KING ARTHUR!! – Diary by Kieth Stodart
February 3, 2003
It’s with great sadness that I write the last particular diary of this Love tour. But what a way to go …Glasgow !!
I still feel a bit numb to think that it’s all over for me and lot’s of other dedicated followers now but it is, best wishes to all those going to RFH (2).
I don’t really know whether to write a review of the show or talk about all the familiar faces that were at the secret gig of the Andmoreagains (the band formally known as Love just a few days before) so I’m just going to ramble on.
My journey in the car took 2 hours and 20 minutes from my home in Darlington to the outskirts of Glasgow, then a further hour and a half getting across town to Paul Barr’s house. That’s so frustrating but while there are good tunes playing on the car stereo then I’m happy.
I had a quick coffee at Paul’s and watched the football results before donning my kilt and heading down for a quick bite to eat in Russels in Byres road, sure was a tasty burger!! After that we took a taxi into the centre of the town and went straight to King Tuts to pick up our tickets.
I had arranged to meet Dukie, Lizzy B., Barney (her husband) and her cousin at some stage and when we arrived they were in there, they had been watching some of the sound check. Dukie had already eaten so Lizzy’s party headed off to sample some of Glasgow’s finest Italian food. We simply parked our bums in King Tuts and started off the evening’s festivities with a pint of Guinness.
I went up to watch the end of the sound check and had a brief chat with Mike but as he was about to have something to eat I said I would speak to him later. He commented on the kilt and asked me if I was a real Scotsman or not, “of course I am” as I raised it to expose my Spiritualized tattoo. He and Rusty just laughed.
Stood at the bar for a while talking with Dukie and a couple sat at the bar, Billy and Fiona, who had seen Arthur at Edinburgh and had to come and see them again. They didn’t have tickets but were meeting a guy who was selling a couple through the web site. They had agreed to meet him at 6.00pm however at 7.00 there was still no sign and they were getting rather worried. All things worked out in the end and the guy did show charging them a previously agreed £60 for the items in question. Personally I don’t agree at people profiteering on gig tickets but maybe that’s just me, however all parties appeared to be happy so no real harm done I guess.
I would also like to thank Gene Kraut at this time for getting me an extra ticket for my brothers mate Craig who has been a life long Love fan but never thought he’d ever see Arthur in the flesh.
Paul’s girlfriend (still girlfriend status) Carol headed round to the Variety Bar to meet some more of our friends and she brought then round about half an hour later. I must thank Carol here for volunteering to do this as it was absolutely pissing down outside.
Chris Davidson and his wife Theresa as well as Colin Grainger had been to see Love the last time they played King Tuts gig and they were really looking forward to it. If my memory serves me right last time Chris left in a drunken stupor muttering, “best ever” so I was hoping for a repeat performance.
Mike and the guys went off to Nice and Sleazy’s for a couple before returning back to mingle with the crowd in King Tuts bar prior to the gig. I had heard that Arthur wasn’t so well as he had a bit of a chest cold and Mike confirmed that Gene almost pulled the gig due to Arthur’s condition and with RFH (2) coming up he did not want to risk his voice. Arthur being Arthur though didn’t want to let the fans down and insisted on playing (all you posters on the message board take note) that is the stature of the man.
There was the usual smattering of celebrities in the hall and the atmosphere was electric, when the band arrived the whole place erupted. It was simply one great song followed by another and the crowd knew and sang all the words. As Orange Skies came on a women decided to put he hand up my kilt to check I was a true Scotsman, which of course I was but even that couldn’t distract me from the what was happening on stage.
The band really seemed to be enjoying themselves and Arthur’s voice held up well despite his condition. I think they enjoy playing these intimate venues especially to such a vociferous audience. An extended Singing Cowboy bought the set to an end with the crowd chanting “you oo” in response to Arthur’s prompting. They left the stage to rapturous applause and pleased everyone by returning to play Seven and Seven is.
Yet another momentous gig had finished.
Now it’s at this point that I really want to talk about having beers with the band after the gig but I’m afraid I can’t as it upsets me. I’ve seen the band 11 times in 10 months, 6 of these being in just over 2 weeks, and I feel like they’re family. This may sound ridiculous but these guys make you feel so welcome it’s like being with your best mates. So I would like to just like to sign off with a few words of thanks.
To Lizzy B. and Barney, I thoroughly enjoyed your company at the 4 gigs we went to and I’m sure we’ll keep in touch. To Dukie, what a dedicated fan, what a guy and I hope you enjoyed your fist ever visit to Scotland. To Natasha despite being a Man.Utd fan you’re a smashing person and you really know how to go for it. To Irish Barry thanks for keeping up the reputations of us Scots and Irish .To all of you I would never have net you had it not been for Love, don’t be strangers.
To the band and orchestra
You guys and gals in the orchestra were never overwhelmed by the occasion and you all partied your way through this tour. You’re all amazing musicians and I will never forget Karl playing along to Alone Again Or in Big Hands after the Manchester gig.
Dusty you’re a perfect gentleman and you are a cornerstone of this group, you do a great job of holding things together on stage and you are an unsung hero. Daddyo, never a beat out of sync., solid as a rock. Chapple, just and amazing base player, always with a smile. Mike I can’t thank you enough, you’ve given me an experience that I’ll never forget, your guitar playing is immense but it’s your attitude that excels. You always make time for the fans you drink like a fish and have a cheek to call Irish Barry alcoholics and me. I will always regard you as a friend and if ever you need anything just shout, if I can help I will.
Finally to Arthur Lee.
I never thought I’d ever see you in the flesh and who would have known after seeing you last year in King Tuts that I would have participated on this great adventure and had the pleasure to meet talk with you, even in your own back yard of California. There are too many superlatives to describe you. You have brightened up the lives of thousands of people during this tour, you are with out a doubt a living legend but I’ll just call you King Arthur.
As they say in Scotland Haste ye back!!
As in my previous diaries any omissions are purely to protect the innocent.