A trip back to the UK from Spain is not unusual for me, but this week’s adventure is worthy of special mention. Some months ago, Bootleg Counterfeit Sweet were booked to appear at the Yesterday Once More 70’s festival in Brean, Somerset, on Sunday 23rd March. My partner Miki discovered it coincided with the weekend my beloved Derby County played our arch-rivals Nottingham Forest at home, and she very kindly gifted me a ticket for the game. Following this our gig was brought forward to the Saturday – catastrophe! But… all was not lost. It emerged that due to TV scheduling, the game would be played at the unearthly hour of 12.15. I quickly calculated that I would be able to attend the match, run to the train station, and jump on a train down to Bristol, there to rendezvous with our guitarist Mike and continue on to the gig, arriving in time to perform. To this end DCFC were very helpful and arranged for me to leave my bass guitar with security at the stadium, so I could grab it on the way out! But more about that later.
I arrived for my flight from Alicante in good time on the Thursday afternoon, and having cleared security, made my way to peruse the screens to get an idea of if I had time to grab a coffee before boarding. Oh, I had time all right. So much time, I could have grabbed the coffee in Brazil. Looking up at the screen, under the ‘Expected’ column it said, inexplicably “00.35”. It took my brain a while to get around this. Finally, with a sinking heart, I realised that, far from departing at 17.40, my flight wouldn’t even arrive in Alicante until a full seven hours later!
As I slumped down in a chair, I ran through this in my mind: The flight time is only 2 hours 20 minutes from the UK, so where the hell was the plane? Given that this was all happening while MH370 was missing, it was, I thought, a pertinent, if ultimately unspoken, question. It transpired that ‘technical problems’ with the original plane had led to them searching a replacement, which clearly, they had yet to succeed in doing. However, given the ongoing tragedy in the Far East, a long wait is preferable to an endless one. For our troubles, we were furnished with (gasp!) a €10 voucher with which to fill those long hours with comestibles of our choice. My voucher stretched to a sandwich, a coffee and a cookie, and even then I had to add 50 cents.
To cut a very long story short, I eventually touched down at East Midlands airport at 1.45am local time. I waited an hour, then caught a bus into Derby, which deposited me in a wind-chilled, deserted and darkened metropolis at around 3.30am. I walked the 4 miles to my Dad’s house in Mickleover. Call me daft, but I can’t countenance paying more money to enjoy the company of an East-European taxi driver on a 4 mile journey than it has just cost me to fly the 2,000 miles from Southern Spain.
The following day, I attended a meeting at the iPro stadium, home of Derby County, relating to a matter which I will expand on in later posts here. Friday evening I had a lovely time with my Daughter, her partner and my Grandson when I took them out for a meal at an American diner. Upon returning back to my Dad’s place, I also managed to fit new pick ups and bridge to my bass guitar before going to bed, and prayed it would function at the gig on Saturday night!
Saturday morning, Dad and I headed down to the stadium, for this, one of the great local derbies of English Football. To Derby and Forest fans, there is no bigger game than this one, fuelled by years of passion, and the unique love-hate relationship between the clubs, who have shared managers and players alike over time. So much so, that every time these two great clubs play each other, they compete for The Brian Clough Trophy named after the legendary man who managed them both, and gave both of them their greatest achievements. Today, they were managed by our ex-manager the reviled and diminutive Scot, Billy Davies, and we were managed by their ex (albeit short-lived) manager , Steve McClaren. The last time the two clubs met resulted in a 0-1 defeat for us, and also in Nigel Clough losing his job. What would happen today?
As I took my seat in the stand, the roar of the 33,000 washed over me, filled me up. Pride, sentiment, nostalgia and passion welled up inside me. A Football stadium is a modern Church. This is where we heal the hurt. The attendance today was the fifth-highest in the land, including the so-called ‘big boys’ in the Premiership. This town lives and breathes its football, it always has.
From the off, we were all over them. Within minutes we were 1-0 to the good, and the signs were there that Forest, inexplicably, were just not up for it. We ran them ragged, notching up a 5-0 win, Craig Bryson scoring a hat-trick, Johnny Russell a sweetly hit strike and Jeff Hendrick yet another. I had witnessed history. Until that day, no living Derby fan had seen a player score a hat-trick against Forest. It was our biggest win over our bitter rivals since 1898, when Derby and England legend Steve Bloomer scored a hat-trick! To complete the beautiful symmetry and humiliation of our neighbours, within a day Billy Davies had been dismissed as manager of Nottingham Forest. They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I fairly flew out of the ground at the final whistle, grabbing my bass from security, and jumped on the train. Fast track to 8.30 that evening and we took to the stage with Andy, a drummer I’d barely met, who handled the tricky BC Sweet show with aplomb, and we had a storming night. We drove back to London that night and spent Sunday rehearsing a new project. I just had time on Monday to do some voiceover work with Mike before heading up to Stansted for my thankfully on-time flight back to Spain.
What an enjoyable, productive weekend it was! Now it’s time to work on the songs we made a start on on Sunday in rehearsal, and also re-acquaint myself with the Witch Cross set as we prepare to play the Very ‘Eavy festival in Holland in April.
March 25, 2014 Posted by kevmoore | BC Sweet, Bootleg Counterfeit Sweet, Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | 70's, Brean, DCFC, Derby County, Glam rock, iPro stadium, NFFC, Nottingham Forest, Pride Park, Red Dogs, Seventies, The Rams, Yesterday Once More, YOM | Leave a comment
(Born: 20th May,1958, Chesterfield, England) is a Bass Player and Lead Vocalist. Formerly with Tubeless Hearts, he played with English Pop band Christie from 1990 to 2003, and featured in Graham Oliver’s Saxon on two European tours, before other commitments resulted in John Ward taking over vocal duties for the resulting Oliver/Dawson Saxon CD releases. Nevertheless, he appeared on Graham Oliver’s solo album End of an Era returning the favour after Oliver had appeared on Tubeless Hearts Three CD. READ MORE….
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