We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Tonight is quite special for me as Suzanne is bringing Freya (my 7 year old daughter) along. It will be the first time she will have seen us onstage and I’m not sure what she’ll make of it. Hope she’s proud of her daddy.
The lights go down, a cheer goes up and the intro tape starts. Are you ready London? We take to the stage, the cheers get louder and we kick into Wildside and the crowd are totally with us 100%, come on ‘ave it! Wildside ends and Steve conducts the FM choir through Face to Face. Weirdly amongst all the mayhem I’m sat wondering if Suzanne and Freya have made it okay to the gig. We launch into That Girl and it’s poignant, to me at least, that during this song I see some guys at the front hoist my little darling Freya above their heads so I can see her. She smiles, waves and I melt, tears of a very proud daddy welling up. I’ll tell you things don’t get much better than that. Thanks guys I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live, God bless you! I wonder if she’ll remember it? Next up it’s Don’t Stop and Steve “The Silver Fox” Overland's amp blows up. Phil his tech is well on the case and replaces a blown fuse. Unfortunately the replacements are the wrong sort and keep blowing (our fault Phil, not yours mate). Another amp takes its place and all is well and we’re back on track and loving every minute of it.
We’re doing Hard Day in Hell tonight and we welcome onstage Carl Brunsdon on the sexy saxophone and he sends shivers down my spine, blinding mate! During the last few songs of the encore Freya is sitting in the photo pit smiling up at me, life is good. Onstage with FM, playing to you wonderful people and my daughter smiling up at me… magical! The show ends, we take our bow and I try to say a few words of thanks to you but the mic isn’t working so I pluck my awestruck daughter from the photo pit and we say our farewells to you good people, thanks for being so nice to a very proud dad and his little girl. Later Freya commented “I liked being onstage with you Daddy. I felt really famous”. God bless you all!
Although there was such a strict curfew and we had to cut Meet & Greet numbers to twenty I really must applaud and thank the people in charge at The Academy for bending over backwards and Adrian our manager for making it happen. M&Gs to us are a very important part of our shows, so mucho respect people and thank you for your help in making it happen!
Steve and I head from the venue to the Nags Head around the corner along with Adrian for a few celebratory beers. We meet up with quite a few people who have been at the show and it’s great having a chat and catching up with some friends old and new. A friend of mine - Richard, an FM virgin and someone who is actually more a Chas and Dave fan congratulates me saying “F***ing brilliant mate, very good” whilst shaking my hand, cool another convert. This is a very civilised after show drink and next time we play here I’m definitely up for more of the same.
London it was truly emotional! See you next time!
It’s the hottest day of the year so far as I set off on the walk to Ealing Broadway Station to travel to Angel. Ticket purchased and nice one, a main line train to Paddington is pulling in, sweet. Off at Paddington and onto the circle line to Kings Cross where I change for the Northern line to Angel. The whole journey goes like clockwork. When the tube system behaves it’s a quick and convenient way to get around town, when it’s not it’s an underground hell hole. Today is good. It’s good that the journey is without hitches as I have a phone interview to do and mobile reception is not good underground. If you’ll indulge me, a quick aside on mobile reception. I was flying home from, I think, Israel and had forgotten to switch my phone off. Imagine my surprise when on arrival to LHR my phone was showing one of those mobile network text messages saying “Welcome to Greece thanks for using our mobile network”. 35,000ft up and there’s a signal??? Bonkers!
Where was I? Ah yes, the phoner. The station called and we had a good chat live on air for over 20 minutes. Interview over and as I made my way to the venue I met my nephew Niki and his mate Josh who are going to do some filming. Bloody hell it’s hot! I decide to head off for a quick bite to eat before heading into the venue and found a sandwich bar where I ordered a tuna and coleslaw baguette. Feeling suitably nourished I head back to the gig, and what a fantastic venue we have here. A good sized stage, high ceiling, great lights and PA. I was commenting the night before in Cardiff about the much improved quality and facilities provided by the venues we’d played since our reunion as opposed to the ones in the early 90’s of which some left a lot to be desired.
I’m the first band member to arrive. The others are travelling in by car. Friday afternoon travelling into London on the hottest day of the year - rather them than me, hope they’ve got A/C. Inside the venue it’s swelteringly hot. I mention this to the lighting guy who tells me to ask to have the air con switched on, this I do and within a couple of minutes the place is lovely and cool, simple! The rest of the guys turn up hot and very bothered after a two hour journey stuck in traffic with no A/C. Serves them right for not taking the greener option of the tube like Pete “Friend of the Earth” Jupp :-)
The gear is up, miked and ready to go so it’s soundcheck time for us. Soundcheck is a quick affair which is good and gives Romeo's Daughter a decent amount of time themselves. It’s an early curfew tonight as the venue turns into a club at 11.00pm. Doors at 7pm, Romeos on at 7.15pm, off at 8pm and us chaps on at 8.30pm sharp. We have to be done by 10pm latest. I’m in the depths of the venue backstage where the dressing rooms are and I decide to have a quick shower and freshen up before getting changed ready for the show.
8.20pm and Steve Church comes down and says they’re ready for us. We troop out and
have to climb four very long flights of stairs to get to the stage. We should have
asked for oxygen on the rider, as by the time we’ve climbed the final flight I’m
London photos courtesy of:
Noel Buckley – www.noelbuckleyimages.co.uk