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Pasties and tea at 120 km/h

“Spoons… stick the kettle on”… “Righto Skipper… would you care for a bite to eat… sausage roll, pasty, Doritos?”… “Ahh yes… a hot pasty and a cup of tea please” “Coming up….err… how many watts shall I set the microwave to..700? “Err.dunno” “Lets try full power… (Click) …your pasties are now going round and round….. how much further to the hotel?” “Satnav says an hour and ten” “OK…we’ll open some more wine then….(ding)..Hurrah… your food is done… tea on the way skipper”…. OK, so yes, we are behaving like kids…. but… well… why not? You see I could just write a blow-by-blow account of all the gigs we’ve done…. but…. well, that is the stuff you see. My mad ramblings are usually to do with the stuff that happens in the other 80% of the time we spend on the road… Well, we’d kinda got used to the bus the night liner company had loaned us and, well you know: it’s hard to go back once you’ve tried something isn’t it? However, with mine being built to the specific requirements we’d given them, it was going to be a bit different from the one to which we had become accustomed. Lets just say I was a little nervous about how it was going to end up. We’d initially chatted to the builders and described what kind of thing we wanted. It was going to be a complete custom one off conversion; but with no drawings or whatever, we didn’t actually know what it was going to be like until we saw it on completion. So the longer it took them, the more we got used to theirs thinking we would have been better off to just ask for exactly the same thing. But that would have been boring. Six long weeks passed and then came the phone to say it was finished. As soon as we saw it, any apprehension went straight out of the window; the guys have done an amazing job in interpreting what we wanted. Definitely worth the wait. It’s maiden voyage covered some 650 miles and so gave us plenty of time to get used to it. The general consensus is that it rocks and the other two members of the entourage are quite content to travel in there for hours at a time. It was however a stroke of genius on the part of the builders to locate the main power cut-off for the back by the driver; for any hideous choice of music coming from the back can be wiped out by the flick of a switch!! This has already been put into practice. The only other indifference so far has been which colour to set the lights on.. ahh the choices you have to make! Ok, so enough about that, I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually! Of course with all the excitement over the last six weeks, it feels like it has flown by. I think we were all ready to be out again after a little break and we’ve had some cracking gigs. The most notable for probably all three of us was the 100 Club in London…. there’s something about that place. A fantastic turnout and what a great audience it was. You see for us, this is where we really notice things. As performers (in the loosest sense of the word), we feed off what we get from the audience. You guys kinda give us the fuel / energy to put on a show. Of course the venue will always have its influence but it is ultimately you who determine what kind of gig you get. If you’re having a good time, so are we. So there you go! We did actually venture out to a couple of new places on this tour aswell. The Studio in Hartlepool is a cracking venue and with a full room, we had a lot of fun there. This was also the night when our very own ‘lady-bass’ was left slightly bemused by the following very unique compliment: “I’m a bass player and even though you’re female, I still thought you were really good” Uhhh???? I mean what are you supposed to say to that? We do meet the most interesting people… and it’s not only Jo! Now before I continue, if you are of a nervous disposition or easily offended, then don’t read any further… “Good night mate, enjoyed it. So what are you doing for a job then… do they give you time off to go on tour n all that? OR “Is this CD any good? Is it like what you did tonight? Well I’ll take your word for it. ..coz if I get it home and it aint I’ll come to another gig and break your bl****ng arms” OR “Sorry, bar’s closed. I know you’ve been on stage all night but you shoulda ordered before we closed” Well that’s why we love every minute of it…. And if we could would we change it? Not a chance! More ramblings coming very soon! In the meantime thanks to everyone who came out to support us on this last run of dates and for those unforgettable moments that keep us all firmly on the ground!! Aynsley

Aynsley’s Tour Blog

…And so after our first four days on the road, we all get a few days off to recuperate! Much needed it is too….. this touring business is quite strenuous when you’ve not done it for a while you know. Well it was certainly good to be back on the road again…. After a few too many mince pies and wines it was what we all needed to get us back in shape. However, although we managed to stay away from the mince pies during this first leg, the same cannot be said of the aforementioned liquid. When the hospitality is that good you don’t argue do you? Well we don’t anyway! So…. to the gigs then….. We started off at The Half Moon in Putney. Now, the last time I was there I was doing a support slot........ I was about 19 I think and it was also the very first gig where I used my 335 – I had bought it the previous week. Still not sure if it was any good, any doubts were soon cast aside during the sound check when a certain Mr Otis Grand came and grabbed it out of my hands shouting “Give me that guitar, where did you get this?” whilst noodling away on my new toy. Next followed a decisive “I’ll swap you that Strat for it now” as he pointed to his main guitar for the evening. “Well actually, I already have one and I quite like this new one so… err… no thanks, Mr Grand” ….Looking a bit pissed off he wondered off letting me know that if I changed my mind he would be in the dressing room. Blah blah blah…..needless to say by the end of the night his offer had increased to more than one Strat, three if I remember correctly! Ha ha! Well, I still have it and so once again it graced the stage at this wonderful venue for a very decent crowd, especially considering it was Wednesday AND the Football was on!!! We had a cracking time and I think the fact we hadn’t played for so long and were that excited came across fairly clearly. Jo and Rich had obviously been shopping in preparation for the forthcoming tour and entered the stage with their new gear…. So two days later, I decided I fancied a bit of retail therapy too! What became quite apparent is that we’re all quite good at spending… in a very short space of time. Thursdays schedule took us to Bilston where we played the Robin with support from Dani Wilde. Just signed to Ruf, she is doing a few openers on the tour and on this first night; it was easy to see why. Blessed with one hell of a voice, this young lass did a cracking job. The crowd were fantastic and we should be back there before the end of the year. Climbing aboard what is now known as the ‘pimp wagon’ on Friday morning, we headed for Wales to Tregaron. With my own bus being a little delayed in the building process, the company have loaned me one of theirs until mine is done. Managing to make it through a whole box set of ‘The Office’ Jo and me chilled in the back whilst Mr Spoons took the wheel and got us to the venue for about 6. The kind of place where you’re never quite sure if anyone will come because it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. However, we walked on stage to a great turnout and had lots of fun, people were up dancing from the first note and never sat down until we had done. Being a hotel, we stayed there for the night and woke to a lovely breakfast. The only downer was when the cleaning lady started freaking out at us because we hadn’t cleared the rooms by 11am…. I mean nobody told us! So, barely dressed, the key in the door turns (no knock) and in she trys to wander “It’s gone 12 now… I need to bring in my Hoover isn’t it” It later transpired that we were the only three people staying in the bloody place! Other than that, we had a lovely stay and took a drive through the Welsh countryside once again to the last gig of our little weekend jaunt – The Citadel at St. Helens. I really love this place, I can’t remember ever having a bad night there …always a great audience, turnout and the atmosphere is awesome. This time, my amp didn’t pack up after the third number like it did last time… for this time, I was plugged into my trusty old Marshall you see!!! Once again, we had Dani open up the evening’s entertainment before we wondered on to perform our new show. Ohh… did I not say?…. Yes, we have been messing around a little with the set and a couple of toones… but that’s something you’ll have to come and check! So, come and see us soon for some ‘ludicrously good’ fun (Nestle Clusters… isn’t it…) Aynsley

Radio 2 February 4th

Hi all,

Just a quick note to let you know that Radio 2 will be airing the final track from the Maida Vale sessions Aynsley and the band did last June. It will go out on the PAUL JONES SHOW on 4th February along with the latest gigs.

The Rigors Of Life On The Road

And so once again it begins…… “Ah good evening Mr L… tell me, will there be any Stevie Ray Vaughan numbers in your set this evening, I err… understand you have on more than the one occasion partaken in the playing of said Stevie Ray Vaughan numbers…. And what gems of the aforementioned guitarist will you be furnishing us with tonight? ….. For I have made a special trip to witnesseth what I have heard is a great faithful rendition of the -------------------- (please insert favourite version of song here) version of ----------------- (please insert title of favourite SRV song here)?” Or maybe… “How many’s in’t band like? (Asked whilst talking to the entire band) “Three?” (Looks around surrounding area) “Where’s third one then?” (Looking at Jo) “What do you do love? Do you sell T-shirts and all that?” Next follows a stern look from Jo….whilst Rich and me explain that Jo IS the third member of the band. “Aww… right” (pauses, looks slightly confused) “What do you do then… are you one of them backing singers?” Or possibly…. “I thought I would come up and give you my views on this evenings music. My wife and I came along from the blurb we saw written in the program. As a music lover of just about every kind of music and also like yourself, a musician I thought you would appreciate some constructive comments we have about your set. Being a fan for many years of blues guitar playing, I loved the opening to your set with the instrumental you did… although my wife did find it slightly louder than she would have liked. You then played upon the many influences we could hear and did what I could recognise as a very similar number to one I play myself… although a slightly alternative version. Your first set was very good. Now to your second set. From the opening notes of the first song, we were very disappointed. We came expecting blues but after discussing it, both my wife and myself found we could not relate to this altogether noisier and more aggressive sound. You played more chords than I myself would have put into this genre of music. We were also disturbed repeatedly by the people dancing in front of us and singing along to your songs. Sitting at the front, this is not something we are used to. Again, my wife did on more than one occasion comment that is was too loud…. something you may want to address at future evenings. As if all this was not enough, you then took it upon yourself to commence playing cover songs. I have never been a fan of Deep Purple and I hate this song. My wife agrees that your choice of covers was second rate. We should not have to sit through a song like this. We felt we should alert you to these points in order that you can address them for future gigs. Now, if you would like to sign the albums for us,….. thankyou.. We will see you next time” Frequently…. “Is bass player coming separate? Who’s girlfriend are you?” Or what about….. “Ahh yes, I see you have there the erm… classic Jim Dunlop Crybaby Wah pedal. I myself have one too, although mine is the slightly more expensive deluxe model that has the extra capacitor added to give a warmer tone. I would highly recommend you to try one. Also, there you have the 50 watt Marshall. What year is it? ….I see, you’re not sure… well what is the serial number, I can tell you from that….. Yes, I believe that year they changed the circuitry on the input stage and were using a different brand of speaker cloth. Mine is a year older with the slightly superior Marshall Logo, I am led to believe this can improve the sound. Maybe I will bring it along for you to try when you’re next in the area. Can I ask what brand of strings you are using? ….. ahh… I haven’t tried those. I use the Jimi Hendrix signature series. I think you would really like them. I have one more question which you may be able to help with. Well, I was playing along to my tapes the other day in my dining room…. I normally use the living room but my other half was watching Eastenders so had to keep the volume down somewhat , I found I was having quite a hard time getting the same sound as what Hendrix has on his albums. I was a bit miffed to say the least, especially as I have the same equipment. Is this something you come up against very often?” Maybe this one…… “Liked your stuff mate…… I’m a songwriter aswell… similar to your stuff. Give us your mobile number and maybe we could do some stuff together…. Actually, I’ll give you mine………. there you are mate, I’ve wrote my address down aswell so you can send me some stuff. Just drop us some of your ideas in the post and I’ll see what I can do with ‘em. I’ve worked wiv a few people and one bloke the other day said I should be on telly. Tell you what, giz a ring, and we’ll try it out at the local…. They got an open mike night at The Bull every Monday. I’ll be there anyway, coz I’m usually set up opposite from about midday. Made £26 last week.. Get there, ‘bout 7….just tell ‘em your wiv me, no probs" Or just simply…. “Can I have your mobile number? My son plays guitar and actually plays some of your songs… in fact he’s even better than you… got it all down you know. I was thinking I could arrange for him to sit in with you, If you write your number down, I will give you a bell on it” OH YES....NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

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