Ian & Steve Visit Scotland
Well what a weekend that was……….. Friday, I left York and picked up Steve and Andy’s dad from Harrogate and after a 6 1/2 hour drive, finally arrived at The hotel based near Aberdeen airport. The band and cast members flew up from Durham Tees valley and Manchester arriving throughout the evening. Everyone was shattered so it was a bite to eat and a couple of cheeky beers before bed. Saturday was going to be a long day and for me it started at 7.30 with a full breakfast and then organising the transport to go to Fyvie Castle for soundcheck. It was a 30 minute drive out of Aberdeen. Its a beautiful castle owned by the National trust and was set in amazing grounds with a lake it was just so beautiful. The sound and stage guys were just finishing the set up and then it was Main Street’s turn. The soundcheck sounded fab with a really good level and mix, Steve was in his element and you could tell from all the band the night was going to be amazing as they had Excitement and slight nervousness about them.
We were then lucky enough to have a guided tour of the castle which was incredible and some fascinating stories of the old times and what had happened there over the last 8 centuries. Then it was back to the hotel where most of the cast went for a sleep and a chill but Steve, Mikyla, Charlie, Andy and myself went into Aberdeen on the bus and found a lovely little gastro pub called 99 where we had lunch. I had a haggis burger which was simply amazing! After lunch it was back to the hotel, shower and change ready for the night. We all went on the bounciest bus in the world because we could get all the gear on the bus afterwards and then we could all enjoy the hospitality provided. We were given a chill out room behind the castle with a crate of beer and the mood was one of excitement and anticipation and Gorka was keeping us all entertained with his antics. The girls looked stunning and were practising at every opportunity as its probably fair to say they were a little bit under rehearsed , unlike the band who nail it every time. At 8pm we walked down to the main stage area and prepared to get on and set up after the Blondie tribute band, Dirty Harry, finished off their set to great applause from the 4000 strong crowd. And we are on, I was helping Andy (snake) set up his kit whilst Charlie assisted with the guitarists, tuning up, plugging in and doing everything to make their lives easier and once Gorka had finished wooing the crowd whilst drawing the raffle, its showtime…….. The band and the girls blew it away, the crowd piled down to the stage, they were singing and dancing along and greeted the end of each song with a wild roar of appreciation, simply awesome……. Steve was awesome and played to the crowd as he does with Sister Madly with great showmanship and that cheeky arrogance that has become his trademark, Andy , Snake and Nader were doing their bit too and played a very tight set with gusto and professionalism and then that was it, 25 minutes went in the bat of an eyelid and their work was done. I was still excited, as one of my favourite bands were headlining the show, Ward Thomas had come up in the afternoon and were last on the bill. I finally got to meet them and had a good long chat about their music, gigs and even managed to give them a Sister Madly card as I told them that we actually covered one of their songs (carry you home) they were so lovely and genuine and it was great to meet them. Their set was about 55 minutes and they were simply fantastic. Then it was time to go back to the hotel for a nightcap and get a some much needed sleep before the long drive home the following morning. It was actually Marie's birthday on the Sunday and all the girls and Gorka were kind enough to leave a video message wishing her a happy birthday and that was it…… the weekend was over I drove the 8 hours back (Appleby horse fair causing long delays on the A66 !!!!) it was nice to get home but I’ve got to say, that was a blast and really enjoyed spending time with some really decent people and hopefully get to do it again some day. Final thoughts - why did I leave my bag in the breakfast room and have to pay UPS £25 to get it collected and brought home to York.......Sigh
Peace out Ian