Departure Lounge

We’re delighted to be invited to play at Edinburgh’s finest club night – Departure Lounge
Departure Lounge has a reputation for playing the finest dancefloor jazz cross-genre music with outstanding guest DJs.
Friday is no exception featuring a headline DJ set from Biggabush and the usual antics from DJ’s Astroboy & Jimenez with percussion from Cammy.
We’ll be joined by several special guest musicians so expect Gecko 6 or Gecko 7 to be on stage at midnight! See Departure Lounge blog for more details here

This will be a great night so don’t miss it!

Departure Lounge Flyer

Get Discount Tickets in advance here!

Episode 2: even more tyred – running on empty

As moose pointed out, the rest of that first evening may be summarised under the general heading: ‘Beer’.  It’s amazing what euphoria can do.  By the time we realised we were actually on board (and had come to terms with the disappointment of not being able to drive to Dover and then back up from Calais with no sleep and little beer,) we had already missed dinner and were the last people left in the bar.  Then we did some calculations involving docking times and time differences and it turned out we had about four hours left to sleep. But hey, what did we care, we were on the boat!

The next morning dawned bright and clear and beautiful in a ‘you made it to the ferry and therefore to Europe in spite of everything’ sort of a way.  Kate and I headed down to the van and were the only ones on board when we were ordered to drive off (we were the last on, you’ll remember).  I told the guy that my friends weren’t here yet but he said they could walk off.  It occurred to me that the looks on everyone’s faces when they realised the van had gone might be quite funny, so I turned the key full of optimism and enjoying the sounds and sights of the busy port when it occurred to me that the one sound I wasn’t hearing was the engine kicking into life.  So I tried again… nothing.  The guy came over and shouted at me to get a move on and I tried again.  Silence.  Now he’s really pissed off with me because he assumes I’m stalling to let everyone get on the van but I assure him I’m trying and he walks away in disgust.

I keep trying the engine.  Nothing.

Two minutes later he came back and I asked him if he could tell me where the nearest garage was and he says ‘Ten kilometres.’

‘I’ve run out of diesel,’ I say.

He shrugs.  ‘It’s not my problem.’ Then he walks away again.  Three minutes after that (only soime of the others are now present,of course) a guy in one of those little tug trucks for moving the containers reverses up to the front of the van and hauls me off to an out of the way corner of the dock.  To cut a long story short, everyone else then turns up and there was much sniggering and, wierdly, even more relief that we’d made it on board in the first place. 

The guy from the boat came up to us again and I asked him if I could buy some diesel off him?  ‘No,’ he said, and walked away.  As is my wont, I have of course apologised profusely every time I have spoken to him so far and now he doesn’t seem angry, merely indifferent – perhaps ascending to the heady heights of ambivalence at times.

Se we were stuck. The only option, I thought, was to get our ‘motorcycle support team’ (Gav and Katie – more on that later)  to drive to the garage and buy fuel for us and then carry it back, but then they were out of phone range and to get out of the port they would go through customs and probably wouldn’t get back in and anyway it was too dangerous and even maybe illegal for them to drive with fuel in a little can and… You get the picture.  A few more minutes of standing around went past when the guy suddenly drove up in a dinky wee car and offered to give me a lift to the petrol station.  You could have knocked me over with the fumes from an empty diesel tank.

So I got in and we got a big twenty litre fuel can from their garage (one of the green ones that they call Jerry Cans in old war movies – it goes perfectly with my camouflage shorts and white/blue legs which reminded me that I must look like an utter fanny to this guy, sitting in that wee car in my full holiday kit and not having thought to get enough fuel to get us off the damn boat… Oh, did I mention that I had to borrow money off of Moose because I didn’t even have any currency?  It wasn’t exactly my finest hour.  But anyway, we got the diesel. When we got back, of course, the engine still wouldn’t go so we had to get a mechanic from their workshops who found the handpump to prime the engine – you’ll have gathered that we are all keen car mechanics in our spare time – and after much pumping and turning and expiring engine noises, we were sorted!  Apparently, the workshop was norrmally closed on a Saturday so we were ridiculously lucky, plus, if it hadn’t been for our guy’s kindness in the face of our incompetence we’d never have made it out of the port until about five hours and several expensive taxi rides later.  His name is Henk and he was going to his two daughters to Austria for their holidays the next week.  I hope you had a great time, Henk and thanks for the help.  

So we were off! 

Ah, but hang on, we still had no spare tyre and we had a long way to drive before Monday so we thought we’d best get a new one.  That’ll be really easy on a Saturday in the middle of the industrialised Netherlands, er, right…?

The European Tour – Episode 1: ‘Tyred and emotional’

Friday 13th (yes, I know, we should have guessed) July:

The tour begins...

We had to be in Hull for 7.30pm so the guys came round to make the last pick up – me and Kate – at about 2pm. I was still tying up some loose ends so we didn’t get away until 2.25pm. My bad, but it didn’t seem too serious. There were six of us on board (Me, Moose, Hughbert, Kate, Rosina and J-B). It wasn’t dark, we didn’t need sunglasses and we still had more than five hours to drive to Hull and more than six and a half hours before the ferry was due to leave. We were making good time, just South of Berwick, when the date caught up with us.

One of the rear tyres blew out (actually a good chunk of the side wall came off) and by the time Moose wrestled the van to a halt we were parked up on the grass verge with a smoking tyre so hot that we couldn’t touch it for about twenty minutes. Then the fun really started. The spare was right at the back of the rear lockup box so we had to take everything out of the van: the PA, the drum kit, amps, guitars, double bass, keyboards, tens, chairs, cuddly toy, case of champagne… – all of it out on the grass, shuddering as the juggernauts hammered past. And then it began to rain. So we found a plastic sheet and covered the stuff with that, but the speed of the lorries roaring past kept pulling the sheet off so some of the stuff began to get quite wet. Meanwhile we had established that the jack we’d been provided with didn’t look up to the job (as a matter of fact it was, but more on that later) and we couldn’t figure out the jack point so we called in the professionals. The RAC were there within about forty minutes and helped us change the tyre without making use feel too useless. One CD and many ‘thank you’s later we were loaded up and back on the road.

The tour stops...

So now the time was really tight and we were all starting to get a little nervous. We made it to Newcastle in decent enough time given the delays, but by then it was after five. Moose was back at the wheel and he’s doing his best, but of course the delay meant that we hit Newcastle in rush hour on a Friday – oh, and did I mention the roadworks? One hour later (in a stretch of road that should have taken ten minutes) we clear the Angel of the North, the traffic breaks up and we get up to speed again. Then J-B needs to stop for a piss.

The tyre and the damage done...

So we stopped and changed drivers and got going again. Course, by then it’s about 6.30 and our chance of making it to the ferry was running towards the horizon with its arse of fire. So we do the only logical thing… we ask if anyone in the van is religious. No one is. Damn. No divine intercession. No sudden but very temporary engine faults in the boat. No sudden but brief storm forecast to affect the harbourmouth at Hull. There’s just the eight of us, equipment for a European tour, half a spare tyre, a full set of very expensive tickets, a faint hope that they might let us on if we got there before they sailed, a two hour drive and a van with the cornering capacity of a blancmange.

Miracle of miracles, we got on the final stretch of motorway by about 7.30. It seemed like we might make it by 8.30pm. The checkout colsed at 7.30pm, but like I said, we decided to hit and hope. Fortunately, despite the van handling, we didn’t hit anything and we still had our hope, but then I looked down at the fuel guage and it appeared to be going into freefall. (By that stage I was driving. I can’t remember why or if we stopped again but I suppose we must have. I suspect French bladder control.) What had appeared to be a light that said ‘just to let you know Marty, we’ll need more fuel in 60 miles or so’ became, within the space of ten minutes, ‘Hah! Screw you!’ and indeed dangerously close to ‘Urgh, I die…’ We had a quick confab up front and decide to push on. By then we were in the outskirts of Hull and it was well after 8pm. We didn’t see much traffic on the way through town (it may have been there, but, well…) and we made it to the ferry port at 8.20pm, and pulled into a deserted bay. Just then, a guy comes running across to us to tell us we were in the wrong place so I engaged reverse, nearly blinded by the fuel warning light, and attempted to get out of there and keep alive flame of hope that was now sputtering asthmatically. And then he shouted after us: ‘It’s alright mate, there’s no rush.’ I nearly got out and kissed him.

So we found the traffic queue for the check in desk and there was one car and a motorhome in front of us. And they had just closed the gates behind us. I switched off the engine because by now I was having to apply factor 15 to my face due to the glare from the light. I waited until the car had gone through. The motorhome rolled forward and still I didn’t move. They messed about for a bit with him and then waved me up. I clenched my bowels and turned the starter and… we were off! Rumbling casually up to the desk. I switched off the engine again. It pays to be green. Five minutes later – there was some issue with cancelled cabins due to us being so late – we were handed the boarding passes and I turned the key, waited for the little orange coil to go out and… the engine kicked into life again. So I drove up and round the corner and there was all sorts of whooping in the back and being the eternal optimist I was saying to myself, ‘There’s no point celebrating yet, we still have twenty yards to go…’ But the euphoria was infectious and even when I was asked to reverse onto the boat (which meant a three point turn on the dock and the further possibility of stalling/conking out) I had only a flicker of insane and bowel rendering fear. But we made it. I pulled on the handbrake as they turned the motors on to raise the back door. That’s how close we were to not getting on the ferry.

The thing is, as you will understand from my next post, it was actually even closer than that…

(moose) I don’t remember ever enjoying a pint as much as the one we got on the ferry (or the 5 after that one…)

Made it!

Redbourn Festival

Another weekend and we can’t wait to play another fantastic event in our busiest summer yet.

Following on from the Skye Festival, Leith Festival, Huy Jazz Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival we’re heading for Herts to play the very first Redbourn Festival where we join Feeder, The Ordinary Boys, The Automatic and Dirty Pretty Things on one of two stages.

35000 peeps are expected and we’re onstage around 2.15pm!

Big thanks to Paul at Fester Management for his support in booking us

Full details HERE

Redbourn Festival graphic

Am Fuaran Bar

Once again we join our incredibly talented pals Amplifico on their annual Highland Safari.

There will be much music, merriment and camping so do try and make it along.
FREE ENTRY!

Highland Safari Flyer

Saturday 25th August Am Fuaran Bar, Altandhu.

Google maps:

http://maps.google.com/?q=IV26+2YR,+UK&ie=UTF8&ll=58.057538,-5.417933&spn=0.011262,0.029182&z=15&iwloc=addr&om=1

OR:

http://uk.local.yahoo.com/Highland/Acheninver/Public_Houses/1002942808-e-10330.html

Saucy Mary’s – Highland Tour

Once again we join our incredibly talented pals Amplifico on their annual Highland Safari.

There will be much music, merriment and camping so do try and make it along.
FREE ENTRY!

Highland Safari Flyer

Friday 24th August
Saucy Mary’s , Skye

Saucy Mary’s Lodge & Cafe Bar
& Glenarroch B&B
Kyleakin,
IV41 8PL

Tel: 01599 534845
Fax: 01599 534033

http://www.saucymarys.com/

Identity Parade – CANCELLED

Unfortunately this gig has been CANCELLED.

Apologies if you had planned to come along. : (

Edinburgh’s legendary music showcase Identity Parade returns during the Edinburgh Fringe at the very special C Soco temporary venue on the Cowgate.
Sharing the bill are two of Edinburgh’s finest bands: My Radio and the amazing The Dead Beat Club.

Where: C Soco, Cowgate, Edinburgh

When: Thursday 23rd August, 9.30pm

How much: £6.50

ID Parade Flyer

Acoustic Edinburgh Festival

We’ve been so busy that we’ve not had a chance to stop and update our blog with news of the European tour in July and last weekend’s multiple gigs at Kelburn Castle
August is another busy month with several Edinburgh Fringe Festival gigs, next weekend’s Redbourn Festival and once again joining the stunning Amplifico on the Highland Safari 2007 Highland tour.
First off though is tomorrow night’s acoustic treat where we’re proud to be headlining the first event of this year’s Acoustic Edinburgh Festival with a full set of Gecko 3 un-plugged.
This tops off an evening of incredible talent from the UK and USA with sets from:Nicola Devine, Edwina Hayes, Griselda Sanderson and Damon Thomson
Tickets available from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Box Office or at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Acoustic Edinburgh Festival Flyer
Doors: 9pm
Tickets: £7 / £6
Venue: Medina (below Negociants), Lothian Street, Edinburgh.
Date: Tuesday 7th August 2007
See you there!

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