An 80th Birthday

It might seem unusual to have a rock/pop band for an 80th Birthday, but the birthday boy has followed us for a number of years now so it seemed apt.

The hotel it was held at was a great place. Top end of Heckmondwike; a place called Healds Hall.

It was an early start as we had to be set up by 6. The load in was quite easy although I think the staff were very surprised when we kept loading more and more boxes into the place though.

Setup went well. It was the first full length gig for a while so we ran through a few of the songs we’d not played to just brush them up. Strangely, the last few gigs had all been around an hour performance time. We had to be silent at 6:45 as the special guest was arriving for a “meal in the restaurant” but he was then told the restaurant was very busy so they were in the back room…

Surprise!

The first set was a blue suit set. It felt a little tight on me and even though the scales show my weight hasn’t changed I need to keep an eye on that. It could be that my newest jeans all have stretch in them and I’m not used to a rigid waistband? After all the waistcoat and shirt felt fine.

In-between we had food. That, for me, wasn’t great. No detriment to the food, but as a vegetarian any mention of buffet or hot buffet fills me with dread. If it isn’t the mixed sandwiches cross contamination hell, or the “has it got meat in it” roulette with quiche, it’s the hot buffet “that’s your entire vegetarian choice” which contained aubergine. I don’t like aubergine.

The chips were nice though.

For the second set, after much threatening and teasing I wore the PVC suit. Dennis had been searching for one for himself and like many others who weren’t quick enough when I told them about it, he’d missed the boat. He then ribbed me about it onstage… Twat.

I combined with with the new shirt I got from River Island.

I looked good. Kinky good.

Sadly that’s where the good ends, as I’ll never wear that suit onstage with Face the Music again. 45 minutes in a plastic sauna suit under hot lights… Nope nope nope nope nope.

I suppose the one amusing thing was the stereotyping thing… Apparently shiny suits like that are usually worn by gay men.

Yeah whatever…

I’ve got thick skin. I don’t actually give a toss.

So, back to normality for a few weeks. And next time it’ll be back to normal jeans for the second set.

Double Banger again.

Bank holidays seem to have this strange ability to become two gig weekends, this was no exception.

Saturday was Ingoldmells – a tediously long drive out there, followed by a rather questionable gig, followed by a tedious drive home and a 3am bedtime.

The weather was beautiful though, we sat outside until after 7.

The stage backdrop was rather cool.

A rather beautiful moon graced the sky.

Sadly, the respect we received wasn’t good. Firstly we were told to arrive by 6, and yet we weren’t allowed to set up until after the football had finished on the main stage screen.

Then, setting up behind the children’s entertainment was not entirely safe.

Finally, not being allowed to soundcheck until 15 minutes before stage time wasn’t professional.

I didn’t enjoy the gig.

Sunday on the other hand was a total flip. A great club, well thought out, decent staff, easy load, and customers who dance!

The journey up was fuelled by coffee. A big coffee.

The stage looked great lit by a star cloth.

First set. They don’t dance during the first set.

A much better experience which totally undid all the bad feeling from the night before.

A summer of maintenance.

My bass gear needs a bit of TLC this summer.

My bass itself hasn’t been cleaned or maintained as well as it should be because we’ve had such a massive gig schedule; plus my case handle on the Warwick Thumb flight case is really badly broken and now hurts to carry the bass with.

My other case with the Rock Bass in it has all broken clips and gaffa tape really doesn’t look that good over them, although the bass itself isn’t too bad.

So… Plans… Stage 1 : The Warwick Thumb

1. Reposition and fit a new spring handle. Much comfier to carry long distances, plus I can balance it for the bass so it’s at the centre of gravity.

2. Clean this minging thing! Total clean, polish, new strings. Also, good service on the electronics with contact cleaner.

The next stage involves the Rock Bass and that’s next week.

New photo

Today I decided I needed a new photo.

The nice thing about being a photographer, though, is that when you need a new photo to represent yourself it’s fairly easy to sort and costs nothing.
The new one represents me as I now am due to my rather dramatic change of hair (or loss of…).
Taken using three strobes, all at the left of the picture and all bounced into umbrellas – silver for my face, and white for the rest of me.
I had to do a little work on the highlights, particularly around the headstock of the bass and on my trousers and the guitar strap, but the effort was worth it and I’m really pleased with the result.

Five things I discovered this week:

1. Tesco’s Mobile Phone Shop in Wath is crap.

2. Volvo drivers are blind. They must be, cos they never see anyone else on the road.

3. Apparently, you have to tune your bass weekly… damn.

4. Something I posted a month ago came true recently… read between the lines… you know what I mean.

5. Micro USB exists… and I thought my new Samsung phone had a bizarre charger it turns out it’s the new standard one for all phones.

Cough… Oink…

It seems I’ve succumbed to Swine Flu. I blame the pigs.

I feel pretty damned rough, and it’s not helping the fact that my old injury of my broken pinkie has decided to become sore again… I may end up having that one checked out… I know I’ve not broken it again, but I do fear arthritis may set in…

Meanwhile, I’ve been shifting my focus back onto my upright acoustic bass ready for Paul’s wedding do next weekend… it’s just whether I’m well enough to fit a rehearsal in?

Finally… my complaint about the police has been put in. I was disgusted by the way I was given hardly any time to show my phone log, and then the w**ker of a “copper” said he “didn’t believe me”. He was arrogant – just the sort of police officer we DON’T want in the force.

I have sent off the little bit at the bottom of the yellow ticket asking to go to court, and now await the latest phone bill. My doctor’s letter more than clarifies that I couldn’t possibly answer a phone using my left ear – and my apprentice, Alex, is willing to go to court with me and stand as a witness.

Before I forget – my ear has an update as of today – it crackled rather painfully earlier today, and I gained back another % of my hearing – I’d say I’m now at 60% in my left ear, and 95% in my right ear… looking up!

Loud and low!

What we have here is a 15″ speaker, which over the weekend will be mounted in my bottom cab to replace the rather naff 15″ unit currently in there.

This speaker is mine, but was in the PA at the Montgomery Hall on long term loan after they blew up the one in their system, but when the Fireguard / fire extinguisher fiasco blew up I took my ball home, or rather took my PA home… including my old QTX amp (300w, cheap, but a very nice little amp), and my entire rack of effects.