We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Leading up to the gig I had been spending many a night putting the final touches together for the Metropolis album artwork, but I still had in mind that the Roadhouse had numerous screens dotted around the venue and I wanted to take advantage of that. So in a matter of urgency I managed to bring to life the front cover of the artwork, with numerous images dedicated to the arrival of this fantastic album, with a few advertisements for the merchandise desk thrown in for good measure.
I had spoken to one of the Roadhouse staff members previously and was told that there would be no problems in using my laptop to trigger the videos for the night. I had also created some nice effects for some of the new tracks FM were due to play on the night for good measure. I also created a lovely eerie intro to the Wildside video…
My wife and I ventured to London on the Saturday, as a sweetener for having to put up with my rock and roll ambition we spent the day shopping and out for a cracking meal, only to be in bed for 8.30pm as Lisa was suffering with what we thought was a heavy cold (turned out to be swine flu… nice). So while my wife coughed her way to sleep, I managed to watch Man Utd on Match of the Day. Excellent.
To keep Lisa happy we ventured around London for the afternoon before getting to the venue early afternoon as I wanted to make sure my laptop was going to work. Unfortunately I arrived in mid-soundcheck, so the engineer was pretty busy at that point and unable to check that things would work on my side. Was a great pleasure to bump into Dave T and Tiff, and witness how he had turned this club into a world dedicated to FM. He really has put in some printing hours getting that together, true dedication from a great guy. Not only was he heavily involved in that way, but he and his better half were also selling merchandise throughout the evening. Legend.
Well, I couldn’t hang around forever to check the laptop. After all it was nearly
tea time, and we had friends coming up from Wigan to help me film parts of the evening
and we were due to meet them. In midst jacket spud, Dave T phoned me to tell me the
engineer (Chris) was ready to take a look at the visual side of things. Once we had
eaten, we made our way back to the venue to give the laptop a shot. Seems like I
needed more than a shot, as there was no way of connecting it to their system, we
even had Adrian Bell, FM’s new manager making his way to Maplins to see if there
were any converters available for us. No luck. Also – at this point can I apologise
to Lid, as it must have took an eon to notice she was banging on the front door to
come in, though it was completely locked and I attempted to direct her around the
The next option was to burn the videos (wouldn’t be able to use the setlist vids as I would have to manually mix them) onto a DVD, and Chris would use the DVD player to trigger them for me continuously. So away I went on the search for a blank DVD. No-one seemed to have one, but around 10 mins later Dave T arrived with one. Right, let’s get this sorted!
Burned the disk… seemed to take forever. Gave the disk to Chris, who put it in the DVD player… and… the DVD player just ejected. Tried again and it ejected again. Don’t think the vids were meant to happen… so they didn’t.
Not to worry, I was absolutely overjoyed to see my artwork displayed on T-shirts and mugs… so I wasn’t too disheartened, I mean the sense of achievement alone from that was enough to keep a smile on my face.
Onto the gig, for me it was the first time I have seen FM perform in 15 years or so. After all, all the previous gigs I have been working on so it was great to have the opportunity to see them again. And it really brought it home to me why I created the Frozenheart website, why I put so much time and effort in the evenings creating the odd bit of graphics for the band, creating the Wildside video. After all who wouldn’t want the opportunity of working with a band they love and for the music they love. I am very lucky (my wife probably doesn’t feel as lucky). I have had the chance to have creative input in something as special as the Metropolis album – and it’s been an absolute pleasure!
As soon as the band finished their amazing set, and what a great moment seeing Mick Ralphs play with the band, we made our way to the car for the long journey home. But it was definitely worth it.
I must also thank my friend James Hanson for filming the set with my camera, so I didn’t work at all that evening and also Gary Rogers for taking some photos. And of course a big thanks to my wife Lisa for putting up with my FM dream.