Archive for March, 2006

Adventures of Eddie

Part 1 

I have become a tad lazy in the old blogs. I could blame work, but laziness is probably a bit nearer the truth. It’s not that I’ve not been busy, I’ve done lots of fun things since last we spoke.

I have my whole life set out on iCal (the calendar thingy you get when you buy a mac, following the good old tendency to insert a needless lower case i in front of all products. I have three calendars set up on it to cover my rota at work, ce stuff and various other projects. “Other projects” tends to involve our little wedding band gigs (or as we’re now apparently known Nice Guy Eddie in an obscure Reservoir Dogs reference, though I still Jonah And The Whalers was our finest hour…).

We’ve had five in four weeks, as busy as we’ve been, which took a hell of a lot of practice and a fair amount of traveling. I suppose i could give you a quick summary of each one, it’ll fill a few minutes of your lives if you’ve time on your hands, why else would you be reading this?

Thurs 16/2/06 Bloomfield Collegiate Formal – Clandeboye Lodge.

Now we’ve been around the block a few times and played at lots of hotels so we’ve a tendency to rate them, kind o a like a poor man’s michelin guide. Nice enough place. Enough sense to confine the drunk sixth formers to only one set of toilets and set a bouncer to guard the others. Nice wee stage for us to play on, cosy enough but enough room for me to turn round without cracking Steve’s cymbals with my guitar.

We tend to set up early before the meal gets going so we’re all ready to go in a very professional manner. In reality we set up early so we can head to the restaurant to get a big feed and do a verbal practice – involves the four of us sitting around a table doing air guitar/drum/bass/piano respectively and running through all the songs. It does tend to attract a look or two.

This was our first gig in a while and we had stacks of new songs to try out. The more we do this the more we realise the song order is key, if you can get the crowd up and dancing and then hit them with a few jackson 5 numbers then you’re sorted.

So some horrendous mistakes and some wonderful noise later we were done.

Fri 17/2/06 Dalriada Formal – Royal Court Hotel Portrush (the really nice one overlooking white rock beach).

Bit of a marathon drive to the north coast. Another pleasant addition to these gigs is that i now get skeno to drive everywhere cause both our stuff fits in his car (but alas not in mine). So we have a lovely two hour journey and his iPod for company. He also has the wonderful spoken bible by Mike Kellogg (as in the corn flake) so we just listen to that mostly or the fast emperors whichever takes our fancy. Somehow different when you hear the bible spoken as opposed to just reading it.

Another top notch feed, need we say more. And what a gig. Definitely down as our best so far. Folk who’d dance to anything. The Baywatch theme tune is our new favorite song, so many people running in slow motion. Goes down a treat. Alas broke a string, which on the strat is a bad idea so i missed two songs while changing it and the boys struggled on without me.

And then the old pack up. We take a lot of gear and PA stuff so it can take a fair while. In bed by 4.30 am. Not sure if Skeno was in fit state to drive home, eyes kept closing on him. at least i didn’t have to work till lunch the next day.

By the end of two gigs with my amp blaring in my right ear and Steve blaring in my left i was beginning to feel the pain of tinnitus… what?… speak up, i can’t hear you…

Part 2

tour diary – day 91 on tour and woodsy has fallen asleep with his face in last night’s pizza. Steve is passed out in the corner snorting coke. Skeno is tripping on the roof of the bus with a selection of teenage groupies. Andy still can’t get flippin 7 across….

Ah yes.

Wed 22/02/06 Church of Ireland Center Formal – Europa hotel.

Cool gig on a number of different levels. Firstly, it’s in Belfast so we don’t have to drive as far. Secondly we get to use the sneaky back entrance to the hotel. Which isn’t particularly glamorous as it’s just past a skip and lots of smelly rotten food into the bowels (not an inappropriate term) of the hotel. It’s like something from 28 days later, you’re waiting for zombie like creatures to burst through the ventilation pipes at you. You’re in the lift and you’re just waiting for it to judder to a halt and blood to pour from the ceiling…

So the Europa isn’t that glamorous, it’s just a poky room on the 13th (ooh er) floor. Though you do get a nice view of Belfast. Food tonight courtesy of Red Panda across the road, though Skeno wasn’t happy with the service cause no one would give him a glass of water no matter how may times he asked.

Quality ould gig, broke another string (i shall not use the green plectrum, i shall not use the green plectrum…) and the crowd danced from start to finish. Though dancing is a loose term. That’s the thing about playing at Christian gigs, so few of us ever go to clubs and as a result we’ve never got over that nervous self conscious shuffle that we do. Sends a shiver down my spine… Marks for enthusiasm though.

Baywatch moment of the night, three people in the corner incorporating CPR and the kiss of life into their dancing. Skeno moment of the night “God Bless the Anglican Church” incorporated into it must be love .

Clear up was the usual bant. Though we were left with one rather scary eastern European guy who was doing the dishes and was playing his most scary porcupine 3 (don’t ask) album. All very German goth esque.

Wed 8/03/06 Derryvolgie Formal (Presby halls in Belfast) Ramada Hotel

As always trying to be their early but i was working till 5pm and of course the 16 month old starts to have a seizure at that time so Andy sits in resus poking needles in babies and trying to get their temperature down (you wouldn’t believe how you can get paracetamol into a child…). So we end up leaving at 6.20 instead of 5.20. Oh well.

The Ramada’s a nice type of a place. We had some lovely duck and watched a terrible Scottish first league footy game while waiting for the meal to finish. Now this was a fun gig cause there were at least six CE folk at it so we knew a few there. Funny moments include me starting the wrong song at the wrong time in the wrong key. And the first “moshing” we’ve had at one of our gigs along with our first crowd surfer. Which is impressive with only 4 people dancing.

And I managed not to break a string.

Clear up fun as always. Me and Skeno just tried to work out the relationship of the people working behind the bar, they were flirting away with each other and it’s always fun trying to guess who’s leading who on. Yes we had too much time on our hands.

Quick reflection on the meaning of life on the way home and to bed.

Busy few weeks. I need a holiday methinks.


March 2006