Together at last…

My room was so big in this hotel, I actually discovered a new bathroom this morning that I never knew existed last night. In actuality, the reason for the grand suite is that the hotel reneged on our late checkout request so most of us will be forced to check out early and some of us are accommodating the other guys in our luxury suites for the afternoon and Mike and Ian dropped by for afternoon tea and some music courtesy of NHT until it was time to check out. The Captain’s Club hotel is in a quite idyllic situation on the banks of the River Stour lined with attractive boats and more swans and ducks than you could possibly shake a stick at. I leaned out of my window and wished we had a day off here and I had my paddleboard with me.

Aboard the bus once again and we sat in Bournemouth Friday afternoon traffic for the best part of an hour for the 5 mile trip to the seafront and the BIC centre. As it’s my ‘local’ venue, I had a bit of a guest list and Laurie and Leon came to the show along with our good friend and surfer Mary Rotterman. Laurie bought with her a new amp that has been sent to me for Richard and myself to try out, from my good friend Tom Cusimano from Yamaha in Los Angeles. Tom is also in a band called the Riders and I mixed an album for them a couple of years ago. The amp is called a THR10, a ‘new’ concept in amplifiers according to the blurb. No doubt Richard and I will give it a good going over and report in due course.

Dirk reverses the bus into position at the venue with ease.

I have to give John McCusker credit for this photo, he asked me in the dressing room if I ever used Hipstamatic on my iPhone, I said of course. He showed me a pic of the pier he’d just taken and when I nipped out to meet my family upon their arrival, I grabbed the phone and snapped this..

Not long after we arrived at the venue, Pete came into the dressing room with a message from Bob inviting Mark to join him onstage tonight for one of the songs. Without hesitation, Mark agreed and moves were afoot immediately to get an amp up on stage so Mark could run through the song with Bob’s band. Within minutes, Glenn Saggers had rustled together the necessary equipment and Mark and Bob’s band went through the changes of ‘Beyond here lies nothing’.

We took to the stage to a packed Bournemouth arena and the audience seemed just as excited to hear us as they did in Cardiff. Another great show, great sound, great energy onstage etc. etc. Bob and his band took to the stage at 9:15 and most of our band stood off stage left behind Bob’s monitor engineer to watch the show. Mark came on after four numbers and they ran the tune. Armed with the ’59 Les Paul, Mark played a blinder.I must say Bob was really on form tonight and singing and playing with great energy…and..he looked absolutely fabulous. The girls were taken with what appeared to be spats on his feet. A great night topped off perfectly by a gentle drive home for the day off tomorrow.

Pic Peter Mackay