We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Unfortunately I was unable to attend any of the rehearsals prior to the Roadhouse but I have it on good authority that they got better the more they rehearsed.
So it was with a great deal of excitement that I rose on Sunday morning. I’ve never been to the Roadhouse so it was all a bit new. I had been told that the load in and out were going to be horrendous because the venue is in the basement which means stairs.
Arrival at the venue with people coming from all over the UK and then experiencing the courteous and polite parking wardens of Westminster council. We were a bit early and had to hang around Covent Garden for about an hour. I was stuck in between a busker playing really bad versions of James Taylor / Fleetwood Mac and an opera singer.
Venue opens and bloody hell the stairs. Still no matter, load in and we meet the staff as they gradually arrived. I soon got the impression that this was going to be good as the staff were without doubt the most accommodating and friendly I have met. Nothing was a problem and if a problem did arise they made sure that a solution was agreed unlike some places I’ve worked where all you hear is NO!
Gear all set up and I was told that Steve Church would be responsible for activating the pyros!! Where’s me asbestos suit and fire extinguisher!!! Steve has got previous for torching a couple of venues when he worked with Tobruk. A bit too heavy with the powder was Steve. It was soon decided that one of the Roadhouse crew would take that responsibility. Phew disaster averted.
Soundcheck. A couple of issues with the PA sorted and we were off. It was picture time and set up the merchandise stand (again done wonderfully by Dave and Tiff). Dave also did a sterling job on the meet and greet again.
Doors open and off I go to the merch stand to help Tiff with the new album orders.
I know the gig was billed as the album launch and I also know the guys in the band
were worried about the album not being available. We did our best with the ideas
and I have to say that I only had one person who was not happy. It was explained
that he would be getting the album at least a week before anybody else. As for everyone
else thanks for making my job easy…
Gig time and I’m off backstage. Blimey did it go quick?? The new songs were blinding and then Mr Mick Ralphs jumps up. Churchy was in proper fan mode getting pix with the man. No issues with the gear and the whole show was as smooth as silk. Raffle time and I have to say Steve, Warren and I had the best view in the house. (You know what I mean!!)
Load out. Bear in mind that we’ve been there all day and have the hard work of lumping the gear upstairs. All is safely gathered in when I take back Jim K’s van keys. “Smoodge I’ve 'ad 8 bottle of beers on stage. I’m shagged, can’t drive!!” Off I go and find a parking space for his van. Locate one opposite the Houses of Parliament. Get back and try to explain to a drunk bloke about parking charges and the congestion charge. And we’re off…
Major thanks to Merv, Jem, Steve, Pete ‘n’ Jim for trusting a waster like me with their stuff. Over the past 3 years I have achieved some of my ambitions and that’s because of you guys.
Warren you’re a top bloke! Dave and Tiff it is always a pleasure… Jo Mitchell you were sent from heaven that day and worked like a Trojan at short notice. Top bird!!!
Last but not least my brother from another mother. Churchy we’ve laughed together, cried together and fought literally back to back. You are the best mate any man could have. Thanks for your patience. We do make a great team…
As for you dear reader, we will see you again in 2010. Don’t be a stranger, introduce yourselves and respect the techs…
Photo courtesy of Jae Rocka