This was a band formed from staff at the last school I worked at and in which I played bass – namely an exquisite, if battered natural (‘Butterscotch’) 1973 Fender Precision. Our main rivals were the 6th Form band at the time (I guess it was 1999 or thereabouts) who subsequently stuck at the music and now make up 66.6% of chart band ‘Scouting for Girls’
To be able to outplay/out perform them when it came to school concerts was one of the things that prompted us to get out and about and play ‘real’ gigs. Our first live appearance was at Eastcote Hockey club in Middlesex, A ramshackle late ’60s early 70’s affair which sported a mass of corridors and a labyrinthine collection of passages.
Russ our, guitarist, discovered these and was soon able to navigate most of the hockey club – in the dark In fact, most of the exits opened out into the changing rooms which were our green Rooms – Lovely! a pungent mix of mud, Deep Heat, sweat, lager and stale farts.
Well, to cut a long story short… Russ decided to go ‘walkabout’ for one of his guitar solos, using his ‘wireless’ guitar lead. He’d planned his route: Main Bar, Gent’s toilets (!) playing all the time, from there he was to go through the juniors’ changing room and up on to the back of the stage – except that on the night, one of the doors was locked so he had to go back. Meanwhile, as we continued to play on stage, no idea where he was, his guitar lead began to pick up the local cab service signal, the Police waveband, Heathrow Air Traffic Control and a Turkish Radio programme. He finally made it back after we had played 47 choruses of Oasis’ “Some Might Say” and ordered everyone’s taxis home for the night – A European record.
We were called the Crabs and actually played four weddings and a funeral (Well, not quite a funeral, it was a memorial service for a fellow member of staff who had died of Cancer.) We were asked to play something appropriate. (So that was ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’ out f the running) I suggested “With or Without You” by U2. It was very moving, definately the hardest gig I’ve ever done. In fact, Roy now lead singer with ‘Scouting For Girls’ Gave the speech.
© Andy Daly 2010.
Nice to see the Crabs getting a mention but you forgot to mention playing in kilts as hoards of drunken hockey players skidded around on beer and sick, everyone but me basking in Tebby’s mate’s pool whilst I got in a flap trying to set a gig up for my freinds’ wedding, the hours of fun in a yellow Land Rover, the night we could have stayed over in a swanky hotel, got pissed and chased women but instead went on early, bombed completely and went home to bed…sad & sorry state of affairs indeed. Talking of Russ I have got video proof that he cannot cannot cannot drink Stella till it pours out of his ears then sing or play even remotely in tune. Best gig ever Ealing Town Hall (one of the four weddings), picking you up in me van every Friday cos you couldn’t cycle with the Precision, forgetting the PA and having to grovel to Greg Hall to get into school to get it…a low point indeed…and there’s no need but did you know the first song we ever played was Deeply Dippy..now who’s bright idea was that I wonder?
By the way Russ, Eastcote’s Ladies(?) still go on about the leather kecks…tarts…