Always Look on the Seaside of Life

I have to say that Iím a bit disappointed with myself at the moment. Whyís that Milky? I hear both of you cry out in alarm. Well, funny you should ask, but Iím a bit disappointed in myself at the moment because my usual ability to persuade, cajole and very occasionally bully diary entries out of the touring personnel is having little impact on this current band of gypsies. Gordon and HHJJ are of course exceptions as are new contributors Will and Halfy Jepson. But as for the rest of Ďem, well, Iíve never heard so many different excuses for not putting pen to paper or index finger to laptop. The upshot of which being that whilst I sit here at home on the second of only two days off on the UK tour, I am racking my tired brain attempting to remember what happened yesterday and make some literary sense of it all as opposed to getting the early night I promised I would. What was that quote about there being no rest for the wicked?

How do I begin to describe yesterdays shenanigans to all you Billies out there? Well, three major events occurred in Brighton, one very good and one not so good, and one good enough to cheer even a road weary old pro like me up after the initial not so good event. So, as Julie Andrews once sang, letís start at the very beginning, cos itís a very good place to start, innit!

Step off the Love Bus with a degree of trepidation as my ancient memories of today's venue are not good. Brighton Event (thatís the name of the venue by the way) used to be called The Top Rank, and as it was basically designed as a Disco for teenage Sharons and Traceys to dance around their handbags, it has never been an ideal place for a gig because of itís thoughtfully placed DJ consoles and an abundance of narrow stairways down onto the dancefloor. Venues are often renamed, and for various reasons. You would expect this to happen when theyíre completely refurbished and have the latest technology installed, which in practice usually means a new coat of black paint slapped over the 20 coats of old black paint and the precarious hanging up of a couple of moving lights to replace the old mirror ball. A more disturbing theory and one that I subscribe to, is that they are simply renamed to catch the odd unsuspecting old roadie off guard, who turning up expecting to play at this ďnewĒ venue finds them self sitting staring at the same piece of graffiti carved into the toilet door that they recall staring at 10 years ago, although by now of course there are 20 more coats of graffiti proof paint on the door and the lock still doesnít work! Anyway, I digress slightly, my apologies. The Brighton Event is slightly different because it really has had a major refurbishment since my last visit and although some aspects of that are for the good, the toilet situation for instance, somebody has made a serious error in their choice of interior designers here. I suspect that one of the corporate management team who are so far removed from reality had vaguely heard of the new trend for European style bars etc and set to work hiring the first European they could find who could do the job. Unfortunately, the one they chose was the same person who designed every appallingly tacky German Discotheque from the 1970ís through to the late 1990ís. You know the ones I mean, with half an American car sticking out of the wall and murals of dead rockers painted in silver on the purple walls by people who failed the entrance exams for art school. You donít have to look too hard even now to find examples of their work all over Europe and they have inspired many imitators worldwide too, all with equally bad taste. On this occasion the real eyecatching features were the 60ís B Movie spaceship DJ console taking up all the area that a you might normally expect to be provided for a sound mixing desk and a hideous and elaborate structure like nothing I have ever witnessed before, from which hung the Disco lighting rig, both carefully installed to create the maximum of inconvenience to us lot. So it was that after a full 10 minutes or more of swearing and moaning we got down to the serious business of turning this into a gig and after much thinking, a hearty breakfast and the help of the top local crew (including my namesake, Milky from Brighton who I hadnít seen for a while) that is exactly what we did and that concludes the not too good part of the day.

The next event was a good Ďun and no mistake because we discovered that Susie and Susie our previous dinner ladies (and previous diary writers) were at the Enormodome next door serving up their stuff to someone else. So, after soundcheck and dinner served by our new dinner ladies, Heidi and Kylie, I popped next door to say hello and get a big hug, which put a smile on my face for the first time all day pretty much.

After that, nothing could go wrong and there followed the other very good event which was a top gig from the lads of course.

And let me think........... what else is there to say about Brighton? Well apart from being a top seaside place, there are a lot of very lovely ladies there too.

TTFN, Milky x

David Millward