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Mike Randle


Warning: Feeding The Band Could Be Dangerous (Part One)
July 22, 2005

Well, thanks to Gill and her mate (sorry, I forgot her name but they gave us the cutest card!), our driver, Dick, ran off to Tescos for some serious grub and the day before the Milton Keynes gig, we were BBQing right there near that farm. The small hares were out to watch us and we had Dick’s acoustic so Johnny was playing us some songs, even some Gethsemane tidbits, which were exciting to hear! Such a shame the stuff didn’t come out when it was written or worked on but it seems Johnny is like the mad professor working on his art and shall pour no wine until it’s time so figure this to be worth the wait. But back to Gill, it was beyond sweet so thank you so much Gill. And we expect to see Lizzy next time we’re out so Lizzy be ready to film ok? We’ll find you a spot in the balcony…

So, after chatting and begging people to give us a shot STOURBRIDGE came to life that Friday the 1st of July. The people who ran the club were class and the crowd were class as well. We had a wonderful time and wound up doing encores we were completely unprepared for. And that night was so special. Shrewsbury had decided LIVE8 was too risky to compete with so we didn’t do that gig. On Sunday, we hit up L’Pool. I rang John from Shack to come up and do a few songs with us. I meant well but i see now he was a bit disturbed by Arthur not being there. well, maybe next time Arthur sees him he can kill him? only kidding John. John and Mick are nice guys and very talented. The L’Pool show, although we had fun, it had the most refunds. People asked about Arthur. We said he was ill and couldn’t fly.We still kept 65% of the audience so we came away with a victory. No harm, no foul.

We had our own 4th of July BBQ next to a Rugby field in Darlington (our mate, Richard Meehan said the team wasn’t Union so they ain;t real rugby) and drank loads of lager, which i rather like a lot. Oh, there was a funeral. Appearently one of the geezers who used to be captain passed away so the guys gave him a funeral then a proper send off at the pub near the pitch. Scottish Keith had gotten us the gig their to replace the Shrewsbury gig and me and Kieth left posters and flyers everywhere. I must say this: Darlington is a very creative and original town. nice pubs, kids with green hair and everything. this was around the time Fraser got daddyo into Crunk, which is strongbow cider. this is like Chav Bubbly if you ask me but hey, to each his own. These guys got ‘crunked’ out on that Chav cider every chance they could, for the rest of the tour. The Darlington show was superb and we did 2 sets and Keith’s son, Scott, helped Fraser out. Good lad. I’d been spending the last few days at Keith’s house and his wonderful and sweet/attractive wife, Margret-Anne, even made me a heck of a BLT that morning. So i got treated nice and proper and Keith’s kids (he has an older one name Ian, who’s 15 and Scott is like 12…and Scott plays drums and ain;t half bad…he drum roadied for daddyo!).

After the show we hung out and had some beers with fans before heading back to the bus and the rugby field. Oxford was next and we rolled in and it looked like it might be a small crowd. each gig (with the exception of Darlington) we had to let people know Arthur wasn’t going to be there and let them make their choice. Alot of em had either seen the Benacassain video or heard about S.F. or the CoachHouse so it didn;t take much convincing…we hung out on the bus for a buit with Oxford producer, John Leckie (shame on you if you dont know who he is), who has hinted about wanting to work with us. Then Leckie offered to buy me a pint, which was like wow, i couldn;t believe it! The show was smashing and afterwards we all went out and people were in droves to talk about music, their lives, Oxford, us and then the odd question of why Arthur was absent. We stuck to our story: he was ill and couldn’t fly. Yep, we’d saved his reputation once more. our driver, Dick, decided to have the bus stay in Oxford for the night as opposed to driving into London wed night, which was 6 Jan. if we drove into London, we’d had been in Islington (North London, 15 min. walk from King’s Cross, where i buy my USA today) but instead we stayed put. Hung out with our mates, Stu Harris and Richard Meehan. Those guys split about midnight and we went to our bus after scoring kebabs…

I slept to 10am the next morning, The mood was somber. it was Dick, Daddyo and Glenn having tea. Appearently Terrorist had targeted London as their new place to make their mark and many people were victoms of this particular crusade of sorts. I saw that one train was the Picadilly line, which Richard takes to work. We rang and found out the lazy bastard was too hungover from the Oxford show and said to hell with the whole jubilee and decided to watch DVDs all day instead. Best lazy choice he ever made, methinks. After contacting the venue, the London show was cancelled and believe me, no one was going in or out of london that day. We dropped Glenn off at home in northwest London and we headed to Milton Keynes, my home away from home if any one you will remember! We started the BBQ and Rusty and Daddyo threw down one of the best BBQs known to mankind. And we all drank and played guitar and laughed and even though everyone was skint and knew that if anymore gigs were cancelled we’d be tits up, but we held it together and also felt for the people hurt and killed in London and it put our very small problems in perspective. See, we still were blessed with the chance to rock hundreds of people every night and see people smile. We appreciated that and it drove us to play our asses off every second we were on that stage. We sat round drinking lager and talking about life. We never stop asking Johnny about the early days and he never tires of telling us. See, Johnny can talk about things and include everyone equally, which is quite different from a “me, me,me, me, me” approach that some people seem to take. i was getting tired and left those guys to themselves after speaking with Hannah on the phone. Kose started making firewood and my allergies started acting up. Hannah was everything to me. her, Julian, my family (which includes the guys in the band) and the fans that support us, each night i say a little prayer for everybody, even Arthur.

(part 2 tomorrow)

all the best,

Mike Randle


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