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The Cavern, Liverpool - 31/03/2001
"Right then, where are we playing now then? The Cavern? That's in Liverpool, right? But we're from Horsham near Broadbridge Heath - and Liverpool's MILES away!"
Or so somebody should have said instead, we drove a lot of miles (more than 30 I think!) to play at the Cavern. Was it fun? Was it good? Was it worth it? Read on
So we hired this van from Hancock Ford, right. Somebody said that we were gonna receive 1000 copies of our debut album that very morning, so I volunteered to do the difficult job of staying in bed until they arrived. The others went to the studio for 8.30am to fill the van up with our musical gubbins. They picked me up at 9.30am, but the album still hadn't arrived. As you can imagine, I was awfully shocked by this. After a stop at Fishers, we hit the road. Our first stop was to allow me to administer some emergency first aid to B's brand new tattoo. She forgot the moisturiser D'oh! Luckily, I had some and saved the day. Ahh!!
We eventually arrived in Liverpool about 3pm after several loo/videogame stops. After chucking our bags down in the very swish looking Ibis Hilton, we made our way to the Cavern. "Eeey! 'Urry Ooop der Lads! Yer onstage in 15 minutes!" was our greeting upon reaching the venue. And there was me thinking we were headlining the day's festivities, meaning a stage time of 10pm. It turned out they wanted us to play twice. So, after hastily setting up the stuff, we ran through a 30 minute set to get everyone in the mood for a serious rockin' show later on. I must admit that I looked really rough at this point, and Craig was actually wearing a tracksuit (so he fitted in perfectly!). Consequently though, we looked like a bunch of ejits. Anyhoo, we took a while to warm up but we got there eventually, and it wasn't a bad little performance.
Afterwards, I was interviewed by a lovely girl who wanted to do a feature on us for a magazine over in Belgium.., which was nice. I think I asked her more questions than she asked me, but we had lots of fun. Then came the highlight of the weekend THE SHOWERS!!
If you ever go to Liverpool, check out the showers in the Ibis Hilton! They Rule! I think I curled up and had a sleep in mine for about 3 hrs. Then it was time to go back to the Cavern and do our headline show. Of course, we stopped off in Pizza Express on the way. American Hot - you can't beat it. When we got to the Cavern, things were kinda strange. A band called Dustfly were ½ way through their set and a fantastic set it was too. The singer sort of looked like the guy from Toploader and had a really soulful voice, and the band grooved in a very funky way (the drummer looked like Murdoch from the A-Team too!). Problem was - they decided to overrun their set by, like, 25 minutes man. So totally not cool! We didn't realise at the time, but by the time band number 2 went on, the powers that be were already considering knocking our appearance on the head!! No big deal, we're only from round the corner, and some of these band's had travelled all the way from Bootle!! This is when the evil side of Woody & Craig surfaced
On the face of things, they both look like cuddly fella's who you could take home to meet your Gran. However, if you fuck with them at a gig, you soon realise that they are both almost as hard as Gripper Stebson from Grange Hill! The Cavern authorities soon changed their minds, and allowed us to overrun licensing hours by 30 minutes. As soon as we kicked into 'You Vs Me', our travelling army of B & Miff kicked into life. We were greeted with the amount of screaming and camera flashes (cheers, Kara!) we've come to expect of late, and even the sight of the cleaning lady mopping the sick off the floor couldn't put us off. We rocked, as usual. I can say for a fact, that it wasn't as good as The Underworld gig, or the last few Extra Time shows but we owed it to the girls to go for it and I hope we did.
I was really quite knackered afterwards and I sure wasn't expecting what happened next. The rockin', historic venue known as the Cavern suddenly turned into Shelley's nightclub! The girls with 8" heels and dresses freshly purchased from 'New Look' invaded the place as the curtain fell and the DJ began to spin choons by such luminaries as Architects, Craig "James Bassett" David and Artful Dodger! After a cool chat with B about how cool it would be to hijack the stereo and play some Manson, we decided it was time to go back and trash a Hotel room.
The venue paid us £50 and gave us 24 bottles of Bud for our trouble. Good enough. But Craig & me got lumbered with the job of sneaking the stash back through Liverpool city centre at closing time. Not good. I was sure glad I'd got my Tangerine coloured belt in Szechuan Fu Yung to protect us. God knows how we got back alive, but once safely tucked away in the hotel we were dead set on drinking ourselves into a coma. Bring on the Bud, Champagne (afterall it was the end of our tour!) Vodka, home made cakes and back issues of Kerrang! Okay, so we damaged a few shelving units and messed up the carpet but what else can you do?
My last memory of the evening was dancing along on Phil & Chris' kingsize bed to the Tweenie's video with Miffy. I was sure the scene would have been even cooler than John Travolta & Uma Thurman's classic groove out in Pulp Fiction. But then again, I was completely wasted at this point. Amazingly, I made it to bed. Even more amazingly, I didn't have a hangover the next day! Cool!
We all got up and paid £4 for a yogurt & coco pops, then went out and took in the Albert Dock. Fred's weather map!! Yeah, we saw it baby! I'm lovin' that map! Then we went to the Pump House and started drinking again as soon as it felt morally OK to do so. Then it was time to collect our gear and start the long drive home.
The long drive home was made even longer by lots of loo stops for the girls, and lots of really quite dubious driving by the van driver who nearly flattened a motorcyclist on the M1. Oh yeah - the M1 who's fucking idea was that?! Consequently, we got back very late indeed. Me & Craig went straight to mine to collect the now delivered album, while the others went to the studio in Warnham to unload the gear. An unknown source called then had the bright idea of turning the van around on a neighbour's lawn. The van sunk like a stone in the marshy grass. Great.
Chris gave our heroic army of fans a lift home, while we all got pushing. It turned out that the lady who lived in the house that owned the garden that was currently holding our van actually worked for Hancock Ford, the company who we hired the van off. As Harry Hill would say "What are the chances of that happening, eh?!". After about 2 hours of faffing and sulking, we called the AA who did the jolly decent thing of removing the van from the nice people's lawn.
And thus ended our weekend. A weekend that saw us angry and tired whilst pushing a stranded transit van out of a marshy garden in Warnham. A weekend that saw us travel many miles to play to not many people. And a weekend that saw us finally get our hands on 3 years of fucking hard labour in the Sonic Graffiti album. Mixed emotions. It was all worth it.
See ya at Miffstock.
After this series of events, The Indigo Sunrise were found guilty of vandalism, breach of the criminal justice bill and mimicking New Jersey Metal Band Skid Row. They were sentenced to 1 hour's hard labour re-turfing a front garden in Warham. See it for yourselves at 6pm on Wednesday 4 April 2001, next to Warham Animal Sanctaury.