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.

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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

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!

Loads to Catch Up On

July 10, 2014

So much going on that I haven’t had a chance to blog recently, so here’s a quick run down:

Pets

Pets

Sunday 22nd June – The Wrekin Inn.

As expected, a great afternoon. We tend, these days, to throw in a fairly random set at The Wrekin, rather than the usual stuff. This gig saw us attempt some Pink Floyd in the shape of Wish You Were Here. It went down well and we’ve decided it may have a more regular place in the set from now on.

The Wrekin

The Wrekin

Friday 27th June – The Barley, Newport.

Always a little nerve wracking at this kind of venue as people tend to start turning up later. As we started the crowd was fairly, shall we say, intimate, but as the set went on the crowd built and we ended the evening wondering what we had been worrying about.

Saturday 28th June – Wedding, Claverley

Congratulations to Naomi and Steve who got married and asked us to perform for them and their guests. The crowd were lovely and warm and had previously been treated to some music from a few family members.

Wedding

Wedding

Sunday 29th June – The Swan Beer Festival.

Two words which always make us happy are “Festival” and “Beer” and when combined they send us into paroxysms of joy. Unless you’re the one driving home from the gig. Good crowd, good beer, but sober bassist having to transport merry singer and drummer. 😦

Geoff & The Plot

Geoff & The Plot

Friday 4th July – The Kings Arms, Tipton

A return to the West Midlands and another evening of fun. On our first visit we’d had a very quiet reaction, with our second visit being a bit more rowdy. This third visit was between the two and the good news is that Paul got his hat back after it was stolen last visit.

Saturday 5th July – Clavstock and The Oakengates Carnival

Clavstock Before

Clavstock Before


Clavstock After

Clavstock After

Two festivals in one day! This was our second appearance at Clavstock (100 yards round the corner from the wedding gig we played the previous week) and was, for the first time, ticket only to limit numbers, such has been its popularity. 500 happy smiling faces singing along as we got silly. Great fun. Then we packed up and headed to Oakengates to perform a very short set sans drums. We were on a small B stage playing between a Madchester style band and Guns Or Roses, a G’n’R tribute. By the nature of the stage we were limited in the audience we could attract, but we seemed to drag in plenty and all seemed to enjoy us. We may have to try drumless sets again in the future.

Oakengates

Oakengates

Sunday 6th July – The Bulls Head, Whitchurch.

This was always planned to be an outdoors gig, playing in the beer garden, but on leaving Telford, the rain had been coming down. We all checked our various weather apps which agreed that rain was a distinct possibility. As we arrived, John, the landlord, opened the gate with his phone in his hand, also checking his weather app. While we discussed options thunder rattled around us, but in the end decided to brave it and set up underneath 3 parasols. As it turned out we had a short shower between setting up and sound checking and then a glorious evening.

Bulls Head Panorama

Bulls Head Panorama

As I write this we’re about to head out to play at The Crown in Oakengates, again hopefully outside. The weather looks far better!

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.

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

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