the sort of place you shouldn’t enter unless extremely drunk and hungry, but was our only option after an early Bury visit and we discovered that the old maxim of not judging books was true.

Sadly, our post on Facebook the next morning says it all:

Ali's Kebabish

Ali’s Kebabish

We’re back on November 7, so we’ll try again.

Still, the next day we were heading to Bayston Hill for a return to The Beeches. We had a great time on our first visit in January and this was no different. A great crowd (including Hilary Doyle and her husband) made it a great evening and we returned home far happier than we had the previous night.

Friday 12th – Private Function.

You know you must be doing something right when people try to book you for a birthday party and end up delaying the party by 2-3 months so they can ensure you’re the entertainment. This was a 40th in Shrewsbury in a hall that none of us knew existed.

Morris Hall is accessed through an easily missed gateway next to a flower shop in Bellstone, along a path, up a stone staircase and through the hall. The get in wasn’t fun, but what a beautiful building. Don’t ask us to play there again. Ever. The beauty of the building doesn’t offset the fact that two of us had asthma attacks carrying the gear in and the other had a small coronary.

The crowd, however, did offset the pain, they were great. I don’t know how it’s taken this long for someone to realise it, but throwing ducks one at a time doesn’t work. Throwing a full bucket’s worth in one go, however…

Friday 19 September – The Barley.

We love a nice intimate gig.  A small pub with 15 or 20 people where we can get right in their faces and get them involved is manna from Heaven for us.  10 people (6 of whom are family) in a pub the size of a small town, however, isn’t fun.

If you play in a band, these gigs happen from time to time.  They’re never fun, but they do remind you of how good the good ones are.  Next time we play at the Barley, we hope to try something a little different in order to pull people in…

Taking away the positives from the gig, Ed used his new mic stand for the first time.  His old one is struggling to do the ‘stand’ part of the name these days, so he invested in a smart new one with a quick release clip.  We have no idea why you’d want to quickly release that particular part of the stand, but if we should ever need to, by golly it’ll be apart in a fraction of a second.

The Quickly Released Mic Stand

The Quickly Released Mic Stand

The difference between this gig and the next night were like the difference between night and day.  We love The Malthouse in Ironbridge (this is our official band view).  We’ve not had a duff gig here and this was fantastic.  The pub was full to bursting with people up for dancing, singing and throwing ducks.  Friends and work colleagues came along and so did some temperature.

Discussing the gig afterwards, we agreed that we couldn’t ever recall playing such a hot gig.  Our clothes were as wet as if we’d been doused in a bucket of water.  It was that bad, that Paul even changed into a dry shirt afterwards – a rare occurrence.

On Tuesday we popped along to the Newport Open Mic at the Navy Club.  We’ve visited a few times over the years, but rarely play there as LTP, so we decided to do a few numbers, just bass, drums and mandolin – no ducks, toys or hats.  The reception was good and we even got invited to back a guitarist who’s just moved back into the area, Dave White.  We did about 4 numbers with him, including Fisherman’s Blues, which was filmed by Dave The Camera:

This Friday we’re back at The Kings Arms in Tipton and Ed will be taking his Unfastened Trousers folk act out for another airing on Sunday.  There are 6 tickets left if you’re quick enough.  On their FB page they have posted the following:

Very nice if slightly unorthodox gig coming up this Sunday …. Salt village hall staffordshire …full 2 coarse roast lunch then an afternoon set by the unlawful men. Its virtually sold out already but the organisers tell they could manage one more table max of 6 people if there is any one who loves folk music and hates cooking !
Proceeds from the event are going to fund vaccination supplies to africa.

See you at a gig soon!

Wellies Ahoy!

September 5, 2014

Last week saw our return to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. What a change from Last year!

12 months ago we were sat in a field of dust, the sun blazed down and we started off to an “intimate” audience for our first performance. This year, however, things were completely different…

Day 1, Wednesday – Arrival.

We met with our entourage at Ed’s home in Newport. Ed wasn’t with us (he followed on later), but Paul and Si took his wife, the lovely Andrea, in the van with them. Following behind were Matt (our pet photographer) and his young lady Nichola. We left shortly after midday and had a good trip down. We knew that the weather wasn’t due to be as good as last year, but weren’t quite prepared for what we met on our arrival. Last year we’d heard rumours of the previous year’s mudbath and it seemed we were to encounter it for ourselves. We got in through the gate in no time, our passes all ready for us, and joined the queue getting from the gates to the campsite. This part of the journey was about 150 yards in total but took us about 45 minutes as vehicles slipped and slid in front of us. To give you an idea, this photo was taken at the halfway point between the gate and the campsite entrance – once through the hedge we travelled about the same distance again before turning left and finding a site to erect our tents:

Mud!

Mud!

Paul and Si hadn’t brought wellies…

We got the tents up and sat down to relax with a beer before Ed arrived, having taken about an hour for this same last part of the journey. Once we were all settled in we went for a walk round the site, discovering that wellies were essential (the liquid mud being up to 6 or 8 inched deep in places) and walking was extremely hard work! Whilst walking through the fairground, Matt decided to treat Nichola to a turn on one of the rides. They paid their money and made their way up to get seated. After a few moments of clanking, Matt moved to a different seat where the person running the ride attempted to lock the brace in place to keep Matt in his seat. After several more minutes with no success, they had to leave the ride – it seems that Matt was too “Broad shouldered” to fit safely!

Mud

Mud

It had rained fairly consistently all day, but the evening got so bad that the last act on the main stage, an Oasis tribute called Definitely Mightbe, had to be cancelled due to safety reasons. We retired to our tents for a night’s rest ahead of our first set.

Day 2, Thursday – The Shires Arms.

Today’s set was 9:00PM, timed to coincide with The Wurzels’ appearance on the main stage – they didn’t stand a chance!

We spent the day wandering round the site, looking at the various exhibits before keyboardist Simon Carswell arrived. He set up his tent and we bundled into the van to get to the venue. The journey took us back along the road past the entrance, so we knew the van wouldn’t enjoy it, although we did get there in a respectable time. Last year’s performance here was the best attended of the week and we had a similar number in tonight. The gig went well with the audience getting involved right from the start. Towards the end of the gig we decided to drown Scruffy with our performance of Irish Rover. As the boat sank, Si went out front to spin around. The ground was far better in the marquee than outside as it had been protected from most of the rain over the last few days, but there were a few ruts, and Si found one of them, his ankle twisting as he spun. The rest of the gig went by in a blur of adrenaline, but the pain set in during the night. Another victory for injury over Lost The Plot!

Tambourine

Tambourine

Day 3, Friday – The Black Bull.

Nurofen and a morning’s rest reduced the pain in Si’s ankle before Ed left us to perform with The Unlawful Men at The Countryman Stage. By this point we’d been joined by Ant (bodhran player for Ed’s folk outfit) and his lady friend, Becky. Ed tells us that the Unlawful Men gig was well attended and received, but a strong wind made it a little awkward.

While they performed, Paul and Si set off for the Black Bull for gig 2. We were joined by Ed and Si Carswell and went for it. Another success, this gig went as well as yesterday’s, although Si’s attempt at a conga failed in the most drastic way as he walked around the tent alone, people watching but refusing to get involved. The set finished at about 5:30, leaving us the evening to see a few other bands and take on some nourishment in the beer tents.

Beyond a couple of short showers, it hadn’t really rained today and, surprisingly, the ground was firming up quite well.

Not sure what noise that was...

Not sure what noise that was…

Day 4, Saturday – The Black Bull.

We started the day the same as we had the previous couple of mornings – emerging from our tents at various times, blinking into the bright new day, wondering whether the rain would hold off and taking on board breakfast. After our fill we split up, with Ed, Andrea and Si going off to watch the Monster Trucks and Motorcycle Stunt Team before returning and heading off for the 3rd and final Lost The Plot set of the week.

Flying Bikes

Flying Bikes

This time the conga went as well as yesterday’s had gone badly, people getting involved straight away. The Black Bull was full and the set went past in a blur.

Again, we finished and set off for an evening of bands, beer and curry. There’s a huge variation in music styles at the Fair, so there’s something for everyone (and too many to mention) and the range and quality of food is also astounding. We finished off the week by watching a Queen tribute act before disappearing into our respective pits for the last time.

Pals

Pals

Day 5, Sunday – Going Home.

Sunday morning saw the first time that people were forcibly ejected from their tents, woken unexpectedly, and generally pranked – the hard work had finished and we could get silly. Matt and Nichola woke to discover a huge pile of camping chairs atop the entrance to their tent, placed there by a mystery assailant, and Paul discovered a road cone on top of his van.

Tent

Tent

Breakfast eaten, we dismantled our tents and loaded the vehicles for the journey home.

That’s the Great Dorset Steam Fair finished for another year. We hope to be back again next year if they’ll have us, but we’d just like to thank Ryan and Lisa of Festivals 360 for inviting us and producing such a great music festival among the huge Steam Fair itself.

Now, to recover…

The Crowd

The Crowd

Drummer Down. Again!

August 14, 2014

What a weekend! We may have killed our drummer, but that’s a small price to pay for such a great time.

Dead Drummer

Dead Drummer

On Friday Simon and Paul drove down to Borth independently of Ed, who followed down after work to meet us at the Brynrodyn Caravan Park. We were able to get everything set up so that when Ed arrived all he had to do was plug in and go. To improve the situation even further we had long time collaborator Den York adding electric guitar and banjo again, with his wife Jood providing sound engineering duties.

This was possibly the best audience we’ve had at Brynrodyn and, to top it all off, the mid set game of bingo was won by Simon. Thankfully, the duck throwing was all completed in the first set, otherwise things could have got violent!

Ed

Ed

The start of the decline of the drummer’s health started here. The plan was to stay in one of the site’s caravans, but Den and Jood insisted on putting us up. It never ends well when we do this. After deciding to pack up on Saturday morning, we left for their home and gave several beers and wines a good home before calling it a night just before dawn.

We didn’t manage to pack up the next morning. It was closer to a late lunchtime before we dragged ourselves back to tidy up, by which time Saturday night’s entertainment had already been turned away to return later… Oops.

A fine full English breakfast at 5:00PM and we were ready for Rummers. By the time the 10:00 start came round, lethargy was starting to creep in, although it’s impossible for it to hang round once the adrenaline kicks in at this great venue. Despite the local students having left Aber for the summer, the crowd was full and in good song and wouldn’t let us off without an encore or two.

Jake

Jake

And so back to Den and Jood’s again. It’ll just be a short time drinking and chatting as we have to travel in the morning.

Just pre-dawn we head for bed. Well, most of us. Paul and Den persevered a little longer. The damage became apparent as we climbed into our vehicles the next day.

“Si, I think you need to drive,” said a very green looking Paul. Alternately sleeping and polluting the van, Paul’s situation didn’t improve before we arrived at Oddfellows in Wellington. Sam’s left The Wrekin and taken over a new pub, so one of our favourites has changed… And it seems to be a good change. The room is smaller, but lighter and better decorated. It’s a smart pub and the staff and clientele have all come over.

The Band

The Band

Ed decided that the best thing to do was get the faster songs out of the way first, to get Paul’s blood pumping. It may have got his blood pumping, we’re not sure, but it did get his mouth working, as he used words that we really shouldn’t use near a live mic. Still, a new skiffle style medley in place of Puttin’ On The Style gave Paul a chance to batter Si over the head and cheer himself up. By the end of a very successful gig, he was nearly human again.

And that’s it until holiday season is over. We’re now scattered to the four winds until the end of August when we return to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Last year we promised regular updates on Twitter and Facebook. This year we know better. Even if we were sober enough to type, there is no signal.

Details of the festival can be found by clicking the banner below:

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2014

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2014

We’ll see you in September if you can’t make it to the deep south.

It’s August already!

August 3, 2014

Where’s the year gone? It’s moving too fast to keep up at the moment.

Bucket Head

Bucket Head

So, Thurs 10 July – The Crown. A comedy show on before us, Patrick Draper and Roger Swift ahead of their trip to the Edinburgh Festival. I’m a little wary of comedy in the pub – is it going to be any good? The answer in this instance was yes, it was great. If you see these guys around, go and see their show, you won’t be disappointed – http://energyapathy.webs.com/

Sat 12 July – Lower Lacon Caravan Park. There were pigs in a pen just outside and air conditioning in the room. The drowned dog attacked Nichola from a great distance.

The Christening

The Christening

Sun 13 July – Christening Party. Our friend, Chris Payne asked us to play for his daughter’s christening. We used every extension lead we own in order to run power out to the beer garden, on the edge of the River Severn. The weather held!

Thurs 17 July – Private Party. Headmaster was leaving the school he’s headed for many years. The weather was great, but the staff had put up a gazebo in case of rain. As it turns out, this made it extremely warm for us.

The Audience

The Audience

Fri 18 July – Molloys, Bury. Another packed Molloys – hot, sweaty and fun. Fantastic chicken tikka kebabs on the way out of Bury.

Sat 19 July – The Milwich Music Festival. Our luck had to end at some point – the rain came down with us playing on the back on a lorry. Fortunately the organisers had the sense to put up numerous gazebos, so the crowd was there for us. Note to self, don’t jump up and down on a lorry stage – the suspension causes the PA to wobble dangerously.

Fri 25 July – The Malthouse. The first time a band has played with the doors open. It’s possible we would have died of heat exhaustion had this not been the case. Despite the heat, the pub was full. A great night.

Beaver

Beaver

Sun 27 July – The Telegraph. Ed and Si offered cheese and ham onna stick. Turns out that some chilli paste was placed between these items. Hot, hot hot. Kindly, landlord Alan offered us a glass of white port to cool us off. Note to self, don’t trust Alan again. Despite the label, this was actually chilli vodka. Even hotter than the paste. Unable to sing due to burning vocal chords.

Fri 1 August – The Old Post Office. The pub was full before we arrived and kept getting busier. What could go wrong? Turns out that the mixing desk could go wrong. After two years of faithful service it decided to pack up mid-set. While Paul sorted the problem out using no more than our pet keyboard player, the landlord and a spare desk, Ed and Si jumped up onto a couple of chairs to sing as loudly as possible and keep the crowds amused. It worked.

PANIC!!!

PANIC!!!

Sat 2nd August. Clivestock, a private charity festival. What a great crowd. As we left home for the site, the rain was coming down in stair-rods. The skies cleared for our arrival, but it clouded over again just as we took to the stage. A little rain, but it didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm. Loads of dancing and singing ensued.

This week we’re off to Wales for gigs at Brynrodyn Caravan Park on Friday and Rummers in Aberystwyth on Saturday.

Health & Safety Assessment

Health & Safety Assessment

Loads to Catch Up On

July 10, 2014

So much going on that I haven’t had a chance to blog recently, so here’s a quick run down:

Pets

Pets

Sunday 22nd June – The Wrekin Inn.

As expected, a great afternoon. We tend, these days, to throw in a fairly random set at The Wrekin, rather than the usual stuff. This gig saw us attempt some Pink Floyd in the shape of Wish You Were Here. It went down well and we’ve decided it may have a more regular place in the set from now on.

The Wrekin

The Wrekin

Friday 27th June – The Barley, Newport.

Always a little nerve wracking at this kind of venue as people tend to start turning up later. As we started the crowd was fairly, shall we say, intimate, but as the set went on the crowd built and we ended the evening wondering what we had been worrying about.

Saturday 28th June – Wedding, Claverley

Congratulations to Naomi and Steve who got married and asked us to perform for them and their guests. The crowd were lovely and warm and had previously been treated to some music from a few family members.

Wedding

Wedding

Sunday 29th June – The Swan Beer Festival.

Two words which always make us happy are “Festival” and “Beer” and when combined they send us into paroxysms of joy. Unless you’re the one driving home from the gig. Good crowd, good beer, but sober bassist having to transport merry singer and drummer. 😦

Geoff & The Plot

Geoff & The Plot

Friday 4th July – The Kings Arms, Tipton

A return to the West Midlands and another evening of fun. On our first visit we’d had a very quiet reaction, with our second visit being a bit more rowdy. This third visit was between the two and the good news is that Paul got his hat back after it was stolen last visit.

Saturday 5th July – Clavstock and The Oakengates Carnival

Clavstock Before

Clavstock Before


Clavstock After

Clavstock After

Two festivals in one day! This was our second appearance at Clavstock (100 yards round the corner from the wedding gig we played the previous week) and was, for the first time, ticket only to limit numbers, such has been its popularity. 500 happy smiling faces singing along as we got silly. Great fun. Then we packed up and headed to Oakengates to perform a very short set sans drums. We were on a small B stage playing between a Madchester style band and Guns Or Roses, a G’n’R tribute. By the nature of the stage we were limited in the audience we could attract, but we seemed to drag in plenty and all seemed to enjoy us. We may have to try drumless sets again in the future.

Oakengates

Oakengates

Sunday 6th July – The Bulls Head, Whitchurch.

This was always planned to be an outdoors gig, playing in the beer garden, but on leaving Telford, the rain had been coming down. We all checked our various weather apps which agreed that rain was a distinct possibility. As we arrived, John, the landlord, opened the gate with his phone in his hand, also checking his weather app. While we discussed options thunder rattled around us, but in the end decided to brave it and set up underneath 3 parasols. As it turned out we had a short shower between setting up and sound checking and then a glorious evening.

Bulls Head Panorama

Bulls Head Panorama

As I write this we’re about to head out to play at The Crown in Oakengates, again hopefully outside. The weather looks far better!

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