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

A few to catch up on,  so let’s dive in.

The Old Post Office.  Last time we were here our desk broke from the stress,  but all was OK this  time.

We’ve had bigger crowds here,  but fewer more enthusiastic.  What made the gig special, however, was Paul’s new flightcase.  As you probably know,  we bring a lot of peripherals to our gigs and these entail many trips to and from the van. Fortunately our ever-thinking drummer came up with a solution in the shape of a large, wheeled flightcase.  After putting everything in it we wheeled the case up the cobbles to the pub door only to discover that it wouldn’t fit through the door,  so it spent the evening just outside the pub.

A Flightcase.

A Flightcase.

Our next gig was a return visit to The Swan in Stone. We very quickly realised the flightcase wouldn’t make it through the door again,  so it stayed in the van while we played. Playing on a Wednesday we normally have smaller audiences than weekend gigs,  but we had a full pub this time.

Next up was due to be Shrewsbury’s Brittania Inn,  but sadly Ed’s voice was disappearing due to a cold.  He’d struggled manfully (?!) through Wednesday’s gig,  but this would have been near impossible,  particularly as we’d been booked for a wedding the next day and didn’t want to let the happy couple down. In any event,  we wouldn’t have managed to get the flightcase in through the door.

So, onto the wedding. This was taking place in the beautiful surroundings of a golf club in Chepstow.  The big problem here was the fact that we had to carry everything up a small staircase to the first floor – the flightcase never even made it out of the van.  We were joined by Den for this gig,  so sounded somewhat musical for a nice change.

We woke the next morning for a drive to Shrewsbury and The Telegraph, with Den in tow for another gig.  By this point the flightcase was buried at the back of the van and wasn’t coming out.

A member of the audience threw us a challenge to play an instrumental and the result was captured on video by our friend Shelley – see what you think:

We went on to Harper Adams university next for a staff/ex-student dinner,  again upstairs,  rendering the flightcase unusable. After an early setup we had a late start,  so visited Paul’s second home,  Newport’s curry house for some sustenance before returning to perform for a typically drunken university audience.

The Harper Party

The Harper Party

We then headed back to Wales and another 2 day residency at Rummers, again with added musicality from Den. By this time Paul had accepted the reality that his flightcase experiment had failed and it was unceremoniously dumped at home. Night one of the residency was a great result,  the pub being almost deserted until the point we started playing.  As usual the pub filled quickly with a great audience,  most of whom were excited to learn we’d be back the following evening.

Playing two days on the trot here makes things a lot easier as we don’t have to pack up at the end of the first night, nor set up on the second night, so on Saturday we went for a curry before the gig. All went well until Paul discovered a body part in his drink. No names, no pack drill, but eye don’t think Paul was too happy.

"Eye Love Curry!" - Paul Crewe.

“Eye Love Curry!” – Paul Crewe.

We finished the month off at The Boars Head in Shrewsbury. Having been a busy month, Paul spent a short while checking his eyelids for holes before we started:

Sandman Has Come For Paul

Sandman Has Come For Paul

You can keep up to date with our upcoming gigs at www.losttheplotband.co.uk/gigs and come back soon to find out how Santa has ruined Christmas for us.

See you soon!

October Gigs

October 1, 2014

In October we’ll be mainly playing these gigs:

Fri 10 October – The Old Post Office, Shrewsbury

Wednesday 15 October – The Swan Inn, Stone

Friday 17 October – The Britannia, Shrewsbury

Saturday 18 October – Private Function

Sunday 19 October – The Telegraph, Castlefields, Shrewsbury

Thursday 23 October – Private Function

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 October – Rummers Wine Bar, Aberystwyth

Sunday 26 October – The Boars Head, Shrewsbury

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

Aberystwyth In The Rain

February 3, 2014

Back to Aber for the weekend? No problem.

The Crowd

The Crowd

“The Uni students are being evacuated from the town ahead of the expected storms this weekend” read Ed’s text. Oh dear. Rummers is normally full of students out for a noisy Friday and/or Saturday night.

The Landlord was optimistic. “The building’s been here for 350 years – it’ll be no problem!”

With this in mind we headed West on Friday evening, the weather improving the further we got from Telford. The pub was quiet when we arrived, but then it normally is, most people starting to turn up while we set up. By the time we started at 10, we had a good sized crowd and it built as the evening developed.

Maracas

Maracas

After what was a bloomin’ long set (Ed just keeps managing to think of other songs to go into!), a crowd of students promised to return the following evening to see us again.

They were as good as their word and many more joined them. It seems the much publicised evacuations didn’t do much to keep them away from town. All day Saturday the wind blew and the rain came. The river, which runs right next to the pub, was higher than we’ve seen it, causing the road into the car park to flood somewhat and the wind was wailing between the masts of the boats moored across the river, but still they came.

Where's Wally?

Where’s Wally?

We’ve had some great times at Rummers, but this was probably our favourite so far. The crowd were right in our faces all night and refused to let us go when we said we’d finished our set. It took us 36 encores to quieten them down enough for us to leave.

It probably didn’t cause us any harm that Wales had won their first match of the 6 Nations earlier that day, so we dedicated Delilah to the team and a near riot developed – I’ve no idea whether Ed actually sang the song as the crowd were too loud to hear him over.

The journey back to the bungalow in which we stay was an interesting one. It seems the storm picked up while we were playing. The flood outside the car park had gone, but the road up the coast through Borth was covered in beach, making our trip home rather hazardous. By the time we arrived home we desperately needed a couple of beers to calm our frazzled nerves.

Serious Face

Serious Face

What a way to finish our early 2014 run of gigs. We’re taking a month off to catch our collective breath and try a few new songs and we’ll be back at the start of March for a return to Forton Cricket Club. More details will follow soon.

Have a great February and we’ll see you soon.

The Plot.

Update Early December

December 8, 2013

I know it’s been a while, but we’ve been busy in the background at Plot Towers recently, so it’s about time for a quick update ahead of the Xmas period.

Welsh Dragon

Welsh Dragon

After waving Gav off the previous week, the weekend of the 22nd was host to just one gig. Paul was working on sound for the British Gymnastics team, so we only played on the Friday at Molloy’s in Bury. Si and Paul headed off during the day to Leicester to set up for Paul’s weekend, before driving north to Bury to meet Ed for the gig. As is often the case here, the pub was rammed and a great time was had by all. Poor old Paul headed back to Leicester to get a couple of hours’ of pushing out the zeds before his weekend of playing DJ, while Ed and Si headed home.

For the end of November we headed to Aberystwyth for a 2-night residency at Rummers. As a surprise, Den York joined us again – he had been due to be working abroad, but we were very happy to have him add his guitar talents to our cacophony once more. The Friday night saw the return of Paul’s famous tambourine solo. Hopefully this will be seen in the set more frequently in 2014 – it’s a sight not to be missed.

Tambourine Solo

Tambourine Solo

On Sunday we returned to Shropshire, stopping off at The Telegraph in Shrewsbury. We’ve not had a duff gig here yet and this afternoon was no different – a great crowd in both size and enthusiasm.

This week we started off the weekend at The Duke in Oakengates for what was possibly our best audience here so far. Most of the evening seemed to be taken up by trying to prevent people stealing our toys and hats, but it all seemed to be in good humour.

Ed 'n' Den

Ed ‘n’ Den

On Saturday we returned to The Boars Head in Shrewsbury. Some of our regular friends came along with others in tow and, although the audience was small, it was perfectly formed. A little like Paul, in fact, who decided to take this weekend as the opportunity to try out his new stage gear – he is now Waistcoat Man. Come to future gigs and you can rate his waistcoats. The lovely example shown here cost him a massive £4 and you can see where the money was spent in the production of such a lovely piece of attire.

Waistcoat

Waistcoat

Another couple of gigs coming up this weekend. Friday is time for a new venue for the band (although Ed and Paul have played here before), Hales Club in Hales, near Market Drayton and Sunday sees a rare appearance in the band’s home town of Newport at The Barley.

The following week is a biggy, with 5, count ’em – FIVE – gigs between Wednesday and Sunday.

*Deep breath*

Wednesday 18 – Ed’s works’ Xmas Party, Thursday 19 – The Crown, Oakengates, Friday 20 – The Green Man, Milwich, Saturday 21 – The Admiral Duncan, Baschurch and Sunday 22 – The Wrekin Inn, Wellington.

Come along and see Christmas in with some idiots!

WeeMann & Clatter

WeeMann & Clatter

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.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook & Twitter and keep uip to date with all the news at http://www.losttheplotband.co.uk