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Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
FM / Vega / Serpentine

16 March 2013


FM Tour Diary: Wolverhampton Slade Rooms - 16 March 2013

Morning all I woke up about 8am but thankfully fell back to sleep probably around 10.00 and re-awoke at 11.40am. I'm sharing with my thankfully non-snoring old friend Jick who is a merch legend and doing ours on the tour. I've known him over 30 years, I met him in Newcastle at the Mayfair when I was in Samson. He's a top man and good friend. I packed my case and woo-hoo! there's a Costa next door, that's me sorted. A brand new Premier Inn next to a Costa perfect… Merv the Swerve Travel Services does it again. We leave the hotel about 1.45pm and it's apparently about a 20-minute drive to The Slade Rooms. We arrive just after 2.15pm.

Now… the bus is playing up a bit. The engine keeps cutting out in traffic and it's becoming very annoying. A call to the AA is made and they are sending someone out to see if the problem can be rectified. We head inside and to say it's a cosy venue is a bit of an understatement. The stage is very small but we'll cope. It will be very tight for Serpentine and Vega but they're a good bunch and are sharing a drum kit, they'll be ok. We have more VIP Pledgers coming along today so it will be good to meet them. The gear is going up and I take the opportunity to give the kit a bit of a tweak. Soundcheck goes ok but because of the size of the venue we know the sound will change dramatically once the audience is in.

I have a chat with the Pledgers, another lovely bunch of people, and meet a lovely young lad called Brendan. He's an aspiring drummer so I take him up on stage to check out my kit.

We've lost the venue lighting engineer but fortunately one of our Pledgers, Scott, has done them so he volunteers, good on you mate. The bus according to the breakdown man is too ill to continue so another is on its way.

I decide to head out into the wilds of Wolverhampton for a bite to eat and find a place doing an Indian buffet for £9.95. It's pretty good to be honest and I even managed to not be too gluttonous. We have a shower in our dressing room and I decide to take advantage of it for a freshen up. All is going to plan, I'm nicely lathered up, having a fine old time and the bloody thing goes cold but not just cold, freezing bloody cold. Jeez it woke me up I can tell you.

Serpentine have just gone on stage. As I'm wrapped in just a towel watching them is probably not an option. I get dressed and get my stage clothes ready. Vega are on now and I pop out for a listen. It's pretty hot in the venue and the crowd seem well up for it, the boys are going down well.

It's time to get ready for the show so it's back to the dressing room. Showtime is 9.30 again. It's definitely going to be a hot and sweaty affair this evening. We gather side-stage, the lights go down and a roar fills the air. Here we go, show two is underway. Wow it's a hot one for sure. The sound on stage is not the best but we knew that was probably going to be the case. One thing we do know for sure is that the out-front sound with Richard at the controls will be absolutely kicking, he's very happy with tonight's PA. I can't see the audience as well tonight but let let me tell you I can definitely hear them, they're in fine voice.

Unfortunately we have to drop Closer To Heaven tonight as Steve was really struggling to hear himself and we don't want him straining that golden voice do we? It's nobody's fault, just one of those things. We come off stage and have the usual gig dissection in the dressing room. On-stage sound issues aside, the show gets a big thumbs up mainly due to the fantastic audience.

We're staying in Morecambe tonight to break the back of the journey to Glasgow tomorrow. The new bus has arrived, it's a 9-seater as opposed to the previous 15-seater. The good news is that it's not got an engine governer fitted so we can travel at the legal speed limit. It was snowing in Wolverhampton just before we were leaving but the snow has now turned to rain.

We arrive in Morecambe and it's snowing. We pull up outside tonight's hotel, a Travelodge, and get told by the guy with a bad attitude on reception - bearing in mind we had booked and paid for the rooms months back - "Rooms? You'll be lucky". Apparently it's Travelodge policy to oversell. Luckily we'd booked family rooms and we're able to double up but the extra bed does leave a lot to be desired. The main problem was the guy's terrible attitude, it really was the pits. So just be aware of this if you're booking with Travelodge and arriving late. After a trip back down to reception to get bedding I finally got to my bed about 4am.

Night all, see you in the morning.

FM with VIP Pledgers at Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 16 March 2013 Top