April Gigs

April 1, 2015

Come and see the April Fools at a gig near you :

Friday 10 – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Saturday 11, The Bear, Bridgnorth

Friday 17 – The Phez, Newport (celebrating Ed’s birthday – all welcome)

Saturday 18 – Hangover Central – Do Not Disturb

Friday 24 – The Pear & Partridge, Perton

Saturday 25 – The Duke Of York, Trench

All gigs start at 9:00PM or thereabouts.  Maybe a little later if Ed has to tune his guitars.

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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.

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!

January Gigs

January 8, 2015

We’ve got a quiet start to the year.  At our age we need most of the first quarter to recover from December!

Saturday 10 January – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Friday 16 January – Condover Social Club, Condover

Sunday 25 January – The Six Ashes, Bridgnorth

You can find the times and locations of all these venues and more at www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs

November Gigs

October 28, 2014

Some dates for your diary.

Friday 7 November – Molloys, Bury

Saturday 8 November – Bury Bowls Club

Friday 14 November – The Kings Arms, Tipton

Saturday 15 November – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Friday 21 November – The Friars, Bridgnorth

Saturday 29 November – The Britannia, Shrewsbury

Sunday 30 November – The Oddfellows Arms, Wellington

You can find the locations of all these venues and more at www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs

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!

Want to throw some ducks? Here’s where we’ll be in the next month.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2014

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2014

Thursday 28-Saturday 30 August – The Great Dorset Steam Fair – www.gdsf.co.uk/index.php/music-festival

Friday 5 September – Molloy’s, Bury.

Saturday 6 September – The Beeches, Bayston Hill

Friday 19 September – The Barley, Newport

Saturday 20 September – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Friday 26 September – The Kings Arms, Tipton.

You can find the locations of all these venues and more at www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs

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

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

Where did April go? One minute we were taking a long, arduous journey back from Wales, suddenly it’s May! Here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve been up to.

Fri 11th – The Dun Cow Shrewsbury. Almost a month ago. I have no idea. It can’t have been a bad gig or I’d remember.

Sat 12th – Private Function, Eccleshall. Only a day later, what do you want from me??? We were in a large room for someone’s 40th. There was beer and sausage rolls. And sandwiches. Always sandwiches.

Buckaroo

Buckaroo

Sun 13th – The Wrekin Inn, Wellington. Our last gig here before Sam leaves for pastures new (Bridgnorth). If you’ve seen one of our gigs here, you’ll know how it went. We decided to randomise the set a little, a trick which always keeps it fresh for us and those people who see us regularly.

Easter Weekend – Nothing. We ate chocolate and spent time with our families.

Sat 26th – Si travelled to Essex to play with his old band, Alchemy, for a one off fund raiser. Much louder than LTP, his hearing is still recovering.

Left Handed Si

Left Handed Si

Fri 2nd May – Ah, a little more recent! The crowd at Molloys are always great and security tell us that the pub was at capacity as they were having to turn people away. A sell out is always a great feeling. A sore throat, however, isn’t. Especially when it belongs to Ed, singer of all the songs. He got through it admirably, however.

Sat 3rd May – The George, Bridgnorth. Ed really not feeling well for our first visit to The George, but again makes it through brilliantly. Paul and Si have both played here previously in its previous guises as The Hollyhead and The Apple Shed, but the pub has had a (very classy) makeover in the intervening years. It’s not often we play in pubs where our feet don’t stick to the carpet – this was more like the carpet in your front room (you know, the good room that you only use when guests are round). On arrival it looked like a very small space to play in, but we fit in surprisingly well and enjoyed a good sized, attentive crowd. We’re hoping to be back next year.

George

George

This week we have three return visits to look forward to. Friday is The Malthouse in Ironbridge, Saturday is The Kings Arms in Tipton, and Sunday is The Telegraph in Castlefields, Shrewsbury.

As you may already know, May 19 sees the release of Ed’s first Unlawful Men album, Rope Or A Ladder. Keep up to date by visiting them on Facebook: facebook.com/EdConwayAndTheUnlawfulMen.

Rope Or A Ladder

Rope Or A Ladder