2003-11-28, London Highbury & Islington - Garage
Well, I thought to myself that it's a long time since I did a tour diary, so whilst memories of last night's gig are still reasonably fresh in my mind, I thought that I'd have a go.
First of all a little background:-
The last gig in Brighton was Andy Abdou last gig with us as he has too much on his plate at the moment and is concentrating on Renton, a rather fine band of which he has been a member for a while and are doing quite a few gigs. We're very sad to see him go as he was one of the original line-up and we he has always been a total diamond geezer. Brighton was to be the last gig of the year for Abdou, but then Gold Blade emailed and offered a support at the Garage, which I just couldn't turn down.
Unfortunately young Ben Abdou couldn't do the gig either as he is off tour-managing Howard Jones (I think). So it was either pull the gig or do something interesting.
We decided to go for interesting, Richie offered to swap duties and play bass and we got his old mate Bomber to play drums. Two short practices later, the three piece Abdou was ready to rock Highbury!
After being ferried to North London by star man Tim C, Richie and I went to get something to eat and ended up at a very passable pizza place on Upper St where we both had enormo-pizzas that were actually way too big for the plate.
We then met up with Bomber at the venue, where we were told that we weren't to get a sound check, which normally wouldn't bother me but it would have been nice to have a blast just so that Bomber could acquaint himself with the drum kit as we were all sharing Gold Blade's kit.
So we went off to the Wetherspoons to try and win some beer money from the TOTPS II slot machine and to sup a few refreshing beers.
I went back to hand in the guest list and was told by the venue manager that I was too late as doors were open and I should've handed it in before hand. Well, I would've done if someone had actually told me that was the rule. To cut a long story short, I decided that the venue manager was a wanker and got John Robb from Gold Blade to sort things out. Unfortunately by that time some guestlist people including family had been forced to pay full price to get in which was a ridiculous £10!
I have got to say that since the last time we played the Garage there has been a change in management at the changes are not for the good. I am definitely NEVER gonna play there again, both punters and bands are taken for a ride and I think that it's disgusting.
Anyway, enough whinging.
First band on Strawberry Blondes sounded really good, but played to an empty venue as they had to go on so early.
Second band on were The Lams, who were fronted by ex Senseless Things singer Mark. I though they rocked and it was nice to hear Mark growly voice again.
Third band were Divine Browne who also played at the last Garage gig and this time were even better I thought.
Then it was Abdou's turn. There was a nervous buzz with the band as we stepped into the warming glow of the stage lights and to face a rather healthy Abdou massive. I felt for for Bomber who has been thrown in at the deep end. we needn't have worried at all though as, if the crowds reaction was anything to go by, we pulled it off. I really enjoyed playing, even though I broke a string and we had to have a dub section in the middle of Beer Scooter. In fact, that bit was probably my fave bit of the gig :)
We ended with a chaotic but rousing version of the Abdou Theme and returned triumphantly to the backstage area.
We left the mighty Gold Blade to work their magic to their rabid fans. Solid as a rock, a sonic wall of Clash inspired punk rock with more than a dash of King Kurt in my opinion.
So despite a rather negative experience with the venue we still managed to have a good night. I must say that the sound engineers were helpful and very efficient and I wasn't including them or the bouncers in my haranguing. Just the manager really and the stupid venue rules.
Thanks to everyone who travel from far and near to witness another episode in the great abdou story. Take care. it is now time for more coffee, my head hurts.
love fruity xxx