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Mike Randle


Everybody Has Heard Of Robin Hood — By Lizzyb Febebruar 17, 2004

We started out from Newcastle with Provisions (sandwiches, mints, fruit) for the Trek South. OK it’s only 180 miles to Nottingham, but this was an Occasion: our first show of this tour.

We also had extra baggage. The video camera, because I actually had permission to film the show (with the proviso I hand over the tapes, but it was such an honour), and Ellie, who had decided that Arthur’s voice was unique and she must hear it live (that’s what happens when you study Theatre, Film and Video).

We picked up Scottish Keith at a wayside pub (no surprises there then) near Darlington. The plan was to listen to Man U’s FA cup match on the radio on the way down, then see the Scottish rugby when we got there (I know, but I get to do a lot of Love related stuff, so the Old Man gets a bit of ManU occasionally, everybody’s gotta live).

To tell the truth I was quite apprehensive about video recording. Suppose Arthur broke into ‘Message to Pretty’ obviously I would collapse in a heap …. But what about the video? Tina had made big pots of pasta sauce and as we were eating I noticed a tripod in the corner, which was co-opted to the team immediately. We’ll put it in the car then we can park close to the venue (at Tina’s completely respectable Place of Work) and get it if we need it.

Right, we’ll abandon the rugby, we’re going to the Bell for 5 o’clock. It was packed – shopped-out punters mostly. There was no-one there looking remotely like One of Us, and I did have The Jacket on to draw attention to ourselves. We tried every bar, then settled in the big room and ordered a drink. Gill and Colin weren’t long in showing up and we had a great time discussing Stuff before we went out to find the Rescue Rooms (ellie called them the Rehab rooms throughout). They were going to Northampton the following day and despite sensible decisions made previously, Tina and I decided we may just be tempted.

The Rescue Rooms is a small venue. Nice approach, up some steps where Mike was talking to some people. He said Bent (who seems to coordinate Everything in The World) was looking for me. I savoured the moment. We went into the bar and while Ellie and I were inspecting the facilities, Keith and Tina went to look at suitable video locations. The balcony was nominated. Tina recommended the tripod, so we went to get it. On our return, I just stopped for a second to say hello to Colin and Gill and lost her. I found her on the balcony, urging people to move along so we could get our tripods out. Then someone suggested we used the DJ booth. So we did. We had loads of room, even a bench for the reserve tape and batteries.

We’d just got everything set up nicely, using the excellent Yards set for checks when there was a call for LizzyB. OK we did everything in the wrong order, but we were showing initiative. Bent suddenly appeared with a video camera for Tina to use with mine as back up. ‘Arthur’s’. Well, what would you do? Seems bizarre now, but we smelled it: me, Tina and Ellie all had a good inhale of the Rose scent of Mr Lee. Then 10 minutes to get to grips with a new camera in the dark and no tripod? Tina and Barney did very well imho.

Then suddenly the atmosphere changed on the balcony as a tall figure, in sunglasses, bandana and hat walked with his companions from the bar behind us towards the stage. Eerie feeling. There were some squeals.

The show was excellent. They seem so much more of a cohesive force than they were even 6 months ago. The camera was useful – gave me an insight into detail of Arthur’s shirt etc. Good thing I had that tripod, because Message to Pretty blew me away. The review will come later (honest).

Ellie just sat and bopped along, in charge of the stills camera. She was a bit put out at one point when she saw people of her age who knew more words than she does, but that can be remedied….

Well one of our party was very happy – photographed with Mike (Mum He’s So Hot (hope she never sees this) Randle). I had a few moments basking in admiration for the jacket, young men who just stopped short of adding ‘miss’ to ‘cool jacket’ imho. Tina went off with a local pal who has a Big Fan for a Husband (just going to get Arthur’s Autograph for Paul’. She’s never failed yet – I bow to her). We saw Quiet Dave (Kloot) with his haircut – very smart, in fact almost to rival Rusty with his sharp suits and hair these days.

Then we went to find the obligatory kebab-as-big-as-his-head for Mike, and succeeded, then to the hotel bar for a couple of wee ones. Tina was being a Tour Guide, carefully explaining Nottingham myth and legend, when Bent (my name is Bent but I’m Straight) pointed out that everybody has heard of Robin Hood.

Massive respect to Rusty (a self confessed geek) who had done some Field Research into the subject and didn’t mind sharing it with us, once he’d given Keith a stress busting massage. At least we managed to clear up the who’s videoing when confusion, and decided we must go to Northampton.

We found a taxi and returned chez Tina. Next morning we had bacon sarnies with sauce, looked at some of the video, failed to save a copy to tape and gave up.

On the way home it was Chelsea v Arsenal, but we’ll draw a veil over that one (I’m told). Then Ellie gave us UB40.We said goodbye to Keith, went on to Newcastle. I dropped the Family off then turned round and drove back to Nottingham to meet Tina for the trip to Northampton.

Mike Randle


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