MAD Ramblers Spring Ball - Chancellors Hotel, Manchester

by Emmett Stapleton

THIS WEEK it’s MrX’s turn to arrange the transport and he rocked up at Fraud HQ in the worst tourbus we’ve ever had. Fail No.1.

Inside the rusty blue boneshaking MoT failure was LORD LUKAN just along for the ride. The journey was quite eventful – X nearly demolished the petrol station’s Texaco sign (Fail No.2) and was clearly thousands of miles away as he answered our various questions with the most bizarre responses:

Q) Can we stop at a cash till please? 
A) It’s alright, everyone’s wearing jeans

Q) Are we getting any food? 
A) No, bring a phone charger

Q) Did you see the scores? Wigan beat Newcastle 4-0! 
A) Yeah I’m in a blue tourbus just outside Kansas

It was then we realized he was talking on his mobile. Fail No.3. Kansas was not the American city 4,000 miles away, but the fried chicken takeaway in Chorlton where we met CRITCH! Oh yes he was coming along for the ride aswell. So when we pulled up at Kansas, we dived out the van wearing hoods and staged a fake abduction in the middle of the High Street. Well, seeing as it was Critch it wasn’t that fake and we took the chance to give him a few digs….

Sheriff JW Pepper of the Kansas City Poe-leece was soon on his CB radio shouting “I am in hot pursuit of The Fraudsters in their piece-of-shit blue van!” A huge interstate manhunt was underway involving The Feds and the US Marshalls, but we made it to The Chancellor’s Hotel in Fallowfield without any further trouble. We even had time to amuse ourselves by listening to Obi-Wan’s attempts at a Northern Irish accent.

After parking the van and covering it with tree branches so the Feds wouldn’t find it, we set up in the quickest time ever – 24 minutes and 47 seconds. The problem was then the soundcheck…... The room was a big circular drum, not unlike the recent Stamford Arms gig. This time however, the walls were lined with acoustic panels so we thought it’d be sound…. Only it wasn’t. After much much tinkering by Bunky trying to get rid of the big booming bassy noise swirling around the cylindrical room, plus the horrific feedback hum that kept coming and going, we were eventually as good as it was going to get after the longest soundcheck ever (47 minutes and 24 seconds) and we retired to the van, only we couldn’t find it as it was too well camoflauged (either that or it had been towed away). So we persuaded the hotel to let us have a side room whilst we waited for our stage time which was two hours hence.

Some food arrived. Two big plates of sandwiches. Excellent. We were very puzzled however when after ten minutes of eating there were still loads of sandwiches left…. It then dawned on us. The food devouring machine that is Squire was not with us tonight!

As stage time approached we got changed and Mr. X did his new Tom Jones warm up routine. We then followed the Harpisht / speeches / awards ceremony with “She Bangs The Drums” and the floor was filled from the word “I” The Ramblers were well up for a party. We spread one in front of them and they hoovered it up! A cracking gig ensued with the black-tied guys and cocktail dressed gals singing and dancing along…. and the jeans and T-shirted Critch & Lukan in the middle of it all. The Poe-leece could only watch on unable to touch us as we’d crossed the Countyline…..

As soon as the encores (Nobody Does It Better / Ramblers are the best, and I Am The Resurrection) were finished we whacked on some DJ party tunes and went off to find some Yaeger Bombs. 15 minutes later Prof. Metz was panicking as the music had been muted by the management – turns out the curfew time was a lot earlier than we’d been told so there was no chance of an S-Club Party! We couldn’t move the gear out because X had taken the van to Bury to pick up Charlotte. We could only retire to the Resident’s Bar to hobnob with those Ramblers who couldn’t be bothered walking home so had booked rooms in the hotel….

An hour later our lead singer turned up with a right entourage of girls – Charlotte and her mates. We packed the gear, helped ourselves to about fifty helium balloons, and piled into the van for a giggletastic journey home doing Northern Irish helium accents. At 3am we arrived back at Fraud HQ and as soon as we slid the van door open, those helium balloons that remained escaped into the night sky and brought down the US Marshalls helicopter that’d been following us all night. On that note, we turned ourselves in and we are now in the Orange County Penitentiary awaiting The Chair. I hope we are out in time for the next gig this Saturday at Walkabout………. 

Some of the above may not be true.

Davebass