26-06-2022 – The Heavy Carry

Well, why not…?

Yoho Ahoy!

Well, although we have no gigs coming up this week, I figured it was best to report on the last one before I forget…

So a Thursday night, and due to what can only be described as poor planning, we have a gig in the centre of Cardiff on the same day I have promised to play removals man and transport daughter Lily and her other half Alastair back home from Birmingham, along with all their possessions.

So, after getting up painfully early in the morning, and hooshing up to Brum at full speed, the three of us spend a happy few hours rounding up all their stuff, bullying it into various boxes and containers, and manhandling it down the three narrow flights of stairs. It’s hot sticky work, and Alastair and I decide to tactically dispense with shirts for the duration. Having amassed a mountain of stuff on the street, we attempt, Tetris-stylee, to shoehorn it all into the back of the van. After about three attempts, we have managed to triumphantly get the doors shut, although if they owned just one more item – e.g. a cigarette paper – I’m sure we wouldn’t have done.

Right then, time to set off. Where is Alastair’s shirt?

“Er – I think I may have packed it by mistake… …my suitcases are right in the middle of the van…”

We bust open the back of the van, manage to extract one of Lily’s shirts from a bag which is packed in the upper strata near the door, and thus he spends the rest of the day, at least theoretically, a 50% transvestite. Each to his own, says I.

Back to the ranch, a reversal of the process, and all their stuff is soon strewn all over the house, garage, garden, and surrounding area.

There’s just time to grab a sandwich, load all the band kit into the van, and all three of us head off gigwards. I have decided they owe me a pint, and am keen to collect.

We reach the centre of Cardiff, and do several laps of it trying to find how to get the van up to the venue – it’s all been pedestrianised since I was here last, and there are retractable bollards blocking all the roads in. Finally, we pull up as close as we can get (a couple of hundred yards), and leave the van illegally parked while I walk into the pub to find out how we get closer.

The guy at the bar comes out, and asks where we’re parked at the moment; I point at the distant van, which can just be seen on the horizon.

“Well, that’s it,” he says. “That’s the closest you can get until the council lower the bollards down to let service vehicles in.”

“Ah, okay. When do they do that?”

“About 1am”.

So, there is nothing for it but to man haul all the kit in. It’s a good job we’re not already knackered out from earlier.

Still, at least there’s a multistorey car park right by where we unloaded.

It would have been even better if the ceiling was high enough to fit the van in.

Luckily our previous orbits of the area mean that I know where to find an open-air car park, a mere half a mile away…

I trek back from parking, muttering unkind things about Cardiff City Council’s misguided traffic policy, and we set about setting up.

The place is actually quite nice, we have plenty of room to set up in, and they do sell quite a lot of beer. Although pretty quiet to start with, (well, it is a Thursday) the place fills up nicely and we have a rather jolly time. Abby is quite taken with a retired Welsh couple who are singing, and eventually dancing along and playing air guitar all night; so much so that she wants to come and live in Cardiff. I explain that, based on my experience living up in the valleys, actually these two are absolutely standard-issue Welsh retired couple, they’re everywhere…

The crowd look to be in the mood for some AC/DC, so we haul Lily up to belt out a tune, then we finish off with a couple more, and pack the toys away; then comes the endless trekking and carrying of heavy things back to the vehicles before we can zoom away into the night before the council come along to provide access…

Coming up this week – no gigs, but here is advance warning of what’s on next week: –

Thursday 7th July – Royal Oak, Chipping Sodbury

Back at the Oak, nice friendly little pub and usually a few regular friends pop in; rather good fun here. This is where Abs played her first ever gig with us, so we are very much returning to the scene of the crime…

Saturday 9th July – Liberal Club, Colerne

The name rings a bell… Looking back through the old blogs, I see we have in fact played here before, in the dim & distant past. However, my ramblings on the event are so obscure that I’m unable to learn anything useful from them, other than that the staff helped us carry everything in. And no mention of having had to park in a different county, so that bodes well…

Right, that’s about it for this week. I normally like to leave you with a humorous comment of some kind – however, I have just stumbled across probably the most truly awful joke I have heard. I really can’t decide if you lot actually deserve that kind of treatment.

So, I’ll give you the option – If you want to hear it, let us know. If you really don’t, then just reply with a “Hell, no”. We’ll count the scores up, and next week you’ll find out…

Square on

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