UK DATES 21/11/98 - 18/12/99

1998-11-21, London - Water Rats Theatre

I was at home, it was more than a year since the CARTER split and I was getting bored of watching daytime TV. I decided that I needed to play a gig. I called Carter's agent and told him that I wanted to play a gig in London on 21st November. He called back two hours later to tell me that he had booked a gig at The Water Rats. He then asked me what the band was like.

I realised that I didn't yet have a band and I only had three songs. I wasn't starting completely from scratch as I had already approached Alain and asked if he would play guitar if I got a band together. So I got straight back on the phone and told him about the gig. He has his own band called ELECTRIC (check them out when you can) and suggested that we ask bass player Andy and drummer Tasha to join us for the gig. This seemed the ideal situation as I would have a ready made band!

I set about writing more songs and arranging the first rehearsal. When we played together for the first time it was really weird for me as I hadn't sung lead vocals in a band since I was 20 (that's a bloody long time). By the end of the rehearsal I knew that Abdoujaparov was going to work and I felt my confidence rising.

Before the next rehearsal I got a phone call from Tasha who said that although she would do the gig as promised, if I could find someone else to do the job it would make her life a lot easier. She had begun working with a band called Shamrock, and they had suddenly found themselves with a hit on their hands. She was on TV every other day and totally exhausted.

After a few seconds of panic, I called up my ex-Carter comrade Ben, who said that he would be delighted to play drums although he said he was pretty rusty and had never played punk rock before.Luckily, he already had a tape of the stuff that I had written so far, so he already knew the songs.

It was great to have Ben around and he fit into the Abdoujaparov sound perfectly. The second rehearsal was even better than the first!

After 3 more rehearsals we were ready, which was a good job as the gig was the next day.

Here we were on the day of the gig. I was woken at 8:30 by the guy who had delivered the hire-van, he wasn't supposed to deliver it until noon, so I was a bit pissed off.

I had to do a few bits and bobs like printing out the setlists and making sure that the guest-list was OK. At noon Ex-Carter roadies Daz and Harry loaded up the equipment and left for the gig. At about 4pm Ben, Alain and myself walked to Brixton Station and hopped the first tube to Kings Cross.

When we arrived at the gig, Daz and Harry were nowhere to be found. They had arrived early and had gone off for something to eat. They arrived about 10 minutes later and we all pitched in to unload the van and to set up the gear on-stage.

The soundcheck went really well, it was great to hear the band at proper gig volume. The sound was fucking great, the engineers really knew what they were doing.

For the next 3 hours we went over to a local pub, had coffee, beer, crisps a few games of pool.

Eventually it was time to return to the venue and to my surprise there was a large queue stretching out from the venue. It was really hard to fight out way to the dressing room through the throngs of hand-shakers and well-wishers. It was great to see everyone though, especially the folks that I had only met over the internet. Jim (Bob) was there and told me to break a leg. With my history of pre-gig injury, that was just asking for trouble.

We watched some of 1st support band Baptiste who I liked, especially their last song. By the time Diamond Fix were on though I was far too nervous to know what was going on. I steadied my nerves with a few bottles of beer and before we knew it, it was time to hop on-stage.

The reception from the crowd was almost overwhelming as I strapped on my guitar and walked over to the unfamiliar centre stage spot. For a split second I was too nervous to even speak, but somehow either the beer or professionalism took over and I started to sing "There's Nobody Less Rock 'N' Roll Than Me". From then on it was easy, I hardly forgot any words at all.

It was so good to be back on-stage, I really felt that I was back home.

The setlist went like this:

There's Nobody Less Rock 'N' Roll Than Me
I Don't Know
Punk Confetti
Aren't We All (Hero)
Loser's Walk
Queen Bitch
Murder On Dalberg Rd
Maria's Umbrella

After the shortish set we were asked back for an encore and had to do two of the songs for the second time as we didn't know any other songs.

After the gig I rested a while and then went out to greet friend and family and to accept their praise ;-). We loaded up the gear and went back to my place were there was much debauchery to be seen.

Thanks to everyone who came to the gig, it was really good to see you all. We'll have to do it again soon.

Cheers love Fruity xxx

1999-01-30, Chelmsford - Y Club

It has been a bit of a struggle this week. I woke up on Monday morning with a really bad stomach ache and spent the whole week trying all sorts of pills and potions vainly trying to make it better. I thought that I must have an ulcer or something, it just wouldn't stop hurting.

We had band practice on Tuesday and it just wasn't gelling, we tried our hardest, but somehow it wasn't come out right. If you ask anyone in a band, they'll tell you that sometimes this happens, I know it always used to happen with Carter. So we just put it down to luck and hoped that Friday's rehearsal would turn out right.

Indeed, Friday's rehearsal was much better, despite the fact that I was still suffering from my aggravating belly, I had a bit of trouble remembering the words, but I put that down to the huge amounts of Ibruprofen that I had been swallowing over the previous four days.

Saturday, the day of Abdoujaparov Gig #2. I didn't really sleep much the night before due to nerves and stuff, so I woke up feeling pretty shitty. I've never been much of a nervous bloke, but this singing lark is a lot more difficult than it looks and I'm terrified of forgetting the words.

I fired up my trusty Laptop and printed out the setlists, then we went to pick up the van - load up the van and set off for Chelmsford. Thanks to the superior navigational skills of veteran roadies 'arry and Micky we found the Y Club with no difficulty at all and we soon had the equipment loaded in and ready to Rock 'n Roll.

Whilst the guys were setting up I squeezed in a quick interview with Radio Phoenix (the station is due to be on air for 28 days in March). It was my first interview for a while so I rabbited on for ages, but I think that some of it made sense.

We had a pretty good soundcheck helped by the friendly and efficient venue soundgeezer. We soundchecked with Baby Food, Aren't We All, Rose and Queen Bitch.

After the soundcheck we went out to get some chips to line our stomachs for the impending alcohol intake. When we got back we did a quick photo session with the lovely Miriam, who politely bossed us around and snapped hopefully at our best sides.

Before we had time to get settled into the dressing room, Pharmacy were on-stage sounding like they had been playing for years, despite the fact that they looked like they weren't long out of short trousers (that's a compliment, people). They are a really good band with some great songs and I recommend that if you get the chance you should go and see them.

As per usual, I had a billion things to do in the hour before we were due to go on stage so I managed to miss most of Ton Up Kid. What I did hear though, sounded pretty pro and raucous. I guess that they should be huge pop stars as they are already acting like they are.

Abdoujaparov wandered on-stage unceremoniously at about 10:30 and we quietly went about our business. I have made a mental note to sort out an intro tape for the next gig as our entrance isn't the most exciting I've ever seen for a band.

I still had my bad stomach (yes, it's boring for me too) so I had a bit of difficulty concentrating and as a result forgot half of the words for the first song, There's Nobody Less Rock 'n' Roll Than Me. We quickly followed that slowie with some faster songs and the set began to take shape and momentum. My favourite part of tonight's set was the quiet and slow acoustic bit in the middle, somehow the louder songs sounded a bit leaden.

I felt a little uncomfortable up there on-stage as there was quite a bit of space between myself and the crowd. That is apart from Rob, Mark and Kenny who were right up next to the stage and dancing like mad things for most of the set. Thanks to Rob who helped me with a few lyrical prompts.

I noticed loads of folk with assorted cameras and tape recorders so I expect that there will be a shed load of bootlegs flying around before long.


There's Nobody Less Rock 'n' Roll Than Me
I Don't Know
Punk Confetti
Aren't We All
Losers Walk
Queen Bitch
Murder On Dalberg Rd
Baby Food
The Abdoujaparov Theme Song
Maria's Umbrella

So to sum things up for the gig: Not as good as the Water Rats gig - must do better - can do better - will do better at The Garage next Saturday.

By the way, thanks to Essex Police. We were stopped in our van just outside Chelmsford and our passengers in the back were told to get out or our driver Micky would be charged with dangerous driving. This meant two hefty cab fares back to London and an extreme emptying of my wallet (Boo Hoo).

Don't worry, I won't let the bastards grind me down,

love fruity xxx

1999-02-06, London - The Garage

After the trials and tribs of last weeks gig, I knew that this gig had to be a good one. Those kind and thoughtful young chaps Midget let us squeeze onto the bill of their London show and it was great to see them again. They have grown up a bit both musically and in inches since the days when they supported Carter on the final tour. We arrived at The Garage in time to watch Midget's soundcheck which sounded pretty bloody good.

Thanks to the Midget crew and the guys from the venue crew we were ready to soundcheck ourselves in record time. Unfortunately by the time that we had gotten everything working on-stage Andy (our bass player) still hadn't turned up. Alain and myself took turns playing bass whilst the other played guitar, it all sounded pretty shambolic but we knew that it'd be all right on the night as long as Andy showed up.

Luckily for us and the ears of the audience Andy did turn up, apparently he had been doing something very rock 'n' roll and had lost track of time. It was still very early and about 2 hours till doors, so I took the opportunity to wander over to a nearby pub and do a quick interview with Anthony and Dan from Drummachine. It was a good little interview and helped me air a few of the ideas that had been flying around my head for a bit. I'lllet you know when it's out and about.

I got back to the venue in time to see The Vow jump on-stage and race through a very nice set of '90s punk rock songs. I really enjoyed them as did a lot of the folk in the now rapidly filling venue. Andy Midget told me that they were from their home town and he had produced a single for them. There were certainly a few songs in the set that would make great singles.

Next on were Lukan, who were an odd choice for a Midget gig, they were kind of heavy metal. Great musicians, intricate and abrasive songs, but somehow completely out of place.

Thanks to some highly efficient and superior roadie work, we were ready to go on-stage at the appointed time of 21:10 and after a few 'hellos' to people in the audience I started the set with "There's Nobody Less Rock 'n' Roll Than Me". Venue sound people, Dave and Helena really know their stuff, so both the on-stage and out-front sound was superb.

We only had a 30 minute slot so we decided to go for the unsubtle set, leaving out the mellower songs in favour of the harder faster numbers. It certainly did the trick as we got some excellent crowd surfing and the bunch of nutty enthusiast at the front really went for it.

I think that we also found some new friends tonight as quite a lot of Midget's audience seemed to be enjoying themselves and nodding and smiling.

I had a blue whale of a time, and I think that it was the best gig so far. We sold 80 CDs thanks to the sterling efforts of Nikki, Der, Brian and Crissi. It was great to see some old friend's from the Carter tours and also to put faces to some of the folk that I have been emailing for the last couple of years.

A top night out! Thanks to crew Daz, Harry, Chris, Der and Nikki

1999-06-02, London - The Garage

"I know that I have forgotten something" I said to Ben as we hopped into a taxi that would take us to JFK Van Hire. I always forget something, I always know that I have forgotten something, but I can never remember what the hell it is.

This time it was my cheque book which I needed to pay for the van. We were already 10 minutes from home and I didn't fancy asking the driver to turn back to Brixton so a cashpoint hop around Camberwell was in order, I'd just have to pay in cash. The nice lady at JFK said I didn't have to give her the £100 deposit as we looked like nice honest chaps (we are, we are!).

Ben was driving today as Daz (our usual roadie / driver) had to go a see a man about some loft insulation. I wouldn't mind, but he hasn't actually got a loft.

We drove to Music City where we rehearse and store our gear, loaded up the van, bought a few bags of chips and headed off North (London, that is).

When we arrived at The Garage, ALL the headline band were still soundchecking and looked as though they were going to be some time as the roadie was checking everything himself as the band were all asleep in their lovely silver tourbus. There was a deal of confusion over sharing drumkits and amps but eventually we worked out that the only way to do it would be for everyone to use their own stuff.

We managed to get a quick soundcheck in, unfortunately without Andy (our bass player) as he was still on his way to the venue. Still, it sounded very fine onstage so we packed down the stuff again and I headed to the pub to have a quick chat with Uncle Squid and Marc. We were soon joined by Gav, Myra and Rob, if my hangover befuddled brain serves me right. I was on the mineral water as I was still feeling a little delicate after the previous night's drinking session with Abdou regulars Adrian and Ana.

When the door opened at 7pm I returned to the venue to deliver the Guest List, which to my great relief was received with a shrug and an OK (it was a bit large and I was expecting trouble).

Later on after another visit to the pub it was time for I Against I to strut their punky stuff. I quite liked them as they had a bit of AC / DC in there somewhere. It was mostly a pretty traditional US brand of surf punk though and after a while I lost concentration and anyway, I had a lot of people to talk to ;-)

There was the usual bunch of happy smiling faces as well as some new aquaintances to make.

I was so busy chatting a nd drinking that I didn't have the time to get nervous and before you could shake a lamb by the hand it was time to go onstage.

It was lovely to see the gang form the Carter FanChat list at the front and to hear the dulcet sound of their combined renditions of the top twenty chant hits. I liked "we love you Fruity, oh yes we do" it's nice to feel wanted.

First off was the usual "Nobody Less Rock 'n' Roll Than Me", followed closely by "Aren't We All". The sound on-stage was great and playing was easy, I felt very relaxed and loved.

Mind you there were a few hecklers shouting "Pants" and "Get Off", but I'm afraid my hearing isn't what it used to be so it was like water off a deaf duck's back.

We did the Abdou Theme and Baby Food, Maria's Umbrella, you know, the usual stuff. We played a pretty good version of the new unfinished song called provisionally "Just Shut Up" and finished with a 'cod rock' version of "Too Old For Rock And Roll" which had a lot of purist skate punkers tearing at their Mohawks.

It wasn't the best gig ever, but in the top 4 and I was pretty happy with everyone's reactions after I got back in the venue after loading up the van with the guys. Apparently the sound was very good so congratulations to the venue sound geezers Helena and Dave, both top sausage indeed.

The rest of the evening was spent in the company of an increasingly intoxicated bunch of friends.

I watched ALL, the main band of the night for a while but, to be honest they didn't really grab me by the balls, mind you, what does nowadays? God, I tell you, the state of music these days !!!

Thanks to everyone who came and thanks to Harry and Daz for their excellent roadie work.

This morning at 7am I was found walking around the park, singing to the squirrels.

1999-07-10, Colchester - The Twist

Somehow I managed to lose my wallet on the way to the gig which was a major pain in the bum as it had all of my credit cards in it and twenty quid. Apart from that the journey from London to Colchester was pretty un-eventful. We left on time despite me and Ben being late due to watching the qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

It was very easy to navigate our way around Colchester and find The Twist which is a dedicated music venue that has been putting on bands for about 6 years now. We were given a very friendly welcome by the family who run the venue, special thanks go to Holly, Kev, Chris, Andy and every one else at The Twist for their very kind and generous hospitality. Tonight's promoter, Ben had done a great job of publicising the gig along with Uncle Squid who is a local to Colchester.

The sound-check was very quick and easy, we had finished before we knew it so we decided to explore Colchester. We found the castle and the surrounding park, which was very pleasant. We soaked up some Roman and Norman history and got the feel for the town. Very nice it is too.

By the time that we got back to the venue it was already beginning to fill up. There was a very healthy crowd in attendance as Pharmacy took the stage as the first band of night. Pharmacy played with us when we played in Chelmsford and I remember really liking them then. This time though they were even better, it was great to see a band so obviously into the music they were playing.

The second band on Naked were slightly less to my taste to be honest, but they were very skillfull and energetic and there was a pretty good reaction from the crowd apart from the very partisan Abdou fans, bless 'em.

Once again I felt like I was amongst friends as we stepped onto the stage to begin our set. I had an enormously enjoyable gig. We did a full set of 14 songs which lasted aboput 50 minutes. It was very warm onstage and I had to pause to catch my breath a couple of times.

As usual, I forgot a decent proportion of the words and once again, the front row of the crowd was there to help me, especially Rob, who I use as a interactive auto-cue. We love you Rob.


Abdoujaparov Theme Song
Nobody Less Rock n Roll
I Don’t Know

Punk Confetti
Aren’t We All
Loser’s Walk

Birthday (The Worst Day)
Queen Bitch

Murder On Dalberg Rd
Baby Food

Maria’s Umbrella
Just Shut Up
Too Old For Rock n Roll

Thanks to everyone who came to the gig, you are all wonderful. Thanks to Pharmacy and Naked for their very able support and thanks again to Ben and the folk from The Twist.

The next Abdou gig is at The George IV, Brixton Hill, Brixton, Sarf London on Thursday 29th July. I can feel it in my bones that it will be the best one yet, so make sure that you are there.

Take care, love fruityxxx

1999-07-29, London - Brixton - The George IV

A home town gig, and one that I have been trying to sort out for ages. The George IV was the venue for a great 'secret' Carter gig during the 'Dave' tour and I have very fond memories of the place.

For once in my life a gig day went almost exactly to plan. My bruv Bam Bam turned up on time (which has never happened before) and we went to pick up the van from the hire place in darkest Peckham (123). The van was a bit dodgy but we didn't worry much as it was cheap and we only had to go to pick up the gear from New Cross (crikey, another Carter name-check) and then on to Brixton (this is getting ridiculous).

We arrived at The George just in time to sound check. The engineer / promoter / DJ John Walsh took a while to check Ben's drums and poor Ben was exhausted by the time we got around to sorting out guitars and vocals. The sound was fine and we thanked John and settled down for the long wait until the doors opened.

I walked back home via Dalberg Rd (ha ha) and printed set-lists, guest lists and had a bit to eat. In the meantime Alain and Andy headed down the pub for a few swift halfs.

I got back to the venue just in time to set up the CD / T-shirt stall with helpers Der and Andy. Then I settled down to watch the first band on, Mushin. It took me a few songs to adjust to the sound of the band as they are rather odd and quirky, but after a while I eased myself into their headspace and really enjoyed it. Bass player Eileen, who runs Hum, one of the local music shops, looked gorgeous.

Next on were Gabba who I'd seen a few weeks before at The George and just had to have them for the gig. The Gabba concept is 'Ramones do ABBA' and that's exactly what it is. They look like the Ramones, sound like the Ramones but play ABBA songs. The singer is also more than 7' tall! They were great, such a brilliant concept and so deftly executed. And, what's more, they are top blokes. I'm hoping to hook up with them again. Check out , it's great.

Then it was time for Abdoujaparov to do our stuff. Me and Ben couldn't find Alain and Andy, but we got up on-stage anyway to encourage them to come up and do their fang!

It was nice to be on-stage again in Brixton and all sorts of weird parallels with the Brixton Academy kept popping into my head. It is still an ambition to once again tread the Academy boards. But for now The George IV will do very nicely. Although the faithful Abdou crew were there in abundance, it was also lovely to see the local crowd turn up. Lots of faces from the shops and bars of Brixton beamed at me from the steps that lead down to the stage.


Abdoujaparov Theme Song
Nobody Less Rock n Roll
I Don’t Know

Punk Confetti
Aren’t We All
Losers Walk

Birthday (The Worst Day)
Queen Bitch

Murder On Dalberg Rd
Baby Food
Maria’s Umbrella

Benjamin And Jumble (new song)
Just Shut Up
Too Old For Rock n Roll

It was a fine set (if I say so myself), I particularly enjoyed playing the new song, although it was a bit tricky to remember even more words than usual. That was one song that the human autocue Rob, couldn't help me with, but he did a fine job on the others ;-)

After coming off stage the evening turned into the usual drunken and debauched session, then it flowed over into my place. I got to bed around 4am but there were people still chatting away in the garden until the late morning.

Well, that was a busy week, wasn't it? What with Jim's first gig with his new band and the first true home gig for the Abdous. I had a great time, but now....I want to lie down for a bit...

See you at the next one.

Love fruity xxx

1999-09-17, Southampton - The Joiner's Arms

It all started off very smoothly, we picked up the hire van and loaded the equipment without a hitch and well in time to get to Southampton for the soundcheck.

Then a minor disaster took place at a petrol station near Guildford, in the guise of my Bruv, Bam Bam. Somehow he managed to fill the petrol van with diesel which resulted in a prompt breakdown, an hours wait for the AA followed by a tow to a garage, a bit of siphoning and another dent in my credit card.

Instead of arriving for 5pm for the soundcheck we got to the Joiners at 9.30, just in time to catch the last couple of chords from Plastik. I'm sorry that I missed 'em as they sounded pretty good.

Next on were my mates Dan The 50lb Man. I just about managed to eat the lovely venue veggie curry before running to catch them. I have known singer John for a good while, in fact he sold t-shirts for Carter on the last US tour. His partner for this gig was Kev, who is a newer friend. Kev is standing in for John's bruv Ish who had a bit of a car accident and couldn't make it all the way from sunny California.

Anyway, the two of 'em are backed by a viscous and bouncy backing track, not a little reminiscent of a certain band that I used to be in not so long ago. The twin guitar / vocal onslaught certainly got the room moving although it was a bit of a shame that there wasn't more people in when they played, as they missed a real treat. The songs are great and shone through despite some difficulties with the sound. I believe that it was Kev's first ever gig and he is to be congratulated for learning the songs in 2 days flat. In fact, he only met John 3 days ago!

Next on were @tomica, who played a great set with a bit of an REM feel to it along with bits of Neil Young to make a very pleasant sound indeed. I particularly enjoy the bass player, he is top.

It was gone eleven when we got ourselves together to go up on the stage. The venue wasn't packed by any standards, but there was a good 80 odd people in.

It wasn't one of our best gigs, I have to admit. It all felt a little disjointed to me. but talking to my bruv afterwards he said that the sound was pretty good and the crowd had a whale of a time. There was a lot of very spectacular and drunken dancing going on.

Ex Carter man Wez was there along with my mate Ferret, it was really good to see them again. Wez was on top form and had us in stitches in the dressing room.

My human interactive Auto Cue Rob came in useful as usual although he gave me a bum steer on one of the songs and I ended up singing the wrong lyrics. He also missed the first song as he was in the dressing room in a drunken haze, snoring his head off.

So, it wasn't the best ever gig, but not bad at all and we have been asked back, which is a good sign.

Thanks to everyone that came, it was lovely to see you smiling faces.

love fruity xxx

1999-09-24, Hartlepool - The Studio

It's very long drive all the way from Brixton, it took us about 8 hours door to door and Ben had to drive the whole way as the rest of us useless bastards can't drive. The motorway was chocka all of the way too which made for a pretty boring journey. Luckily the van had a tape deck this time so we had some entertainment from The Fall, Radiohead and various other bits of musical wonderment.

We were given a very warm welcome by Andy and the crew from The Studio and after a quick cuppa, and a painless soundcheck we tucked into beer and sandwiches.

We all watched the local support band Jacob, who went down very well with finely crafted britpop and even a great versions of Blur's Beetlebum and Parklife. I think that one cover would have been enough, but both songs were played with such enthusiasm, I couldn't complain. Jacob are a very young band and I have an idea that there is a bright future in store for them if they keep going the way they have been going

We were pretty well oiled by the time we boarded the stage, but it didn't matter as we played one of our best gigs ever in front of a lovely crowd. I heard quite a lot of the local gossip in the quiet bits of the songs, but bit by bit the audience warmed to the unfamiliar sound of Abdoujaparov. I had a simply lovely time and I think that the rest of the band would agree.

I'm not going to bother writing down the setlist as it was exactly the same as the last two gig except that we didn't play Benjamin and Jumble.

After the gig the drinking continued until the wee small hours and the night ended up with Ben having to fetch me from underneath a table so that we could drive to the local B & B. The landlady and landlord of the B & B were asleep we arrived but we the venue had organised a key for us. It was a very nice B & B too, I had a very good night's kip and a lovely boiled egg for brekkie.

So the verdict on Hartlepool? Lovely place lovely people. Cheers to everyone who helped the day be special.

Love fruity xxx

1999-09-25, Wolverhampton - Outta Limit

After our breakfast we hung around in the sitting room waiting for roadie Harry to get his hair straight. Then we went off in search of a pub where we could persuade them to let us watch the qualifying for this Sunday's Grand Prix. The friendly barman gave us the remote control and some coffee, what a nice place Hartlepool is ;-)

For those of you that are in the Grand Prix it was very exciting. For those of you who aren't it was a load of cars going around in circles.

After that it was a short trip to a local roadside breakfast place for those amongst us who slept past 10 o'clock. Then we hit the road to Wolverhampton.

It was a fairly uneventful drive, luckily the traffic was much easier today. We even arrived in Wolves an hour early and had to wait for someone to come and open up the venue. Outta Limit used to be a pub and has been running as a venue for less than a year. Luckily the bar was still there though and we had as much beer as we could! But I didn't drink too much as I overdid it yesterday.

After a walk around town past the many full to the brim disco pubs we were a bit disappointed to find a not too full venue when we returned. Still there was about 60 people in and as far as I'm concerned that's easily enough for a gig.

First band for the night was my old friends Leisure, you may remember them from when they supported Carter a few times. They played a rip roaring punk rock set despite the fact that the drummer had just had a major operation on his arm. There was some very strange dancing going on in front of the band and I put it down to the fact that they were drunk and not that they were from Lichfield ;-)

Next on were Rackethead Kev, a local US influenced powerpunkpop outfit. They certainly made a racket, but it was a great one. We were even treated to a fine moonie from the guitarist.

By the time that we came on stage my ears were exhausted and I guess that that must have been the same for a few others as about 30 of the audience left during the second song. That was a little disheartening considering that it was quite a small crowd to start with, but, what the fuck, that's the way the rock 'n' roll cookie crumbles.

I thought that we played very lack lustre and felt a bit cheated by our whole set. Maybe it was just that last night's gig was so good, but it just felt a bit flat and I couldn't get my front-man head into gear.

It's such a shame because the venue and the people who run it are fantastic. We were made very welcome and they were very cool about the lack of punters on the night, saying that that's the way it goes sometimes.

After the gig, quite a lot of folk came up to me and the band and said that we were great, one even went as far to say that we were better than Carter, so I guess that it couldn't have been that bad.

Oh well, hopefully we will be better the next time we play Wolverhampton. Thanks to everyone that came along, it really was nice to see you. Thanks also to Leisure and Rackethead Kev for great sets.

Over and Out,

fruity xxx

1999-09-30, Bath - Moles

It was a pleasant, almost traffic free drive over to Bath. We found the venue very easily and even had to wait around for someone to turn up at the venue as we were a little early again.

The gear was loaded in to the venue across the main road, straight into the venue. And.. here we are in the famous Moles club. Believe it or not, I have never played in Bath before, although I have visited my mates Sam and Kelly once, so I knew the town fairly well. If you haven't been, you should go, it's a beautiful place.

The venue itself is steeped in Rock 'n' Roll. Just about every band you can think of in the last 20 years has played there and you can feel the vibe. We were warmly welcomed by the engineer, Trevor, who wasted no time setting up his gear and preparing for what was to be an easy and great sounding soundcheck.

When we were done the local support band Spin went up and did their stuff, whilst we went to the pub upstairs to get some food and a few beers. There was also a band playing on the tiny upstairs stage. I don't know what they were called, but they made a fairly nice noise.

I was a bit worried when we returned to the venue to watch Spin do their stuff and the place was looking a little empty. Thought of Wolverhampton shot through my head. But when I went upstairs for a oui oui, I saw that there were quite a few people just sitting drinking and missing Spin, which was their loss as Spin are a grreat little band.

When we eventually hit the first chord of The Abdoujaparov Theme Song, the crowd was looking much better and the promoter Clayton was looking a lot less nervous.

Due to me being a silly old fool and forgetting my contact lenses, I played my first gig wearing glasses, which was not very punk rock, but at least I could see the setlist properly for once!

It was a great gig involving lots of dodgy bit of rock n roll cheesiness. I must say....we rocked! When my microphone broke, I asked a Kiwi member of the audience to come up and tell a joke. Like all New Zealand jokes it was an anti-australian one and I didn't get it. Just after that I was accosted by his girlfriend who insisted in snogging me in exchange for me letting her boyfriend sing a Ramones song. I said that we didn't know any Ramones song, but she said that she'd kiss me anyway...which was nice.

After the gig, the backstage area was invaded by a hoard of Kiwis and Australians who insisted that they buy t-shirts in exchange for us playing Ramones songs at their house that night. We got very drunk apart from Ben who was driving, which is a little unfair to the poor chap as he had to drive last week too.

We left the venue after having a bit of a dance to a selection of classic indie hits supplied by the d J. We were happy bunnies.

The drive back to London was very uneventful, I think that I slept most of the way. After dropping everyone and the gear off Ben drove me home and I eventually got into bed 6am. What a long day.

Verdict: Nice Place, Great Venue, Good Gig.

Love fruity xxx

1999-10-28, Oxford - The Bullingdon

The journey to the gig was pretty uneventful, new driver / t-shirt man Der drove us safely up the M40 and through the streets of Oxford. We found the venue very easily as it is a couple of doors down from the Zodiac where Carter had played several times.

We had a fairly painless soundcheck and were looked after well by Landlord Mike, Mark, Oz and the rest of the Bullingdon crew.

There were four bands on tonight and it wasn't long before the first band JC Regulator took to the stage and entertained the admittedly small crowd with a poppy punky set of great songs.

Next on were Kamikaze Kitten a mostly girl band with a boy bass player. They were really good, with great tunes and an interesting variety of instruments. Their keyboard had refused to work in the soundcheck so the keyboard player was improvising with all sorts of strange and plastic instruments. The guitarist singer was using my amp and it would have been nice if she wasn't so ignorant and actually thanked me. I don't know if they were shy, but they did all seem a bit off to me. They are a good band though so I'm willing to forgive.

Then came the Scrutineers who gave us a set of quirky, complicated, twisted slices of pop. They actually gave me one of their CDs too and it is bloody great. E-mail me if you're interested and I'll contact them for you.

Vis The Spoon, stand-up poet and generally drunken bloke was the compare for the night and introduced Abdoujaparov with a great poem about how he hates punk rock.

We played a pretty good set and I managed some awful jokes almost rivalling Mr Spoon. I really didn't realise that I was forming a comedy band when I started out with Abdou, but it does seem to head in that direction, especially live.

Given the quality of all of the bands tonight, it was a real shame that there wasn't many people at the gig. Those that were there had a great night out.

I do have two not too minor complaints about the evening though and I hope that Mike and the crew don't mind me bringing this up.. The PA was sounding a bit awful. I know that the venue had been having some sound problems and these were being fixed as we arrived for the soundcheck. It certainly needs more attention though, the vocals in particular sounded very muffled from the audience's point of view.

The other thing is a pet hate of mine and it is a constant bone of contention for bands and promoters. The drink rider was just one round of beers and any additional beer had to be bought out of the band's fee. As a band on the road we don't make any money and we are lucky to break even on a gig, to have to pay for our beers too is difficult to say the least.

I know that Abdoujaparov aren't Carter and can't expect the same treatment or crowds that Carter enjoyed but a basic reasonable rider should be standard. England is the only country in the world where it isn't.

End of rant.

We left the venue with lot's of compliments from the punters who had turned up. We had a mutual appreciation back slapping session with the other bands and headed off to Cheltenham where we were staying the night courtesy of Der.

We spent the next four or five hours trawling through Der's wonderful 70's vinyl collection. So it was King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Focus etc etc. I haven't had so much fun for ages.

Harry was in heaven.

1999-10-29, Weymouth - Verdis

After a wonderfully peaceful and sound sleep I woke up with a slightly buzzy head, but otherwise everything else seemed to be intact. One by one various member of the band and crew emerged from the various corners of Der's lovely house. We made tea, we made toast, we played more records, read the local papers.

We left Cheltenham about 3pm and headed for Weymouth via the twisty turny roads of Gloucester and Dorset.

We arrived at the gig in good time and had a fun soundcheck. In the back of my mind throughout tonight I kept on thinking that this was Ben's last soundcheck and gig with Abdou. He is having to concentrate with his work with Jim's Super Stereoworld and as both bands are on tour at the same time (Stupid?). We are very sad to lose him and will miss his cheery demeanour. Jim has got himself a diamond.

After the soundcheck we had a few beers and Ben and I went for a walk around town and along the seafront. I'd never been to Weymouth before and was surprised at just how big a town it is. The streets were very lively with the to-ing and fro-ing of drunken teenagers intent of dancing, singing, shouting, snogging, shagging and everything else that young people do nowadays.

It made me feel a little old, but also a little relieved.

When we got back to the venue we were met by Mike and Clare, old friends from reading who had travelled down for the gig. It was lovely to see some friendly faces and they brought some friends along too. At one point the venue was looking decidedly empty and I thought that we were going to get a repeat of Oxford's tiny crowd. But I needn't have worried as the place was pretty full when we got on stage.

We were the only band for the night, a kind of intermission for the indie / alternative disco. I did feel a bit like I was spoiling some of the kid's fun when we come started to play and it obviously wasn't what they had come to the club to listen to.

Having said that, most of them stayed around for the set and some even danced...which was nice.

I don't think that we played our best, it seemed a bit disjointed on stage. having said that, I was told afterwards that we sounded incredibly tight, so it might have been better from the crowd's point of view. I told some bad jokes about Ben's departure and generally played the old codger, it was fun.

After we came off stage, we indulged in more beer and had a bit of a dance. Oh, I didn't mention that whole venue was full of gorgeous teenagers and it was worth doing the gig just to watch them in action on the dance-floor. I was particularly taken by a young girl who looked a bit like Brian Molko, I hope that doesn't mean that I fancy him, he always reminds me of a plumber in make-up.

Is Les coming out of the closet?


Love fruity xx

1999-11-03, Stoke - Riddles Music Bar

I had real trouble finding a driver for this gig, my bruv was supposed to be doing it but he had fallen behind with a heating installation (Gas Man) job and rang me up and said that it was impossible for him to make it without being murdered by his wife ;-) As always, I turned to my saviour; no, not god, the Internet of course. After sending out a few desperate emails I got a call from Jerome, the drummer for Gabba (see George IV tour diary), he said that he would be happy to do it.

Oh, before I continue, I should mention that this day is a landmark for Abdoujaparov as it sees the debut of new drummer (and ex-These Animal Men man) Stevie.

So about 2 hours later,Jerome, Stevie and myself caught a cab to the van hire place, picked up the van, drove to New Cross, loaded up the gear and were on our merry way to Stoke.

We found Riddles very easily after an uneventful (yes again) journey. On entering the venue we were met by soundman John, who helped us set up and soundcheck. We were also introduced to landlady and promoter, Anne, who made us feel very welcome and made sure that we had enough beers for this evening's 'work'.

After we had finished our soundcheck we watched support band Marlo get their stuff together and do their check. They sounded pretty good and were soon bounding back offstage to get ready for their set which was due to start in 10 minutes time.

By the time that Marlo got on for their set, I was hoping that the place would have started to fill up. Unfortunately, the lack of punters was quite obvious, which was a real shame as Marlo's melodic and catchy pop deserves to be heard by a hell of a lot more people.

We were also hoping that the night's football match had delayed the people who were coming to the gig in droves. Once again, we were proved to be sadly wrong and by the time we got on-stage we played to about 30 odd people ;-)

Having said that, I think that we played a damn fine set and we too deserve a bigger audience PLEASE! Stevie played flawlessly on his debut Abdou gig and the rest of us did pretty well too.

It's sad to hear too that Riddles will soon be closing it's doors due to pressure from the brewery and that Anne is moving on to Wolverhampton to try her luck there.

Question: Is the UK live circuit dead?

Answer: No, but it's fairly sick.

Question: What can we do about it?

Answer: Get off your backsides and go and see live bands.

People are so complacent nowadays, they complain about the lack of good bands but never actually take the risk of actually going to gigs to find out for themselves.

Question: What are Abdoujaparov going to do about it?

Answer: That's a good question, I've already sent out 4,000 newsletters and put an advert in the NME (which was fuckin' expensive). I try very hard to get press but am usually met by a stone wall of indifference. The bottom line is, if the NME doesn't give a band publicity, then you might as well not exist to anyone outside the hard-core Abdou / Carter / Stereoworld devotees.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sorry, that was another rant wasn't it ? ;-) The thoughts of Chairman Fruity available in paperback from your local newagents. (This is a joke, please don't harass the people at John Menzies)

Love Fruity xxx

1999-11-06, Chelmsford - Army And Navy

The first great thing about today was that top band Leisure (see Wolves tour diary) have agreed for us to use their lovely van for the rest of the tour. It is going to make so much difference to have the van for the remaining dates as it is cleaner and much more comfortable than the hire vans that we have been using so far. It feels like a proper tour bus!

The second great thing about today was that Skin, Leisure frontman, drove the van all the way from Lichfield to my front door, and then after a quick cup of tea, took a train all the way back to Lichfield to take his boy to the football. What a nice fella.

The third great thing about today was that my good friend Kev had agreed to do the driving honours for today's show. Kev soon got the hang of the van and after a few minutes we stopped clipping curbs and jumping over sleeping policemen (Glam Rock Cops).

We did the usual driving and loading in New Cross and then headed East into darkest Essex and on to Chelmsford after a few near misses we eventually found and parked outside the Army & Navy.

We were bleedin' freezin' so we were glad to warm out buns on the roasting central heating. The stage at The Army is a very good size and we set up with plenty of room to rock through the soundcheck. If I say so myself, the soundcheck was pretty rockin'. We did Baby Food, Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll and Benjamin and Jumble and they all sounded...wicked.

Pharmacy and Esoterica had a few problems with their soundchecks but eventually all was done and it was time for the Abdou boys to hit the town to check out the pubs of Chelmsford.

We wandered around town stopped in a pub for a swift half and then cruised into Burger King where I got my usual Spicy Bum Burner with regular fries.

When we got back to the venue, weren't that surprised to see a less than heaving venue, but we optimistically hoped that more people would turn up.

First on were Esoterica, who appeared to be doing their first or second ever gig. They looked unfeasibly young and were accompanied by photo snappy Brothers and Daddies. Their youth wasn't so evident in their music though and there were indeed a couple of great songs in the set. I can just remember the bands that I was in at their age and they definitely have the edge.

Next up were Pharmacy, who are our regular Essex opening band it seems and very glad we are to have them as they just get better and better. Tom, Tim, Nina and Ben weren't all that happy with the gig but from where we were standing they sounded great, both Tom and Nina's voices are getting stronger and stronger.

Due to a few technical sound type problems we got on stage only a half an hour before the pub was meant to shut. This meant that we had to play a short sharp set and miss out the quieter songs in favour of a ball busting blockbuster that even AB/CD (AC/DC cover band, playing at the same venue) would've been proud of. Personally I think it was one of the best Abdou gigs ever.

Even though there weren't many people there (about 60 I think), I had a great time chatting to friends old and new who had graced us with their presence ;-)

Big Thanks to Esoterica, Pharmacy, Sean, Soundman Andy and everyone else from the venue for a good night out.

See you next time,

Love fruity xxx

1999-11-12, Aldershot - West End Centre

We had a bit of trouble getting through London Friday traffic and managed to arrive about an hour or so late for the soundcheck. I was greeted by a face from the past as I jumped out of the van. One of the bands playing tonight was Serpico, fronted by ex- Mega City Four singer Wiz and it was he who warmly welcomed me to his neck of the woods and to the West End Centre.

With the help of all of the wonderful people from the venue we managed to do a fairly quick sound check. The last time that I saw the resident sound engineer, Julia, she was one of the pit security people at the Carter USM gig at Farnham Maltings. I didn't recognise her at first but when she reminded me, it all came back just like it was yesterday.

Serpico went ahead and did their sound check and were followed by Eugene Speed. Both bands sounded great.

There was a TV crew from NTL filming today's gig and we agreed that they would film three or four songs and do a little interview too. The show goes out on digital, but I don't actually know that much about it at the moment. When I find out I'll let you know.

A few friends turned up early so I had a nice chat with them. One of them, Anne-Marie had come all of the way from Rotterdam, which kind of shows up some of the light weights in the UK who haven't managed to catch an Abdou show yet. In fact she has made it to 4 gigs so far, what a star!

I also had the time to catch up with the latest from my agent Steve. After a brief discussion, we decided that we would have to cancel next week's Rugeley gig, there hadn't been any interest for the gig and I think that it would have been a waste of everyone's time to do it for the hell of it.

Poor Eugene Speed. After their sound check, they only a few minutes to gather their thoughts before having to run back on stage to play to a pleasingly full venue. This was definitely the best crowd for a while and they loved Eugene Speed too. Despite having a bit of trouble with their guitar amp they played a great set, I'm looking forward to seeing them again sometime.

Being somewhat local heroes, I expected Serpico to go down well and their melodic, noisy, punk, pop pleased us all no end. Wiz is a great front man and his voice is even better than ever.

I missed the end of their set as I went off in search of a beer and couldn't get backstage. This lead me to the bar and to meet lots of friends old and new. Special mentions go to Der and Marc, who operated the t-shirt / CD alcove in a very rock n roll manner. When I usually see Marc he is in a drunken mess so it was nice to see him in gainful employment ;-)

Then, it was time for the Abdou boys to climb on stage from behind the glittery curtain.

It was a great gig, I had a lovely time and there was lots of dancing and moshing going on, which was great to see. What a cool audience, everyone was there to have a good time and it rebounded back to us on stage. We had changed the set around for this gig and it wasn't quite perfect, but it made a change.

We didn't do an encore as we were already way over our allotted time by the time we came offstage.

After the gig we did our little TV interview which was drunken and fun, then we just hung around and got drunk until we were gently kicked out of the venue. We had an easy trip home, unloaded the gear and went home to bed respective beds. I was about 4am by the time I got my head down, but I slept with a big smile on my face.

Love fruity xxx

1999-11-13, Harlow - The Square

After last night's gig we awoke with tender heads. Luckily, the local caf had all of the stodge, grease and tea that was required to bring us back to the land of the living. I had my usual hangover food of scrambled eggs on toast with mushrooms on the side. Very nice it was too.

Despite all good intentions, Der, Steve and myself were late arriving in New Cross, but it didn't matter too much as we were going to have to wait for the England / Scotland match to finish before we got any sense out of anyone ;-)

Once one of the teams had won we loaded up the van and headed for Harlow!

As I have played at The Square at least 7 times, I had no difficulty at all finding the venue and it did indeed seem like only weeks since the last time I was there, which was on the final UK Carter tour.

I was very happy to see that Trudi (an old friend from Carter tours) was doing the lights tonight, it was great to see her. It wasn't long before our sound check was done and dusted thanks to resident sound engineer Nick. As always at The Square everyone was very helpful and friendly, we had some lovely pasta for dinner and the rider was indeed wondrous and generous.

The first band on tonight were Model Ford, who were really good. They used a mixture of traditional guitar based pop and some samples, drum loops, keyboardy stuff. The singers voice is excellent and the songs were strong, gentle and lyrically inventive. I didn't get to talk to them but I got hold of one of their leaflets, which tells me that they are from Bishop's Stortford, where I have actually been and is rather nice. If you get the chance you should go and see them.

Not such a huge crowd tonight, only about 60 people, but I was happy enough when we staggered on-stage. I had asked for the gig to be taped tonight and it was also being videod. If I get my act together, I may be able to get some of the stuff online in quicktime format so that people outside the UK and Australia can get a chance to see the band.

The gig was really good, I had a lovely time told some very bad jokes and made a general arse of myself. No change there then ;-)

We did pretty corking versions of 'Loser's Walk' and 'Murder On Dalberg Rd'. In fact we played very well, I think. Even though it was a small crowd they made up for it with the cheering and general encouraging noises. We even got to play a couple of songs for an encore.

The lights were bloody marvellous too, Trudi is a true pro. If anyone out there needs a great lighting geezer, she is the one!

After the gig I had some lovely chats with some lovely people and felt pretty much loved up all together. The trip home was longer than it should have been as Alain decided it was time for some food and he knew and all-night cafe in Stepney. Several wrong turns ensued before Alain got his bacon sandwich, but it was worth it to see the smile on his face when he sunk his teeth into his bacon baguette.

Well, I had a lovely weekend, how about you?

Love fruity xxx

1999-11-19, Leeds - Duchess

Went to see Jim's Super Stereoworld in Southampton last night so I was feeling a little tired and not a little hung over this morning. Jim and the boys were bloody marvellous by the way, I had a great time and got to promote my up and coming Southampton gig at the same time.

It was possibly the longest journey ever to Leeds, partially my fault, but mainly the fault of successive governments their tragically inadequate transport policies. It took us 2 hours to get out of London and a further 6 hours to travel the 198 miles to Leeds. That's an average speed of 24.5 mph, about the same speed as my push bike on a good day.

Anyway, we missed the sound check and most of the first band as we arrived at 9pm, fed up, hungry and dying for a beer.

I did manage to catch just a tiny bits of Poontang and 5' 4" and liked what I heard. They all seemed like really nice folk too.

By the time we managed to get set up and on-stage we only had 35 minutes to play a 45 min set, so we played everything a little faster and I didn't have time to spout my usual waffle in between songs. We had to miss out the quieter songs too, which made the set fast and furry. Lo and behold, people were dancing and moshing and having a lot of fun on the dance floor.

I must say that I really enjoyed the gig and felt the day's trouble's ease away.

After the gig we chilled out with an old friend, Gary From Leeds and his mate Jezz and also had the chance to chat with some the lovely people that had come to the gig. I got a lovely kiss from a young lady called Liz and another called Christina, as I said at the time "I like my job'.

We had some rooms booked at the Travelodge in town and after a few tours of inner Leeds we hit the hotel and retired. Well most of us retired. Stevie and Harry went of with Gary for further debauchery.

I was so tired that I didn't even watch TV, I just collapsed on the bed and sleep like a baby.

1999-11-20, York - Fibbers

After yesterday's panic and a lovely night's rest in the local travelodge, we were keen to get to York in good time. We arrived at Fibbers way too early and had to hang around for a couple of hours before we could load the gear into the venue.

This gave everyone enough time to go exploring. York is a very pretty town, full of tourists from all over Britain and the rest of the world. York Minster is a truly breathtaking Cathedral, we spent ages spotting and giving names to the various gargoyles. My favourite was Geoffrey.

Well, it was soon time to get the stuff out of the van and do those usual soundcheck type things. It all went rather well and after a few songs we were happy and left the other two bands to do the checks.

After last night's gig in Leeds we were pretty psyched up and we hoping for an equally great night. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, it wasn't a bad night, but could have been a lot better.

By the time that the first band Four Day Hombre came on-stage there was about 40 or 50 people in the venue and that was kinda the way it stayed. The last time I was at Fibbers was on the final Carter tour and the place was heaving and the rocking. Today it was an emptier and a considerably more sedate affair.

Four Day Hombre are actually a great band, with great voices and excellent tunes, in an ideal world they would be on Top Of The Pops and the front of every music magazine. Whether or not that will happen is anyone's guess, but I hope that it does.

The Frames were on next and we also splendid. To be fair, they should have been headlining their own gig, I think they were not right for an Abdou gig. They also ran vastly over time, which meant that we had to cut our set short AGAIN. I thought that was a bit rude.

We had to rush to get everything together, but managed to get everything in shape and bundled on-stage in time to squeeze in a 30 min set. I thought that we were a bit lack lustre, to be honest, but we were a bit down heartened by the turnout. It only helped to reinforce my feeling that the live gig circuit is dying a horrible death.

After the gig, we had time to chat with some of the folk that had been kind enough to attend the intimate gathering and that was rather nice.

After a long drive back to London, I eventually crawled into my bed a 4:30 am.

1999-11-26, Southampton - Joiners Arms

The last time we played the Joiners, we arrived 3 hours late and the whole day was a bit of a nightmare. Today we were determined to be there on time, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

For once the ungainly and wobbly machine that is Abdou on the road was in perfect synch with the elements and we loaded the van, picked up Andy, drove to Southampton completely on time.

James, the landlord of the Joiners seemed simply stunned when he saw that we had arrived without any desperate calls for help and directions.

We all watched with much amusement as Harry directed Der and the van down the narrow alleyway where the loading entrance to the venue. It was like watching a Laurel and Hardy film, although I could make up my mind which one was which.

Soundcheck went very well after we sorted out some very interesting bits of feedback. We then were served with a lovely meal of veggie curry, which set us up for the evening. Ian and Mint who were tonight's promoters, had done a fine job with advertising and provided a generous rider ( and we all know how important that is!).

The first band on, Pink Amoeba, were excellent and incredibly young. They also brought a whole bunch of people, including school pals and parents. There's hope yet that a new generation of bands will bring a fresh injection of talent and imagination to the limping dog that is bland guitar based rock.

Second band on, Thirst, were slightly less original (there were traces of Feeder and the dreaded Stereophonics in there), but were a bloody marvellous live band and really got the crowd moshing.

I think that both bands deserve to go far.

We were on-stage slightly late as Thirst decided to do an extra song, this made the changeover rather hurried, but I couldn't hold it against them.

We played a pretty good set, not our best, but tight and loud. Stevie is really coming into his own, his drumming style really suits the harder, faster new sound of Abdou.

We didn't managed to whip the crowd into any kind of moshing frenzy, but I did notice a few people tapping their feet. and the cheer after very song was a good indication that we were being appreciated.

I enjoyed the gig, I felt that I was amongst friends and I feel that Abdou is going from strength to strength. I'm still waiting for the first killer gig and when that happens I know that things will go our way.

Thanks to everyone at the venue and to the kind people who turned up to wave, tap and clap.

1999-11-27, London - The Monarch

Ah yes, the London gig, for some reason always the most 'important' gig on a UK tour. For me, it is a hometown gig, even though I could never consider Camden anything like home, being a Sarf Londoner.

Amazingly I didn't feel that knackered after yesterday's gig, but got up bright and early, went to the Caff with Der, picked up the van and headed for New Cross to pick up the gear, Alain and Harry.

'Twas an uneventful journey across the London South / North divide, and even arrived at the venue too early. We went over to the pub across the road and had a swift half.

Loading into the Monarch is a pretty hazardous affair as the flight of stairs is steep and slippery. I couldn't do any heavy lifting though as I have a bad back (honest guv!).

For the first time in the history of Abdou, we had decided to bring our own sound engineer and of course it had to be ex-Carter and These Animal Men engineer, Sir Derek Fudge. He did a fine job in the sound check and even managed to get the notoriously difficult Monarch rig sounding very nice.

The on-stage was 'bizarre' as Alain would say in his Causican accent. It was a bit like being inside a barrel along with Andy and his bass amp. It wasn't Derek's fault though, it's the sound of the stage.

They two other bands, Ultrafine and Monkey Boy were then ready to soundcheck. It was great to see the guys from Monkey Boy again, I've been to see them quite a few times and it was my idea that they should play this gig.

We went over to the local Wetherspoons pub to get some pre-gig nosh. I had haddock and chips, which was very nice indeed.

We got back to the venue and there were already people in, I saw a lot of familiar faces and even some very fine Abdou shirts, which was very encouraging.

Before long it was time for Ultrafine to jump on-stage. Harry was well impressed with them as was both Ben and myself. They had shades of Black Sabbath which I found very appealing. The band are over from New York, I've always had a soft spot for New York bands. They are very nice chaps too and I'm hoping to hook up with them the next time I'm across the pond.

Next on were Monkey Boy, who confused, amused and astonished a fair proportion of the Monarch crowd with their highly disciplined, anarchic punk metal explosions (hey I should write for the NME...not). They are an excellent band and I'd have them on the entire tour if I could.

We went on a bit late due to provincial sloppiness and herbal remedies. Luckily the curfew wasn't until 2am so we were allowed to play a full set.

We came on-stage to our new intro tape, which I had knocked up the day before in Chateau Fruitbat. What followed was the most violent mosh that I have seen for many a moon. I did notice, however, that a certain Ben Lambert (ex Carter / Abdou and now in JSSW) was responsible for most of the aggro.

Although it was hard to hear how it sounded from the stage, everyone seemed to think that it was the best sound that we'd ever had, so I guess that it was worth getting Mr Fudge on the case. I really enjoyed the gig and loved having a BIG crowd once more. I want to thank everyone who came to the gig and clapped, danced, bought me drinks, kissed, punched, goosed and cuddled. It was a good night, let's hope we can have another like it soon.

Not at the Monarch though, the deal was shocking. 'Nuff said

Love fruity xxx

1999-11-30, Bath - University

We actually managed to arrive in Bath on time and after a few hints from helpful Bathonians, we managed to find the Uni and the Student Union building.

Access to the venue was via a lift, onto which we loaded our gear and then pressed the button for the third floor. Once in the venue we were greeted by the Uni crew and settled down to prepare things for the sound check.

Getting the sound right at a college gig is always a bit of a lottery as often the PA and lights are being manned (or womaned) by students, fresh to the task. Sometimes this can be a nightmare, but today everything went very well and I was well impressed by the expertise on show.

After a long but fairly trouble free soundcheck, I met up with my mates Sam and (gorgeous) Kelly and got something to eat at the bar. I was warned against the veggie dish and opted for a safe, boring, cheese salad sandwich.

Whilst I was eating I could hear the support band Ultra Violet going through their soundcheck and it all sounded rather nice really.

Before we could down even a few drinks, Ultra Violet were on-stage and making very pleasing noises. The band was formed from the ashes of Feline and T????? and singer ???? has lost none of her power and poise. It was a great set and met with the approval of the Abdou boys and a fair deal of the rather small but perfectly formed audience.

Then it was the turn of the Abdou rock n roll circus to step into the limelight and thrust our stuff. I really enjoyed this gig, there was a real rapport with the crowd and some great heckling. I was called a scab for drinking Kronenburg 1664 and there was a comment about the lack of activity in my upper most follicles.

I think that we played pretty well, although Stevie said that he was playing crap.
I didn't notice though ;-)

After the gig, I got to hang around with some lovely folk and even managed to flog a few CDs. So all in all, a very good night, great people, great venue. More like this please, only with more people.

1999-12-02, Hull - Adelphi

We were a little late leaving London as we had to wait for Harry to dry his hair. But eventually we got into the van and onto the motorway for what was to be an arduous journey to Hull. As Der is indisposed, Kev was the main man when it came to driving and he had a tough time dealing with sleet, rain and gale force winds.

7 hours later, we arrived at the Adelphi, very easy to find as I must have played there about 8 times already, and could probably find my way there blindfolded.

We were greeted by the guys from support band Lithium Joe and Jim, the eternal Adelphi soundman. It was good to see Jim again, he is a top bloke.

The venue hasn't changed since Carter's last gig there, which was a part of the Dave Tour. I love the Adelphi, it is steeped in Rock n Roll history. No matter what happens, as long as it is standing, I will always go back there.

Soundcheck was a doddle as Jim is so familiar with the gear and has done Carter several times, so he knows what I like.

It was soon time for Lithium Joe to strut their funky pop reggae. They are a top band, I was particularly impressed with the drummer, he played some cool licks. Once again, here is a great band who deserve to be heard, someone please give the music business a huge kick up the jacksie.

We came on-stage to a warm and cheerful welcome and soon got down to business, playing almost the same set as in Bath. It was another great gig, we played well, there was a bit of dancing, we got a few good heckles and I had a great time wiggling my hips (a new Abdou trait).

After the gig I managed to sell some CDs and shirts to pay for the petrol and also secured some exclusive student accommodation in the area where we could rest our weary heads for the night. Thanks to Dave and the gang for their hospitality, I slept like a baby.

Another good gig then. Thanks to Paul, Jim, Lithium Joe and everyone at the Adelphi for being great. Hi to Chris Von Trapp, Iain and everyone else who braved the cold night to catch the Abdou experience.

1999-12-04, Coventry - Colloseum

After a pleasant day off, driving down the motorway and staying in a Travelodge just outside Rugby, we had plenty of time to travel the short distance to Coventry and arrived at the venue 3 hours early. We loaded the gear into the hall and then went off to the pub for the rest of the afternoon. We didn't get bladdered though as we are far to professional for that. After the third cup of coffee, I had to give in and have a bottle of Becks though, it went down very nicely too.

At 6 o'clock we went back to venue and met sound man Mick, who was still putting the P.A. together. After a short wait, we were ready to soundcheck. It went very well, we only did a couple of songs and everything sounded OK so we handed over the stage to the other bands.

Promoter Richard, showed us upstairs and told us that the cook would arrive shortly to make us some food. A beautiful lady appeared as if by magic and asked us what we wanted. Harry's heart was all aflutter a the sight of this wonder and had a hard time deciding whether he was veggie or non-veggie.

It took some time for the food to be ready, so I took the opportunity to have a go on the Playstations, which were conveniently situated in the bar. Before long, I couldn't see straight and my fingers were sore from the gamepad. Alain, Stevie, Kev and Harry were playing a card game called Grass, which seemed to involve everyone being mean to each other. They seemed to be enjoying it though. After a while we were politely kicked out of the bar to make way for the punters who were starting to file in.

I should explain, that Abdou weren't the only attraction of the night, there was also two floors of disco in the same building and the popele could roam from dancefloor to gig as they fancied.

After eating we went back to the hall where the gig was to be and discovered that we had missed the first band, ???????. That's a shame as I was told afterwards that they were rather good.

I did catch the second band Swarf though and liked them, although I was rather dubious of the lead singer's shades. They played an Oasisish inspired melodic indie guitar pop and had some nice songs.

Next on...Abdoujaparov.

As soon as we got onstage I knew that this was going to be a good one, we were on top form and the crowd were on pretty good form themselves ;-)

I felt very comfortable on-stage and even indulged in some pelvic thrusting, not usually advisable, but I felt that the occasion necessitated it.

It seemed like I knew everyone in the audience, even though there were plenty people in. One of our better attended gigs I would say. It was lovely to see so many people singing along to most of the songs, I haven't really seen the like since the Carter gigs.

After the gig, me and the boys went to the disco for some serious perving (come on, we are boys after all ;-))

At 3am, we put our eyeballs back in their sockets, loaded up the van and headed back to London, Clapton, New Cross and finally Brixton and BED.

Tired, but smiling.

Fruity xxx

1999-12-08, Ashton - Witchwood

Well, we thought that we were being clever using Autoroute (computer based highway map) to plan our route. Unfortunately it decided to send us on the scenic route, so it ended up taking 7 hours to get to Ashton and once again, we were late.

Luckily the venue people didn't mind too much and we soon getting ready to soundcheck. As we were late AGAIN, we decided to do without a soundcheck and watched the other two bands, Beaver and Love ???? Emily ???? soundchecking.

The PA was a wee bit fierce, so we hid out in the little cupboard shaped room that is the Witchwood dressing room. There was a lovely spread of sandwiches and beer on the table so we tucked in, sat down and relaxed.

The venue was gettng fairly healthily full by the time that Beaver started to play. They played some old school punk rock with some great lyrics. The lead singer worked the audience with style, I enjoyed them very much.

Next on were ??????? who really reminded me of a great band from my teen years Penetration. The singer had a really good voice and the mixture of punk and prog worked very well.

I was a bit worried that the people who had come to see the first two bands were going to go home before we were due onstage, but I needn't of feared as most of them stayed to give us a chance to prove ourselves.

True to form, as we didn't do a soundcheck, the sound was great and we felt free enough to play a good and tight set. A few of the other band's fans vacated the venue, but most of them stayed.

After the gig we had been offered accomodation from Dave, who very generously was laying open his home to an Abdou onslaught. Putting up 7 people is no mean feat but he did us proud, in fact most of us had beds for the night.

I was in 7th Heaven as my bed was directly below a brand new iMac in a beautiful shade of green. I slept like a log and woke up feeling bright as a button. Dave helped me get online to upload some of the tour diary and to collect my email. He was even kind enough to lend me an A-Z of Sheffield so that we could find today's gig. What a geezer!

I am a happy bunny

FB xxx

1999-12-09, Sheffield - Boardwalk

After a comfortable night in Manchester, with Dave, we spent the day pottering about his house until it was time to drive to Sheffield. Thanks to Dave's A-Z it was a piece of piss to find the venue.

When we walked into the venue though, we were caught by surpise. There was already another band soundchecking. I had thought that we were headlining this gig so I ws kind of dumbfounded. After trying to get some help from the band's sound engineer and being met by rudeness, I phoned the promoter Chris, who told me that I should have already known about the situation and that, my agent should have informed me. I couldn't remember being told, but then again when this gig was first booked it was still September.

Anyway, the promoter said that the middle slot was by far the best slot to have at the Boardwalk. Once thing were sorted out, I began to relax a little. Then I was informed that we would have to pay for our beer rider, which was, frankly, BIZARRE.

Anyway, strange things aside, we were the last to soundcheck and just settled down to letting the evening's events take care of themselves.

The first band on tonight were 'Silver Tuner' who sounded great, but a bit too much Radiohead influence for my liking. Still the crowd really liked them and that's what counts, what do I know.

Then it was our turn to play and I thought that we played pretty well and the audience seemed to find it amusing. Not much to report really.

Then Rootjoose came on-stage with a music shop's worth of equipment, special lights and a pop star attitude. They played a set which to me sounded a bit like Simple Minds with Jeff Buckley singing. I'm not putting them down, but I've heard it all before and for all of that special modern equipment we could have been in the 80's. I know that Abdou isn't exactly breaking down the boundaries of modern music, but that's just me having fun. This is a serious attempt at pop stardom and it will probably succeed. Oh well.

We stayed the night at a lovely little student house thanks to the hospitality of Chris (cousin of Dave, last night's host). Had a nice tie talking about optics and astronomy with Chris and his friend Mary. We slept, six in a room, very cosy ;-)

1999-12-11, Edinburgh - Cas Rock

Yesterday we decided that we would stay in a Travelodge for our time in Edinburgh, so we booked two rooms and slept three and four to a room, which is not strictly legal according to Travelodge regulations. It was a brand new hotel and some of the staff were very keen to be overly officious, but hey, it was warm and only cost us £200 for two days (ouch).

Andy, Der and myself had a quiet meal at a nearby restaurant, followed by a visit to a friendly and late closing pub. The others stayed in and played cards / watched Telly.

I do like Edinburgh, it's a beautiful city and we managed to get a lot of exploring done despite the torrential rain.

We knew how to get to the gig so we arrived a wee bit early and sat in the nearby pub whilst we waited for the afternoon covers band to pack up. They were certainly a very popular band, the pub was very full. We had a few games of pool, a couple of beers, a few packets of crisps, you know, the usual ;-)

When we were free to load in we met up with the boys from Huckleberry, with whom we were to share the stage that evening. Readers of my previous tourdiaries would have read about Huckleberry before and know that they are a favourite of mine. It was good to see them again, there were a lot of hugs and shaking of hands.

In a reverse of our previous gig at Cas Rock, Huckleberry were to heeadline tonight and Abdou would be in the middle of three bands. This suited us fine as we knew that the Hucks would pull the majority of the crowd.

The first band on were called Deadhead Briggs (I think) and were bloody marvellous. They played 60's style rock blues, like a Scots version of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They even played a Dr Feelgood cover. It was great to hear such vintage sounds coming from a band that must be in their teens. If you get a chance, go to see them.

We were on next and played fairly well, but not brilliantly. Some how, the crowd weren't up for the Abdou experience as much as they were the last time and I was a little disappointed in our performance. It was only in relation to the great gig that we had last time though.

Next on were Huckleberry, who were superb they have gained a harder edge with the help of their new drummer Simon.They played some great new stuff and I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

After the gig I met some new friends and caught up with some old acquaintances. Sarah and the guys from the venue had looked after us very well all day. I really like Cas Rock, it is a wonderful place, and so convenient for the lap dancing clubs.

Tomorrow is my birthday, so it's off to Aberdeen!

1999-12-12, Aberdeen - Glow 303

The drive to Aberdeen was a lt quicker that I had thought that it would be. I reckon that Scotland's road builder have had a serious injection of EC cash as the roads were fantastic.

As we went further North the temperature dropped and by the time that we reached Aberdeen, it was freezing! The venue was easily found and before long we had most of the stuff loaded in and had started to work out how we were going to organise today's soundchecks.

There was to be six bands on tonight and it was going to be an organisational nightmare for the bands and the sound crew. I found it rather difficult to get any enthusiasm from the soundcrew, but they kind of went with the flow and got things together....slowly. Adie, who was our promoter for the night, was bit worried about tonight's gig as there were a few hiccups with the venue and she was nervous about how many people would turn up.

Crissi, my girlfriend, had flown up all of the way from London to spend time with me on my birthday, so we met up and sloped of to a nearby pub for a beanburger and to unwrap my presents!

After some lovely food, some warmth and some quality time with Crissi, it was time to get back to business and to the soundcheck.

After a relatively cushy soundcheck, we were shown to our dressing room and met up with the folk from the other bands.

Strumpet were on first, but I completely missed them, so I can't tell you what they were like.

Next on were Huckleberry, who played even better than the night before. Crissi really liked their version of The Ace Of Spades.

Then came The Kenadas, who suffered a bit from some terrible sound. They used a drum machine and played a punky poppy cheesy set. They had some really good songs but they were lost mainly in an appalling sound mix.

Then it was our turn and somehow, everything clicked into place and I had a lovely birthday gig. I totally fucked up Nobody Less Rock n Roll and decided to go straight to the loud bit. I changed the set list as we went along and it was just right. There was dancing and cheering and some great heckling.

Next on were Dead Loss Superstar, who played some great r n b based rock /pop. I didn't catch most of their set as I was busy celebrating my birthday.

After the gig, we had a great time drinking and chattting, chatting and drinking. Adie had offered her living room floor for tonight's gig and it was gladly accepted.

Poor Crissi had to get up at 6am to get back to London for a Chemistry test, but I could sleep on until 10, lucky me!

1999-12-13, Glasgow - King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

It was a cold drive to Glasgow. I was hoping thet as we were heading south it would get warmer...but it didn't.

We were a bit late for an interview with Beat 106, so we drove straight to the Radio Station. Adie (who had come in the van with us from Aberdeen) and I walked over to the radio station and the other drove off to the venue. The interview was with Jim Gellatly, who is well know on the Scottish music scene and with whom I have done quite a few interviews over the years. We recorded the interview for broadcast that evening, so we plugged the gig and the CD as much as possible. Jim's a lovely bloke and is genuinely interested and excited by music.

We got a taxi back to the venue where Stevie was already setting up for the soundcheck. It was great to be back at King Tut's after so long. The last time that I was there was backin '91 with Carter and I was very pleased that the place hadn't changed that much. Claire and Dave from the venue made us very welcome and made sure that we were warm, fed and watered. The soundman did a great job at the soundcheck and we felt very good when we tucked into our dinner of various tasty dishes from the delicious menu offered by King Tut's.

I popped out to a phone box to phone home and to check if Crissi had got home safely and ask her how the Chemistry test went. It was so cold in the phone box that my teeth were chattering and the earpiece stuck to the side of my face. BRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Yes, I am a soft English pussy.

The venue was getting very healthily full when first band Fred began their set. They played a great set of indie tunes, my favourite being a song called 'Life's A Drag, Queen', there was also another great one about a punk or something.

Next on were Red ??? Belgrade, who had a very 'Glasgow' sound and reminded me a lot of Teenage Fan Club, which is not a bad thing at all in my books. The crowd really gave them a warm reception and they played some top tunes.

Next we came on-stage in a very haphazard way, as when checked to see if my guitar was in tune it was in the key of e dangerous and one of the strings was the wrong string. In a semi-panic, I changed the string and tuned up my spare guitar. Eventually t was all sorted out and we began to play 'Aren't We All', the crowd seemed to appreciate the punk rock vibes so we launched straight into the 'Abdou Theme' followed by 'I Don't Know'. 'Nobody Less Rock n Roll...' went down exceedingly well and for once I remembered most of the words. The rest of the set rolled away quite nicely and to make it a top gig the crowd invited us back to do some more songs. We obliged with 'Queen Bitch' and 'Too Old For Rock n Roll'.

I had a lovely time and so did the audience if the people I spoke to afterwards were anything to go by.

I went up to see Claire, who paid me and we had a great chat about the music scene and the possibilities of Abdou playing T in The Park next year. Wouldn't that be cool?

There was to be a mammoth journey overnight to Cheltenham tonight so, we braced ourselves for the ordeal. It was a cold night and that van was going to get very chilly.

Goodbye to Glasgow and to Scotland, we love you, see you soon.

Love fruity xxx

1999-12-15, Colchester - The Twist

Woke up feeling cosy and warm but with a little bit of a hangover.It was 8am and we had a lot to do. Firstly, we had to go into Cheltemham town so that Der could do a bit of business, then we drove off in the direction of London, where both Alain and Harry both had things to sort out before we couldhead off to Colchester. I managed to spend an hour at home opening mail and replying to urgent email..

Unfortunately, I couldn't upload the tour diary, as the server appeared to be down. If you are reading this, it means that the problems are solved and we are all happy bunnies.

After all of the running around today and due to the horrible weather, we arrived in Colchester very late and everyoneat the venue was looking a bit stressed. We apologised profusely and tried to get get our soundcheck done in top speed. Unfrotunatelty the doors to the public were opened during our soundcheck which was a bit crap and it was even crapper for the first band on , Whose Misstress, who had to soundcheck and then go onstage immediately afterwards.

I felt a bit bad for them until the singer slagged off Carter and then I wished him evil. The band played some good tunes, but I was a bit put off by the crap sexist jokes and the sub Damon Alburn posturing.

Anyway, the main event of the night for me was to witness the final gig of Pharmacy, who you may remember from previous gigs or tour diaries. They played a lovely set, I really thought that the crowd would have given them more support seeing that it was indeed their last outing. The final prescription from Pharmacy is something I'll remember for a while, especially the sad look on Nina's face. The world will be a less joyfull place, I'll miss them.

I was a bit worried that the general 'down' feeling to the gig would ruin our gig, but I needn't have worried, the people in the venue were up for a bit of old style cheese 'n' roll.

We played a pretty rockin' set, to an appreciative crowd. I dedicated Benjamin and Jumble to Pharmacy and especially to Nina. Here's the setlist.

Aren't We All
Abdou Theme
Nobody Less R n R
Punk Confetti
Shut Up
Benjamin & Jumble
Murder On Dalberg Rd
Baby Food
Maria's Umbrella

Queen Bitch
Too Old To Rock n' Roll

After the gig, I went out in to the audience to try and flog some CDs and t-shirts. Managed to sell enough to pay for the petrol to get to Stevenage.

We all went back to Casa Pharmacy, where they were holding an aftershow party / wake to celebrate their last gig and the thing that was Pharmacy. We drank a lot of lager, had a sing song featuring Robbie Williams and Beatles songs which promoted the neighbour to bang on the front door and threatening to call the police (I feel I've been fleeced).

It was a good night and a very comfortable floor indeed.


1999-12-16, Stevenage - Bowes Lyon

We were woken by the sound of what must have been something quite sexy, I can't imagine who it could have been, but none of the band's members were involved, I can assure you ;-) Anyway, after a while there was a lot of hurried whispering and the sound of the front door closing, so I guess that the entertainment was to continue elsewhere.

We eventually got ourselves dressed, tea'd and coffee'd, loaded the van a bid a fond farewell to Nina and Tom.

Then we hit the road in search of somewhere to eat on the way to Stevenage. We didn't find anywhere until we got to Biggleswade, which was to be our home for the night as we were staying at Kev's parent's new home.

I phoned Salv (ex-Carter and tonight's promoter) and arranged to drive straight down to Stevenage.

The soundcheck was little difficult as the sound engineer seemed to be almost asleep and the P.A. didn't seem to be set up very well. Still, we got through it and settled down to the fantastic Veggie Spag Bollegnese that Salv had cooked for us.

Then it was time to watch Great Indian ??? who were really struggling with the sound. The sound was in fact, pretty appalling, I couldn't hear the vocals at all. This lead to a rather flat sounding performance, which was a shame as I'm sure that with a good sound, I would have appreciated them more.

Next on was Allergy, who I have been looking forward to seeing ever since singer Richard gave me a CD a few months ago. Richard's folks were all there to see them and it was good to see some family support. Allergy were great, the CD is good but live, as always, it is better still. To top it off, they played a great version of The Only Living Boy In New cross. It was good to be in the audience and hear someone else play one of my songs, Salv also said that the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.

Just before it was our turn to perform, I felt a little queesy and had to hide behind the bass stack for a bit. But being the true trouper that I am, I gathered all of my strength and got up there and did the gig ;-)

The sound on stage was very bad and it was real struggle to play, but having said that, we have had worse, and we did our very best to overcome the difficulties. About half way through the set, everything seemed to gel and we played a bit of a rocker. Marc and Kenny certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves.

After a pretty diabolic encore of Queen Bitch, we stepped off the stage and I collapsed into a big heap. I regained enough conscienceness to sell a few CDs and have a chat with Richard, Angie and their mum and dad. We had a bit of a mutual respect bonding session, got into the van and back to Biggleswade for a well earned kip.

I hope that I feel better tomorrow.

Love fruity xxx

1999-12-17, Bradford - Rio's

This morning I was awoken by the sound of a chorus of farts, mostly my own, I must admit. I guess that 11 days of beer, curry, chilli and spicy bumburners have taken the toll on my digestive system.

There was a big queue for the shower, I was last in the line and it takes a long time for 7 people to wash, brush and whatever anyone does in the bathroom.

I took the time to write the tour diary and toast a few crumpets. Yes, indeed, I AM so rock n roll.

Well, I waved bye bye to the girls that we picked up last night, had a snort of cocaine to restore my equilibrium then opened a bottle of jack to calm the effects of the coke. My knob was sore from the frenzied and bizarre sex session that we all shared in last night. I think that Harry will never be the same again.

Before long it was time, once again, to load up that van and head back onto the M1, into traffic, chaos and expensive burgers.

It was fairly easy to find Rio's, and when we walked in I had a real sense of Deja Vu, I thought that I hadn't been there before, but now I'm not so sure.
I had a sense of forboding about tonight's gigs and told Alain that there would only be 20 people and a small dog at tonight's gig. After the soundcheck we went out in search of food and ended up in a pub in full karoake, christmas office party swing. It was packed to the rafters with drunken and extremely friendly Bradfordonians. After a while we started feeling a little claustrophobic so went over to a nearby pizza parlour.

We took our pizzas back to the venue and listened to the support band from the safety of our dressing room. Many apologies to the band, but I never did find out their name. They sounded pretty good from the dressing room though and did a nice version of Urban Spaceman.

The venue was almost empty when we finally got the courage to go on-stage. I reckon that there was 30 people in a room that could hold about 300 ;-( It was a really hard gig to play as we were all feeling a bit under the weather and from the stage it looked as though there was no one there at all.

We got throught the set and even managed to do really great versions of Benjamin and Jumble, Birthday and Rose.

Band morale was pretty low when we returned to the dressing room, but soon we had a few visitors who told us that it was a great gig and they were really apologetic about the poor turnout.

The place turned into a heavy surf punk indie disco and we hung around for a while watching the venue begin to fill up with dancing, drunken youngsters, I wish that they had of been there when we were playing as they might have liked it. Oh well.

We left the gig in search of a hotel, finally found a Travel Inn, booked two rooms, smuggled a few people in, drank the last few bottles of beer and hit the sack.

Tomorrow is the last day of the tour, I hope that it is better than today,

Love fruity xxx