House Party. Somewhere half way between Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed

by Emmett Stapleton

THE EVER broadening adventures of The Fraudsters saw them head out on their furthest journey yet – some 186 miles to a location in the Northumberland countryside near the town of Rothbury, famous for being the location of Paul Gascoigne’s proposed chicken, beer & fishing tackle delivery service last summer.

Our furthest ever previous trip was Red Dwarf Bay Anglesey, 102 miles. That day we had a van with a knackered DVD player, so Dave, designated driver for this one, was dispatched to Hippy John’s with strict instructions to make sure we get a DVD player that WORKS!

Thankfully Dave was successful, so as he took his place behind the wheel, the other Fraudsters took their seats in the crew compartment and settled back to watch the opening scenes of “Lost in Translation” where the camera gazes lovingly at Scarlett Johansen’s arse. That’ll keep ‘em quiet for the 4 hour journey.

The gig was a housewarming party in a massive stone manor house, recently purchased and in the middle of renovation by some friends of Burkey and his missus. Our stage was a dusty room with plaster hacked off the walls and a distinct lack of power – the wall sockets just had bare wires sticking out of them. Thankfully we were able to fling some extension leads down the 400-yard long corridor to the kitchen sockets. We could do nothing about the dust however, and Emmett started complaining about his sinuses and dust getting on his chest, not to mention the smell of the dogs (of which there were three – massive ones).

Speaking of the dogs, they were massive Great Danes who had a good sniff of us when we first arrived. Once we started soundchecking however they kept well out of the way, on big cushions in the hallway with their paws over their ears. Clever dogs – Crossan and Osborne discovered they would even high-5 you if you asked them!

Oh yes, Ozzy Osborne was with us on this one (great rock & roll name!) Our regular rhythm guitarist Squire has been placed under House Arrest by the holder of his Economic Rights (i.e. his missus) so Nick “Obi-Wan” Osborne is a more than ample stand in, looking the spitting image of Squire’s twin brother, except Ozzy is a bit taller. No one would notice the difference…. except at the end of “Dakota”

There were times where we played our set to less people in the room than there are in the band, but for the most part we had a hardcore of 10-or-12 house guests who rocked and danced hard enough to send the dust flying all round the room like dry ice, and send Emmett into a coughing fit. The room was PACKED for a special guest on drums however. A young lad by the name of Ryan aged 13 took his place on Burkey’s drum stool and played “Rocks” with us. Quality drumming, even Emmett knew when to finish the guitar solo for once!

The audience consisted of Geordies, posh people, a Jock and a SCOUSER who got up and did the chorus vocal duties on “Parklife”. It must be said however that he wasn’t quite sure of the words for the bit where you shout “PARKLIFE!”

Straight after the performance, Driver Dave got into the van and had himself three hours kip in the hope that the Tachograph would start working again (it didn’t) while the rest of the band DJ-d, danced and hobnobbed with the guests, signing autographs, posing for pictures and hacking off a bit more addled plaster from the walls. At 3am it was time to go so we packed up, woke Dave, and piled into the Tourbus for the long dark drive back to the A1 South. We arrived back in Manchester about 6am, a damn fine drive by our bassist but not one we’d like to do regularly.

Davebass