We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Well here I am picking up one of the hire cars that we’ll be using on our first proper tour for longer than I care to remember. It’s a Peugeot something or other people carrier type thing, nice motor actually. I head off back to mine where I’m meeting Merv. I attempt to put the seats down in the very back of said vehicle to make room for luggage but it’s having none of it. Now this is not a brilliant start. Merv is due in 40 minutes but I’m going to have to return the car as it’s no use without the space for bags, guitars, Zimmer frames etc. I call Merv and explain the situation.
I finally return over an hour later, seats finally stowed after a bit of brute force, some specialised equipment (a large hammer) and colourful language from the hire car people. I’ve called Jem and Adrian (our manager) and explained that through no fault of our own, we’re running late and we’ll be with them as soon as we can. We load up and head out to Adrian’s.
Merv thinks he knows where Adrian lives but actually, as it turns out, he doesn’t.
We’re close but can’t find his house, a quick call to Adrian and he guides us. Adrian
gets in and says “You know we’re running late”. “Apparently” I think, but outwardly
reply “No worries, we’ll be fine”. Okay, the next and final pick up is the Keyboard
Wizard of Bedford. Onto the M1 and traffic is stop-start all the way up to the Bedford
turn off. “We should have left earlier really” announces Adrian. I’ve never been
to Jem's so we’re directed in by “TomTom” Goldsworthy this time with more success.
Right we’re all present and correct, next stop… Sheffield.
We finally arrive in Sheffield, and as predicted by our very own Ade of Doom, we are indeed late. We head up to the venue and… wow the stage is small, no drum riser, there’s not enough headroom. The gear is up just about and due to our lateness we have a very short soundcheck. Airrace are opening and it’s great seeing the guys again. I head backstage to our dressing room. Nice! It’s clean, comfortable, has a shower and a fridge full of Budweiser. I/we require nothing more. Everyone seems in good spirits but the dressing room floor pacing gives away the underlying nerves.
Airrace have finished, the stage is ready for us to do our thing. The lights go down we hear a loud cheer… let’s go boys… into “Wildside”.
I’ll admit the gig is a bit of a blur. I’m at the back, not on a riser, can’t (due
to the lights) really see the audience. I can hear you though :-) All I can see is
Overland's arse jigging about. We are having a few first night gremlins but the audience
are fantastic and get us through unscathed (thanks people). Show over and as we’re
in the dressing room picking the bones out of the show there is a knock on the door.
We say to Adrian “Give it five minutes and we’ll be out”. Adrian cracks the door
open and relays the message. “It’s some guy with a goatee and bandana”. “We’ll be
out in five” says Merv and we carry on with our post-gig dissection. A few minutes
later another knock and in bursts Didge with goatee and bandana. “You alright” he
says. “I had to buy a ticket for tonight to see you b*****ds”. It really is so brilliant
to see him, he looks great and is really confident. It’s hugs, handshakes and smiles
all round. We may not have parted on good terms but it’s all forgotten now, water
under the bridge and we’re having a great time reminiscing. Adrian says it’s time
for the meet and greet… are the fans in for a treat tonight! We go down and meet
everyone and sign stuff along with Didge.
We say our farewells to everyone, we’re driving up to Glasgow now which seemed a fine idea when first discussed but is not seeming so appealing now if the truth be known.
All in all a fine first night for our first tour in soooo long. We personally had a few teething problems but Sheffield you rocked big time and got us through! Respect and thank you!
Sheffield photos courtesy of The MOH