Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

5 flights, 3 days, 2 cars, one dead bass player……..

Hopefully a big dressing room, then...

It started off simply enough. Leaving the house at 9am on Friday morning,  I made my way to Alicante airport (with a brief stop in IKEA Murcia to pick up some picture frames).

My first flight was to take me West, to the Spanish capital, Madrid, where I would have a 3 hour layover awaiting a connection, improbably, to Blibao on the Northern Coast.  Kicking my heels in Madrid, I had my fingers crossed that the Bilbao flight would be on time, as I only had 45 minutes with which to connect with my final flight of the day to Frankfurt. Nobody can say our promoter doesn’t have a sense of humour.

View from my second hotel room window in Plauen

Nice 'n' cosy - and barely slept in....

Luckily, that plan seemed to come together, and I arrived in Frankfurt around 10 o’clock at night, with the other guys flying in from the UK  around a half an hour later. Had we arrived at our destination? Well, not really. A 3 hour drive awaited us, which rapidly turned into a 4 hour drive due to autobahn closures. The hotel didnt have 24 hour reception, and luckily our driver had had the presence of mind to check in advance, and asked them to leave a key outside. It would have been amusing if it hadn’t been so late, as we stumbled about in the dark, once we’d enetered the hotel, trying to find the other keys, after having failed to find the light switch. My head hit the pillow around 2.30 am – and left it again around 9 as we had to get up for breakfast and move to another , admittedly more opulent, hotel for the second night.

Jeff discovers we get a free drink on check-in

Salvation was at hand in the form of a whirlpool and sauna in the basement, which the management kindly opened up for our exclusive use. Time that perhaps would have been more prudently spent running through the numbers was instead spent wallowing in the waters!

Environmentally-friendly town, then.

Plauen's busy tram terminus

From my halting German, this seems to mark the site of the first workers protest against the DDR. Hooray!

We also managed to spend an hour or two out in the town of Plauen, a charming, well kept place with trams running through it, and some nice sidewalk cafes – full of Germans braving the autumnal chill. Although it was pleasantly sunny, my defences are low after having lived in Spain for so long, and I persuaded the lads that we should take our coffees behind protective glass!

I know it looks lovely, but it was too bloody cold to sit out!

Simon Kay, Drums, Fos Foster, Guitars. Instruments not included.

Obligatory arty-farty shot

Far from being a typical DDR 'clone-town', Plauen had some lovely architecture

A young German fan is delighted to get Jeff's autograph

A frowning, inanimate object (the one on the right)


Plauen had its share of interesting buildings and monuments, and I was glad I’d brought my camera along.  5 o’clock saw us heading for soundcheck. We were opening the show, and were therefore the last band to check, which was perfect, all the settings would remain as we left them! I was debuting my Dan Electro semi-acoustic bass with Christie, and was running it through my Hartke bass attack pedal, so I was reasonably confident of maintaining my signature sound.  So often, these multiple bills with hired backline prove to be more an exercise of battling against the odds than anything else, but tonight was a dream, crystal clear monitoring, a sweet bass sound, and a great onstage mix. The crowd must’ve sensed we were enjoying ourselves, too, as we really seemed to storm the show! As this is probably the last Christie show of the 2010 season, it was great to go out on a high.

Jeff's Stratocaster relaxes backstage.....

Simon sorts his kit out at the sound check

Eric Faulkner's Rollers take the stage

BC Sweet's Pete Phipps on extra-curricular drumming duties with The Rollers

Jeff chats backstage with one of our loyal fans

After our performance, we relaxed backstage and had dinner, courtesy of some excellent catering, and swapped stories with our mates who were waiting to perform. Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, Sailor’s Grant, Henry, Phil and Nick, and Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers. It was also quite funny to see Pete from my other band BC Sweet – he was standing in for Eric’s drummer, and did a great job, with no rehearsals!  I’ll be seeing Pete again in a couple of weeks for a BC Sweet show in the UK.  One of our fans, going by the name of sweetyglitter(!) who follows all the glam rock era bands, offered to film our set, so hopefully I’ll have a clip up from the show in a couple of weeks.

Photos by me, in case you were wondering!

We were ferried back to the hotel following the show, with only The Dozys left onstage, and continued our conversations in the hotel bar.  We were set to leave the hotel at 3 am, so sleep seemed a little pointless. I relaxed a little in the room and then had a shower to try and boost my energy!

Simon looks pensive......

Heading off into the night along the autobahn to Frankfurt, we braced ourselves for a long drive. The other lads needed to fly at 8 am. Although I was with them, my flight didn’t leave until midday, so I had the prospect of four hours alone in Frankfurt airport!   It’s amazing how things change though……….45 kilometers from Frankfurt, the hire car started to misbehave and our driver became a little restless. Eventually, with smoke pouring from the bonnet, we pulled over onto the hard shoulder as one of the con rods exploded through the side of the engine onto the ground. Our shiny new Renault had died. It would ‘va-va-va-voom’ no more.

...while Fos sees the funny side

Standing in the freezing cold at the side of the autobahn at 7 in the morning, wearing a hi-vis jacket and erecting a little plastic triangle 50 meteres up the road to stop a truck from ploughing into us, I pondered on the glamour of our profession……………….

I'm not sure what it does, but I'm fairly certain it's supposed to be INSIDE the engine.

Jeff, inspired by Fos, also sees the funny side. Simon contemplates suicide.

Needless to say, the lads missed their flight. A breakdown truck came and dropped us at a nearby depot, from where a taxi charged us (well, our promoter) a small fortune to ferry us to the airport. As luck would have it, we’d all been booked with Lufthansa instead of one of these cheapie ‘we take no responsibility whatsover for yo’ ass’ airlines.  As they have done in the past, Lufthansa came through with flying colours, and without question, bumped the lads up to the next flight to Manchester at midday. Needless to say, the promoter was happy, and we didn’t hesitate to point out what a good idea it is to fly Lufthansa for just such eventualities!

So we left Frankfurt around the same time, albeit to different destinations. I landed in Madrid around 2pm, and braced myself to spend a further 5 hours in that airport.  By the time I had caught my next flight and was coming into land in Alicante at around 8pm, I was unravelling. A mild headache had blossomed into a full-blown migraine and I was fighting extreme nausea and exhaustion. I could barely get into the courtesy bus to take me to my car. A woman from a family who shared the bus with me, greeted me, and I must have looked like a drug addict or an alcoholic or something, because I could barely mumble a reply, so scared I was of offering projectile vomiting as an alternative form of greeting, which, even in the age of Reality television, is unlikely to catch on.

I stumbled out of the bus at the car park, alternatively looking for a) somewhere to throw up and b) some way to function.  After getting my key and transferring my luggage, I sat in the car wondering what to do. Speaking to Miki at home, she forbade me to drive back and insisted I find a hotel. I seemed to remember that the services near the airport had a hotel attached, and prayed I was right.  Driving the kilometer or so to it proved very hard indeed, and I was constantly speeding up, in order to get there quicker, and slowing down, ready to jump out and throw up.  I must have been driving like a schizophrenic.

Finally, I made it. There was indeed a hotel, and the look of gratitude on my face that followed the sallow and resolute death mask of a man determined not to toss his cookies, must have convinced the concierge that I’d escaped from the local nuthouse. To his lasting credit, he allowed me to have a key and I trudged up to my room.  I managed to send some kind of nondescript text to Miki to tell her to call, and I lay on the bed with the phone balanced on the side of my head, I couldn’t even hold it in my hand. When she called me, I think she was convinced I was dying!

Another day, another headache, another hotel room.....sweet respite in Alicante

I slept for about four hours before I had the strength to look for the two precious aspirin that I knew were somewhere in my bag, and then I slept for another six hours after that.

Even the following morning, as I drove the two and a half hours home, my headache was threatening to return.  These trips, all for a mere 40 minutes onstage, are a killer.

They say that a man who repeatedly does the same thing expecting a different outcome is clinically insane.

Will I do it again?  Yes.

So colour me crazy!

Kev Moore

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

On the road again

The German Summer....

“On the face of it, it looks like an easy weekend ..” I thought, as I glanced at the itinerary sent through from the promoter’s office. Little did I know! I set off from home around 11 a.m. on Friday, missing the visit of Miki’ s relatives entirely.  Leaving behind the Spanish sun, but hoping for a little German summer, I boarded my plane in Alicante , landing in Nuremberg around 5.30 p.m.

Met by not only our driver, but a torrential rainstorm and a complete absence of any summer, I was then driven 2 and a half hours south to Munich airport where we were to rendezvous with the rest of the guys from Christie , flying in from Manchester. Their plane was delayed, and they finally came through the arrivals hall at 10.30 p.m. We then discovered that we had to drive North for a further 4 and a half hours to near Leipzig, in order to check in at our hotel. It was an admittedly very nice hotel, but my head didn’t hit the pillow until 4.30 a.m. – a full eleven hours after landing in Nuremberg.

Simon and Fos help themselves to free beer backstage - no change there, then....

Fos and I opted to forego the arduous task of getting up for any kind of breakfast, and ordered a lunchpack for noon.  A couple of hours chilling at the hotel, where we welcomed our old friends from Sailor, and we were then whisked away for a soundcheck at the open air venue in Borna. We were also joined on the bill by 70’s band Hello.

Me and Simon, post-gig

Chatting to Sailor backstage we were made aware of Henry’s, (one of their keyboard players) good fortune. In the years prior to Sailor, he had been a part of a prog rock outfit called Gringo, who recorded one album. Apparently Eminem decided to use one of Henry’s synth lines from it as a sample on his latest Worldwide best-selling album!  As the impeccably-spoken Henry put it when I congratulated him, : “Yes, I’m a mean mother f***er!”

Fos and the irrepressible Henry

It’s always great to catch up with old friends on the road, and the members of our own band are no exception! I don’t get to see Jeff, Fos, and Simon as often as I’d like, and these weekends present the perfect opportunity to do so.  The only drawback of course, being that most of those hours are spent on the autobahn!

Grant Serpell, Sailor drummer and all-round top bloke

Phil and Henry pounding the Nickelodeon (Mark 7)

Following a great gig, I went to  bed around 1 a.m., as I wanted at least one chance to sample the hotel breakfast , and we had to be on the road for 10, in order to drive the length of the country again so I could catch my 5.10 p.m. flight from Munich to Alicante. The lads, travelling with me, had it worse though. Flying from Munich also, they had a further 4 hours to wait after I left before they were Manchester bound.  To paraphrase Charlie Watts, we had one hour on stage and 47 hours hanging around! But never fear, I’ll be doing it all again with BC Sweet in a couple of weeks time!

Square peg:Round hole. Jeff tries to manoeuvre the guitars through the chairs at Munich airport, much to Simon's amusement

Kev Moore

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , | 2 Comments

My Family meets er…my family!

Mr.Moore Snr, with Robert Lindsay

My sister happened to notice that My Family and Citizen Smith star Robert Lindsay was going to be in Derby at Waterstones for a book signing the other day, and thought it a good opportunity for her and my Dad to go down and present him with the portrait that Miki has done of him in his wonderful role as Sir Edward Pellew from the Hornblower TV series, along with a copy of my Fan Fayre for the Commons People CD that celebrates Derby County. Robert is a staunch Derby County fan, and now joins Ex-Goodie and fellow Derby fan Tim Brooke-Taylor as celebrity owners of my disc!  Our mutual friend Grant Serpell, the drummer from 70’s band Sailor, delivered it to him some weeks ago.

Robert Lindsay as Sir Edward Pellew by Miki

I’m only sorry we couldn’t deliver them both in person, but living here in Spain makes that difficult. Nevertheless, I’m extremely happy that Robert got to see the wonderful portrait Miki did of him. His words upon receiving it were “That’s absolutely marvellous! I shall treasure that.”

Don’t forget, you can buy Fan Fayre for the Commons People by clicking on the link on the right, and you can download for FREE my new solo album The Long Walk Home by clicking on the appropriate link also.

Kev Moore

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Artwork, Music, Rock, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Museum pieces!

Kev and Marc share an amusing moment......

Kev and Marc share an amusing moment......

Last weekend saw me take another 4 flights in 2 days. The routing this time took me ALICANTE-MUNICH-MUNSTER-PALMA-ALICANTE, so something of a European tour!  The reason for this elaborate flight plan was to enable me to join up with the rest of BC Sweet to perform in the German town of Gronau, just 10 k from the Dutch border.

It was no ordinary gig however, this one took place at the Rock’n’Pop Museum, a great idea, and a wonderful coup for a small town like Gronau.

Altogether now....

Altogether now....

As well as displaying historical artefacts and a chronology of popular music, beginning in the 18th. century, this great venue has another trick up its sleeve. It’s a working museum, which means people can come here and learn how to make music, and the processes involved in doing so.

putting the bass in....

putting the bass in....

Needless to say, the audience in such a town were extremely appreciative, and coupled with the fact that we were on with our old mates Sailor, a good time was had by all!

Kev Moore

Playing to the crowd

Playing to the crowd

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , | 4 Comments

Germany Double

Jeff and Kev

Jeff and Kev

A quick weekend away with CHRISTIE allowed me to hang out with a lot of old friends, who also happen to be part of Pop history.  We did 2 shows, in Eberswalde and Landsberg, and had a great time with T. Rex, Sailor, Middle of the Road, and Dozy, Beaky Mick & Tich. handling guitar duties for T.Rex was my great friend Graham Oliver of Saxon, and on the kit was the last drummer of the Bolan era, Paul Fenton, who also just so happened to be the Christie drummer from 1972-75!  Jeff and I were well pleased to see our old mates, and we got Paul up on stage at the first show to play “Yellow River” with us, the first time he’d done so for around 35 years!

It was also great to see Sailor stalwarts Phil, Henry and Grant, who has just returned to gigging after a nasty hand injury. These trips can be endurance tests, particularly with the flights and road trips, but the shows and the chance to spend time with friends more than makes up for that.

My next sojourn away will be in around 10 days, when BC Sweet descend on an unsuspecting Gronau, in Germany.

Kev Moore

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment