OPO & Baschurch

November 10, 2013

Another couple of crackers this weekend.

On Friday we returned to The Old Post Office in Shrewsbury, scene of some of our favourite gigs. Regular followers of the band and this blog may remember that our friend, Chris Payne, moved to Abu Dhabi at the start of the year and celebrated his move by coming to our gig at The Crown just before Christmas. Well, Chris was back in the country for a couple of weeks, so used this gig as an excuse to have a few beers with some friends. Better than this, prior to arriving at the pub he and his mates went for the obligatory curry. We were about 3 songs into our set as they arrived and Chris walked up to offer us a bag of naan breads for our consumption in the break. The gig was as much fun as any we have had here and we can’t wait to get back at the end of January.

Chris Payne & Spank

Chris Payne & Spank

On Saturday we were at the Admiral Duncan in Baschurch. It was a little quieter than normal (obviously the locals know when to avoid the pub!), but it picked up as we started playing and the crowd were brilliant. The Landlord was away on holiday, so he had his friend Jamie standing in for him. It seems he didn’t know what was coming and spent the whole evening with a silly grin on his face.

Smack!

Smack!

We ended the evening doing something we don’t normally do. One thing that happens a lot when you’re in a band is that you get that one drunken person asking if they can come up and sing a song, because they’re really good singers and do you know something by Celine Dion? Apart from the fact that we don’t know any Celine Dion, very few drunken people can actually sing that well, especially by the end of the evening. We took a punt this time and let Jamie’s better half, Amy, up to sing a song with us. Initially she had asked about doing something by Olivia Newtron-Bomb, so we figured it couldn’t hurt to let her do the female lines in Summer Nights – we only play the one verse, so it would be over quickly if she couldn’t sing!

It turns out that she can sing. Very well. Very well indeed.

A spur of the moment decision saw her sing Hallelujah with Ed figuring out the chords as he went along. To say she brought the house down is an understatement. To end the gig with a spot of real musicality was an odd experience for us, and one I doubt we’ll repeat too frequently, but one we’ll treasure.

We’re hoping to be back in Baschurch in the New Year.

Gav Hedge

Gav Hedge

Next weekend Paul is busy in his other life operating sound for a gymnastics competition oop north, but we have a special treat. Our friend Gav Hedge, from the Scottish town of Forfar, is heading to Shropshire for a weekend of gigs. You can catch him on Friday at The Telegraph in Castlefields, on Saturday at Newport’s New Inn, or at The Wrekin Inn, Wellington on Sunday afternoon. Gav plays acoustic guitar using some kind of voodoo to create his own backing tracks live – it’s a wonder to behold. Ed & Si are providing technical backup and may join in for one or two numbers. This really is a set of gigs not to be missed, not least because they are unlikely to be repeated. Check out our Facebook Page for more details.

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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…

A Day In The Life…

June 20, 2013

We documented a recent trip to Shrewsbury. Watch and see what happened. Part II will follow shortly.

Hit for Six

May 12, 2013

Edcase really needs to learn to think hard before he makes decisions. As a result of a seemingly simple decision made as we finished setting up on Saturday night’s gig in Forton, band members were repeatedly injured throughout the night. But more of this shortly.

Friday was a return gig at The Duke in Oakengates. Our last gig here could so easily have been a disaster due to the heavy snow, but fortunately people came out. It was similar this time, although not due to the weather. Oakengates is seeing fewer people out on a Friday evening at the moment and, as before, the pub was almost deserted as we started playing. Like last time, though, people started turning up during the first set until we had a respectable audience all keen for a good night out. The bar staff surprised us when they showed us that they had kept some masks we left behind in January. By way of revenge for scaring us in this manner, WeeMann took the photo below, asking the barmaids to say cheese as he snapped away. All smiled for the camera before one asked “Why am I smiling with a mask on???”

Cheese!!!

Cheese!!!

And so to Saturday. A fundraiser for Forton Cricket Club, with us being booked by our friend Phiz. The decision Ed made? To leave ducks on the tables throughout the room. So that people could throw them at us.

The people in this case being cricketers, who can throw harder and more accurately than the average drunken pub patron. To top it off, Clatter decided to point out that it wouldn’t matter due to the fact that it was only Forton XI, so we’d be safe. WeeMann barely leapt out of the way before Clatter was hit by a hail of ducks. This continued throughout the night, with WeeMann eventually using a safety helmet for protection after being hit by a particularly accurately thrown duck. New balls please:

Cricket Box

Cricket Box

Edcase has been relieved of decision making duties until he can demonstrate an ability to think through the consequences of his actions.

Following this gig we have reached our milestone of 200 likes on Facebook. Our 200th fan, Sarah Foster, will be receiving a small gift shortly.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, we have uploaded a short video from last week’s gig in Aberystwyth filmed by our tame camera man, Dave. Good job as usual, Dave.

We’ve got a couple of weeks’ break now before we head north to Dundee and Forfar to play at the Forfarfest music festival. We loved playing there last year, so are really looking forward to our return trip. We’ll be staying with our good friends Gav and Jen again and playing alongside Gav at the festival. Can’t wait.

For all our local fans, we’ll be back at the Malthouse in Ironbridge on Friday 7 June and then onto the Newport Carnival on the Saturday afternoon before heading to the Admiral Duncan in Baschurch in the evening.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and also at www.losttheplotband.co.uk where you can check out our gig calendar.

See you at a gig 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

Today we’re hitting the road to head north to Dundee for a short tour north of the border.

After an overnight break tonight, we’ll be driving the final few miles to Forfar tomorrow for our first gig at the Chapter & Verse in Castle Street.  This will be followed by our Saturday night appearance at Legends, a bar in Dundee’s Dock Street:

Legends, Dundee

Assuming we’re still fit, on Sunday we’ll be returning to Forfar for our farewell gig at the Vine & Monkey in West High Street.  Fittingly, they server Loons Ale, brewed exclusively for two Forfar pubs.  I think we may have to try a pint or three.

If you can’t make it to Dundee to follow us, firstly, you clearly aren’t devoted enough, but secondly we’ll be back in Shrewsbury next week at the Telegraph Vaults.  Details will follow next week.

Keep your eye on our Twitter page for news as it happens over the weekend.

Assuming we stay sober enough to use it.