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Mike Randle


“All Ab Fab in Madchester”
January 26, 2003

After soundcheck on Saturday, Gene told us the show was gonna sell out because they’d already sold 98% of the tix on the phone orders and that didn’t represent any walk ups…suffice it to say, Gene and (promoter) Glenn Povey were doing cartwheels at soundcheck. Unfortunately, Povey’s lovely lady, Jane, had a birthday and spent it at our show (not a bad thing) but she should have been out in a bar or something, right! (it’s ok; after the show, the band, plus Ringo, his finace’, Toni, and a bunch of their friends all sang “happy birthday” to Jane so I think that did the trick. Pluss she had a huge bottle of Champayne waiting for her at the hotel so I think her birthday ended up alright after all!

We played over 2 hours and the crowd was just unbelievable…so many people…over 2,000 crammed into the academy in Manchester University! After the show, we (the band, minus the singer, who went back to the hotel) tried to go have some pints at BIG HANDS next door but it was too packed! there were literally 50 people waiting to get in..so we went back to the dressing room and had some beers for a spell and then the ensemble convinced us to try again as it was Karl’s last day playing trumpet for us (you may recognize him as the really cute guy who solos in “Alone Again Or”) because then Stefan comes back after leaving for a week.

So we go to big hands and they let us in after we show our band passes and then we see some familiar faces like Lizzy B and Scottish Keith and Natasha and even messageboarder, Sally. Paul Barr was there with his girl and his brother and I’ll only say this…PAUL WAS TANKED….now Idon’t mean tanked like Keith Stodart or Barry Breshnehan…I mean TANKED, WOBBLY and fun! Finally we handed him over to his bird and they taxi’d off into the cold Manchester night. There were alot of fans there and we were lucky in that many people bought drinks for us…them being so very generous and us lacking the ability to say no.

The night was going really well until this overzealous fan, Innis, started chatting me up. He was really drunk and I don’t hold it against him and I suppose I won’t print too many details but he was insulting people in the bar, esp. women. no specifically women. and then he tackled me outside the bar when we tried to get a taxi…he was impossible…and foul mouthed ,”c’mon, Mike, you fancy a piece of proper filth tonight, you rockstar…look at these women…” No matter what I said to him, he wouldn’t believe me in that all I wanted was to drink my lager and enjoy the company of all these nice people who came out to hear an important piece of music. When he tackled me, he hurt my finger as well…such as my life on the road how I always get injured!

So after all that, we all taxi’d back to the hotel…this was around 2:30am..and got a bite at the kabob place around the corner…it was actually slim pickens because Ketil took the last cheeseburger and chicken burger…everyone else had to settle for Donners or meat pies. That guy can eat…by the way, he’s the first chair violin, so you can place the name with the face…I was dead tired at that point…gave Karl and big hug and hand shake, showered and hit the bed hard, but not before putting my DO NOT DISTURB sign on my door. and guess what but I got woken up by a maid at 10am…someone had stolen my sign. Gotta love Manchester…

Mike Randle


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