Wedding - Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool

by Emmett Stapleton

And so onto the Jubilee Weekend. The Fraudsters were booked to play the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool’s trendy Hope Street district. Ozzy Osborne is doing that many gigs standing in for Squire at the moment, so we decided to initiate him fully into the “gang”. No this does not entail a debagging, or drinking blood, or being tarred & feathered…. it’s worse than that… IT WAS HIS TURN TO DRIVE THE VAN!!

So at 4pm Ozb turned up at Fraud HQ with a right rustbucket of an MoT failure and we loaded up the gear and hit the M62 to Scouseland. I am perhaps being unfair slagging off the van – it did have an anti-spill matt on the table….. which Xan used to mop up a spillage….

Finding Hope Street was pretty easy when you’ve got TWO satnavs, and there was a double parking bay right outside the front door. Dave wasn’t paying any attention when we were told to unload down the service entrance steps a little further down the street and into the basement function room. Our bassist was found wandering around the hotel lobby and bar area carrying a bass drum and looking lost.

Set up and soundcheck was pretty straightforward, and we had a chance to go through “Whole Lotta Rosie” for the first time ever as a full band… we’d be playing it tonight, eeek! We got through it correctly after the 4th attempt. Then Xan told some rubbish jokes about sandwiches while Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” was playing. We then went to find a kebab shop. Success at last.

By 9.15 it was time to start rocking, and we opened up with the clickety click cymbal and rumbling bass of “She Bangs The Drums”. The Chilli Peppers song “Universally Speaking” came next (request from the bride & groom) and when Mr.X introduced song three “There She Goes” with the time honoured question “Are there any Scousers here tonight?” for once we received a resounding “YEEAAAHH!” back from the audience.

The first set passed as always without a hitch. The guests weren’t the wildest crowd we’ve ever entertained but they were very appreciative all the same. Towards the end of the first set came the call to play the “Ack Derk” song “Whole Lotta Rosie” and three pony tailed male guests suddenly ripped off their hair bobbles and went headbang crazy! (so too did some bald ones!)This carried on into “Sweet Child O’Mine” which finished with the words “sweet chiy-i-yi-i-yi-i-y-ild of miiii-eee-aye-nnneee…. The buffet is served!” Rock AND roll!

The half time interval was spent hob-nobbing with guests including a guy who’s 40th we played a couple of years ago – hence the repeat business. We also had a chat with one of the headbangers who admitted to having knacked his neck.

The 2nd set got livelier, as it usually does, but there were still a few people who seemed reluctant to join in the dancing, so Xan went off stage several times to drag people up. One such occasion involved us starting “Disco 2000” while we wondered where our frontman had got to. After about two minutes of the chugging guitar intro, Prof. Metz got fed up waiting and despite having had all microphone privilages taken away last week, our lead guitarist stepped up and started singing the song. He got as far as half way through the first chorus before Mr.X came sprinting back to the stage to grab the mic back from him!
“Sit Down” as usual also involved our lead singer leaving the stage to lead the “oops-upside-yer-head”-like sitting down, which as usual was captured on several digital camera hard drives.

The encores consisted of “Rosie” for the second time tonight (or 6th if you count the soundchecks) and “Parklife” with the bride on chorus vocal duties with Rich. It was then DJ time, and we got stuck into the dancing as we usually do (it’s good exercise) AND the helium balloons – they make good shock absorbent padding when you throw someone at a wall…. Unless that someone is our long armed lead singer…….

After picking Mr. Xan up off the floor and popping his dislocated elbow back in, we looked round and realised all the guests AND the happy couple had gone. Apart from the bar staff we were the only people left. Time to pack up and leave I guess (after The Patio Song of course) and hit the M62 back to Manc in a van that could only go 58mph – a slow journey made even slower for Ozzy by the singalong going on in the back…

Davebass