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.

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Diesel Do

April 9, 2014

The last gig of March was a return to The Malthouse in Ironbridge. As ever the room was full and the crowd were great. Our pet photographer, Dave “Matthew Thomas” The Camera, brought a group of friends from work. At first it seems they didn’t quite understand what he’d brought them to, but it didn’t take long for them to relax and join in the fun. I think it was the act of throwing the ducks that did it.

Ed in action

Ed in action

This last weekend was a bit different. Once again we were heading for Aberystwyth for a weekend of drunken debauchery and rock ‘n’ roll. Well, some rock ‘n’ roll, at any rate.

On Friday we were at Rummers, a regular for us. The band always starts at 10:00 here as it’s a student pub and they don’t tend to wake up early enough to get to the pub any earlier. As it turns out, someone had switched their alarm clock off, as the pub was still pretty empty as we saddled up to hit them with everything we’d got. It’s always a worry when this happens, especially when it’s a pub where the audience is normally too large for the room, but things soon switched round. It was almost as if they had been waiting outside for us to start. It wasn’t long before we had no room to move and all we could do was play. Another cracker.

Rummers Rammed

Rummers Rammed

We started Saturday with a walk along the beach at Ynyslas, Paul’s wife and daughter and Matthew having joined us for the weekend. The weather was lovely as we set off, warm if a little overcast.

The Beach

The Beach

As we reached the mouth of the river and started to return we spotted a car on the river’s edge, stuck in the water. A group of “Youngsters” had decided to drive onto the sand, not realising how soft it was near the water’s edge. After half an hour or so of taking the mickey, we decided to go over and help them. After we’d had an ice cream. By the time we reached them they had got the car moving, selfishly allowing us to walk all the way over to them first! You can just about make them out on the far left of this picture of Paul being amazed at the fact that he could read a sign unaided.

Stranded Car

Stranded Car

Instead, we turned round and headed for home, only for the rain to start. From this point we had about a mile to walk in steadily increasing levels of rain. We should have taken this as a sign of how the weekend would progress from here…

At 5:30 we left for Scholars, a pub we last played almost a year ago. The management has changed, but that wouldn’t cause us a problem. Would it?

It turned out the landlady had double booked us. The other act had already dropped all his gear in earlier in the day, so we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and headed home for a curry and some wine, inviting our landlady for the weekend, Jood York, along for the ride. Despite not playing, we had a great night. Not what we had expected, but the perfect way to spend an evening.

The next day, however, was far from perfect.

It all started with breakfast. As his family were here, Paul decided that he’d stay on and follow in the car, while Ed and Si took the van home. Whilst supping tea and munching on toast, the issue of re-fuelling the van came up.

“Remind me, is it petrol or diesel?” Asked Ed.

“Petrol” replied Paul, “Only the finest.”

“Unleaded then!” from Ed.

“No four star!” from Si.

We packed, loaded the van and tidied up before leaving Paul and his family to enjoy the Welsh Coast a few hours more.

We drove into Aber again to pick up Matthew to drive him home to Telford. Although he’d got a return train ticket, a ride with us would be more fun. It started with a barracking as he was 15 minutes late at the designated meeting point, but this was soon forgotten. We pulled into the petrol station and manoeuvred past a van at the first pump. Si jumped out to watch Ed reverse, guiding the van back far enough to allow him to put the petrol in easily.

We jumped back in the van, Matthew opening bags of sweets as an apology for his lateness and we were off!

For about 2 minutes. Halfway between two mini roundabouts, which stood about 15 feet from one another, the engine died.

A couple of fruity words and then silence as we digested what had just happened and all came to the same conclusion simultaneously. The van’s a diesel.

After reversing it to a (relatively) position, Ed rang Paul. Who thought he was on the wind up and hung up.

Paul rang Si to discover very quickly that it wasn’t. “But you know it’s a diesel!!!” he protested.

“We asked you this morning to be sure!” we both protested back.

Happy

Happy

Long story short, we had to get the van towed and the fuel system drained. Last night we hadn’t earned the money we expected and this afternoon we ended up with a £300 bill of petrol, draining and diesel. Ah well.

We could discuss who was at fault, who put the wrong fuel in, who gave the wrong information and who didn’t detect the wind up until we’re blue in the face, but it wouldn’t change what’s happened. We don’t work a blame culture at Plot Towers.

We’re at The Dun Cow in Shrewsbury this Friday and, after a private function on Saturday, back at The Wrekin on Sunday afternoon.

See you soon!

Idiot Who Was at Fault But Won't Be Named

There is no reason for this photo to be here. It’s just a nice photo.

After a weekend off we returned at full strength to Shrewsbury’s Dun Cow in Abbey Foregate. When I say full strength, all I mean is that Clatter was with us again. He’s not yet fully recovered, but is well enough to play.

Last time we visited the Dun Cow was last August bank holiday weekend – it was tipping it down and there was something big going on in town, so we ended up playing to about 5 people (bar staff included). This time, however, the place was full to bursting and the crowd loved everything, including a couple of new numbers which got their first airing tonight.

Patting ourselves on the back, we decided to stop at McDonalds in Wellington for some grub on the way home. As we moved between the Drive-Thru windows, Ed commented on a funny noise from under the bonnet. We decided to pull just round the corner to check it out, which is when Ed discovered the lack of power steering. “Let’s pull up over there,” said Paul, pointing at a lay-by. We went sailing by. Turns out the brakes had gone too.

When we finally pulled up (all of us with our feet dragging on the ground, Flintstones-style) we quickly found the problem – a shredded auxiliary belt. On the plus side, the breakdown truck was pretty quick, but on the downside, he only had room to take two of us. WeeMann had to call a cab to travel the last few minutes home. Good old Moby Dick.

The Broken Belt

The Broken Belt

As a result we had to take two cars to Saturday’s gig at The Green Man in Milwich, Staffs. A tight squeeze, but we got everything in, including our pet photographer, Dave:

Dave The Camera

Dave The Camera

Our last gig here was our last gig of 2012, where a coach party stopped off halfway through the first set and didn’t leave. This time the locals had heard about us and filled the place. Rather than try to describe how it went, here’s a video that Dave has put together from the night:

This weekend we’re off to Welsh Wales again. On this visit we’re playing at Brynrodyn Caravan Park on Friday and Scholars on Saturday. Fingers crossed that Newspaper Man doesn’t come along again. If he does, we’ll bloody well get him involved this time!

On the way home we’re popping back into The Wrekin Inn in Wellington for a party. We’ll be on about 3:00.

See you soon.

Man Down!!!

April 14, 2013

This was always going to be tricky. Once Ed and Si had visited Paul following his hospital visit, it became clear that he wouldn’t be fit for Friday’s gig at Molloy’s in Bury.

Paul went in on Monday to have an operation on his knee to fix damage caused when he fell during a gig last year. The operation went well, but on leaving hospital he passed out, landing on his face. If he didn’t look pretty before, the look is exaggerated now:

Recovering Idiot

Although the damage to his face looks nasty, it’s the knee that is the problem – he wasn’t fit to travel, much less play drums and run around like an idiot. We took the decision to take on the gig without him, as a duo. Theoretically it should work, but we’d never actually tried it before. Then, a couple of days before the gig, Ed’s daughter, Megan, offered her services as stand-in-idiot.

Megan

We weren’t sure how it would go, but gave it everything we could, introducing Megan a few songs in to join Ed on Puttin’ On The Style. Dressed in pyjamas (it was past her bedtime), she did a cracking job of hitting her Dad over the head with a baking tray snaffled from the pub kitchen (our bar trays were in Clatter’s drum case back home…) and impressed immensely with the way she slotted into the band, despite never having watched our set all the way through. Megan even added an extra dimension to the band when she brought out her flute and trumpet for a couple of songs. Great stuff.

The audience seemed to enjoy the stupidity, although those we spoke to afterwards couldn’t believe that we were only 2/3 as stupid as normal. They’ve got a treat in store when we return on 21 June with Clatter in tow.

The Bury Crowd

We’re having a week off next week, so our next gig is at The Dun Cow in Shrewsbury on Friday 26th, a venue we last visited last August. We sincerely hope Clatter will be fit enough to play at this one and we don’t have to rely again on a hastily put together mannequin:

Fake Clatter

This Weekend…

October 10, 2012

Don’t forget that this weekend sees two more public appearances from your favourite idiots.

Friday 12th is our first gig at Shrewsbury’s The Old Post Office in the town centre:

The Old Post Office

Find The Old Post Office

You can click on the above map to be taken to their site, but all you really need to know is that we’ll be there and they serve real ale.

On Saturday we’re returning to the site of one of our earliest gigs at The Talbot Inn in St. Georges, Telford.

The set’s built a little since our first visit there and we’ve settled into it a lot, so if you saw us there last time, expect more.

Don’t forget to visit our Band Pages to read the biographies of Edcase and Clatter – WeeMann’s will be going live on Monday…

Hope to see you over the weekend.

Clatter

October 7, 2012

Come back tomorrow to read the life story of our pet drummer, Clatter, tragically injured in a freak tambourine accident during last week’s Welsh Tour Of Wales 2012.