When I do, we have the last pole down. It didn’t help that the last jump was about four foot from a wall and someone placed his lead in the gap. No wonder he slammed his brakes on and fetched the pole down. The perils of indoor shows in confined spaces.
His next run is clear but with a fair amount of faffing. We come 9th but he could have won that, faff free.
He celebrated that minor success with an elimination in his next run and every mistake imaginable bar an elimination in his last run.
Doggo is clear in his ‘Allsorts’ agility. Which is a feat itself even before you take into account his Lazarus like recovery from Friday’s crippling limp because they leave the contact equipment on full height, which I’ve never seen them do before on an ‘Allsorts’ course although we don’t do that many. They’d certainly drop the heights for a Veterans class.
L takes the opportunity of our absence to do some painting at home, glossing whilst the hairy ones are out, the backdoor isn’t wide open and there’s no requirement to throw footballs at the same time. Now it’s time for us to head back to disrupt this, at least all the hairs are well plastered down with mud.
Then we head over to Derby where we eat in the Dolphin, then pop in the refurbished Bell for one before we head to the Flowerpot for a gig.
So it is to his immense credit that he then swiftly gets everyone’s attention, and at the same time turns the entire venue into respectful silence, as he delivers his three minutes of fame from 1983, ‘The First Picture of You’, totally a capella. Coyle you see was the vocalist with the Lotus Eaters. A band that had great promise and even Peel sessions but despite several subsequent singles, they never really achieved another three minutes in the spotlight and Coyle went solo, again without making much of an impression.
China Crises on the other hand arrive as a three piece and with instruments. The band's core has remained constant throughout their long career with Gary Daly on vocals and Eddie Lundon on guitar. They do introduce their keyboard player several times but I, amateurishly, don’t make a note of his name.
I’ve seen the band several times back in the day and I can even now vividly recall them at Rock City in 1987 bemoaning the fact they’d been downgraded from the Concert Hall because their fourth album, the excellent (in their opinion and mine) ‘What Price Paradise’ didn’t sell as well as their earlier stuff. Of course to me the Concert Hall not Rock City is the downgrade and they were back at Rock City in 1989 a bit more chastened.
The start though is a bit more leftfield. First up ‘The Soul Awakening’ from ‘Working with Fire and Steel’ followed by ‘Temptation’s Big Blue Eyes’ and ‘Seven Sports for All’ from ‘Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms’ which Gary urges us ‘to get out of the loft’. As if I’d assign any records to the loft.
Then it’s time to plunder their most famous offering ‘Flaunt the Imperfection’ for a clutch of tracks. ‘Gift Of Freedom’ and ‘You Did Cut Me’ are played without the tapes and with only the audience as backing. Resulting in a far less polished offering but the songs are the better for it. The whole point of seeing someone live is to see what they can do outside the comfort of the studio and not to reproduce everything in prefect CD quality.
Peter Coyne reappears for the encore of ‘Here Comes a Raincloud’ from ‘Working with Fire and Steel’ but he leaves them to close what has been a pleasant evening on their own. Gary and Eddie have been chatty throughout, pleasant hosts, and we’ve even managed to overcome the language problems posed by their Scouse accents.
We close our own night with a swift one in the Royal Standard before getting the bus home.
(Saturday 23rd November)