Glasgow April 2017
Electro 80’s spent the May Bank Holiday in Glasgow with a 3 date mini-tour:
Friday 28th April – Blantyre Miners
Saturday 29th April – John Brown’s Bar
Sunday 30th April – Lok’s Bar and Kitchen
The band performed in each venue to capacity crowds and have definitely returned home with a new fanbase north of the border. We join Red Electro for his account of the band’s trip – the graft, the laughs and most importantly, the music.
We set off on the Friday morning for the first gig of three – at Blantyre Miners. The gig had been organised by our good friend Peter Houghton and he had generously sorted the band’s accommodation too for the first night of our stay. We had all decided to travel up north separately in our own cars with Blue travelling in the band van. Observing the speed limits carefully, it wasn’t long before I’d caught up with Green in his Mondeo – and we managed to capture some photographic evidence of the overtaking manoeuvre. I’d like to point out that we don’t ever user our cameras while driving, our partners were with us at the time! Anyway, after several hours driving I finally made it to the venue to discover Blue and Mick (part of the Mano Chrome Technical Support Team) had already arrived and had not only unloaded the van full of equipment, but had managed to set the majority of it up – something that is difficult for several of us to achieve – so two of them doing it alone was impressive!
Peter had done an excellent job setting up the room for the Blantyre gig, with dual video screens, illuminated dance floor and 80’s theme throughout. He’d even sourced some comedy style scotch hats with built in hair – it wouldn’t be long before we were posing for photographs in those (see our Facebook pages for evidence). Once we had set up, it was time to check into our hotel and get ready for the evening performance.
There was no disappointments for me in this department, our room was well decorated, spacious and, with balcony and jacuzzi, better equipped than any hotel room we’d stayed in before. I’d definitely recommend the Avonbridge hotel to anyone up that way in the future. With just over an hour to get ready and get back to the venue, I didn’t really have time to fully appreciate the splendour of the room, before I was jumping into Green’s car to be chauffeured back to Blantyre.
After the initial rush, the first live set went particularly well and we even managed to enjoy some fish and chips with our partners in another part of the venue. We’d met up with some old friends including Paul Weir and Graham McDonald and spirits were high as we we all looked forward to the second set before heading back to our hotel and getting some rest. After a very successful second half, we finally got back in our hotel rooms around 2.30am and enjoyed a great night’s sleep in preparation for a day’s shopping in Glasgow on the Saturday afternoon.
John Brown’s Bar
Being a band of ‘a certain age’ we “don’t do stairs” – and John Brown’s bar in Clydebank is the only exception to this rule. A great venue with a really appreciative audience, this was to be our third appearance there, so we knew what to expect when we arrived – however, this was the first time we’d ever attempted to transport all of the band’s equipment up that fire escape with just the four of us. It was gruelling. I’m (personally) not as fit as I was the last time we played the venue and mistook the sound of my own chest wheezing for the unmistakeable sound of highland bagpipes at one point.
Eventually we recovered from the physical exhaustion and managed to set up the equipment. Mick (who looks after the Mano Chrome Robot’s updates and maintenance) also builds a lot of custom equipment for Electro 80’s and his latest invention of 5′ tall LED blinders were making their second ever appearance at John Brown’s bar. After sound checking and setting up the lights we managed to get some time to relax enjoying a great show with the highly appreciative Clydebank audience.
Packing down was considerably easier than setting up and we all eventually headed back to our hotels. Green, Mick, Myself and our Partners were all staying at Glasgow Airport’s Premier Inn (which charges £4 per night parking by the way!) while Blue had taken the rockstar approach with the considerably more expensive Hilton in Glasgow City Centre.
Although the name wouldn’t lead you to believe it, Lok’s Bar & Kitchen is actually a really good medium sized music venue. I’m not sure, but I think it was one of the first venue’s we ever played in Scotland and this was either our third or fourth appearance there – one of our favourites. Set up went pretty smoothly, after Green, Mick and Myself arrived later than estimated (due to Green’s sat nav not speaking Scottish), and once ‘the atmosphere’ had eased all four of us settled down to setting up and preparing for the evening’s gig.
Lock’s Bar & Kitchen
The third and final day of our Glasgow mini-tour started with another day shopping and sightseeing around Glasgow city centre. I’d previously been to the St Enoch Centre the day before and thoroughly enjoyed a Steak and Cheese Ciabatta at a (highly recommended/Scottish Exclusive) food establishment called Di Maggio’s – really lovely. I was more than willing to have the same again the day after, but my partner Vicky, preferred a healthier option this day, so we opted for a jacket potato in a neighbouring food outlet called ‘Tasty’ or something… a highly inappropriate name as this Sweet Chilli Chicken Spud was one of the worst tasting things I’d ever endured in my life. So, Di Maggio’s recommended… St Enoch’s Jacket Spuds… Avoid!
Oddly enough, despite being known as Lok’s Bar & Kitchen, I’d never eaten in there before. I thought there were two main sections to the venue, the area where the bands play and the bar area next door. I presumed the food was served in the music area on night’s when they didn’t have any bands on. Turns out there’s a third section to Lok’s and it’s a fully-featured restaurant! I went through with Vicky and enjoyed a three course meal and drink for only £20 each. Highly recommended as this was by no means budget food. Quality all the way.
Hunger pains gone, and tastebuds refreshed… I was having such a nice time I almost forgot that I was there to perform for the capacity crowd that had all paid to come and see The UK’s Premier 80’s Tribute Band – Electro 80’s. So after speaking to a couple of our friends that had come along to support us, I rejoined the others in the dressing room to get ready for the final show of the three date tour.
We all had a fantastic time in Glasgow and we are all truly blessed to have the opportunity to visit such wonderful places while doing something we all love. Blue stayed for a couple more nights and spent time with family up there (this is after all his home town) while the rest of us headed back down the road to our own homes for a well earned rest.