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Mike Randle's

Countdown To A Decade:
Shows 97-100

SHOW #97-Jan 24, 2003-Liverpool, England-Liverpool Univ. Academy

Now, this venue was classic Liverpool; all the toilets were broken in the dressing rooms and the plummers don’t work past 5pm on the weekends. Our crew wasn’t allowed to load-in before 5pm because of University policy so the problem wasn’t discovered until it was too late. You would THINK someone at the place had sense enough to fix the toilets before a concert but I suppose it was asking a bit too much. At least the crowd of Scousers were there to have a good time and only 4 fights broke out, including one where a guy got punched for singing the wrong lyrics. Another great moment was when a guy with a Newcastle shirt on shouted for ” The Anthem” and someone said to “Shut the Jordy up, please.” I vaguely remember a lunatic walking around with a huge stick pinted up at the sky. Thank god we had our own sound people because the acoustics in that venue are atrocious. Also, Joff (our t-shirt guy) kick my ass at soccor during a break in soundcheck. The empty venue proved to be a nice pitch field but he was too quick and skilled for my (obvious) American style. Mick and John head and the rest of the Shackateers tried to make their way to do a song with us in the encore but were not allowed thru by security. After the show, I had to convince the security team that the guys were OK and to let them backstage…where we kept all our booze. Yep. That booze didn’t havea chance…

SHOW #98-Jan 25, 2003-Manchester, England-Manchester Univ. Academy

This was the same place where we played last summer and 2,000 people were singing, “Arthur Lee, Arthur Lee, Arthur Lee” to a football theme song. And this crowd was even better, especially since no one threw beer and water on us like last time. This was one of the funnest shows and i remember the string section having a blast. This was also Karl’s last show, as he had to fly to Stockholm the next morning (he would be replaced by a returning Stefan.) Of course, the after-party from this show is a matter of public record! Karl got smashed at BIG HANDS across from the venue and, horn in hand played the trumpet solo to ALONE AGAIN OR when it played over the sound system at the club. Scottish Keith/ Paul, Manchester Natasha and a host of other LOVE fans were jammed packed into the small, smokey speakeasy. We left BIG HANDS around 4am and Ketil and I went and got a Kebab along with some of the other Swedes. By the way, he got the last Burger, this with 30 people in line behind him, in the rain. And he didn’t even care.

SHOW #99-Jan 27, 2003-Leicester, England-De Montford Hall

This venue was quite quaint and I remember it certainly rained that night, quite hard. We played a different kind of set in that, Kose suggested we begin the show with FOREVER CHANGES. That was the first and ONLY time we did that! Brummy Lisa filmed the show for the Singer and after the show, I met a guy who’d seen LOVE in the same town in 1970. Our hotel was kind of far from the venue and there wasn’t a bar within walking distance so we all had to sort of “stay in” with whatever wine we had from the backstage area. One day, it would be nice to really see Leicester but on this trip all I say was the rain and the hotel. However, I did see a great episode of Rikki lake, so all wasn’t lost in Leicester.

SHOW #100-Jan 28, 2003-Newcastle, England-Opera House

We had a good 5 hour drive to Newcastle and checked into our hotel. The Opera House here is one of my favorites and it was an honor to be here again, playing to such great people. Again, i felt we played a really good show and later we went to the bar next door and had some drinks with Scottish Keith and I think we also saw Martyn and possibly Lizzy B. Since I was doing laundry way at the top of the venue (where there were washers and stuff), the guys in the band and ensemble went to a local dance club without me. I was nearly locked in the venue as security had no clue that anyone was still in the club! I took my finished laundry, walked across the street, purchsed an excellent Kebab and taxi’d back to my hotel. The taxi driver was a certified lunatic, driving as fast as possible while talking on his mobile and eating a Chip Butte. Later, at the hotel, the guys all filed in and Kose, Joff, Anna, Caroline and I started shooting craps for pennies, which was fun. The hotel bar was still open so we ordered a bunch of beers and continued till the wee hours. Tomorrow we had to get up early and drive to Edinburgh. I wasn’t worried about that though; my plan was to use the drive to get some sleep.