March Roundup

March 27, 2014

It seems that our equipment doesn’t enjoy sitting quietly when it could be making noise. Following our break in February, we went through a weekend of gear breaking down. It’s times like these that test your mettle.

On Thursday the 6th we were invited back to play for the Headteachers’ Association’s annual conference following a successful appearance last year. All went well for this evening and we even ended up with an impromptu band forming after we left the stage:

The Band

The Band

On Friday we returned to The Barley in Newport. We don’t play in Newport very often, so it was going to be interesting to see how we went down. The good news was that the pub was full, particularly the area where we were playing. The bad news is that this is where our equipment woes began…

We had quite a complicated PA setup for this one so that we could throw sound back into the corner alongside us and, amazingly, everything here worked fine. What didn’t work, however, was Ed’s monitor. Then Si’s monitor. We got Ed’s working and Si used a spare, but it knocks the confidence when something goes wrong. On the plus side, the sound going out the front to the audience isn’t affected, but it seriously affects our ability to hear ourselves when there’s a problem with the monitors.

Saturday and we were playing for the first time in Tipton’s Kings Arms. We set up, we started our soundcheck and got about 30 seconds in before the PA speakers failed. We changed the speakers, soundchecked again and set off on the gig. Halfway through it was the turn of Paul’s monitor to go down. He struggled on, but being at the back it’s even harder for him to here what’s going on than for Ed and Simon when a monitor fails. The gig went down well, however, and we’ve been asked to return on 10 May.

Tipton

Tipton

We headed out to Shrewsbury on Sunday afternoon to The Telegraph again. It was 6 Nations time and Wales were playing England. Si was one of only about 3 Wales supporters in the pub so started the gig in a bad mood. Ed played on this by starting the set with Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Si stood with his arms folded as the pub joined in. Paul quietly ignored his Welsh heritage.

This time it was the turn of one of the PA speakers to play up, although we pretty much got through the set unscathed.

The following Thursday we headed out to Stone in Staffordshire to play at Langtrys ahead of St. Patrick’s Day. The mid-week crowd was appreciative and the set ended up with a game of Drummer Buckaroo. Si had to balance as many hats, trays and toys as possible on Paul’s head while the band played their final number.

One more week and we headed to Bayston Hill for a charity event. Local school teacher Hilary Doyle was diagnosed with Breast cancer last summer. She’s been battling since and the evening was set up in her name to raise money for local cancer charities. The evening was a sell out and Hilary was guest of honour, spending the evening dancing and generally having a good time. Our love goes out to Hilary and we hope she beats this cruel disease.

Bayston Hill

Bayston Hill

This Friday we’re playing at The Malthouse in Ironbridge.

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

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

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

Clatter dressed for the summer

Clatter dressed for the summer

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

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

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

The Banana Stand

The Banana Stand

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

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

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

The Crown 18 5 13

The Crown

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

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

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