Lisa and Ben’s Wedding, Stanley House Hotel nr. Blackburn...

by Emmett Stapleton

DURING THE JOURNEY up the M61 to this latest nuptial gigscapade, THE FRAUDSTERS were watching the DVD of Fawlty Towers in the tourbus. The hotel we were playing at was very far from being like Fawlty Towers however – what a beautiful countryside setting in the rolling Lancashire moorlands. And what a posh place it was too. In fact, when we arrived we had some trouble being allowed in as we were wearing our roady-ing scruffs and they didn’t believe we had anything to do with the wedding. Eventually we convinced them we were the band, but they kept us at arms length by telling us: “The wedding breakfast has only just begun. Please stay in your van. We will come and get you. Do not come in here again!”

So, after being escorted out of the reception area and asked to keep out of sight round the back, we then got barred from using even the Tradesman’s entrance (Squire was chucked out when trying to use the staff loos). We could only do as we’re told and stay in the Fraudmobile.

The only time we got out was to assist Emmett doing a 37-point turn getting the van into position near the hotel’s service yard.

After three episodes of Fawlty Towers had been watched, it was getting near 7pm and we were a worried about the timescales for setting up and soundchecking. Burkey and Dave snuck into the reception area and hung around the main desk whistling with their hands in their pockets trying to look inconspicuous. A few moments later, one of the Ushers came in, and not noticing our rhythm section because their efforts at blending in were THAT good, he said to the Receptionist “Are the band here yet???” at which point our boys managed to announce their presence before being shown the door once again by security!

The Usher sorted out for the rear gates to be opened and we were finally able to start rolling our gear round the back of the hotel towards the reception room, whereupon it started to rain heavily. As soon as we’d got everything into the room the rain stopped. Basil Fawlty would have loved the irony.

We set up and soundchecked in triple quick time. Some of the wedding guests were already in the room during the soundcheck (bagging their tables early). We asked for their opinions. Table 1 said “Turn the volume up a bit!” while Table 2 said “It’s too loud. Turn it down!”

Clever professionals like us know that means we are ready to go!

And so off we went with the Laptop of Luv playing some disco classics, and the guests showing they were right up for a party – dancefloor full right from the Off. A brief interlude to eat some delicious chilli didn’t stop the dancing, and having seen the disco party atmosphere we had the idea of changing the setlist slightly. We thus opened with “Heart of Glass” instead of the spiky punk tunes by Undertones and Buzzcocks that we usually open with. The floor stayed full as we flowed like a river of liquid gold from the Blondie disco classic into Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, then into the punky indie stuff, then finished the first set with the air-guitar-tastic “Sweet Child o’ Mine”

At the interval we mingled with the guests: “That was great lads. Really enjoyed that. Cheers for doing that lads” said the Usher who’d sorted our entrance earlier. Rich explained that we were going on again in a short while to do another hour set, and the guy was over the moon. He then introduced us to a guest called Jeff who was an Essex Boy: “We might very well dedicate a song to you later on my friend” said Dave….. “You might find, Jeff, that you’ve got brewer’s droop, and you get intimidated by the dirty pigeons...... as the lyric goes”. Jeff cottoned on straight away and said he was up for joining in……

And so the second set opened with Cigs and Booze, and the revelers reveled in our 2nd half indie-rock-Britpop classics. “Disco 2000” was a particular highlight, and the aforementioned Jeff became one of the stars of the show when he joined us on stage for the Cockney Classic “Parklife”. We finished with “Don’t Look Back in Anger” whereupon the crowd were begging, nay CHANTING for more. Someone shouted “STONE ROSES!” which triggered someone else to shout “SHE BANGS THE DRUMS!” which was the cue for Burkey and Dave to immediately start the rumbling rhythmic opening of that classic song, which was the cue for our guitarists Squire and Emmett to crash in, which was the cue for singer Richie Rich to panic as doesn’t quite know all the lyrics yet!

After “One Day Like This” was belted out by everyone in the room like the day’s wedding anthem, it was back to the disco until the curfew time of 1am. As is the tradition, The Fraudsters try (and probably fail) to make themselves look good on the dancefloor by getting involved in some groovy moves to songs like “Reach for the Stars”, “Stop Right Now”, “Place Your Hands”, “Reverand Black Grape” and “I am the Resurrection”

On the way home, The Driver Emmett dropped Dave, Burkey and Squire off then he and Rich went for a kebab before dropping the van off with the hippies because The Fall wanted it early next morning. In fact, at 3.30am Mark E. Smith was waiting for it on Hippy Street, tapping his watch as our heroes drove up to the pavement.

We didn’t care though cos we showed him a text we’d got from the Bride Lisa that said “Hi Emmett, I can’t thank U and the guys enough, everyone was raving about you. Lisa xx”

Nuff said!

Davebass