Jen and Sophie's 40th Stamford Arms, Bowdon

by Emmett Stapleton

Alongside the weddings, we’ve been having a spate of 40th birthday parties these last 18 months. As Martin Coogan observed during the recording sessions: “You’re the band for 40-year-old Stone Roses fans!”

Now, don’t get me wrong because it NEVER gets boring playing 40th birthday parties for Stone Roses (or any bands) fans (or weddings) but once in a while someone comes up with something novel and different for us to tackle, like this one: A birthday party for TWO 40-year-olds!!!!

Oh yes, Jen and Sophie were the birthday girls, and the Do was at the Stamford Arms in Bowden. Burkey was driving (which meant Grumpy would be playing out tonight) and he hired this ridiculous orange Transit van with a stupid big awning rolled up on the side of it.

The function room at The Stamford is a big circular room with a conical roof. It’s like playing inside a big bass drum lying on its side with a Dunce hat on top…... the acoustics were therefore tough, and Grumpy had some right problems with the sound while the rest of us Fraudsters put big “D” hats on our heads and went to sit in the corner….. only we couldn’t find any corners ‘cos the room is circular, so we just kept walking round in circles like big dunces…

We always get there in the end though, and the soundcheck was completed satisfactorily, at which point Sophie’s daughter, Holly, asked if she could sing a song with us. Mr X showed her the setlist and Holly picked the Florence song “You Got The Love” and we had a quick practice with the girl. Sounds good (puts on best Hollywood shmuck film producer voice) “The girl can shing and she’s got charizma! Let’sh knock ‘em dead kid!”

So, after a bit of cheesy 80’s DJ-ing we were ready to hit the long curved platform that was the stage. A big screen backdrop had been dropped behind our set up, and on it was playing the film “Withnail and I” over & over what would be three times during the night. We asked Birthday Girl Jen about it and she explained the significance of the film whilst suggesting that we wouldn’t understand because we were “too young to remember it”. Needless to say this satisfied those Fraudsters who were about the same age as her!!!

If Withnail & I wasn’t that memorable, our performance was. Dancefloor full. Tunes belted out. Spot on with everything. Great rendition of the Florence song with Holly. Happy party people. Even a narky taxi driver who'd arrived early to pick someone up and came in looking for them, was so impressed with us he stayed for the end of our set and joined in the singing and dancing!

On the way home, we stopped at the famous Pinnochio’s on Washway Rd. Mr X ordered a huge pizza base donner with everything on it and chips, to take home with him in the ridiculous orange van..…… then stole and ate Dave’s burger whilst he popped back into Pinnoke’s for a can of Pepsi. Revenge is a dish best served cold, hopefully like the kebab was by the time he got home…….

Davebass