Punk Rock: Classic and Modern

The REOFFENDERS are on an indefinite break. Never say never, but we currently have no plans to play. However, we had joy and we had fun... and we blogged about it. Enjoy reading and reliving some good times.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

August Gig 19/19 - The Longbrooke, Exeter

And so we end our marathon month back home in Exeter, with lots of very familiar faces in the audience. It was baking hot inside and we're very grateful to everyone for coming into a hot pub rather than sitting out in a beer garden all night.

Aiden went completely nuts when we played Antipope knocking beer all over. He was most apologetic to the owner of the beer but at the same time couldn't stop dancing. Very funny. Looks like we're always gonna have to do that song when he's about ;-) Son managed to boogie a bit despite her back injuries - it'll be good to see you 100% fit again soon, girl!

So that's our little adventure over. We didn't really intend to play quite as much this month as we did but sometimes its hard to turn things down. There is always the challenge of "that sounds a bit silly, I wonder if we can do it!" - I think its my lemming approach to things ;-) My vocals survived quite well through the month but it give me huge respect for professional musicians who tour with very few days off. Its fun but its also bloody hard work!

We're gonna have a week off now and a much calmer schedule in September. There's holidays to have and beer festivals to go to...

Miles on the van today = 10
Total miles in August = 1677
T-shirts sold in August = 20


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Friday, August 29, 2008

August Gig 18/19 - The White Horse, Launceston

The White Horse, Launceston

We seem to play The White Horse only about once a year. But there's always been the same gang of lads looking forward to it, and today's no exception.

There's lots of banter at the start, and at half time.

"How's the sound?", I ask. "Great", is the reply, "but it'd be better if you play more Toy Dolls."

No problem! After all we're almost a Toy Dolls tribute ha ha!

A lovely lady called Sharon dances all night and really helps things go with a swing as lots of people are listening from round the corner in the beer garden, where they can enjoy the warm evening and have a smoke.

In the end we rock it through and give em what they want... Nellie the Elephant ends a very "Dolls" set :o))

18 gigs in, and finally my throat is feeling just a bit hoarse. There's deffo a bit of a "snag" on the vocal chords. I think its time I had a weekend off from singing/shouting.

Just one more to go... phew!

Miles on the van today = 100
Total miles in August = 1667
T-shirts sold in August = 20

Hoover x


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August Gig 17/19 - Butlins, Minehead

We're on the same bill as Same Difference!This is to be our last outing at Butlins, the fifth of five shows on Tuesday night and so the general mood of the band is sad that its the last show of the season for us.

Nevermind though, look! At least Same Difference are back today. Katie perks up no end.

The plan is struck. We've got some time before we go on stage to run upstairs to Centre Stage to catch Same Difference's second show of the night (yes, they do two shows!) before Katie has to set up her drumkit.

Same Difference onstage at ButlinsIts another fun performance from SD, then its back downstairs to dress up for our show and get everything ready.

First thing's first - lets get all set up and soundchecked

Same Difference onstage at ButlinsAs ever its no time at all before we're onstage doing our thing...

The REOFFFENDERS onstage at Butlins

And almost as soon as we've started, its time to end the night, and our run of shows for Butlins. We end, with the whole room singing "Nellie the Elephant", and, I was told later, you could hear the audience singing outside the venue as you walked by - excellent!

As a final testiment to Butlin's decision to book a Punk Tribute band for the summer season, I spoke to a very nice family at the end, who had evidently enjoyed the show from down the front. "We've been here since Friday" they remarked, "and you're the best act we've seen!" You see. There really is something for everyone at Butlins!

I thought that was a nice way to end the season. And then we're loading up the van and who's outside? Same Difference! Yes, they're finishing up their night too.

"Katie! Katie! Same Difference are outside!"

It's great to meet Sean and Sarah and Katie gets her photo taken with her heroes... and Sean invites us out for a drink later in Jaks, where Katie gets more chance to chat along with Sarah too. I really wish we'd met them properly four weeks ago. I reckon I could have persuaded them to do "Teenage Kicks" with us! That would have been massive!

So what with late drinking in Jaks and late gaming on the dancemat machine (that'll be Heather and Katie) its a very late return home.

So here it is. Our tribute to SD in a video, recording a great night out for us all, but especially our drummer...

Miles on the van today = 110
Total miles in August = 1567
T-shirts sold in August = 19

Hoover x


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Sunday, August 24, 2008

August Gig 16/19 - The Vintage, Wellington

So here we go then. The Vintage in Wellington. It's likely to be the best and maddest gig of the month. We've had emails and messages from people in the town/pub saying that they're really up for this one... so lets see...

First off Lady Katie agrees to drive up in her car, making space in the van for our mates Beth and Lou. You know Beth, she's the first ever REOFFENDERS bassist and always welcome along when she's in town.

So Beth and Lou pile in the back of the van with Paul. Destination, Wellington!

Lets go to Wellington!

Meanwhile in Somerset, the preparations take place. Clive and Yvette decide "punk" is the style of the night!

Clive and Yvette - ready to go!

We arrive in Wellington to find its a lovely evening the the gig is most definately outside. We're treated to the last four songs from Bristol-based rockers "The Outsiders". Nice bit of metal and twice as much drumkit as Katie has!

Things look up to for the drinkers as Dave's got a very nice pint of Sunraker on offer - so thats sorted then.

Clive and Yvette aren't the only ones dressing up. Here's Steve with his wonderful own-label REOFFENDERS T-shirt.

The front of Steve's Tshirt

The back of Steve's Tshirt

By the time it starts we've got a fair crowd and a veritable sea of REOFFENDERS tshirts.

The later it gets, the messier it gets and by the time we do Psycho its very mad indeed. One sprained ankle is the final injury list, so not too bad ;o)

Here's some more pics of what was indeed a top night of the month. Thanks to Clive for sticking the video of Psycho on YouTube and big thanks for Katie's "Same Difference" poster, which graced the drumkit throughout the second half of the show (more of them in a later blog)


Johnny Hoover

Miles on the van today = 56
Total miles in August = 1457
T-shirts sold in August = 19

Hoover x


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

August Gig 15/19 - The Jolly Porter

Another smallish venue and a bizzarely quiet night in Exeter, however the people who came to the gig all loved it with most of them having seen us before and knowing what to expect. Bully's mate, Muppet and co were in the audience heckling but rest assured that Hoover gave as good as he got, to the amusement of the rest of the audience.

We dedicated Too Drunk to Fuck to my mate Helen who allowed me to share with everyone the contents of the text that she'd sent me the morning after the last Reoffenders gig that she went to. It involved her socks being on the mantlepiece and having sick in her hair! Ew!

Big shout has to go to the barman who was off duty but stayed to see us and jumped around like a mad thing at the end of the bar.


Heather x

Miles on the van today = 10
Total miles in August = 1401
T-shirts sold in August = 14


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Friday, August 22, 2008

August Gig 14/19 - New Quay Inn, Teignmouth

We arrived at Teignmouth to find that there was a music festival across the road from us at the Ship Inn. Oh! Would that affect our audience? Well, we'll see.

Lots of Paul's workmates had come down to see us, including Matt who can pogo higher than anyone else I've ever seen! His girlfriend Riannon tried her best to keep up with him and a nice little mosh pit was developing, which is impressive with such limited space.

Apologies to the barstaff who seem to have a balloon phobia. They swear blind we've never played 99 red balloons there before - but we must have surely?

Lovely quote fom the bloke from Woking... "you're the best band I've ever seen in a boozer"... the things people say when they're pissed... he he :o))

Miles on the van today = 54
Total miles in August = 1391
T-shirts sold in August = 13


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August Gig 13/19 - Butlins, Minehead

So this week the REOFFENDERS share the bill with X Factor's Ray Quinn, girl group "Hope", the Redcoats own "Ultimate Star Performer" show and Girls Alouder. So its a quality line-up, so we'd better be good!

We watched the Redcoats show tonight, especially to watch Redcoat Pete doing his "Cosmic Girl" number. He's been great fun backstage every week, so it was great to see him do his thing. There's a competition to see which Redcoats go to a grand final, so best of luck Pete for that one.

I should be really tired, but I felt fired up for this one...and then... Paul plays the opening chords to Pretty Vacant the band crash into the song, Hoover walks up to the mike and grabs it in true punkrock beligerent style... the radio mike slips from my hand, falls to the stage and damn-near slides off the stage... aargghh... Heather thinks I've kicked over a water bottle until she realises that I'm not singing, just grubbing about on the floor for a microphone...

Actually I only miss half the first line, but the family on the front row have a good laugh with me!

I love jumping off the stage and performing in the audience. Its always great to connect with the people out there in the dark and I think they're a little shocked when the show literally comes to them. Its certainly one of the benefits for the band playing the late-night slot as it would be impossible to do it earlier in the night as lots of small kids crowd the stage and it'd be too dangerous to jump off at those times.

Then its over for another week. We strip off the stage clothes and then load up the van. Suddenly there's girls running up to us. Finally, we think, someone fancies Paul! "Is that Ray Quinn's car?" "Is he still here?"...just for a minute we can pretend they wanted to talk to us...

...but five minutes later a couple stroll up and shake our hands. "Thanks for a great show", they say, "we thought you were the best act on tonight. We loved it!"

And there it is. Everybody had a good night, there really was something for everybody! (except maybe Katie, who was a little disappointed she didn't see Same Difference this week!)

Miles on the van today = 110
Total miles in August = 1337
T-shirts sold in August = 12

Hoover x


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Monday, August 18, 2008

Returning to Devon...again...

Up late.

Pissing with rain (again).

Tent down.

Van loaded.

Big brekky at Cafe One.


Collapse on sofa.

The End.

Miles on the van today = 117
Total miles in August = 1227
T-shirts sold in August = 12


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Sunday, August 17, 2008

August Gig 12/19 - The Golden Lion, St Ives

As the dawn breaks across the sky on Sunday morning, Paul Indesit is standing at the door of the St Erth surfshop ready to buy the wetsuit and shortly afterwards Tefal and Indesit are gracing the beaches of St Ives bodyboards in hand covered head to toe in black neoprene...

...meanwhile I'm still in bed...

...Heather's still in bed...

...Bully's still in bed...

Today's the day when Heather's getting her long-awaited trip to Paradise Park in Hayle. If all goes well then she hopes to have a Penguin living in her bath and an Otter in the sink.

After a sandwich in the tent we check out Paradise Park and we are very impressed. Nine quid each to get in, but its good value as there's lots of birds and animals to see. We're not too "birdy" so the birds have to take second place to the Otters and Penguins, and we have a good time feeding the goats. But its the Chipmunks that steal Heather's heart.. "I want one" "Can I take one home?"

Red Squirrel

Otters posing for pictures

And so to the last Cornwall gig. We're in the Lion's Den at the Golden Lion, and it's good to be back. We really do have friends all around us (hi there Bettina and Tony!) and it feels like a "home gig".

Everyone's flagging a bit now as its the end of a very busy two weeks, but Kayne's not going to let tiredness get in the way of a good night. In comes the first round of JeagerBombs - lets get this party started!

There's people over from Hayle too, who promised they'd be here! There's new people too who really love it and we love it all too.

Two and a half hours later and its been another storming night. By all accounts everybody's had a great time and there's lots been spent at the bar and Bully is more drunk than I've ever seen him... Thanks to Kayne again, and afterwards also Dan, Bully remarks "I'm very drunk and I don't really know what I've been drinking"

Tired at the start, buzzing at the end! That's the power of Rock'n'Roll.

It's a great way to end a tour. It's why we always end it at The Lion.

Thanks to Jenny the landlady, Barry the barman, and Kayne the procurer of strong drink!

Miles on the van today = 18
Total miles in August = 1110
T-shirts sold in August = 12 - thats more like it!

Dan bought two tshirts!

Hoover x

ps. Quote of the night goes to Paul Indesit, who steps up to the mike, looks at me and replies "F&*k off, you f*&king spikey-haired c*&t". Its been a running joke for about the last month that we talk to each other in the style of the Tesside Tin Tin, one of the current marvels of YouTube... play this and I think you'll get the picture...

Yes, I know its purile...


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Saturday, August 16, 2008

August Gig 11/19 - The First & Last, Sennen

The weather really isn't getting any better. I wake up on Saturday morning felling like I've had pretty much no sleep at all. All night the wind and rain have been battering the tent.

Heather and I glumly mooch about, but Paul and Katie are made of sterner stuff and head off to Snives for a round of surfing. Katie's equipped with a wetsuit. Paul's got nowt but some swimming shorts and proceeds to alarm Katie with the deep colour of purple that he turns into... meanwhile Bully is checking out the local record fair.

The REOFFENDERS regroup for a big lunch/breakfast at the Cafe One in St Erth. There's a surfshop next door where Paul eyes up the wetsuits (the feeling having finally returned to his frozen fingers).

Me and Heather troop over to Penzance to catch up with our friend Sara, where we meet at the Green Bean Cafe, and Heather is treated the nicest cappacino i think she's ever had!

The First and Last is yet another first time ever gig for us and again it proves to be a lovely friendly place with friendly locals and visitors alike. Althought it stays open very late on a Saturday, they have neighbour problems and so have to finish the music spot on 11pm. Of course we don't know that till half time, so in the end we only play a 30min second set.

No matter though. Once again there's dancing, whooping and general appreciation from a truly "all ages" audience. Nice to see a couple of guys who've caught up with us before at Cornwall gigs. Is this the making of a Cornwall following?

Physically I'm rather pleased we only have to do half and hour for the second set. The crap nights sleep last night is really taking its toll on me and I'm pleased for the rest. Eleven gigs into the month and finally my voice is starting to give out too.

Hopefully though, we'll get to do the F&L again as its another great venue!

Miles on the van today = 53
Total miles in August = 1092
T-shirts sold in August = 6 - does nobody like them?

Hoover x


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Friday, August 15, 2008

August Gig 10/19 - The Sand Bar, Praa Sands

The Watermill Inn is in the Good Beer Guide and does home cooked food. Just the job for hungry musicians except... it doesn't mention that the beer is only average, the welcome is surly, and the food is microwaved stuff, in miniscule portions, sold at premium prices! Needless to say, Paul finishes his meal with the words "the starter was OK"...

Anyway, its time for Paul to save the day by suggesting Pitch and Putt. Oh-my-god, the REOFFENDERS are going to play bloody golf! Penwith Pitch and Putt is just down the road in Hayle, and, unlike our lunch is excellent value and very enjoyable.

The REOFFENDERS then proceed to hack and slash their way around the 18 holes. Often the divuts fly further than the balls, but there's a round of applause every time someone manages a "proper golf shot".

Paul comes out winner even though he manages to hit nearly every tree on the course. But in the end, his golfing pedigree shines through. Paul celebrates with not one, but two of Philps Famous Pasties.

On the night we speed over to Praa Sands for another new venue for the tour. The Sand Bar have been on Heather's hit-list for every tour, but we've never managed to have free dates. This time we're there and ready to go.

The pub is most definately in one of the greatest positions of any pub, with picture windows looking across the Praa Sands and out to sea. Of course, by now, the weather's turned shite, so there's no hope of strolling along the beach or anything.

We're very happy to see that the Sand Bar have been advertising us well, with posters and flyers about in abundance and more of their own promo too. There's a great welcome from the pub, which includes free drinks and the nicest pint of Proper Job we've tasted in a long time.

By the end of the night there's only one or two people left sat down and there's a mosh pit of sweaty, happy locals giving it some. Special thanks goes to Taf Thomas, who helped get them up and dancing right from the off.

Miles on the van today = 37
Total miles in August = 1039
T-shirts sold in August = 6

Hoover x


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Thursday, August 14, 2008

A day off in Snives...

After rushing about yesterday, we take a leisurely start to the day and Buly announces, "let's go on boat trip".

Off we go into St Ives and sign up for the Seal Island boat trip. The sea's a bit choppy but this just adds to the fun as we bounce down the coast to Seal Island. When we're there we get seals swimming up to the boat and its just great. I think I've got pretty good sea legs, but my sea stomach is sadly rather rubbish. By the time we get back to port, I'm definately starting to look a bit green. I'm going to need a bit of a walk and some fresh air before we get some tea.

Back we go to Sazbah for more pizzas, and they're as good as last week. Paul keeps it to just one pizza this time.

With us all flagging a bit, we get the 10:30pm bus back to the campsite. Wow, what a lively place it is! We're used to driving back at 2am, but at 10:30, there's still people sitting out and talking and stuff. At least its a reasonable evening, though very cold.

Miles on the van today = 0
Total miles in August = 1002
T-shirts sold in August = 6

Hoover x


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August Gig 9/19 - Harlyn Inn, Harlyn Bay

The weather isn't getting any better. The rain pounds on the van as we scurry up the A30 one more time to Cornwall. At least we've got our friend Sara in Penzance reporting that the weather is clearing.. Hooray!!

We stick the tent up fast and shoot straight back up to Harlyn Bay, near Padstow, and the Harlyn Inn. The unusual haste is to ensure we've got a bit of time to meet my sister and brother-in-law and my nephew and niece.

It turns into a pretty nice evening and the kids stay playing on the beach as long as they can. As Craig says, todays been the best and worst weather of their holidays so far, and ours...

The show goes OK, but its a bit disheartening that the band aren't listed on their line-up at the pub entrance and all the posters and flyers we sent appear to have gone in the bin. As as result (maybe) there's fewer people at the pub than we've ever had in the previous two years we've played there. Nevermind. We play our best for everyone and my nephew Scott is reported as being "impressed".

Final word goes to Kevin Teethmarks who turned up unannounced and really, really made it a special day for me. There's times when someone you know does something that changes your life. In 1982 Kevin said to me, "lets form a band. You can sing so you be the singer. Lets do punk cos its easy!" The rest, as they say, is history.

Miles on the van today = 211
Total miles in August = 1002 !!
T-shirts sold in August = 6

Hoover x


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August Gig 8/19 - Butlins, Minehead

Thats it. The clothes are all clean and we're packed ready to load up tomorrow. Just one thing to do. Oh, I remember a show at Butlins!

Back up the M5/A39 and here we go again. And once again were on a bill with Same Difference. Hoover goes for a pee backstage only to return to the dressing room to find Katie all "a fluster". Yes, she's just met Same Difference in the corridor. "what did you say to them?" "Er, nothing. A was a bit starstruck".

As we like to get there early, we always have time to check out whats happening, and as ever thats quite a lot at Butlins. Here at Reds the Redcoats show the punters their paces doing some of their favourite songs. And then its Girls Alouder. A great warm-up for our punk show!

Eleven o'clock swings round and out we go to entertain. Its another fun show with some pretty happy families at the end. In fact we seem to have a whole family up and dancing at the end to Nellie the Elephant.

Decided to give them Livin La Vida Loca, and this led to the comment of the night from one of the audience... "compared to you Ricky Martin sounds like a Teletubby".. ahem!

This time round the sound/stage crew at Reds are worth a special mention. The onstage sound is always great, and we were particularly pleased this time with how well we could hear what we were doing. Nice one guys. One of the great joys of playing Butlins is performing with their state-of-the-art systems. Bully says they're really good, and he should know, cos he's toured with Muse.

Miles on the van today = 110
Total miles in August = 791
T-shirts sold in August = 5

Hoover x


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Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to Devon...

Just where the road splits for Hayle, St Ives, or Penzance, there's a roundabout at the little village of St Erth. St Erth not much more than a roundabout and a small industrial estate. But it is home to Cafe One. We've stopped there before and will do many times again cos they do excellent food.

This morning we trooped in for freshly cooked English breakfast. Heather went for their wonderful omelette. Was a bit of a shock when Paul ordered the "not-so-huge" breakfast rather than the "huge". Nice to see him tucking into the first major fry-up of the tour. Which reminds me, we should have a count of Paul's gastronomic progress.

For now the scores are:

Pizzas - 2
Roast Dinners - 1
Pasties - 1 (!)
Fried Breakfasts - 1

Paul suffers for having to share with 4 vegetarians who like all that pasta stuff and rice... maybe next week he can really score better on the grub.

Got home in plenty of time to give the washer and the dryer a few runs round the block so we'll have something clean to wear at the gigs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Miles on the van today = 117
Total miles in August = 681
T-shirts sold in August = 5

Hoover x

ps. Went to see Batman, The Dark Knight in Exeter. A very good action movie indeed.


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Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Free Day in St Ives

Katie and Bully head off home and Hoover, Indy and Morph head back into Snives to take it easy.

Indy gets his "Roast dinner" and we head out into town to smell the sea air, but instead wander into the Golden Lion to see Kayne. We drink quite a lot of his beer and also catch up with Bettina too.

Then its off to the Shazbah where they've got pizzas and table tennis. Whilst Heather reclines on the moroccan bed (yes they have one in the bar) there is an olympic-style pingpong battle - Indy vs Hoovie.

Now, I'm not one to rub it in, but Indy was winning 15-4 and ended up loosing 21-18.. ha ha ha... however, a major consolation is that he's ordered TWO pizzas and he proceeds to eat the lot!

Kayne joins us for more drinks at Shazbah and the Lion before we slope away for the 9:30 bus. Yes, its only 9:30pm but we're knackered. It's been a long week.

Miles on the van today = 0
Total miles in August = 564
T-shirts sold in August = 5

Hoover x


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Saturday, August 09, 2008

August Gig 7/19 - The Copperhouse, Hayle

Our friend Dave is looking after the cats while we're away. He also works for the Met Office in Exeter. On Friday he texted Heather to say "cats are all fine, sorry about the weather tomorrow"...

We wake up on Saturday to the sound of rain. A lot of rain. A hell of a lot of rain. Shedloads of rain. Its raining buckets, and spades, and towels, and deckchairs. And don't get me started on the cats and dogs... yep its raining them too.

So what can a band do when faced with this? You're right. Go back to bed for a bit. No point there though. The sound of the hammering rain on the tent is even louder than Paul's ipod!

But I don't care much about the weather really though. I've got an excellent book to read (A Street with No Name, Childhood Misadventures in Bulgaria) and its a great chance to chill out in the tent and get some chapters read.

Heather does the same with her Asimov book and Bully retires to his own tent do some work that he's brought along. Meanwhile Indesit and Tefal break out the acoustic guitars and lay down some great tunes for us.

The rain's still falling as we arrive at The Copperhouse. There's lots of space to play and Katie remarks that she's "got a good feeling about this one".

And indeed, right from the soundcheck, the punters are there and really up for it. Andy (with his family this time) and his Navy pals from Wednesday night's gig in Falmouth return for another helping of REOFFENDERS magic and spurred on by their support we're "on fire".

It's the last gig of the week, so Paul, Heather, and Bully make it a full-on drinkathon. It's pretty good beer at The Copperhouse, so there's nothing to stop them!

It's as hot in The Copperhouse as Tuesday night under the big lights but by the end we are once again feeling that this being in a band thing is just great! :o))

The Copperhouse has been a triumph and has secured itself in our top list of Kernow venues for the future. I don't think we've had a "first gig" at a venue this good since we went to The Vintage.

A special thanks goes to Tony and his mates for singing along to everything. You'll be sure that we'll play "Rude Boys" for you next time we see you.

At the end Joe came by to talk to Paul and get some guitar tips from the maestro... "play it really loud and annoy your parents" was possibly Paul's best tip!

It's stoppped raining and turned into a pleasant evening too. When we get back to the tent we watch the sky to see the Perseids (shooting stars) in the night sky. Magic.

Miles on the van today = 24
Total miles in August = 564
T-shirts sold in August = 5

Hoover x


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Friday, August 08, 2008

August Gig 6/19 - The Unicorn, Porthtowan

Another lovely day in Cornwall saw the REOFFENDERS catching the rather handy Campsite-Town bus service into St Ives (or Snives as Paul Pondlife calls it). General mooching about and tasting of beers was the order of the day with highlights being:

Beer - Ice Blonde from Skinners served very cold
Food - Paul gets to tick off his first pasty of the tour
Haircuts - Johnny pops down the barbers and gets the sides shaved short. The spikes stand out even better now and it all looks far more "punk rock" - excellent.

Porthtowan's a lovely setting, with the beach starting just a short walk from the pub, and the sunset over the sea is peachy.

Sadly for us, after a quiet night before in Helston, there are even less people at The Unicorn. The pub had been busy all day, served lots of meals, and everybody decided it was time to go home after being out all day in the sun... oh well.

There was some nice lads propping up the end of the bar, and so, with them asking us to play stuff by The Jam we made the gig a Jam-fest and played all that we knew.

With less audience to give us feedback though and this being the fourth night on the trot, everybody was feeling more tired so we decided to pack up as quick as possible and make it an early night. A wise move as it turned out, cos Saturday was going to be a doozy...

Can't end without mentioning the couple who spoke to us before the gig, as we were setting up. Actually, the word "spoke" would be a little kind. It was an incoherant slobbery bastardisation of the English language by two people who could hardly walk or control any parts of their bodies! They then proceeded to go into the car park and get into a white van (or try to) to drive home! Luckily one of these hapless wasters fell over and hurt themselves before they had a chance to kill someone on the road. By half time, the ambulance has arrived and the ambulance driver has patched up the gentleman and is now in a heated argument saying that he has seen the results of drinking and driving and there is no way he's letting them drive out of the car park. By the end of the gig the police have arrived and, hopefully, this man will lose his licence for a very long time.

This was the most mindless, ignorant, and dangerous binge drinking I have witnessed for some time. The couple were both in their 60s.

Miles on the van today = 50
Total miles in August = 540
T-shirts sold in August = 3

Hoover x


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Thursday, August 07, 2008

August Gig 5/19 - The Bell Inn, Helston

With Katie leaving early to play back at More Resturant during the day, the remaining four Reoffenders did exactly what they'd planned to do. ie. get up late and do nothing else all day.

It was a glorious sunny day, so we just sat outside the tent and chilled for, well, the whole day. There was a bit of strumming of geetars, but mostly it was just doing nothing and drinking beer.

Katie was happy to drive us to Helston, so I'd taken the opportunity to get fairly merry even before teatime. "Oh dear. If he stays this drunk," says Katie upon her return, "then we'll only time to play 3 songs in each set."

We've done The Bell before, and Neil is such a nice bloke that he has us play on a Thursday, even though he doesn't have bands usually that day. The extent of his support is evident when we see that there's not so many people coming out in Helton on a Thursday night.

No matter though for The REOFFENDERS - we give 'em all we got anyway and its great fun to play again at The Bell.

Heather also got to meet Keith aka "Fake Moustache" from The Damned's discussion forum. It was good to catch up after many exchanged messages and stuff.

The Lady Katie guides us back into the van and takes us all back to our tents.

Miles on the van today = 39
Total miles in August = 490
T-shirts sold in August = 3


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August Gig 4/19 - Finn McCouls, Falmouth

What with the late night, things started quite slow at chez Morph'n'Hoov, but eventually the van was loaded, the coffee was drank, and we set off down the A30, Cornwall-bound.

After driving through, well, driving rain, it was a pleasure to pitch camp at the start of a beautiful evening.

Over to Falmouth for one of our "never-been-there-before" gigs. Finn Mcouls was a welcoming, friendly and small venue. After playing Butlins the night before at an 1100-seater venue we set up in the window of Finn McCouls, with Bully wedged between his own amplifier and cab and the PA speaker.

We got travelling fans, as Joe's dad, who's seen us before in Taunton works down in Cornwall midweek and came along with a load of his workmates to cheer us on.

Not long into the set I looked over at squashed Bully and thought, nobody can see him! No matter I introduced Bully and pointed him out behind the speaker. He leaned out and waved, and the audience waved back. From then on every half and hour or so I'd turn to Bully, "you still there Bully?" and he'd wave and everybody waved back. Lovely.

People came and went and more stayed than left and by the end of the night we'd had a pretty good, and appreciative audience. It was especially nice that the pub had an upstairs with a handy balcony overlooking the band, so during 99 Red Balloons I cascaded the band and audience from above with the requisite two bags full of balloons.

Met some lovely people at half time and after the gig. Took, forever to pack away (lots of talking ahem) and eventually boogied on back to the campsite.

Best quote of the night from the young lady I spoke to at the end..."the best bit was when you came over and were sick on me"... honest, I wasnt really...

Thanks to Helen and all the staff, who danced their socks off behind the bar, which is always a great sight to see.

Miles on the van today = 177
Total miles in August = 451
T-shirts sold in August = 3

Hoover x


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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

August Gig 3/19 - Butlins, Minehead

Another pleasurable night on the stage at Reds...

Before we got to play, Me 'n' Tefal got to sneak upstairs to "Centre Stage" to catch the end of the show from "Same Difference" - yep the guys from X-Factor were starring at Butlins tonight! Both Tefal and I loved it. It was great to see the kids faces down the front looking up at people they'd only before seen on their TVs. It really brought home the magic of Butlins. It was a great show and if it wasn't for us needing to play downstairs, then I think young Katie would have queued up with the hundreds of others to get a photo with her heroes.

Back downstairs the MC gave us big build up and then we're off. The audience in Reds loved the show and we had a great time doing Nellie the Elephant for an encore. Ideal!

Highlight for tonight was the lady in the wheelchair rocking her socks off. Go girl go!

Also this was the first time Susie Moo, our little bovine drum tech came out to assist. And cool she looked on the drumkit, helping keep Katie in time and everything..

John backstage at Butlins

Lets have a look at the ol' scoreboard then...

Miles on the van today = 110
Total miles in August = 274
T-shirts sold in August = 2

Off to Cornwall in the morning... thinking I might get me head shaved or something before we go... more of that later...

And its now 3:40 am and Morph and Indy have finished playing Mario Olympics and now pronounce themselves "knackered". Time fer bed..

Hoover x


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Monday, August 04, 2008

The Sky at Night

When we did our first Cornwall tour back in 2006, there was one night when we sat at our Cliff Top Bar and watched an amazing show of shooting stars and satellites. In fact, Justin Hotpoint claimed that it was the highlight of his week!

I've since learned that this is an annual event called The Perseids. Last year, we were in Cornwall later than usual but this year, we should be in luck. According to Wikipedia, The Perseids will next be active from July 17 to August 24, 2008, with their peak on the morning of August 12

So if you happen to be drinking beer till 4am during that time, have a look up.... it is truly wonderful ;-)



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Saturday, August 02, 2008

August Gig 2/19 - The Crown, Bridport

Well its certainly starting to feel like holidaytime. Bridport is a holiday destination and so, for the first time this month, there was a split of locals and tourists in the pub to be "entertained".

The Crown is very "up close and personal" and certainly the tighest space we've got to fit into. Nevertheless the welcome from everybody in the pub is first-rate. There were lots of happy diners in the pub while we set up (certainly looks worth eating there if you're ever passing through) and so we left the soundcheck till after 9 o'clock as you don't really want someone belting out "Ever Fallen in Love" in your ear while your trying to shovel down your Raspberry Pavlova...

It was lovely to catch up with Margie from the Marine Theatre in Lyme. She was with visiting friends who like punk, so she thought she'd bring them to see us. We'd talked on the phone and emailed many times setting up our Marine Theatre gigs so it was lovely to meet up.

The gang of chaps on one table started us off by saying, after the soundcheck, can you sort out an argument or us? Was that sound-check song by The Undertones? No, I said, it was The Buzzcocks. And so from then on it wasn't so much a gig as a music pub quiz! They were spot on recognising Green Day and The Stranglers, but a bit more shakey when it came to The Rezillos. Nevermind, Hoover had the rest of the pub guessing the original artists for lots of songs from then on in... ahem...

In fact, the first set took about four and a half hours to play as my motormouth ran way with me. When it gets like that, the rest of the band are seriously considering taking up a hobby, just to help pass the time while i'm doing yet another long, long song introduction.

By the end we'd had a great time, sold the pub quiz boys two t-shirts (they are indeed excellent quality and competitively priced at £10), and also said hello to Mona and her friends from Yeovil who'd been following us via the internet for some time and just got to see us! Thanks for coming along. Was great to see you and I hope we meet again.

Bully helped pack and, very wisely indeed, legged it at a reasonable time while Heather and Paul (who may have had one or two pints of The Crown's rather lovely Palmer's ales) proceeded to chat for another hour or so... but one of the chats was with two of the band "Cryin Out Loud". We were well impressed with their live CD (recorded at The Crown), especially the opening AC/DC track which Paul said was "very heavy". Find them at

Back home and straight to bed... er.. no... Y'see one of the great things about having a Wii is that you can use it to browse the internet on your telly. So we checked our myspace...

..and already there was a friend request from The Mighty Acorns, one of whom saw us at The Crown and spoke to Paul ages about guitars and things (don't ask me what, I'm only a bloody singer). Good luck guys with your first gig at the end of August :o)

...and still you-tubing we watch the new Slipknot single (very good indeed) and some Victorian English Gentlemens Club (Heather and I got the album recently and like it) and finally as Heather and Paul faded away, I watched Americans playing "live Mario Karts" by riding kids tricycles round a park and throwing stuff at each other (quality telly)...

And so to bed... 5am... oops...

Miles on the van today = 80
Total miles in August = 164
T-shirts sold in August = 2

Hoover x


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Friday, August 01, 2008

August Gig 1/19 - The Mansion House, Bridgwater

Dunno how long this will last, but I thought I'd do a blog for each of these August gigs to give you an idea of life here in REOFFENDERS bandworld.

I suppose I'm the best placed to do this as I've packed in work for the next six weeks (at least) so I'm probably the one with the most spare time!

First up and its Friday night in Bridgwater at The Mansion House. We'd had a weekend off beforehand, so, as ever, we wondered if we'd forgotten everything! Still, things in the REOFFENDERS camp were starting to have a bit of a holiday mood. Everybody counting down days left at work till Cornwall.

The Mansion House shape dictates that we don't have our usual 1-4 formation, with Katie playing sweeper. In fact here we play a 0-5 formation straight across one side of the pub. Bully and I on one side of Katie and Heather and Paul on the other. Makes it hard for me to dance much with Heather and Paul, so Paul and I made do with blowing kisses to each other every now and again.

Although the pub was pretty much empty as we set up, it packed out nicely for the first set and I thought we did "rather well". There was a nice blend of people who'd seen us before and newbies..., the night before Heather and I had been in Bridgwater to see The Damned play at The Palace, and the support band were a bunch of Bridgwater chancers called "Fizzy Milk". We were most impressed with their music and especialy the onstage antics. Great songs and funny as f&%k too!...

Check them out at

..and who's in the audience the next day but the Fizzy Milk guys. It was great to catch up so soon to tell them how much we'd enjoyed them. Also nice to have a choice of saps to attack during Toxic.

It was also good news to hear the the Bridgwater Somerfest all-dayer the week before had gone well. The guys at the Mansion House promote a lot of bands and a huge marquee and stage etc etc. It's a lot of work and a lot of risk, so I'm pleased it was a big success.

I met a nice guy called Stuart who was over from Newbury - an old punk he was! If you can get us any gigs in Berkshire mate, we'll be there.

At the end the gig turned into somewhat of a Pistols-fest. We played Anarchy for some nice peole who had asked for Pistols and everybody danced around like mad things. Seemed right to throw in Pretty Vacant to much more general approval. Calls for an encore led to a My Way rendition and hell, just for them, we ended with Holidays in the Sun... "cos we're off for our holiday in the sun"

Thats one down, 18 to go then....

Miles on the van today = 84
Total miles in August = 84


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