FridayWe started with a gig at the Green Dragon in Coombe St Nicholas, a friendly little pub who don't half like their music. There were a couple of familiar faces and a good few Stiff Little Finger tshirts. We did an extra long set (2.5 hours) because we wanted to do the whole Butlins set, plus half a dozen more like Toxic and Balloons to make it a more general set.
Hot went straight home after the gig but Tosh and Indesit came back to chez Morphenhoov for a winding down beer and then as much sleep as we could get.
SaturdaySaturday was an early start, we had to be away by 9.00am - a time that I'm not very familiar with on a Saturday morning. I was a tad anxious cos I had developed the most god awful cold during the night and as well as a sore throat, my nose was dripping like a tap. Great news for a singer!
Halfway up the motorway, I got a text message from Stevie Boy from Punk'd. We'd commented him on Myspace the night before to tell him we were doing Skeggy and would you believe it, he was playing Skeggy with his other band. So we swapped venues and times and got a bit excited at the prospect of meeting one of the Punk'd boys.
We arrived at our hotel at about 3 and then met in the "Celebrity Bar" downstairs for a beer. Hoover and I had room 234, how punk rock is that! We set off for Butlins at about 6 to get our stuff in and soundcheck at 7. The venue was really nice. Sometimes you get places where you're in a long hall with the stage at one end but Jak's had the stage in the middle looking across the width of the room.
Marnie and I went foraging for food for everyone while the musicians got their kit miked up. Butlins is absolutely insane! Loads of people in fancy dress (my favourite being the lion, tin man, dorothy and scarecrow from wizard of oz). We spotted Stevie Boy getting set up on a stage which appeared to be in the middle of a shopping mall. Skyline is an indoor arena with takeaways, cafe's, shops and bars around the outside and a stage in the middle.
Back at Jaks, we met Howie, our soundman who talked us through options for monitors, etc. We had our pizza, which we shared with Howie much to his delight, then we set off back to Skyline to see Stevie's band. We had a tiny diversion while we raced camels (honestly!) and then settled in to watch the band. I had my REOFFENDERS tshirt on so felt obliged to walk right up to the stage and take Stevie's photo. He grinned in an "I've been got!" kind of way. He sure looks purty in his purple satin suit. They were very very tight and really got the audience going. Hot was bopping around like a very boppy thing. He lurves his disco.
We returned to Jaks at 9.00 to get changed and psyched for our gig. There was a corridor that ran behind the stage which was great for jumping up and down to get yourself going before taking to the stage. It was difficult to see people because there were lights pointing straight at us but there was enough people to give us quite a buzz.
Howie had warned us that Jak's wouldn't be full for the first but that we could expect capacity for the second, although he thought as Slade and Alvin Stardust were starting at exactly the same time as us, we might not be as busy.
It was a shame to stop for a break because the audience were dancing around like nutters to Should I Stay of Should I Go. Marnie said she'd seen Stevie in the audience so we went off to find him and drag him backstage for a chat. It was great to finally meet him.
Just before we went on for the second set though, we were told that we had 700 people in the room! C'MON!!!!
The second set was great. We rattled through the songs rather quicker without our usual talking in between. Well done to Tosh, Hot and Indy for that, that was awesome. We had a proper moshpit infront of the stage with circles. On stage, there were so many poses from the different members of the band, we really gave them something to look at. Paul even stood on the kickdrum while playing! Oh you rock guitar god you!
It had to end though and there was much hugging afterwards. Tosh and Marnie went off to dance round their handbags and then we went back to the hotel. Slade were arriving back at the hotel at the same time but with the bar shut, there was no smoozing with the stars. The very nice night porter let us buy a beer to take up to our rooms and we rendezvouzed in room 234.
SundayWe made it to bed by 3 and met for breakfast at 8. Alvin was just finishing up and Slade followed us in to the restaurant. How surreal.
We were back on the road at 9.00 and apart from two quick stops, we made good time to get back to Topsham, pick up the PA and then off to the Phoenix in Exmouth to do it all again. I was feeling very lurgyish by this point but once it was time to start, I was fine (with the exception of a few off mic coughs).
We had intended to play straight through but Paul was already onto his third guitar by halftime so we had a short break. At the end of the gig, we did our encore but they weren't happy to let us go, so we came back to end with Kids Are United.
So... a bloody good weekend. Thanks to the Phoenix for giving us such a great reception last night. That was our first Sunday afternoon gig and it was such good fun.
Also big thanks for Marnie for being beer/pizza roadie, blowing up balloons, restringing guitars, etc. Cheers, it helped us alot.
Thanks also to the rest of the band. I know how much hard work and pressure has been attached to the Butlins gig. WE DID IT!
And, eight hundred miles later, breath out.
By Justin Hotpoint, at 5:48 pm, November 14, 2006
Bloody hell I actually talked for 800 miles.... Thats a new record!
By Tracy Toshiba, at 8:47 pm, November 14, 2006