A Diary of my encounters with Steve Hogarth & Colin Woore of
by Raine Shine
Back in 1985 and 86, I had worked as a sound engineer at Crescent Studios, (now defunct) in Bath for a producer called David Lord. He had been producing an album for a band called How We Live who were signed to CBS, and Warne Livesey had been his engineer. I can't remember the exact circumstances but for some reason, Warne couldn't work on the last week of the mix for the album, and I was drafted in to help out. It was slightly daunting because Crescent Studios was a residential studio, and obviously, this band had been there for some weeks, working happily away with David and Warne, and suddenly I come in for the last week and have to try and fit in very quickly. At that time, I kept a diary - so for anyone who's interested out there - here are some excerpts for you......slightly edited in some places and heavily edited in others...... (click on selected pictures for larger versions)
Friday 7th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
Left London at 9pm and got to Crescent at 11/11.30ish. Met Colin and his girlfriend Marie and he told me that I wasn't expected until tomorrow. Met Warne Livesey and it was great to see David again - although he arrived wearing the same trousers he had on the last time I saw him. Met Steve who's got INCREDIBLE charisma, piercing blue eyes - ! The track they were working on was All the Time in the World - sounds really good. Sat in till they finished at 3am.
Saturday 8th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
Well the cock-up in dates has given me another day to watch Warne and get into it all - Got downstairs at 1pm. Most people went out 'cos it was lovely and sunny. Warne worked steadily on, he wanted to drive back tonight so he was doing as much as he could. Watched every move he made and asked him loads of questions to try and get as much info as I could before he left.
Sunday 9th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
Started at 11am setting up English Summer. We bounced the trumpets from the intro onto the choruses with some difficulty as the track wasn't to click and it speeds up. We wanted to keep the drums out of the intro so we had to put a sound on to cover the breakthrough on the voice channel. Steve told me the story behind the song and that it was about a tramp bringing hope and optimism and that the track had to start off in a cold wintry village and end up in the choruses like the Notting Hill Carnival. I like to think we got that effect. Worked steadily on the track until about 3am and called it a night 'cos David was so tired.
Monday 10th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
Started at 11am and we finished off English Summer before Steve arrived although Colin liked the finished track. Then we put Games in Germany on the board. Took Steve to the bank and had an argument with a traffic warden on Milsom Street. Got back and put a tambourine on the track and Colin put a ripping guitar solo on. I left them to that for a while and had a break - David went off for something to eat about 8pm and I started getting the sounds together. He came back and we worked on - I love what David does to the mix - really sounds powerful - stopped at 3am.
Tuesday 11th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
Carried on with Games in Germany and kept working on it till about 8pm - coaxing the mix to gel. Manny from 'Tears For Fears' turned up for a drink - so everyone had a break and came back to carry on mixing. Finished the track finally at 4am. David left and I carried on for a few more hours updating track sheets and getting In the City onto the desk.
Wednesday 12th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
I had worked until 6.30 the night before so slept in till 1pm. Got downstairs and David was at it and Steve was there. David went off for a quick break and I worked on the toms until he got back. Kept working all day long and when David went for dinner at 8pm I worked on Steve's vocal. As it was recorded in the control room on the big speakers, and was only meant to be a guide, the background quality was awful but the performance was so good that it was worth working on. David got back and I had a break and when I got back David was still wrestling with the vocal. We decided to mute the voice for verses and chorus's and treat them differently - so eventually finished the mix at 6am - I stayed up for another half hour tidying and updating the track sheets. That was the final track
Thursday 13th March 1986 - Crescent Studios, Bath
Finished at 6am and was asleep within 30 seconds of reaching the pillow. Got up at 12pm and went downstairs after packing. David was running the 1/4" and cassettes off while bouncing down from 32-24 tracks. Les & Richie dog arrived with assistant to collect the Mitsubishi Digitals and Lexicon - Steve & Colin loaded their van and dismantled keyboards etc. Manny turned up to get a copy so Crescent was a hive of activity. Said goodbye to everyone and drove to Banbury - played the tapes to my friends and they particularly liked Games in Germany and All the Time in the World.
Friday 23rd May 1986
Went into Eccentric Management, run by Mark Thompson who managed Steve & Colin and was also managing me at the time - he was on the phone to Steve and said "well who will you get to play keyboards?" and I shouted out - "I'll do it for you" - and there was a stunned silence - apparently this wasn't a bad idea...........
Tuesday 3rd June 1986
Spoke to Mark T who said Steve was going to ring me about playing live - sure enough he rang and we decided that I would go down to his place one day next week and he can run me through the songs and then there's 4 days rehearsal starting from 15th and possible date at Dingwalls on 23rd.... Gulp ... Well I know it sounds woosy but remember that I'm not really a keyboard player, I'm a Sound Engineer and the last time I played live was in 1978 !! Steve had played all the keyboard parts himself on the album, but when it came to playing Live - he wanted to be able to be the front man and sing - not be tied to playing the keyboards -
Wednesday 11th June 1986
Went to CBS cutting rooms and Tim Young was cutting India and Working Town. Steve & Colin were there and Mark T and David Lord. The tracks sound heavenly - ! Followed Steve down to Windsor and we went through the songs and it felt good to play the parts instead of just listening to them - and Steve said I had the job..!
Sunday 15th June 1986 - CBS Cutting Rooms
Met the rest of the band at the Rehearsal Studio, Arun on Drums, Taif on Bass (both from S. Wales) and Andrew on sax. I had the Prophet 2000 and DX7 on a rack which sat on top of the CP80 which Steve was playing. I really like that set up because I can see Steve sing & perform at such close range, like a real fan's dream, and yet I'm contributing to the sound and with the others - shit hot band - Colin's guitar really sings and I really get off on the music and songs and Steve's voice - Went through the songs on the album - Working Girl is really difficult but getting there.
Monday 16th June 1986 - Jumbo Rehearsal Rooms
Got to Rehearsal but no-one else was coming in apart from Steve & Colin. We worked on Games in Germany and Lost at Sea - the keyboard parts are getting bigger by the hour and it takes total, complete & utter concentration to keep it together - still I was getting confident and even attempted a backing vocal on Games in Germany - but gave it up ! - Full set looks like - A Beat in the Heart, India, Acid Rain, Working Town, Dry Land, Lost at Sea, Working Girl, English Summer, All the Time in the world, Games in Germany, In the City, Freedom, Wrap me in the Flag - and we also worked out Life on Mars but none of us could remember the first line of the second verse !
Tuesday 17th June 1986 - Jumbo Rehearsal Rooms
Bought some stage clothes from Stefanol (I still have the pink jacket to this day!) - Got to rehearsal and everyone was in except Steve so we worked on Dry Land and In the City till he came. We went through all the numbers and gradually worked out what happens to all of them. Sussed English Summer & Working Girl, but now I've got a problem with G's in G.
Wednesday 18th June 1986 - Jumbo Rehearsal Rooms
Got to Jumbo Rehearsals and everyone was in again. Arun & Taif are an incredible pair from Wales - they work so well together - I can't really hear Colin too well down my end of the room but Andrew was sounding pretty hot. We went through the set without stopping and the changeovers seem to be ok - our endings nearly tight - I made one or two errors but generally ok. Mark T turned up at 7pm and the Soundman called Paul - typical but 100% typical on the road sound man - they're a breed of their own. Went through the act again and it was pretty good - the error factor lessened dramatically. Managed to catch the end of England getting 3 goals against Paraguay.
Thursday 19th June 1986 - Gig - Angies in Wokingham
Andrew picked me up and we went to Jumbo to help Colin load the bus. Nearly had a disaster with the pulley but luckily some men were around to help. Drove to Angie's club in Wokingham. Steve was there with Paul and some PA people rigging up. They were having problems with the PA (first night sort-outs) and finally we had a rehearsal. Taif was wearing very revealing shorts. Had a good rehearsal and generally hung out in the sun until it was time to get ready. People started arriving - Next thing I knew, Steve was on stage singing Promises so we all whooped and Colin got on to do Working Town. Next thing, me and Andrew were on to do Acid Rain and then we were into India and it didn't really dawn on me that I was on stage until Beat in the Heart 'cos I was enjoying myself too much to get freaked out! Made a few bummers but nothing too major except bringing on the elephants too soon in Wrap me in the Flag - Got off stage and the audience were demanding an encore so we went back and did Freedom which I jumped on keyboards on - and the first gig was over.
Monday 23rd June 1986 - Gig - Dingwalls
Drove to Dingwalls at 3.30 - everyone was there - Steve, Colin was stringing up and I offered to take Arun to collect his cymbals. Got a soundcheck at 6, Steve's sold his CP80 and was using a CP70 and Taif was on the other side of the stage, apart from that, we were set up the same. Ran through a couple of numbers and the rush started building - Decided on a new set list, much more up front, and Lost at Sea was relegated to 2nd encore. We dropped Promises and Acid Rain so the set was shorter but more UP. Went home to bath & rest then back to Dingwalls for 9.45 and it was filling up a bit. The support band were 'Love Thy Train' or something like that and we had a quick band meeting to sort out stops and starts. I got changed in the Ladies and heard some girls discussing Taif & Andrew - very amusing. Tension was mounting in the dressing room and Taif nearly went on with his flies undone - Put my good luck charm in my pocket and managed to screw up the opening chord to Beat in the Heart - fucking clanger - but it woke everyone up ! and it was GREAT - the place was dancing and I was winding up a punter dancing next to me - Steve went berserk and jumped all over the piano - (although' he later said "that was nothing - you should see me when I really get going") and I didn't want the gig to end. Working Girl got ditched and we finished on Freedom and All the Time in the World and we stormed off. I was dripping in sweat and totally high as was Steve & everyone else and we all slapped each other on the back. Got changed and went out front to find lots of friends and musos and especially Warne Livesey who said it sounded good although he felt it wasn't yet 100% - everyone seemed to have different favourite numbers but everyone loved the gig and had a good time.
Saturday 5th July 1986 - Gig in Dudley
Met up with Steve & Sue - drove to Colin & Marie's and met up with Andrew & Mick (who'd had inoculations for going to Ghana) and Pete from the 1000 Mexicans who was standing in for a flooded out roadie. Mick & Pete went on ahead and the rest of us went in the bus up the M1 to Dudley. Got there at 4ish - Taif & Arun arrived and we went through the soundcheck and ironed out a few problems. Out biggest stage and lights so far. Dumped our gear in the dressing room and Paul decided that Dudley was his territory and showed us the good local pubs ! Found it all a bit much - Dudley on a Saturday night needs nerves of steel and I was feeling slightly nervy. Got back to the gig and we went on - quite a big audience but definitely into Heavy Metal - a lot of leather flying about - and we weren't heavy enough for them. A few dozen out of a few hundred clapped but it wasn't enough for an encore so we didn't do one. Technically we played the best yet but we got out of there as fast as we could.
Friday 11th July 1986 - Gig in Angie's Wokingham
Met at Jumbo at 3pm - drove down to Angies in Wokingham again with Andrew and found the 'PA' (use the word loosely) under a tarpaulin - Everyone else arrived and we all sat outside while Paul got the cowboys together. Steve whittled a hole with a penknife through the table to keep cool - We eventually soundchecked and ran through a few numbers - Quite a few people had already arrived - and we went on at 11pm. Did a pretty good set - a couple of cockups but nothing that showed. Steve introduced the band but forgot Andrew - went down well and everyone dived into the Mens toilets as they came off stage - so I had to dive in as well - Created a minor riot but everyone was pleased with the gig.
Thursday 24th July 1986
Met up with Steve at Eccentric Management (he came in slightly pissed after an interview) and we headed for Hyper Hyper and Kensington Market to buy some clothes for the video. Wandered around and eventually settled on some amazing clothes and boots for me, as well as a coat for Taif and a tie for himself. Drove over to the Shaw Theatre and watched Arun play drums with John Martyn & Danny Thompson - nice show.
Friday 25th July 1986 - Gig at the Tunnel Club
Great to see a big poster up for the gig in lurid pink ! The band arrived pretty quickly and I let Andrew thrash me at pool a few times. Eventually got the soundcheck together - it was a good stage layout and me and Taif had a dancefloor to ourselves at the top - We decided that we grooved together well and now want to stand next to each other on stage. We all went to Taifs for a meal and sat on his balcony while he tried on the clothes Steve got for him and he looked "incredibubble". Had a car race with Arun on the way back to the gig - fair shook me up it did - won't be doing that again in a hurry - Did a brilliant set to an appreciative 60 odd sitting round tables and no lights audience. Had a nutter dancing all the way through and we went down well and encored with Lost at Sea and All the Time... It felt great - we'll be even better when we've done some more rehearsing.
Saturday 26th July 1986 - Rehearsal at Jumbo
Got the gear set up - we were all in good moods after last night and worked out a number called Sunshine. Sounds really good. Played through some of the set and it was cooking. The only trouble is that the PA at Jumbo's is bigger than the bleeding gigs ! This band is getting so hot its "unbelievabubble" - we've all started saying this now - thanks Taif. Stayed behind after rehearsal to adjust some of the volumes on the Prophet and had a good chat with Steve - I can see he's pleased and turned on by the band.
Sunday 27th July 1986 - Rehearsal at Jumbo
Got there at 12 and got stuck into rehearsing. Worked out a new number called At the End of the Day and we'll use it for an encore. Put Sunshine in the set and Working Girl although' I'll be surprised if we play it. Worked bloody hard until 8pm and then piled all the gear downstairs, ready to be picked up for the gig tomorrow.
Monday 28th July - Gig at the Rock Garden
Got there at 5.30 and it had changed so much from the days I used to work there !(circa 1979) --- still a small stage though. Taif was cursing at his Trace Eliot, something to do with a fuse and Andrew looked for a sandwich. Steve and Colin arrived with the gear because Paul and the roadies' van had broken down on the M1 - tradition. They turned up just as we were ready to soundcheck - thank God because the resident PA man had a terrible stutter. Got the sound together and Arun and Colin disappeared and the rest of us went to the Nags Head. The love of my life new boyfriend arrived so I introduced him to the band and they all chatted while I had an attack of nerves. Went back to the Rock Garden and saw loads of record company people there and some mates too (my friend subsequently conceived on this night and has a lovely 15 year old daughter) ! - Went on at 11pm and although it was the worst gig so far, the new numbers seemed to work and we got encored. We went down really well. Got back to the dressing room and discovered £40 had been taken from my purse - got really upset and kicked a chair - John from Rondor handed me £40 and said "courtesy of Rondor" - wasn't that nice - so I bought a round of drinks which came to £8. (haven't times changed). Sank a few vodkas and left with the gorgeous boyfriend who said that he thought Colin was amazing !
Sunday 3rd August - Gig at the Marquee !
Well tonight was a success - the world and his aunty turned up to the gig - and it was great ! Got there at 5pm, soundchecked eventually and it sounded awful - we went to the Ship and had a drink. Got back and watched the 1000 Mexicans who were good and will get much better. Went back and got ready - then on stage. Took a while to get going, but did a good set. Steve introduced the band and the crowd cheered loudly. Big party at my flat after !
Thursday 7th August - Gig at Half Moon, Herne Hill
Arrived as Arun and Taif got there - Andrew and Paul arrived and we had a drink. The gear was being set up by a new roadie called Mickey (Brown) who was really nice and very efficient although' the general consensus was that he might be gay! I was determined that the Beat in the Heart disc would be fine tonight so I double-checked it. Did a sound check and went back to Taifs with Arun and Andrew. I made Arun promise he wouldn't put me in a car accident but it was still very difficult to look out of the front - he drives even worse than my brother. Back to the gig and Steve was on top form - but for me the gig was a nightmare, nothing sounded right and Beat in the Heart disc didn't fire at all - so that really pissed me off. Still, we were encored and although' the band were pleased - i was down about this disc - need to sort it out.
Friday 8th August - Gig at Angie's Wokingham
Got to Angies after meeting Taif and Arun in the middle of a traffic jam on the M4. We had a much better PA tonight and the soundcheck went well. Checked Beat disc again and it was ok. Did the soundcheck and went into town in search of noodles and pool. Got a nice Chinky but the pool turned out to be bar billiards so the boys were whinging as usual. Got some chips for Paul and went back to the gig. We played well tonight although' Steve wasn't too well - He climbed up on a beam during Wrap Me... and everyone wondered how he'd get down but Mickey assisted. Fucking Beat Fucking disc didn't Fucking fire again - maybe it's to do with fading out on Germany - must get it sorted PRONTO - Everyone enjoyed it including the girl who asked me if I'd seen the band before ? Stayed for ages chatting to punters and left then left while Taif and Arun were collecting phone numbers off the local girls.
Tuesday 12th August 1986 - Video Shoot in Albert Wharf
Got to Battersea at 9.30am very tired - The band had their make-up done and they spent ages on me. A guy called Patrick back-combed my hair so I looked like the witch queen of Battersea. Ate far too much cos the catering was pretty frequent - It was like a giant warehouse - very long and thin, with a railway track down the middle. Arun was on a riser at the end like Mohammed with smoke and blue clouds behind him. I was next, also on a riser, then Taif then Andrew then Colin and then Steve and a goldfish bowl and little globe and dripping tap (don't ask me, I only wrote it 16 years ago) - Steve looked and danced like a star - he was brilliant - Colin got to go on the crane and pass us all the way down - can't wait to see it - Very great visually but physically it was hard work - long hangabouts - so eventually a continuing game of brag went on. Finished at 12.30am and drove home fucked.
Wednesday 13th August - Gig at Dingwalls
Had to pretend Taif was my new boyfriend because an old ex was at the bar. Did the soundcheck and Andrew, Taif & Arun came back to my flat for some lagers and pasta. Went to the Manor House for some pool and got back to Dingwalls at 10. The Mexicans were good as support but still need more work - Then we went on - everyone was fairly hyper, most of CBS were there and a lot of fans were in - the place was packed. It was the best gig ever for us - Energy - Total Commitment - Brilliant and BEAT IN THE FUCKING HEART WORKED !!!!!!!!!!!!! We had sussed it out beforehand and it was to do with the pot volume after Games - The gig was SHIT 'OT - spoke to loads of people and sat in the dressing room but I just needed some silence so I went home.
Thursday 14th August - Gig at Moles, Bath
I was on my way to Jumbo when I realised my car wasn't going
to make it. So I was tinkering with the air filter when Andrew drove by and
stopped. He escorted me home and I drove with him in his Beetle to Jumbo. Met
up with Paul and then Colin arrived in the bus and we drove to Steve's. Picked
him up and drove down to the Chesterfield Hotel in Great Pultney St, Bath - our
Street (stayed there when working at Crescent Studios a few times) - Half hour
later, Taif & Arun arrived and all hell started. Got in the bus and went to
Moles. The gear was already in and we seemed to soundcheck really quickly but
by the time me, Andrew, Taif & Arun were at the Rajpoot, it was 9pm. Had a
great meal, expensive but good. Got back to Moles and the faithful No. 1 fans
were there. Steve left his stage clothes at the hotel so we went on pretty
late. It was a good gig, but Arun couldn't hear much in his little arch at the
back of the stage so it didn't really take off. Went down well and encored with
At the End of the Day
and they still wanted more. So me, Steve & Colin went and did Acid Rain which was lovely because
I'd been wanting to play that for ages. Hung around after and chatted with
David Lord and even signed some posters. Went back to the hotel and partied in
Taif & Arun's room for quite a while.
Friday 15th August - Tropic Club, Bristol
The hotel person woke me up at 11am shouting "Check out time" - so I got my shit upstairs to Taif & Arun's room - Taif was in the bath (in Bath ) and Arun threw a corn on the cob amidst the bubbles and freaked him out - Andrew came in and us four were going to spend the day together before reporting to the Tropic Club - so we got out of the hotel by 12 and decided to go straight to Bristol. We drove there in Arun's car which was hell on wheels again - flying into Bristol on that overpass - get shivers just thinking about it - Taif said he knew a decent Italian restaurant which got designated for brunch. Got there and had a meal which was very average ! - Went in search of a launderette and ended up in a joke shop - Taif found an old military shop and bought a bulletbelt. Went into a snooker hall and played pool. Got Taif with an exploding cigarette and Arun got me with the disappearing ink - so much for the joke shop. Went to Clifton and found a launderette and sat on Aruns car while Taif & Andrews stuff were cleaned. Went to the gig and it was really seedy. There was to be 4 bands playing and it was chaos. Paul was on a "right cob" and Steve really regretted being there. Eventually decided that we'd go on second instead of last so that the first band could set up their own gear on front of the stage, then we'd be set up ready to go - and then get all the gear out quick and let the other two bands sort themselves out - So we soundchecked and the sound on stage was good. Taif was really high cos all his mates from Barry were coming down and his bird, so he was on good form. Sat upstairs for a band meet and Paul was really pissed off. So I gave him an exploding cigarette to break the ice one way or another and luckily it went the right way and the tension broke a bit. Went with Steve, Taif, Arun and Andrew to a modern complex and drank Bucks Fizz. Got back to the gig and had to change in the bus. Steve was really in a strange mood - I call it the planet Woore - (I'll explain if anyone asks) - Did the set as we never have done - there was quite an edge to it until the Barry boys arrived and roared their approval to everything. Overplayed by half an hour and Paul had to deal with 2 very uptight support bands. Finished and loaded up at double time - Left Taif to his mates and Arun left on his own and the rest of us got in the bus. Steve was over the dark side of the planet so we left him alone. Colin drove and as we were dropping Steve off, we saw a couple shagging in the middle of the Traffic Island.... as we got back after dropping Steve off - they were still at it - ! Andrew took the last leg in the Beetle and I got in at 4.30am.
Friday 22nd August - Red Lion, Gravesend
Few people in but it went well. It was a pretty big stage and we converted the few that were there.
Saturday 6th September - Rehearsal at John Henrys
Andrew picked me up and we got to John Henrys. Paul and Radar (Mick Brown) were setting up the gear so we joined Steve and Colin in the cafe for breakfast. We're going on tour supporting Chris de Burgh who's just had a hit with Lady in Red - Looked thru the itinerary and took a deep breath. Got back to the studio and Taif & Arun got in and we decided to put Dry Land back in the set and leave Working Girl out (even though we worked on it for a bit). Chucked out English Summer, In the City, Freedom and Wrap Me which leaves 7 songs which work really well. Worked till about 8pm.
Sunday 7th September - Rehearsal at John Henrys
Got in about midday and worked on. All the Time, Beat in the Heart, Dry Land and Sunshine have all increased in the keyboard parts and I had brainache to remember it all but it works bloody well when I do. Worked hard and had a break to discuss different aspects of the tour and attitudes etc. Vibe is good and fun is expected. Finished exhausted at 8.30.
Monday 8th September - Rehearsal at John Henrys
Got in at 12 with Andrew - I've got a keyboard stand which is good. Went through the set and worked on the numbers which had new parts. Extended the intro on Beat and sorted out Sunshine. Got Dry Land feeling easier and all in all, musically, it is bloody great. Airplay for All the Time in the World is happening, got 3 today with Gary Davies, Bruno Brookes and Andy Peebles.
Thursday 11th September - Coliseum, St. Austell - 1st gig supporting Chris de Burgh
Taif & Arun picked me up in a cab and they were already arguing about Arun leaving some of his clothes behind. Met up at Jumbo with Andrew, Paul and Colin and we drove in the bus to pick Steve up. Managed to go via Brighton but ended up having lunch in Bridport. Carried on driving, Arun drove this time and we got to St. Austell by 4pm. Same hotel as before - White Hart Hotel - brings back memories ! - John Mays - the nice bloke from Rondor - was there. Dressing rooms were same portakabins from before - the De Burgh crew were friendly - kept coming in to say good luck and then gave us loads of drink and sandwiches. No.1 fans were in the front row ! - how do they do it? Managed a short soundcheck and I got my own monitor which I needed because the stage was much bigger than I'd been used to and I couldn't hear the drums up my end properly - so they put a loud hi-hat in my monitor and I was on the same mix as Arun. Robert on monitors, Noel's in charge - he's very camp - met Danny the guitarist. Went on at 8 and it was the worst gig we've played so far. Audience was very polite and we went down well. Lots of people came by and said they enjoyed it. Watched Chris de Burgh, who incidentally is the spitting image of Mickey our roadie. I didn't like the gig much but the audience def. did. Mainly 30-50 year olds. Taif went off with the No.1 fans and we went back to the hotel bar. Got pretty drunk and went to Arun's room with Paul, Mick and Andrew. Taif turned up with the girls so I left them to it.
Friday 12th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Coliseum St. Austell
Got downstairs at 11 and everyone was there except Arun and Taif. Had some coffee and drove to the Coliseum. Mick, Paul, Andrew and Colin stayed there and Me Steve and Mark T went to Mevagissey. Strolled through the fishing village and had breakfast (1pm) in a pub overlooking the sea. Went to a reptile house and aquarium and sent some cream to a friend. Found a leather whip which Steve brought for Paul to use on our rhythm section. Drove to a pub on the other side of St. Austell and they were having a harvest festival in there. Got back to the gig at 4pm past the hunky security guys - and then drove into St. Austell with Mick and got some parts for Colin's amp.
Went back to the gig again and had a shower. Taif and Arun
showed up with the girls. Chatted to Coco who was C de B's allrounder, backline
for keyboards, guitar and sax and watched their soundcheck. Got our soundcheck
at 6 and things def. sounded better. Got ready to go on and off we went - not
brilliant yet but it will be. Audience very appreciative - clapped at the break
in the middle of All
the Time - finished by 8.45 and we were gone by 9.30. Followed
Mick's van onto the motorway - stopped at a service station and a fight broke
out in there between some blokes - police arrived and we left. Got in at 4am.
Sunday 14th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - NEC Birmingham
Met at Jumbo at 11- had some trouble starting the bus but it turned out ok. 7 of us plus Mick. Didn't stop on the way but went straight to the hotel and had Sunday lunch with Steve, Colin and Arun. Went back to my room and had a shower. Met lobby call 4pm and went to the NEC with 3 hours to kill - Chatted to Noel, Coco and Al the bass player. Mark T turned up and the dressing room was small and a bit claustrophobic - so we played football outside for a while. Got ready and didn't have time for a soundcheck - had to set our gear up as the audience were filing in - Got changed and we went on at 8. 11,000 people plus and not an empty seat anywhere. Went down really well, thoroughly enjoyed myself except for the DX7 went off for Germany but we sorted it out in the end. Great, loved it. Back to the dressing room, changed and straight back to the hotel. Ate a salad in the bar and then played snooker for a while. Edinburgh tomorrow.
Monday 15th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Edinburgh Playhouse
Had breakfast on room service then met everyone in the lobby. Someone had put a match in the tyres of the bus so we kicked a ball around while Mick and Paul pumped the tyre up again. Took us from 10.30 till 4pm to get to Edinburgh. Stopped in Biggar to cash a cheque. Steve decided to eat some dope - not a wise decision - Got to the hotel in Edinburgh, dumped our stuff and drove to the Playhouse. Steve fell out of the bus in a bad state - the dressing room was very hot and had loads of mirrors. Steve got more and more stoned, even after a shower, ice pack and orange juice, he ended up on his hands and knees in the car park, throwing up, crawling back a few feet, throwing up again and repeating that about 6 times !!!
Managed to get 10 minutes on
stage to sort our stuff out and then they opened the doors. Got changed and
made up, then Alan came and got us. Had a quick chat with Noel in the wings and
then went on. Had to wait a number or so before the sound improved. Steve was
still wrecked and at the end of the first verse of Lost at Sea he
asked me if he was singing okay - I shouted huge encouragement to him and he
smiled and carried on. Not a great gig generally but I'm beginning to lose my
nervousness. Audience were great and we came off pretty high, although' not as
high as Steve had been earlier ! Colin stayed behind to see his brother and the
rest of us went back to the hotel. Me & Mick went for a Chinese and then
watched a film.
Tuesday 16th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Edinburgh Playhouse
Went down to breakfast and
the waitress couldn't get the orders right and Taif went on a right cob, think
he was hungover. They put the eggs in a safe or something - Went out with Mick
into Edinburgh and we went up to the castle. We spied Chris de Burgh posing for
photos so Mick did his C de B impersonation in front of him while I took a
photo - Looked round and saw the Camera Obscura. Went back down and had a
picnic on the grass in the sun. Got back to the hotel and had a bath. Got lobby
call at 5. Went to the Playhouse and got half hour soundcheck - luxury - the
sound in the old cinemas and playhouses always sound so much better than arenas
- all that carpeting and curtains really soak up the reflections. Went on and
put English Summer
instead of Sunshine.
Went down well, forgot the 5 beats in Dry Land but got out of it ok - just.
Improvised the intro on India and scraped through Beat but the punters
couldn't tell and it was a nice one. Came off and post-mortemed for a while
then went back to the hotel. Hearts Football Club were checked in but by the
time I got to the bar, they were all tucked up in bed. Hung out in the bar for
a while and the boys turned up. Went up at midnight, and everyone except Steve
came to my room to play poker and brag. Andrew was so pissed, it was hysterical
- my room looked like a bombsite by the time everyone fell out.
Wednesday 17th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Newcastle City Hall
Just made breakfast at 9.30 - everyone was there except
Colin. Piled into the van and headed for Newcastle and after stopping for
lunch, we got there at 2pm. Had a double bed for the first time this tour so
had a good doze. Lobby call at 5 and we went to Newcastle City Hall. Had to use
the stairs as our dressing room but it was ok. Noel was in good spirits and
Taif went out to distribute some leaflets - just an excuse to eye up the girls
- Chatted to Glenn and Coco in catering - didn't get a soundcheck but went on
at 8. The sound was all over the place and I didn't enjoy the gig at all. Steve
felt the same and we couldn't wait to get out of there and went with Mick for a
great meal to forget it. Got back to the hotel, watched the football with Mick
then went down for a drink. Everyone was there and Taif managed to get the
video played on a Juke Box which he did at some bar in the gig. Got back to my
room and crashed out.
Thursday 18th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Newcastle City Hall
Slept in till 12.30 and got
up to a very sunny day. Trotted off to find a dry cleaners and launderette and
sorted it out. Lobby call at 5 and went to the City Hall and had 45 minute
soundcheck - more luxury ! Got changed on the stairs again. Went on and the
audience were really good and we all enjoyed the gig. Arun did 4 beats in Dry Land to try and
fool us all and did "I've got the Beat in the Heart" but managed to
slow it down ok. Colin and Steve rushed off to do an interview with Radio Metro.
Nutty DJ with jokes about my name. Got back to the hotel and went for a drink
with Colin, Steve and Andrew. Total freak in there told me ' I was descended
from the house of Ra' ?? Fell out the door to get away from him but he followed
me out. I just went back in and left him there. Had a meal across the road and
went to bed.
Friday 19th September - Day off in Stoke & Stafford
Got up for breakfast and
everyone was there except Colin. Had a kick about in the car park and it went
over a wall at one point. Left at 11 and headed for Stoke. Stopped at a crazy
restaurant called the Bunker - all done out in World War stuff. Menu was
rations, veg served in billy cans etc... sand bags everywhere and staff in WW
uniforms. Had a kick about on their lawn and then went on the bus again. Got to
Signal Radio in Stoke a bit late but it was ok. Boring DJ. Got to the hotel in
Stafford by 6pm. C de B's crew were staying there and we all met in the bar.
Taif, Arun, Andrew and Paul were playing pool. Colin's girlfriend was up for
the night so we didn't see them at all. Steve and Mick went off for a meal and
I chatted to some of the crew for a while. Got bored and we all went to Mick
and Andrews room for some cards. Stakes were high and I lost £3. Got to bed at
Saturday 20th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Bingley Hall, Stafford
Got up at 1 and went in
search of breakfast. Found Steve, Mick and Andrew. Had a ploughman's lunch
outside in the sun. Got the football out and started a game on the field. C de
B's band turned up on one on of the Len Wrights and Coco, Noel, Al and then
Chris all joined in. The No. 1 fans turned up - they're coming to loads of
gigs. They paid £50 off the touts to get into NEC - ! Went back to my room and
showered. Met downstairs at 4 and went to the Bingley Hall. Had an enormous
dressing room. Got no soundcheck and the sound was awful - mainly because the
Bingley Hall was like a huge aerodrome and with no audience - it was
reverberating everywhere. Feared the worst. Steve's mum and dad showed up and
then Mark T turned up too. I took some photos of the HUGE queue of people
waiting to come into the hall - it went around the block and more. Went on at 8
and the reception we had was amazing. They were standing at the front and we
all shifted into top gear for the first time on this tour and it felt great. I
think a standing audience makes a helluva difference. Came off to rapturous
applause and we whooped back to the dressing room. Everyone was in high spirits
and Mr & Mrs Hogarth loved it ! Went back to the hotel and played pool for
a while - there was a party going in Taifs room but I opted out and went to
Sunday 21st September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Liverpool
Got to breakfast and Mark T, Andrew and Mick were there. Had a quick kickabout, the exercise is starting to be felt a bit. Drove to Liverpool and checked into the Shaftesbury Dump Hotel. Refused to take the shit room on the 5th floor and ended up on the 1st floor. Mick came in to watch the football 'cos his room had no telly. Drove to the gig and got one number to soundcheck. By the time we got back to the dressing room, it was 7.30 and 25 minutes to get ready. Scramble. Went on to a good audience - went down well and signs of the single were showing with people singing along but I didn't feel I played a blinder. Got out of the gig as fast as possible and back to the hotel. Had a quick natter with Taif & Arun and crashed out.
Monday 22nd September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Manchester Apollo
Got down to breakfast,
Colin's Finan Haddock nearly cleared the room. Had 4 cups of coffee and then
got my stuff together for lobby call. Trouble with starting the bus "it's
a damp day". Drove round the corner to Radio City and Colin and Steve
recorded an interview. Then drove to Preston and they recorded another
interview for Red Rose - I had a small radio and we tried to tune in to listen
to it on the bus. Regional play lists grow. Drove to Manchester and checked
into the Imperial Hotel. No stars and the manager wasn't all that keen about a
'pop group'. Got a tiny, but nicish room. Mick and Andrew next door. Showered
and got downstairs for 5. No. 1 fans were there - almost getting like passing a
neighbour. Drove to the Apollo, Nice sign outside. Got in and we had Shirley
Bassey's dressing room - story goes she had the special fireplace put in -
whether it's true or not ? Saw Noel and had a natter over a cup of tea. Got the
gear on stage, getting quite fast at it now. Managed to run through Dry Land and then
the doors opened. Borrowed an iron off Will. Quite a rush to get ready and next
thing I knew, we were on. Took a while to settle in but got into it all ok.
Good gig overall, difficult but appreciative audience. Jan from CBS Regional
came by to the dressing room again and she seems really nice. She took Steve
and Colin off for a drink. Taif and Arun stayed for some pool. Me, Mick, Paul,
Andrew and Mark T went back to the hotel. Mark T disappeared and Paul treated
us to dinner which was excellent and damned decent of him.
Tuesday 23rd September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Manchester Apollo
Got up very groggily for
breakfast. Went back to bed. Met downstairs at 11 and drove to the gig. Dumped
our stuff there and me, Arun, Mick, Paul and Andrew drove into Manchester. Had
a Chinese meal for lunch and Paul sent his squid back. Then piled into the
local cinema and watched Aliens - thought it was good. Got back to the gig and
stayed in catering until soundcheck. Ran through Freedom which was awful, Working Town which
was awful too. In the
City was ok and that got put in the set instead of India. Had 25 mins
to get ready - went on and thought the gig wasn't very good. But when I
listened to the tape after, it sounded great - so maybe I just judge the gigs
on my performance - ? Red Rose DJ and his wife turned up after with Jan from
CBS and John Mays. Exchanged words and signed autographs with some kids outside
and then headed for home. Picked my car up from Jumbo and back home for first
time in ages - my own bed - lovely.
Wednesday 24th September - Gig headlining at the Marquee
Drove to the Marquee and I
nearly cried to see where the keyboards were, all cramped up again after those
huge stages. Went for a bagel and coffee and got back to soundcheck. Colin was
the last one in and soundcheck was good. Woosh was on lights and Gavin was
helping Mick and Paul. Went to the Ship with Steve and then my mates turned up.
Went back and got ready to go on. Taif had about 3 lots of girls there tonight
and one of them sent back a bottle of Tequila to the dressing room. Went on at
9.15 and it was a really REALLY good gig. It was good to do Freedom and Wrap Me again - I
love those old European numbers - they really rock. Ended up with Acid Rain which was
brilliant and we were backstage again. The crowd were still hollering for more
and we decided to go back on and do At the End of the Day - Taif was sitting
in his underpants cos he thought we'd finished and had to struggle to get his
sweaty leather togs on again as Arun walked back onstage. Everyone thought we'd
come on leaps and bounds since the last Marquee gig and we were really gelling
as a band. Went on to St. Moritz nightclub and partied.
Friday 26th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Wembley Arena
Woke up at 2pm feeling awful
- slightly hungover but also really sore throat and runny nose and def. coming
down with something. Had a bath and Andrew arrived - sat through a traffic jam
- got to Wembley at 4.30. Loads of security all over the place because Prince
Andrew and Fergie are coming tonight - she particularly likes Lady in Red -
their song - aah...... Everyone arrived one by one and I still felt awful.
Couldn't smoke at all and craving for a cigarette - that's pretty bad! C de B's
soundcheck seemed to go on for hours. Set the gear up and managed to get a
soundcheck of line and one number. Got ready and had to wear our passes onto
the stage. Shit gig, everyone was pissed off. I felt so bad I couldn't tell
what it was like generally but from my point of view, I think we got through it
ok but the fact that the hall wasn't full as others have been didn't help at
all. Steve came in and shouted about the sound to Paul so Paul was pissed off
too. Steve went home immediately, Mark T came back and started arguing too so I
grabbed Andrew who thankfully wanted to leave straight away too - got back at
9.30 and crawled into bed.
Saturday 27th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Wembley Arena
Had a bath, felt a bit better, and drove to Wembley. Hung around chatting to various people - I don't feel 100% - Managed 2 numbers in the soundcheck. Showed everyone the photos and they went down well. Everyone was much looser tonight and we played well. Got a good reception and everyone was pleased, except Mark T and Paul who were still arguing. Got home and had an early night again.
Monday 29th September - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Wembley Arena
Got up and went to see the Doctor. My eye was completely swollen and bright red, my cough and cold were rife and I felt awful again. Got a prescription and got packed up. Drove to Jumbo, left the car there and got a cab to Wembley. Had quite a long soundcheck and felt awful physically, but apart from that I was in good spirits. Went on and the Prophet was playing up - Taif cocked up English Summer but it was a good gig. Went down really well and everyone was in good spirits. I had to keep my sunglasses on throughout the gig because the lights were really hurting my eye. Met my Dad at the Sound desk after and said he loved Steve's voice. Some other people came by to say hello and then we piled onto the bus and played cards all the way to Liverpool. Back at the Shaftesbury Dump Hotel again ! Got there at 1.30am and carried on playing cards for a while - went to bed with a very sore eye.
Tuesday 30th September - Travel Day
Paula, my mate in Liverpool,
met me for breakfast and we had a good natter. Drove to Liverpool Docks and
after a game of football, we went onto the ferry. Me and Mick had booked a
berth and after a while, I took a sleeping pill and waited for the effects to
start. The pill did fuck all and I spent 8 hours gritting my teeth and trying
not to throw up. The noises going on around were horrendous and it felt like an
endurance test. Eventually gave up trying to sleep and joined Steve outside as
we docked into Belfast. Quite a magic moment really as the seagulls escorted us
in. Back on the van and eventually found the hotel. Jokes about me catching the
red-eye etc. were going down well. Had a great room for a change and went down
for a meal. Went up to Taif & Arun's room for more cards and was doing well
till the last hand when Arun's full house beat mine - Bastard ! Went back to my
room and had a jacuzzi and then threw my guts up - which had been coming all
day. Decided to sleep and then chucked my guts up again - oh well - another
Wednesday 1st October - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Belfast Kings Hall
Woke up to find my eye on the
mend. Managed breakfast and then went back to bed. Slept for a few more hours,
went out to the shop across the road and then went back to bed again.
Eventually got down to lobby at 4. Drove to the gig and found it was standing
only - brilliant for us. Had a paper thin dressing room and we played football
at the back but I caught a ball fully on my chest so gave up for a while. Got
the gear on stage and were allowed 2 lines of Dry Land. Went and changed in the ladies
and the crowd were really loud. We discovered that whenever we sent Mickey onto
the stage to get something like a tuner, the crowd went bananas - so we sent
him out there loads of times for a laugh. Then it was time, the music stopped
and lights went out at the same time and the roar that went up was like I'd
never heard before - heartstopping - completely knocked me sideways. My monitor
wasn't working till half way through the first number and I forgot to come in
on English Summer
because I was so overwhelmed by the crowd. I think we played like shit but the
crowd were absolutely amazing. Came off high as a kite but knew that we'd
played our worst. Lots of mitigating circumstances and we forgave ourselves.
Got back to the hotel which was like a madhouse. 3 bars converging on reception
- No. 1 fans were in as usual - The Belfast girls were really pretty and the boys
were in their element and didn't know where to look next. I got chatting to a
bloke called Paddy and I said that we always tell jokes about the Irish being
thick, what was a typical joke about an English person? He said..... "what
do you throw an Englishman if he's drowning?" - I said I didn't know - he
said "his wife and kids! " - so I left him to it !!
Thursday 2nd October - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Belfast Kings Hall
My diary seems to stop for a few days - can't remember why!
I went with Mick, Andrew, Steve and Colin to the Giants Causeway
I have photos from there - but no diary.........
Monday 6th October - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Brighton Arena
Andrew called round at 2 and we went to Taif's. Arun looks like he's joined the squaddies with his haircut. The bus arrived with Colin, Steve and Paul. Got down to Brighton and had a nice dressing room. Got wrecked with Arun and found Andrew and Taif in the Leisure centre. We've all been invited to C de B's party tonight after the show. Steve said he was staying in Brighton and a couple of the others were too - so I decided to stay. Managed one number in soundcheck. Tried to get a B&B on the phone but no joy. Had to rush to get ready. Went on and the reception was so cool after Belfast, slow start but we eased into it after a couple of numbers. The audience were so reserved and uptight and it was a big comedown after Belfast. Came off feeling ok - rushed off to the B&B and managed to get a room. Everyone else was watching the show for the first time so I went off for a meal. Managed to buy a toothbrush from the Grand Hotel and went back to the gig. I hated the show but the audience were deliriously overjoyed - got back to the dressing room and then headed for a Len Wright. There were quite a few people hanging around for autographs so I jumped on the bus with Steve and we sat in the back lounge with Al, Jeff & Glenn. Went to the Ship Hotel and into the ballroom. There were lots of girls picked up by Noel and everyone was sitting down and being quite boring. There was no music, just a piano and mic up on a small stage. Thank god the bar was open. Started drinking with Mick, the lighting guy, and we sat with Colin, Paul, Ari, Andrew and Taif - Steve was milling around. Eventually C de B arrived himself - and Noel was pissed as a fart. Taif was completely gone and collapsed under a table. Noel was looking for piano players to get up so I said I'd play if Steve sang - so we went up and played Life on Mars - it's a magic moment that I'll never forget - he sang so amazingly - it was like hearing the song for the first time - when it got to the bit at the end he turned around and put the mic into the piano and for me, it was one of those moments for sure.
Tuesday 7th October - Gig supporting Chris de Burgh - Brighton Arena - Last night of the tour
Got thrown out of the B&B so went out - it was a beautiful, sunny day and very hot. Found some breakfast and felt wrecked but not too hungover - Went into M&S to buy some clean clothes. Found Mick who was staying at a hotel and dumped my stuff there. Had a walk in the sea and then along the pier. Bumped into some of the crew and then saw Coco who had the most incredible hangover - he said that Taif and Arun had slept in Noels room. Sat in some deckchairs on the beach and contemplated life. Grabbed a shower at Mick's hotel then went in search of some chips. Found Colin and Steve and Taif and Arun and we walked to the gig. Had a long soundcheck and tried a few things out for tomorrow at Dingwalls. Started saying goodbye to people and got ready to go on. Walked on and Noel went to introduce us and found himself talking into a banana - here we go, last night japes, Arun's kit was heavily laden with talcum powder so the harder he hit it, the higher the clouds went and he was completely covered in it by the end. Robert came on and cut Taif's shirt in half while he was playing and we managed to do a pretty good gig despite it all. The dressing room was well crowded with a lot of CBS people and guys from C de B saying goodbye. Mark T took me, Andrew, Taif and Arun back to Taif's gaff and I got home at 2.30am.
Wednesday 8th October - Gig headlining Dingwalls
Got there at 5 and everyone arrived one by one. Got a soundcheck and as usual I couldn't hear anything. Took Taif and Arun back to mine to feed them Spaghetti Bolognese but forgot that Taif's vegetarian - so Arun ate it all. Got back to Dingwalls and someone said it would probably be the last gig we'd all play together. The support act dragged on and No. 1 fans turned up as usual. Went on at 11.30 and had a horrendous time with mains and sound but got through it ok. Went on for 2 encores and played Acid Rain (or Acid Raine as I used to call it) - Threw some water over Steve as he managed to drench me. Left pretty early after saying bye to all and went home. Felt like an era was over - 7 months - whew !
Text edited & typed by Raine Shine 2002. Photographs by Raine Shine 1986
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