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!

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December Gigs

December 1, 2014

Xmas Duck

Xmas Duck

Christmas is almost upon us and here’s what we’re planning in the way of celebration:

Friday 5 December – Rummers Wine Bar, Aberystwyth

Sunday 7 December – The Telegraph, Shrewsbury

Friday 12 December – The Barley, Newport

Thursday 18 December – The Crown, Oakengates

Friday 19 December – The Old Post Office, Shrewsbury

Saturday 20 December – The Swan Inn, Stone

Sunday 21 December – The Green Man, Milwich

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

The Xmas Xtravaganza 2013

December 27, 2013

So, it’s all over for 2013. And what a run into Christmas.

It all started on Friday 13th at Hales Club near Market Drayton. Ed and Paul have played here previously (Ed as recently as Fireworks Night, with a reformed Tap The Keg), but it’s a first for The Plot. The room was built onto the side of the cottage owned by the Lord Of The Manor to house his organ and looks beautiful, with a balcony round two of the four walls. Plenty of Ed’s friends from his Tap days came along and we started getting into the Christmas spirit nicely.

Bouzouki Solo

Bouzouki Solo

Two days later and we rock up at The Barley in Newport, the band’s home town. We weren’t expecting a packed pub on a Sunday evening running up to Christmas, but we had a respectable and enthusiastic crowd and have booked several gigs for 2014 on the more popular Friday evening.

Our final weekend of the year was also our busiest. We went into it knowing that it was going to hurt, and hurt it did.

Hugo's Xmas Dinner

Hugo’s Xmas Dinner

Wednesday:
Ed’s works’ Christmas party in Whitchurch.

We were supplied with our first Christmas meal of the season and were bombarded with ducks in a way rarely seen. It seems Ed may not be as popular at work as he thinks… Ed made it through the gig OK, but had woken that day feeling unwell – the first signs of a difficult week to come for him. Halfway through the gig Si started developing a sore throat.

Ed Shows Off To Work Colleagues

Ed Shows Off To Work Colleagues

Thursday:
The Crown, Oakengates.

A year on from our previous Oakengates Christmas gig and Ed is still feeling unwell. Si’s throat has developed into a cold/sore throat. On the upside, the pub is full to bursting and adrenaline gets the band through. One of our favourites.

The Fat Tomato

The Fat Tomato

Friday:
The Green Man, Milwich.

As with last year’s Christmas run up, we headed to Milwich the day after Oakengates. On arrival we let Ed have a doze in the van while we went in and said hello and organised our area. Much like last year the pub was full and everyone was in the mood to party, with Si serving behind the bar as the gig finished. A certain 90 year old lady also turned up to admonish us over the dog throwing incident of last year…

Wet

Wet

As the evening ended we booked to play at a special event the pub are planning in 2015 – it’s the 25th anniversary of the landlord taking over the pub and the 200th anniversary of the pub opening.

Saturday:
The Admiral Duncan, Baschurch.

Almost there. This was an odd one. A decent sized crowd, plenty of people singing and dancing, but little applause as we finished songs. Odd, but successful.

How On Earth Did That Get Up There???

How On Earth Did That Get Up There???

Sunday:
The Wrekin, Wellington.

Possibly the one we were most looking forward to. Our first gig as Lost The Plot was here almost two years ago and we always have great Sunday afternoons here. Today was no different. We handed out Xmas hats before we started and, as hoped, the pub was rammed. Si’s voice had almost completely gone by now, but Ed was feeling a little better than he had. The audience were wonderful and everything went according to plan.

Puttin' On The Style

Puttin’ On The Style

Now, to rest.

It’s two weeks until our first gig of the New Year. We’re playing at The January Jog in Newport on Sunday 5th January and then we’ll be at The Malthouse in Ironbridge on the 10th.

Have a great Christmas and New year and we’ll see you in 2014. We’re all off to spend some time with our families and relax but, more importantly, get away from one another for a few days!

Happy Christmas.

Ed, Paul & Si.

A Successful End To 2013

A Successful End To 2013

That Was 2012…

December 24, 2012

Well, that just about wraps it up for 2012.  Our final two gigs were on Thursday at The Crown in Oakengates and Saturday at The Green Man in Milwich, our first visit to Staffordshire.

The Crown doubled as a leaving party for our friend, Chris Payne, who is moving to Abu Dhabi in the new year.  As usual, the crowd were great, getting into our brand of humour from the get go.  Ed made several references to his new rubber chicken (or Cock, as it has been christened).  Cue endless jokes about squeezing/holding/waving/stroking/treading on* Ed’s Cock.  The fun never starts!

*delete as applicable.

Of vital importance to the band was the addition of a new ale into the pub’s repertoire – Arkwright’s Tarquin F’Tang F’Tang Ole Biscuitbarrel.  On name alone we had to try it and, as should be expected in The Crown, we weren’t disappointed.  A lovely English Pale ale, we had to try a couple, just to make sure it did taste as good as we first thought.  It did.

The only sad part of the evening was the fact that Chris, unfortunately, had a dodgy pint which made him rather ill.  He can’t remember if it was the 14th or 15th.

The Crown 20 12 12

The Crown – photo by Chris Payne

On Saturday we braved floods to travel to Milwich in Staffordshire for our final gig of 2012 at The Green Man. We walked in to find a very small, old fashioned pub and spent 5 minutes nursing a pint of Doom Bar whilst figuring out how we would fit without preventing people getting into the pub.  We worked it out and were soon kicking into Road To Nowhere.  People came in from the other bar after eating and, about 4 or 5 songs in, a large group of people arrived.

“What happened?” asked Ed, “Did a coach break down outside?” Chatting to a couple of people in the interval it turned out he wasn’t far from the truth – a coach trip had become a pub crawl – these people would soon be leaving.  Or so they thought.  As the second set developed they stayed, stunned at what they saw, wondering whether it would get any more sensible…

This audience was probably a microcosm of the audience Lost The Plot aim to please – we had people from 19 to 90 watching and, without exception, getting into everything we did.  WeeMann picked out the person who would catch our drowned dog during Irish Rover, a young lad in with his mates.  Unfortunately he missed and hit a frail, if feisty,  90 year old lady perched next to him on a bar stool, nearly knocking her to the floor.  Fortunately she took it in good humour.

We couldn’t have asked or hoped for a better way to end the year than this gig and we’ll certainly be returning.

So with those two gigs Lost The Plot is finished for 2012.  We’re going to have a rest over the Xmas period and come back refreshed in the new year.  We start 2013 the way we finished 2012 – with a party!  In fact, we’ve been asked to perform for The Malthouse’s staff Xmas party.  Our first public gig is on Fri 11th at The Old Post Office in Shrewsbury followed by a return to Oakengates on the 18th at The Duke and The Malthouse on the 25th.

On the 26th we’re off up to Coton, just outside Whitchurch, to visit The Dog & Bull for the first time and we finish off January with our next gig at The Wrekin in Wellington.

You can keep an eye on our gigs at http://www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs/ and you can explore the site and find out more about the band.

The rest of 2013 is looking fairly busy, with over 40 gigs already in the diary, so you needn’t miss out on your dose of silly next year.  February sees the first anniversary of the formation of the band and we have a special event planned, so keep your eye on our website for more details as we get closer

We’d just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s come to see us this year, from people who have returned on several occasions (fools!) to those who have stumbled in unaware of what was going on (Newspaper Man in Aberyswyth).  We’ve really enjoyed our first year as a band, from the highs to the lows, everything has given us a laugh and that couldn’t happen without you, the audience.

If you like us, please share the link to our blog across Facebook, Twitter or any other website you’ve got access to, tell people about us, drag people along to see us and generally spread the word.  That word being ‘Stupid!’

We love you all,

Ed, Paul & Si.

x

Ed, Paul & Si.

Ed, Paul & Si.