2001-04-14, The Windmill - Brixton
Scene One - Interior of Brixton Wholefoods, a cosy hippy kind of place with a staff of small furry animals
Overheard - Luke (unfeasibly young and handsome sticksmans for Six Degrees) talking to Crissi (beautiful, slightly dotty uni student and girlfriend of) Les (ageing but still fairly good-looking in a cheeky chappy sort of way frontman for Abdoujaparov).
Luke - 'yeah, we've got a gig at The Windmill next week, we've only just found out and we haven't even got a support band yet'
Crissi - 'cool, what day is it on?'
Luke - 'Saturday'
Les - 'we'll do it'
Luke - 'what?'
Les - 'Abdoujaparov will do it...seriously'
Luke has a strange look on his face, trying to work out if Les is taking the piss or not
Les - 'SERIOUSLY mate, we'll do it, I fancy doing a gig'
Luke - 'er, ok then'
Scene Two - Exterior of Windmill Pub, Brixton. Various band members unload a white van comandeered for the evening.
Loud music is pumping through the PA courtesy of a DJ practising his various breaks and scratches, this makes it quite hard for everyone to be heard so the following conversation is conducted in screams, punctuated by 'whats', 'ehs' etc
Les (to Luke) - 'where do you want everything then?'
Luke - 'I don't mind, it's up to you'
Les - 'well it's your gig mate, set it up how you want it'
Luke - 'can we use both of your amps?'
Les - 'sure, but don't break 'em' (this is said with a smile and as a joke, but Luke looks a little nervous all the same)
After a lot of arranging, re-arranging, tripping over cables, bumping into microphone stands, everything seems to be in it's right place and a soundcheck can begin. The DJ stops and the soundguy starts to work his magic on the slightly ropey PA. Some of the monitors don't seem to be working and he keeps stepping out from behind the desk and jamming his head against the speakers in hopes of hearing something.
Six Degrees finish their soundcheck, it sounds pretty good despite having one of their number missing and still on her way from holidaying in France.They head back outside the venue, they are all very young and wouldn't normally be allowed in the pub.
Abdou do a quick soundcheck and head to the bar, it is many years since they were not allowed into pubs because of their age.
Scene Three - Three hours later, the venue is filling up nicely, the atmosphere is great, everyone has a smile on their face and a beer in their hand.
A different DJ has arrived and has unpacked a box of precious 7" vinyl, the grooves of which contain glorious punk rock circa 1977-79. This is wildly appreciated by the crowd and bands. 'Ace Of Spades' by Motorhead is playing as Abdoujaparov take the stage.
Les (through the mic) - 'I'd like to apologise for interupting that fabulous song, it's one of my all time faves and this DJ is one of the best I have ever heard. This first song is 'There's Nobody Less Rock N' Roll Than Me' and I hope that I remember the words.'
Most of the song features just Les on guitar and vocals, but suddenly it launches into full-on punk rock, the three piece band sound shambolic but very energetic. The gig continues in this fashion with broken strings, forgotten words, bad jokes, more great tunes including a new one introduced as "Emergency Medical Hologram".
During the set, the band are joined onstage by Richard (from top band Allergy), who limps onstage in shorts and a plaster cast, the result of a skiing accident. he picks up his guitar and plays perfect lead guitar for 6 songs. Then Richard leaves the leaves the stage to a big cheer and Jim, (from Les' old band carter) joins in and plays the last three songs, it's all a bit chaotic, but the moshers at the front seem to be enjoying it.
After 45 minutes and 15 minutes longer than they should have been on stage, the band amble off to a huge ovation. It had been a great gig, not exactly note perfect, but very 'punk'
Scene Four - A bit later, Six Degrees are onstage.
Four sixteen year old musicians: Luke on drums, Julian on bass and vocals, Tommy on guitar and Ellen (yes, she made it back from France just in time) on rhythm guitar. They are playing energetic, modern, exhuburant, 90 mph punk rock and their musical skills far bely their age. The crowd is very appreciative and even the heckling is made in a loving way. Julian, looking about twelve years old and down to his pants and socks, is funny and confident as a frontman. The rest of the band look and sound great, Ellen is trying to be cool, but can't help breaking into a huge grin, she is obviously having the time of her life.
Scene Five - Post gig. Hurrah, the pub continues serving and the party continues. the DJ is still playing top tunes and there is a big crowd dancing in front of the stage.
Crissi is seen wandering around chatting, goosing the boys from Six Degrees (Luke's mum looks on, bemused). Les is being his usual drunken self, beer bottle permanantly in the drinking position, one arm around the nearest girl, big grin on his face. Jim and Jakki up at the front dancing their hearts out. Jason hassling the promoter for a gig for his new band "The Invisibles". Ben and Les' brother Brian (supplier of the van and muscle) are packing away the gear (gawd bless 'em).
Scene Six - Interior, Les' house 5am.
Crissi rides a bicycle into the living room, teeters for a second and then falls off. After this she decides to take herself to bed. Bransby and Marc have a small contretemps over a girl that both of them had snogged (name of girl withheld just in case). Marc storms off somewhere. Bransby falls asleep. The telly is on, but no one is watching. Les is chatting away to Angie and making no sense whatsoever. He ends up falling asleep with his head on her shoulder.
Camera pulls back to reveal a mess of sleeping bodies, a faint snoring is heard over the sound of early morning tv. Fade.
2001-05-29, Reading University (with Anti Product / Jor / Sharabang)
Band: Fruity, Ben, Jason and Dave
Crew: Chris Bell, Marc
It's Ben's turn to drive today, he borrowed Crissi's bike and we cycled over to Peckham to pick up the van from JFK Hire. We topped-up the petrol drove back to my gaff we're the rest of the band and crew were already waiting.
An uneventful and rather pleasant drive to Reading followed, with a short stop for cans of pop and packets of crisps.
When we arrived at the University we were met by Howard and his mates from Sharabang who were not only playing at the gig but were also responsible for putting the whole thing on. We watched Anti Product soundcheck their proto-crusty-techno-pop thang and very nice it sounded too. I'd already downloaded some of their stuff so I actually knew some of the stuff they were playing.
Then it was our turn to take about 5 seconds to soundcheck, before being whisked to our dressing room and introduced to our rider, a very tempting looking 24 Budvars (my fave beer). Spirits were high, I had an idea that we were in for a pretty drunken night.
Marc our merch man for today set up his wares in a strategically advantageous place. Not only could he see the bands easily but all of the beautiful young ladies had to pass his stall on the way to the bar and he could use this as an opportunity to test out his latest chat-up lines (oh, and to sell CDs and T-shirts too). The doors were now open and Sharabang had taken to the stage with some bloody good songs and sparkling musicianship. I have heard quite a lot of the stuff before as singer Howard has sent me copies of their singles and demos. It's top stuff.
I was a bad Fruity and missed Jor, but Jason saw them and said they were also dead good. As the time drew near when we would take the stage ourselves the wicked alcohol had done it's work and we were more than a little tipsy. What followed was what I would consider a classic abdou set. Yes, I forgot half of the words, made some very bad jokes, insisted on calling everyone 'top sausage geezers'.
Somewhere in there though we played some blinding tunes. I had been told that the Uni audience could be a little stand-offish but we seemed to go down very well and it wasn't just our mates that we clapping, at least I don't think so. To be honest, I only have a hazy memory of the gig and have had to rely on others for the details.
I do remember after the gig that Dave (Abdou guitar) decided that he didn't like the furniture in the dressing room. He decided that it needed to be outside and through everything through the window. Dave continued his rock n rollness in the van on the journey home insisting on bashing the side of the van with a guitar stand. On arriving home Ben and I got the bikes out shoved 'em in the back of the van, drove back to Peckham, then cycled a wobbly 2.5 miles back to Chateau Fruity.
Well I certainly had a great time. Cheers to everyone that put on the gig, cheers to band and crew...You are all top sausage geezers
2001-06-02, Southwick - Glastonwick 2001 Festival
Band: Fruity, Ben, Jason and Dave
Crew: Der, Chris Bell, Marc
Glastonwick is a festival organised by a guy called Attila The Stockbroker and is a Real Ale music and Poetry Festival set in the town of Southwick 4 miles west of Brighton.
I first met Attila at an anti-gulf war gig back in '91. The next time I met him was in Melbourne Australia. Abdou were playing a gig at The Punters pub and he just wandered in off the street recognised me (to my shame I didn't recognise him) and started heckling! After the gig we had a good chat and agree to stay in touch.
Der did a fine job of driving us down the A23 towards Brighton and Southwick and we arrived at the gig with no hassle whatsoever. As we arrived, the afternoon session of the Festival was over and people were streaming out of the Southwick Community Centre and into the afternoon sun.
We loaded our gear onto the stage and looked over into the hall, a beautiful converted 15th century Barn. I had a really good feeling about this gig and Attila said that it was going to be sold out. 500 were to be there that very night to see the bands play and drink gallons of Real Ale and Cider.
We had a quick and painless soundcheck (thanks Digital Dave) and then headed to the bar to sample Fruitbat beer. Yes, I was honoured with having a beer named after me for the night and bloody delicious it was too. Normally I stick to bottled beer as most draft beer makes me come out all blotchy, but this stuff was great and I was prepared to take the risk.
Good friends Leaza and Darren had come to see us tonight. It was lovely to see them, I had missed their wedding whilst I was in Oz, so this was the first time that I had seen them as an officialy blessed couple and I couldn't see any difference. Maybe there was a certain glow, it may have been the Cider.
I had never been to a Real Ale 'do' before and was quite curious to see what kind of people went to them. I glad to report that it wasn't to be like a lost episode from A League Of Gentlemen, and the only thing obvious was the proliferation of beer guts ;-)
First act on tonight was WOB, strange name for a singer songwriter troubadour, whose sheer exuberance and professionalism left me exhausted. If I jumped around the stage like that I would have a coronary. He had a lovely voice mind and some catchy tunes.
Next on was Attila and his band The Barnstormers who were great. It was so good to hear some proper lefty political lyrics along with a fine blend of punk rock and medieval balladry. I hope that Attila won't mind if I say that it reminded me of a blend between the Clash, Jethro Tull and The Levellers. My favourite song was his autobiography, which lasted 6 minutes and told the story hopes and aspirations of Attila's poetry and music. I found it all very moving and there was an obvious love coming from the packed hall.
How could we follow that? Well, a fairly tanked Abdoujaparov rambled on the stage and won the audience over with a mixture of singing, laughing, thrashing guitars and quite a lot of ineptitude. After mutilating most of our own songs we absolutely destroyed Beat On The Brat and Queen Bitch (sorry Joey and Dave) during a genuine encore.
We all had a brilliant time and became even happier and more drunken when Attila lead us to the beer barrels and instructed us to help ourselves until we get thrown out.
Eventually we did get thrown out by a rather grumpy man ready for his bed.
We stopped at Pease Pottage services on the way home and stocked up with crisps and chocky. We continued our journey, Jason must have been very drunk as he started singing Bat Out Of Hell at the top of his voice before projectile vomiting from the back door of the moving van. We eventually had to stop to let him bring up the rest of his dinner, he looked a bit better after that.
We arrived back home to a blazing Juke Box and a very drunken Crissi and friends. Ben and Chris hit the Tequilla, I had a quick dance and went to bed. Der sipped on a bottle of Wheat ale that he had stashed for 'later'.
I had a lovely time, if all gigs were as good as the last two I would be a happy man indeed. Thanks to everyone in Southwick for a lovely day out at the seaside.
Love fruity xxxx
2001-07-07, The Windmill - Brixton
Didn't we have a luverly time
The day we played in Brixton
The DJ played then The Dawn Parade
And all for a measly £3 you know
Fruity sang and Benny banged
And Dave and Jase rocked out in style
A pound for a shot, it was terribly hot
And Abdou played until they dropped
Then we all got drunker, And listened to Punk...er
And chilled out in the garden
Then Les got too drunk, under the table he sunk
So we all went back to Mervan Rd
(To be sung to the tune of "The Day We Went To Bangor"..sort of.)
2001-07-21, Bugjam - Santa Pod
It was a fantastic day out, loads of fast cars, great atmosphere. Abdou were a bit ropey but the Surburban DJs were excellent.
Marc did some very creative t-shirt selling, I bought myself a very smart Volkswagon Unstoppable Sex Machine shirt
Fruity got too drunk (no surprise there then)
Thanks to Andrew and Jamie for putting up with us.
2001-07-29, The Bowl 2001 - Crystal Palace Park - Sarf London
I didn't know quite what to expect from this gig as the last time I had seen a gig at The Bowl was in the 80's when I went to see Orange Juice. The Bowl itself has been completely rebuilt since then but is still in it's original setting in a beautiful parkland valley. It is an unusual venue in that it has a big lake in front of the stage (it probably has crocodiles in it, we were too scared to paddle).
We arrived safely at around four o'clock after watching a very exciting Grand Prix on the TV. There were to be 11 bands playing today, all of them unsigned, all of them from Sarf London. As a showcase for Sarf London talent it does a fantastic job. The gig circuit around here is pretty poor and is only now beginning to pick up after being in the doldrums for about 20 years. Festivals like this will help re-establish Sarf London's musical pride, put us back on the gig map and save me from having to go to bloody Camden every time I want to see a band!
We had missed the first 5 bands by the time we had arrived but thing were in full flow and Stegg were onstage doing their psychedelic punk thing. A great band, I'd like to see them again soon.
We had a wander out into the arena to meet up with friends and family and the atmosphere was greats. Kids were playing with water in the heat whilst parents gossiped about their neighbours etc. My nieces Laura, Rachel and Hermoine were there to see UNCLEDROPEMOFF for the first time, so they were really excited. I don't know whether or not they liked the gig though as I didn't see them afterwards.
There were some fine performances over the next few hours and a few beers later, it was our turn to strut out stuff. I must thanks the sound engineer for giving me the best onstage sound I've had for years. I can even forgive the PA system for completely cutting out from time to time as the sound was so sweet when it was working. I guess that Abdou were just too hot for the system!
It was a great gig, we even had a mini stage invasion, a kind of homage to the Philip Schofield technique. Umbrellas were waving during Maria's Umbrella, all sort of things were going on in the crowd.
The most amazing thing was that nobody left whilst we were playing. I expected a mass exodus, with people rushing to escape form the awful din, but to my great surprise they all stayed and were very appreciative. It was a reasonably big crowd too, the biggest Abdou had ever played to. I enjoyed it enormously, my favourite gig for a while I'd say.
Big thanks to Sound Of The Suburbs for putting on such a great gig. Charlotte, Rik, Wayne and everyone else involved deserve a big slap on the back for their efforts. Thanks also to Abdou crew Chris, Der, Bam Bam, we love ya!
I'll deffo go next year.
2001-09-14, The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
IThe biggest post-Carter venture yet, a seven day UK tour featuring four bands:
IINVIISIIBLES - ABDOUJAPAROV - JIM'S SUPER STEREOWORLD - WHO'S THE DADDY NOW?
From the start, we wanted to do this one properly, there was going to be 12 people to transport and accommodate and the best way to do this is by hiring a big fuck-off tour bus. We were all quite excited about getting on a tour bus again as the last time we had one was on the final Carter US Tour back in July '97. I have to say that I love travelling on the bus, it is so Rock 'n' Roll.
The beautiful white monster pulled up on Effra Rd on the afternoon of the 15th, we spent about an our loading up our gear, which meant carrying it across a main road and dancing with the traffic. The driver Nick seemed like a top bloke and we all got on with him right from the start.
I happily set up in my little Tour Manager position at the font of the bus, got out my new iBook and started to play a few games as we sped towards The Premises rehearsal studio where we were to pick up Dave (ex-Abdou and now Iinviisiible) and the rest of the gear.
2001-09-15, Harlow - The Square
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
So what would be a better place to start the tour than out old haunting ground, The Square. We were welcomed like the old friends that we are and quickly set up the gear and began sound-checking.
Before we continue, I should give you a run down of the bands and crew
THE BAND MEMBERS
Jim Bob Morrison - JSSW / WTDN?
Les Carter - Abdoujaparov / WTDN?
Jason Bootle - Iinviisiibles / Abdoujaparov / WTDN?
Ben Lambert - Abdoujaparov / JSSW / WTDN?
Salvatore Alessi - JSSW / WTDN?
Dave Stirrup - Iinviisiibles / WTDN?
Richard Crockford - Abdoujaparov / WTDN?
Van Campbell - Iinviisiibles / WTDN?
Pete Allinson - JSSW / WTDN?
Chris Bell - Guitar Tech and general dogsbody
Marc Ollington - Merchandise Man Extrodinaire
Nick Watt - Driver and most important person on the tour
OK, back to the gig.
The venue filled up from very early on and first band IINVIISIIBLES had a great crowd to play to. For a band that nobody had seen before, they went down incredible well and performed their hearts out. I have said this many times but this band are brilliant, and I reckon that they are gonna be huge. If you like your Rock 'n' Roll loud and dirty, this is the band for you, they take no prisoners.
Next on, Abdoujaparov. We played a good set to a very appreciative crowd. I think we had the advantage today as we have played The Square on regular basis and have built up a healthy following in Harlow and the surrounding area. Every time we come back to Harlow the crowd get bigger and better. To play to an almost sold out venue was fantastic. The new songs Emergency Medical Hologram and There's A Monster In My Garden went down really well too.
Then: Jim's Super Stereoworld. Jim was a little nervous playing JSSW's classy cheesy pop disco following two rock monsters, but he needn't have worried, the crowd loved it and clapped and sang along to the singles and future hits. Smiles broadened as the set went on. Jim played some great new tunes too. Big Flash Car is my favourite at the moment
Finally Van, Jason and I joined Jim and the boys on-stage and we became WHO'S THE DADDY NOW?. We began the set with Surfin' USM and the place went wild. We followed this with the new single The Beeper Song which also went down madly. Then Glasgow Kiss, Bloodsport For All, Sheriff Fatman and GI Blues followed giving the crowd a huge Carter fix and making a lot of 30-40 somethings sweat and pant like never before. I'm talking band and audience. It was lovely to see some old faces that hadn't left their armchair for a while.
Roadie Chris Bell was extremely pissed all night but still managed to get the guitars in tune and not get himself in any trouble. Marc had great fun at the t-shirt stall.
A special mention for additional crew member Trudi, who did a fantastic job on the lights. Big thanks to everyone at The Square for helping make the first night a big success..
As we didn't have far to travel the next day, we parked overnight in Harlow and had a small party on the bus. Not bad for the first night!
2001-09-16, Leeds - The New Roscoe
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
Day two. The last time that Abdou played in Leeds was at the fables Duchess Of York. It was wild gig which we only turned up at about 10 minutes before we were due on-stage. That great venue is a trendy wine-bar now and it is up to The New Roscoe to fill it's worthy boots.
The Roscoe is not quite as central as the Duchess but is a lovely pub with great and friendly staff. We were greeted with cups of tea and shown to our dressing room which was FULL of beer (well it was the pub cellar actually). We were told to respect the cellar, so we bowed down and prayed to it.
The P.A. system arrived and it wasn't long before we were sound-checking. After sound-check we had pizza and settled down to wait for the audience to turn up. And turn up they did, a brilliant turn out for a Sunday night.
Once again IINVIISIIBLES stunned, ABDOU rocked, and JSSW disco-ed. It all went a bit crazy for the WTDN? portion of the night, the P.A. system toppled, stage-divers fell to the ground as lots of folk danced and jumped like they haven't done for a while.
As usual the Leeds audience were as drunk as skunks, how is it you can get that drunk and still be standing. I must say though, that the spectacular drunk of the day award has to go to IINVIISIIBLES and WTDN? drummer VAN who was completely off of his face and ended up walking on the roof of the tour bus and then throwing up all over the place. Nice one Van, you rock n roll animal!.
Big thanks to Douglas who brought Jim and myself a couple of bottles of whisky. That went down very well thanks. We stayed at the venue very late and drank too much Irish Whisky and cocktails.
Cheers to everyone at The New Roscoe for their wonderful hospitality.
Right...Back on the bus!
2001-09-17, Hull - The Adelphi
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
After spending the morning at a service station and using the truckers showers, we felt fresh and ready for some more giggy action.
As we drove into town, Nick dropped me off in the centre, as I needed to get to a bank to unload some loot at the mysteriously hard to find Royal Bank Of Scotland.
I decided to walk to the venue as it wasn't very far. Big mistake, it began to teem down with rain and I got completely soaked.
I arrived at the venue where the guys had already set the gear up onstage and were jamming away. For those of you new to these diaries, I should tell you a little about The Adelphi.
We first played there in the very early days of Carter. Paul Jackson (who ran and sill runs the venue) took a chance on us after hearing a demo of A Sheltered Life. We played there several times and even included it on the Dave tour.
To be honest, we were a bit disappointed with the turn-out for tonights gig, there was only about 70 people there and I think that such a great line-up deserves a lot more. A few people told me that the gig wasn't well advertised and they thought there were a hell of a lot more folk who would have come if they had of heard about the gig.
Little gripe over, we had a great gig and the people who were there were treated to a stunning show, all four bands were on top form, but for my money, the night belonged to IINVIISIIBLES, they were awesome.
Once again, it was great to see some old friends and Jim and Paul were great as always.
I have heard that The Adelphi is in some financial trouble. I hope that they can get through this as it is a great gig and it would be a crime to see it go.
2001-09-18, Leicester - Princess Charlotte
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
We all slept in until really late and woke up in another service station close to Leicester, did the usual expensive afternoon breakfast thing, took showers and welcome dumps (not crapping on the bus is a hard and fast rule).
As Nick couldn't park outside the venue he dropped us all off and went to find somewhere else to park. We all roamed the streets of Leicester. I banked some more dosh to make sure that we had enough to pay for the bus. We bought Marc a nice little bum-bag to use when on the Merch Stall. Then we all went for a coffee and watched the girls go by.
We got back to the venue in time to meet the returning bus ready unloading the gear and beginning the sound-check. The sound guy at The Charlotte is a bit of a miserable git, that may sound a bit harsh, but he really is! He really acts as if he doesn't want to be there and after the last couple of days of friendly faces, it was a bit of a downer. That apart though we were looked after food and drink-wise.
When the crowd started to pour in we were a little relieved as when JSSW played there a couple of years ago, there was hardly anybody there.
All, four bands played their hearts out, JSSW were the band of the night tonight for me, the whole band sound is getting bigger and better all of the time and the competition of the other bands is really upping everyone's games.
The best thing about these gigs for me is that all of the bands are going down really well. For a lot of the audience this is the first time they have seen the bands and, for me, it's really cool to see people singing along with Abdou songs. Of course the WTDN? set went down a treat, everyone seemed very happy to hear those old classics.
It was a good night and the crowd were great and really appreciative.
So what's next then? Ahh....Glasgow!
2001-09-19, Glasgow - King Tut's
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
Glasgow town was looking good as we arrived. I got off the bus and went into town to find the bank. I'm sure that if you have been following the careers of Jim and myself, you will know that we are in love with Glasgow and always look forward to returning. Abdou played at King Tut's a while ago and it was a great gig, tonight could only be better.
Sound-check without a hitch and the food as always at King Tut's, was gorgeous.
The venue began to fill up from a fairly early stage and we knew that we were in for a good night. Marc had set up his stall in the optimum area and the crowds were already flocking to buy WTDN? goodies.
There were quite a few familiar faces, most notably ex-Carter roadie and merch man Ramie Coyle (or Mad dog as he was known in those days). We had all been shocked and saddened by the recent sudden death of Ramie's brother Johnny. Johnny was also a Carter roadie and I can't really express how destroyed we all are by his death. This gig was for Johnny, we will never forget him, he was a top fella.
Sorry to bring things down there, but it was something that had to be said.
IINVIISIIBLES started of this evening's entertainment in their usual uncompromising manner, they get better with each gig and the craziness gets crazier. My fave song tonight is You And The Sound, which quite simply ROCKS!
It was truly heartwarming to hear the cheers as Abdou took to the stage, I felt to be in the arms of a warm and cuddly family. I think that we must have played really well too as the reaction from the crowd was most encouraging.
Jim and his band of misfits were on next and wound the evening up into an even more delirious pace. Big Flash Car was fantastic tonight and deserves to be a huge hit single. I can't get enough of that JSSW sound man!
I couldn't believe that it could get better, but it did. The WTDN? set went off! The crowd went crazy and the band played our little hearts out.
I had such a good time that I didn't want it to end. I hung around by the t-shirt stall after the gig and met some great people. Marc had a very busy time of it and seemed very pleased with this evening's take.
After the bars had closed and the stragglers were sent on their way home, we bade our farewells and stumbled onto the bus. Marc was very worse for wear after being fed several bottles of Thurstenburg by Mad Dog. He was having extreme difficulty staying upright and I feared for the contents of his stomach.
Back on the bus the party continued long into the night. The WTDN? Tour rolls onwards to Portsmouth, what a long drive. Who organised the routing for this tour? Oh yeah, it was me, the boy who got 'unclassified' in his Geography O Level ;-)
2001-09-20, Portsmouth - The Wedgewood Rooms
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
Nick the driver had a terrible time. During the night the bus broke down on the motorway and he had to get a mechanic out to fix fan-belts and other technical bits and bobs. I was asleep in my bunk and got woken up by the bus being rocked violently by passing jugganauts. It was a bit scary!
We eventually got underway and got into Portsmouth in good time to head off for breakfast at a seafront cafe. Breakfast was great and was made better by the sea air. It was good to be dahn sarf again ;-)
We hung around for a bit in a coach-park before heading towards the venue. Ben was the navigator so we found the venue with great ease.
I hadn't been to the Wedgewood Rooms for ages, in fact (15/12/96 on tour with Carter, a brilliant gig I remember) The place had changed a little, but still looked like a proper rock n roll venue.
We set up the gear in record time and before long we were soundchecking. That all went very smoothly as usual, We were then told that dinner was ready and were shown to the kitchen where a full-on feast was awaiting. Top nosh without a doubt, everyone stuffed themselves apart from Jim, who decided that he wasn't hungry. All the more for me!
The crowd were a little subdued as IINVIISIIBLES took to the stage and hid away at the edges. Maybe they were scared of the sheer power of Dave, Jason and Van, they can be a little intimidating, what with their make-up and rock n rollness. Before long though, the folk edged forward and smiles appeared as if by magic. IINVIISIIBLES had weaved their spell once again.
During the IINVIISIIBLES set, ex-Carter man Wez turned up along with old mate Ferret. It was great to see them both and nice to catch up.
Next on Rich, Ben, Jase and Les (that's me folks) collectively know as ABDOUJAPAROV. We rocked big time, I like this version of the band, we fit like marigolds, well maybe not quite that tight.
JIM'S SUPER STEREOWORLD boogied the crowd into disco heaven next. They danced and sang along, broad grins and Travolta dance moves.
I think that the audience was sufficiently warmed up for the WHO'S THE DADDY NOW? set. I must say that my favourite song of the WTDN? set is the new single The Beeper Song, it's great on the CD, but it's much better live. The crowd greeted it tonight with as much enthusiasm as any of the Carter songs. There was a lot of moshing, slam dancing and general drunken tomfoolery going on. Stagedivers littered the stage and floor of the venue, I hope that no-one got hurt.
It was a great night only tinged with the sadness that all of this fun was soon to be over. Tomorrow is the last gig of the tour and I was only just getting warmed up!
Cheers to Ian and the crew at the Wedgie Rooms for a top night.
We decided to park up overnight in Southsea as tomorrow's drive was such a short one. Jase, Van, Dave and I went to the beach to drink beer and talk rubbish. Dave decided to teach us all to play the Harmonica and we discovered that to play the blues you have to SUCK! Dave ranted like a demented gnome, I was a bit worried for our safety, failure to play the Blues could be fatal!
2001-09-21, London - The Mean Fiddler
The Who's The Daddy Now? Tour
After a hard night's partying on the bus I woke up slightly dazed and confused. We were heading down the A3 and I went downstairs to talk to Nick and to let him know that a Little Chef wasn't too far away. We both needed breakfast. In fact surprisingly, breakfast at the Little Chef was gorgeous and exactly what we both needed. Everyone else was still asleep on the bus, so we took time to have a good old chat. What a great bloke Nick is.
Now then...onwards to Brixton first and then the bright lights of London's West End.
We stopped off in Brixton to pick up some WTDN? badges and for me to see Crissi and drop off my washing and stuff.
It didn't take that long to get to Tottenham Court Rd and the Mean Fiddler. Nick parked the bus as well as he could on the crowded rd and we pulled out the gear and took it down to the venue via the most stinking alleyway ever. The whole place smelt terrible, the alley way is used as a public toilet by crack heads. All I can say is that is was smelly.
Anyway, we got all of the stuff down and met up with the lads from the venue. We are very at home at this venue as we have known most of the Mean Fiddler crew for years and it was good to see them again. Tonight we even see the welcome return of Bob Mossey, who used to do Carter's sound and Trudi, the most excellent lampy.
It was obvious to everyone that this was going to be one special night, we got the news that we had already sold 800 tickets in advance and we were almost certainly going to sell out! Hoorah for us!!
The venue was already heaving when IINVIISIIBLES leapt on the stage. Tonight, the boys really mean business, this is their biggest ever crowd and they were very keen to show everybody that THEY ARE THE DADDY. The set was sheer rock n roll and ended with Jason smashing up his bass and generally trashing the stage.
How could we follow that? I decided to start the gig on the offensive and if the stream of four letter words that spilled from my mouth upset anybody I'm very sorry (not really!). I think I can truly say that this was the best reception that Abdou have ever had EVER. It was amazing. Stage diving, the lot. I loved it like a brother.
Jim was on next and showed the crowd how a true professional does it. The enormous new sound of JIM'S SUPER STEREOWORLD spread around the venue like a big fluffy ball of candyfloss and it's sweetness spread a big smile across the entire crowd.
Of course the crowning glory of tonight just had to be the Who's The Daddy Now bit, from the first sample of Surfin' USM, to the final chords of GI Blues, the atmosphere was magic and the crowd were awesome.
Well, what can I say, what a top tour, I haven't had so much fun for ages and what's more it wasn't over yet.
After being handed a rather large stash of cash, we left the venue and stepped onto a completely full tour bus. It looked as though half of the audience had decided to come with us back to Brixton. We had intended to have a quiet little party back home but it looked as though we were going to have more company than we expected.
We got home to a even more people and..an almost empty fridge. Calamity!
Luckily, Crissi took matters into hand an organised a whip-round and a possé set of for the all night offy. Meanwhile we got some music on the stereo and lit a fire in the garden.
We bid goodbye to Nick who set off for Bristol. Unfortunately, he had to return in about 20 minutes as I had realise that I had left the cash from the gig in the bus safe. Luckily Nick took it in very good spirit,. Again, I love this fella, he is great.
Well... eventually the beer took it's toll and one by one we sauntered off to bed and to whatever corner we could find to lay our heads. The rest is oblivion!! Sweet oblivion!!!
Until next time,,
Love fruity xxxx