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!

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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

Students and New Venues

January 22, 2014

Wow, how to hit the ground running this week.

On Wednesday we were back at Harper Adams University in Newport. We’ve played there a few times in various guises, but this was probably our favourite line-up to date because not only did we have the wonderful Simon Carswell on keys, we also had Den York playing guitar. As anyone who has seen and heard these guys play will know they are both truly excellent musicians, each adding a great deal of musicality to the usual cacophony of Lost The Plot. This time, however, was the first time we have had both playing with us at the same time. We actually sounded like a real band for a whole evening!

Den

Den

Harper is an odd gig for us. Instead of being in a small room, able to get up close and personal with our audience, here we are on a stage in front of about 4 or 500 drunken uni students. As a result, the stupidity is dialled right back and we focus on the music. It feels odd to be playing like real musicians, but we do what we can!

Sound is tricky in this environment – it’s a huge hall and you’re fighting against a background of all those people singing and shouting and it can be surprisingly hard to hear what you’re playing. For instance, apart from Den himself, the only other person who could hear what he was playing was Ed, as he was right alongside him. It means you’re doing a lot from memory rather than what you can hear, but it’s good for finding out whether you know the material!

Si Carswell

Si Carswell

Thanks go out to Si and Den for the gig – we couldn’t have done it without you. Looking forward to the next time guys.

On Friday we headed to Bayston Hill, just on the southern edge of Shrewsbury to a new venue for us, The Beeches. You never know how a crowd will react to you the first time, but we were blown away by this pub. Everyone seemed to enjoy the music and, more importantly, got our sense of humour.

The Beeches

The Beeches

The duck throwing went down well, although was a little over-enthusiastic at times – Si played the remainder of the gig with a swollen lip!

We’re back at The Beeches in September and we can’t wait.

On Sunday we were back for a return visit to The Wrekin in Wellington. We were last here just before Christmas, a very short gap between gigs for us, but Sam was adamant he wanted us in early in the new year, so who are we to disappoint?!

Being such a short gap between gigs we decided to try something a little different – letting the audience choose the set list.

The initial idea was to write out a long list of songs that at least one of us knows how to play then get the audience to vote on them. No hats, no ducks, no toys. We bottled out to some extent, deciding that we couldn’t play without our props and limiting the song choices to ones we have at least played in the past. Sometimes only once, but played. This gave us a list of about 60 songs.

The Wrekin

The Wrekin

On the whole the list came back with most of our normal set marked up, which makes us think we must be doing something right, but there were one or two from our dim and distant past which we had to try to remember – Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here being a notable one. Perhaps one for the permanent set?

The crowd got a little agitated when Ed pointed out that our normal duck throwing song, My Girl, wasn’t chosen. After a while of getting abuse we decided to try it with REM’s Losing My Religion. My Girl tends to work for the duck throwing as it’s a fairly easy song to play whilst dodgy missiles, this was harder. Plus we don’t play it often any more – a recipe for disaster. The good news, however, is that we beat the audience.

Ed & Si

Ed & Si

We’ve booked up a few more dates at The Wrekin across the year – the next being April 13th – a week before Easter. For this gig, whenever someone throws a duck at us, we’ll be throwing an egg back out.

We’ve got some really exciting news coming about a couple of trips to the South Coast later in the year. Keep watching the site for the announcements. These are going to be great.

Next weekend we’re back at The Old Post Office in Shrewsbury on Friday and at another new venue, The Britannia, also in Shrewsbury, on Saturday.

As usual, keep track of us on Facebook, Twitter and our website.

And so to 2014

January 12, 2014

Happy New Year from Plotland, we hope you all had a great Christmas and are ready for some stupidity in 2014.

The year got off to a cold start. Following on from last year’s appearance at Newport’s January Jog, we were invited back. Although it was cold, it was the rain and wind which really bit in and made us question the intelligence of an outdoor gig in early January. This being a case of adding some background music while people run around a muddy field in aid of MacMillan Cancer Research, the audience isn’t really there to see us, but we had some great feedback from those close to our position and there were many smiles and people singing along. A warming curry in the pub afterwards and the day was done.

Paul was interviewed for BBC Radio Shropshire and you can listen here:

The January Jog

Photo courtesy of Pav Boq

This weekend we played again at The Malthouse in Ironbridge. We’ve enjoyed playing here since we played at the staff Christmas party last year and this week’s gig was no exception. There were plenty of people at the front dancing, singing and (in the case of a certain Mr Rowe particularly) throwing ducks at us. Jason Chambers wrote an excellent review of the gig on Facebook:

My review of Lost The Plot at the Malthouse.

There was a band and some cider and some alcohol and some cider.

That’s all I remember!

We can confirm that he did seem to be enjoying the cider. We hope he enjoyed the music too!

You can judge for yourself here as, thanks to Mathew Thomas, we’ve got a new video on our YouTube channel, our version of Avicci’s Wake Me Up. Between this and Lonnie Donegan’s Puttin’ On The Style we can honestly say we cover number ones from 1957 to 2013 and everything in between!

On Wednesday we’ll be playing at Harper Adams in Newport, before heading over to Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury next Saturday for our first gig at The Beeches and then on Sunday we’re back at The Wrekin in Wellington.

Stay silly.

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…

Xmas Is Coming…

December 13, 2012

The last couple of weeks have been hectic.

The start of December saw our return to The Telegraph in Castlefields, Shrewsbury.  This was a Sunday Afternoon gig and we didn’t really know what to expect – our previous visit had been tied in to a retirement party and the pub is quite large, so a crowd of 20, which may look great in a small pub, would look tiny in here.  As we soon found out, the pub gets quite busy on a Sunday afternoon and we had a great time.  It ended in spectacular fashion too, as Landlord Alan treated us to a curry afterwards (more of which later).

Last weekend was a biggie.  During the week, Edcase played on Wednesday with Weezel Diesel and WeeMann played on Thursday with Fat Fighters.  On Friday we got together with our good friends Rich Evans and Si Carswell to perform a special gig at the Harper Adams University Xmas Ball.  The set was made up from songs that Rich plays solo and with Weezel Diesel as well as a few Plot standards.  The party was a big one (approx. 1800 tickets sold) although we’d guess at about 800 – 1000 in the marquee where we played.  We’d only managed 3 rehearsals and weren’t expecting this to be earth shattering, but we had the crowd bouncing from the first notes until we left the stage, with them still shouting for more.

Harper Adams

Harper Adams

On Saturday we drove down to Aberystwyth to return to the scene of Clatter’s accident, Scholars.  The gig went pretty much as expected, but what amused us most was the gentleman who entered the pub with a paper under his arm.  After getting a pint he proceeded to sit down at the table right in front of us and read, completely oblivious to the maelstrom around him.  When we tried to engage him, all we got were angry scowls.  A pub with many empty tables round the other side of the bar and upstairs, and he chooses to sit right in front of us… There’s nothing so queer as folk!

The trip home on Sunday took us to The Wrekin.  This was possibly our best gig here to date.  The audience were warm and receptive and silliness prevailed.  not only this, but on the day that Sir Patrick Moore passed away, a generous fan brought us a Space Duck – a rubber duck dressed for a moon landing.  We dedicated Whole Of The Moon to Moore and Space Duck took centre stage on Edcase’s monitor.

Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore

This week we’re off to Moreton to play at the Music Club Millenium Hall on Friday, before our third gig at The Talbot in St. Georges on Saturday and a fantastic end to the weekend on Sunday.

Going back to the talk of curry, whilst at the Cafe Saffron with Alan after our Telegraph gig, the waiter asked Alan if he knew of any bands he could recommend.  “These guys are a great band” he said, waving his hand round the table.  As a result, we have been asked to play for the opening of their new restaurant within the Admiral Duncan pub in Baschurch.

What could be better?  Beer, curry and great music.

Then we’ll turn the jukebox off and start playing.

The much anticipated Non-Festive International Xmas Tour is upon us.  We kick off with our return to Bridgnorth’s Bell & Talbot on Saturday.  We’ve enjoyed the last couple of gigs here and are looking forward to another success with some new songs, hats and soft toys added since our last visit in September, since which we have toured Wales and Scotland, returning a stronger, leaner and more hungover fighting unit.

The following weekend includes our first visit to Wem USC on Fri 30th and a Sunday return to the Telegraph in Shrewsbury.

The following week we’ll be backing our good friend, Rich Evans, at Harper Adams.  The band will also include Sir Simon Prattle on keyboards.  This will be the first time this line up has played since the early summer of 2011, the gig which spawned Lost The Plot and led to all this silliness.

Looking forward to seeing you all during the Christmas period!

Merry Xmas!

Merry Xmas!