Our second rehearsal takes place tomorrow and I’ve just had these Kev Howard pictures in from rehearsal one (more to come)
It was a good rehearsal but not without mishaps. On our next rehearsal Les Watts will be joining us on keyboards but for the first rehearsal I wanted to strip it right back to drums, bass and guitar. I’ll explain the reasons for that in a moment.
The rehearsals are taking place at MyPlace in Middlesbrough. Richards satnav plonked him at the Transporter Bridge where he patiently awaited the next transfer over the Tees. Luckily it never arrived otherwise he would have been “transported” over to Haverton Hill where I’m pretty sure he would not have found a rehearsal room. I can imagine what would have happened next: He would have called me and told me he was in Haverton Hill and asked for directions. “Turn left and join the A19 and travel South until you hit Middlesbrough”. Whereupon his satnav would plonk him once again at the Transporter and he would once again make the trip to Haverton Hill. This would put him into a perpetual loop from which he would never escape. Knowing Richard, he would have settled down into this routine and quite enjoyed it. However, we would not have a bass player.
Smithy, on the other hand did end up in the wrong town. Stockton actually. He called us up and I explained where he was supposed to be. He then started describing his journey to Stockton and started analysing in great detail the post code that had took him there. Riveting stuff but I know from experience that when Smithy gets into one he could be talking for days. I recall he once called me up and talked for two hours. When he hung up I fell into a heap on the floor. Thirty seconds later the phone rang again. It was Smithy, “hello its Paul again, I forgot to tell you, I’m on Top Of The Pops Tonight. This was the late 70’s and a really big deal. He’d talked utter crap for two hours and the one momentous thing he could have told me, he’d forgotten.
Anyway eventually, as you can see from the pictures we were all there. I had my own mishap, my new amp blew up and I had to use a tiny studio thing. This threw me somewhat. I said I was rehearsing a 3 piece and the reason is this: I’d not played in 15 years and I need to get match fit. There is so much that is new about this adventure. I’ve never “gigged” the songs that I wrote for Elkie, Sheena and Celine. In our repertoire we have the top 20 ballad Hurry Home and rock songs I wrote for the likes Tygers of Pan Tang (Heavy Metal?), the Searchers and Chris Farlowe. We needed a common thread and I figured we’d get this by starting with a song from my very first band Bullfrog. (Jimmy McKenna has discovered some rare bullfrog footage Ian Penman had – more on that later) So we started with the B side from our 1973 single “In The City” and then progressed to the song Celine Dion and Sheena Easton recorded using the 1973 template. Honestly it doesn’t sound retro at all and perhaps you’ll get a chance to check this out for yourself at a venue near you.
There are several departures in this for me. I sold my trust amp three years ago never planning to gig again. Richard and Smithy have colluded to drag me nervously out of retirement. I’ve also laid down my trusty red Stratocaster that I’ve had nearly 40 years. Instead I’m using the Epiphone Sheraton I intended to use to while away my dotage. To cap it all, as we’ll be having several guest vocalist’s we have to routine many of the songs in a number of keys. It’s tough for an old rocker.
However, as you can probably see from the pictures we had a blast. I’ll get there eventually.