Sunday.. that’s my fun day..
Departing in the morning from Thorne – fuelled by bacon and tea (thanks Becky and Pete!) we had a pretty packed agenda – all before getting Ella back down south for a reasonable hour given that we both had work in the morning. A top way of ekeing out a weekend! So we jumped into Ludo and hotfooted it to Shirebrook FC’s ground where a charity match for the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund was taking place.
We bought some raffle tickets and watched the match, featuring Lee’s old team (including frequent sub appearances from Ken). It was good to catch up with everyone, and the match was pretty entertaining – the first live footy I’ve watched in ages! I think the score was 3-2 to Lee’s team when we left during the second half – Ken had had an eventful game, missing a penalty at the end of the first half, and scoring one in the second (sorry Ken, I was too slow with the camera for the second one!!)
There was an afternoon fun day planned at Fatboy Ink Tattoo Studio after the game – but unfortunately it was one of those days where too much was going on so we had to miss that. We hotfooted it to the Yew Tree Inn in Ednaston, both ready for lunch – and what a lunch it was, I went for a beef roast and Ella an awesome looking lamb shank, which we duly devoured whilst nattering with Jonny and Katie. The Yew Tree is a bloody lovely pub!
Scott Doonican had stepped in at the last minute to arrange the afternoon’s entertainment – and not only was he providing entertainment himself, he’d snagged Simon Friend and Mick Doyle to come along too – and Dirty Davey to cover the interlude as well. I’d decided that would be our destination purely to cheer Dave on more than anything, so the inclusion of Simon and Mick was an incredible bonus alongside the pretty much guaranteed entertainment Scott provides!
The pub was packed for Simon and Mick to start proceedings. Introducing themselves as ‘Simon Friend’s Unsuccessful Holiday’ rather than Seismic Survey they treated us to a lovely short set. Believers is one of Ella’s favourite songs so it got off to a phenominal start, Angel was quite prophetic with the line ‘let the hounds of hell surround me’ considering how many Hell Hounds were in attendance by this point!
He carried on with a fairly obscure Levellers selection with Paddy Stratton written All Your Dreams and then Searchlights. Handing over to Mick for vocals for a rousing cover of The Galway Girl. Simon was back on singing duties finishing up with McDermott’s 2 Hours track Prisoner (which the Levellers covered for the b-side of Make U Happy. They finished up with The Boatman – sung along with riotously by the massed crowd. It felt like a real privilege to see ’em play for nowt.
Scott Doonican was up next – he kicked in with Tarn Life and then – sensing the singalongability of the crowd into the I’ve Won The Lottery song where the crowd get to predict the lyrics.. they responded well, it was going to be a fun afternoon! Nandos and Crappy Flowers were next – there were plenty of people in the crowd who must’ve been new to the Doonicans so it was great fun watching their reactions as they realised what was happening with seemingly familiar songs!
Having said that – the next song wasn’t familiar to me at all either in original or Doonicanned form! He invited Mick back on stage for She’s From Dodworth to accompany on mandolin. Whole World In Their House laments people’s clamour to own stuff, Bono Bloody Bono lamented U2’s singer hten the mood was lifted with Viva Skegvegas, Crazy Crazy Golf and Walking in Man-Piss. Scott does such a good job at entertaining a crowd even without his sidekicks. It’s impressive stuff.
For the interlude Dirty Davey got himself set up on Simon’s stool – it’s fair to say he was bricking it, he told me as much a number of times! He kicked in by introducing his background as a coalminer and why he’d picked the songs he had for his set – starting off with Criminal Justice he was guaranteed a singalong! He followed up with his own song Shirt of Blue – charting the tale of a former school bully who went on to join the police and face off against his own father, a striking miner.
Finally it was back to Ferocious Dog’s back catalogue for Slow Motion Suicide – another singalong! It think it’s fair to say the nerves showed, I’ve seen Dave play much better in more relaxed settings – but faced with the most daunting of things ever, a microphone, for the first time was daunting! I’m dead proud of him though – despite his protestations when he managed to sing into the mic it sounded great – a bit more practice and making sure he’s got the mic in position and his lyric prompts in easier view and he’ll smash his next performance no doubt. Well done Dave!
With time marching on we needed to make a move – always regrettable when such a fun night is underway – it looked like Scott’s second set was awesome, with Simon, Mick and Dave all joining him in wigs and tanktops – and the evening looked to have been followed up with more jamming from Dave, Jonny, Mick, Maty and others. Even missing out on these bits, we had an awesome afternoon – and whilst Dave was busy kicking himself at a few slip-ups to all and sundry, he’ll look back on this gig as a defining moment in weeks and months to come.
Plus how many people can say their first ever amplified gig had support Simon Friend, Mick Doyle and Scott Doonican? Not bloody many!