Last Gig: The Crown, Dec 26th
This was the annual Boxing Day Bash at the Crown and all the Lechlade crew were there. It was good to see Natasha and Pete back in the firing line for the first time in several months. They were rewarded by having their ears severely assaulted.
Rob was worried as his tendonitis had returned and he was in some discomfort as he played. This was one Xmas present he didn't want and it meant he never really enjoyed the gig. Ross was in fine form though and Johnny thought it was a good one. Both he and Rob used their smaller amps ("Hooray" - The Critic) due to the room size. Johnny was still nursing his voice due to illness and remarked that he had just done 17 gigs in 32 days so no wonder he was hoarse! ("Tart" - Rob)
A highlight was "Empty Rooms" which had been requested and long time band friend Alan, said that it was the best version he had heard. Mind you, Xmas wine may have been telling at this point as he was heard to tell everyone that the band were the best in the world and his "beshtest friends." Lechlade Ian turned up late, as always but announced he was getting married. The band offered sympathy, especially to his fiance, and launched into "Desert Song".
So ended the band's gigging year, and the rain pelted them and all in a typical non-festive way. A list will be drawn up of new songs for 2004 and about time too!
Last Gig: The Pineapple, Dec 24th
During the afternoon, the Self-Righteous Bros had played the Pineapple but no-one came! This didn't look too promising for the Burn lads in the evening. Fortunately it was better attended although not as busy as on previous gigs at this venue. It was the first Christmas Eve gig in years that the band had done although this didn't mean they would change the set list to add seasonal songs.
"Bah, humbug" said Johnny when Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" was suggested. However, he relented and it was played as a final, token Christmas offering. By this time he was a spent force - the cold having claimed another victim. Rob, in keeping with the 70's glam rock-ness of it all, added one of his subtle solo's. Well, he thought it was subtle - everyone else thought it was more like Yngwie on speed.
Ross was more interested in the free food that was on offer in the pub. "Saves a fortune on buying Xmas dinner," he explained, between mouthfuls.
Last Gig: The 3 Pigeons, Dec 6th
Ross's wife Sue had been taken into hospital two days before and the band's thoughts were all with her. Fortunately Ross said she was better by Saturday and he could do the gig. Rob & Johnny were preparing to make contact with drummers who could fill-in, if necessary.
Well, it didn't come to that and the band played to a small audience for their debut at this venue. Apparently, a lot of regulars had gone to see a well known band at Maidenhead and so stage diving was not a possibility tonight.
Ross favoured the acoustic drums only tonight, feeling no need for synthetic augmentation ("There is a God" - Johnny). Rob played like a man who had a plane to catch - and incredibly enough, he did. By 4am he was flying to his Spanish Riviera pad with only his guitar for company. "It's a Spanish bank holiday on Monday so I'll have plenty of time to sit in the sun and practice". Those who know Rob well feel that this means plenty of sun and wine with maybe a smidgeon playing somewhere along the way. Johnny was still shaking off the cold that left him hoarse last week. "About 80% tonight but I'll be back to strength next weekend" he threatened.
Burn regulars Nigel and Diana were there to lend support. Di was very enthusiastic about Johnny's new bass when she found out it used to belong to John Entwhistle.
A good venue and one that the band looks forward to returning to in the new year.
Last Gig: The Court Inn, Witney, Nov 29th
Ross pulled himself from his death bed to make the gig. "I've god a bad code," he sniffed, "and I feel like s**t", whilst fining himself £1-00 for use of a profanity. (See Ross's swear box in the news pages). Once the music started he rose to the occasion and did an incredible job.
Johnny also moaned that the cold had taken his voice. ("Didn't shut him up though"- Rob). He trooped on but barely made it to the end, coughing and wheezing all night long. Interesting "jazz substitutions" in his choice of notes led the others to believe he was playing "bollox" and by the end of the gig, Johnny was forced to agree. "It's not my fault - I'm ill," he bleated.
Rob sympathised. "Tart"! he declared and turned up his guitar so that neighbouring Oxford could enjoy his full frontal assault and delivered a barrage of notes.
Ross had recovered enough to make an observation. "You stink" he said to Rob. Rob was offended. "How dare you. I've worked very hard on my playing recently and it sounds good to me". "No, no," Ross explained. "You really stink. B.O. You need some over arm de-underant". Rob was relieved his playing was not being criticised. "None taken, mate," he said as he spaffed out another barrage.
All were happy when the gig ended but resolved to do much better next time. Only a small turn out but the band were pleased to see the lovely Michelle (ex-accountant, you know) there again.
Last Gig: The Pineapple, Nov 21st
Johnny was excited about the gig tonight. "It's my new bass," he explained. ("Same old bass player, though" - Rob) "A Fender Precision and it sounds great. It used to belong to Entwhistle, you know." After consideration, Rob announced that it was clear that a player's sound comes from his hands and fingers and not the instrument because "Entwhistle sounded better than that!"
Ross was more polite and said it was Johnny's best sound yet. He asked Rob if it was a good idea to play Catch the Rainbow. "We don't want people falling asleep" he said. "No punters will sleep when I play" retorted Rob. "I meant us," quipped Bongo Elder - and indeed, it was a shorter version than on previous outings.
Rob was in great form and was enthusiastic about the gig. "Apart from Space Truckin' where Johnny can't seem to play it and scream at the top of his register at the same time." Johnny responded "I'm at the limit of my talent, mate. Something has to give."
The Pineapple was very busy with a lot of familiar faces. Big Graham came up to hurl abuse and Colin and Sue took up a ringside seat. Mad Mandee Dilly (27) brought her daughter Georgia (34) and partner Jay (um-measurable) who hadn't heard the band for many years. She enjoyed it but wondered why the band extended every number. "It's not necessary to have long solos. After all, two verses and a couple of choruses were good enough for the Swinging Blue Jeans," she said. "Listen", answered Rob. "This is all about sex and waving willies. There is no-one who can wave their willy like I can."
Last Gig: The Swiss Chalet, Nov 10th
Three songs in to a rocking little set, Johnny's mike stopped working. He sang two verses without him or any of the band noticing and it was only when a punter signalled him that no sound was coming out the PA that he realised what was happening. "This is a very sad state of affairs" said Johnny, "when you sing your heart out and the band, my comrades and friends, don't even listen or notice." Rob responded later - "I thought it was better!"
Ross brought his electric drums along again which, as well as adding to his vast arsenal of sounds, adds 45 minutes to his set up time. Several hours later, Rob and Johnny were having their hot milk and biscuits in bed whilst Ross was still tweaking his snare drum microphone. ("It's worth pointing out that we were not in the same bed" - Rob). As well as the electrics, Ross set up his combo amplifier at Johnny's side of the stage again but this time Johnny was happy. "I can use it to sit on during the drum solo," he explained. "It's the right height and very comfortable. The bass drum vibration is very pleasant on my bottom. Mind you, it's best not to sit on it too long - some nights my arse has taken a right bashing!"
Rob complained of money troubles prior to the gig but didn't short change the audience tonight. ("That's a really crap gag" -Rob). The Marshall Man was on fire all evening and several people came up to show their appreciation at the end. Ross observed that "maybe it was cos he stopped playing" but everyone felt that this was just sour grapes. Lechlade Colin and Smurf were keen to hear "Rock 'n' Roll" and asked several times but the Drummer Man refused. Johnny tried to goad him by suggesting it was too difficult for him and perhaps he wasn't up to it but the Skin Basher clearly wasn't biting. A short Robert Palmer tribute of Doctor Doctor brought the evening to a close. Rob assured Johnny that his bass playing was "Not quite on form tonight, mate" and Johnny responded with "Yeah? Well you're ugly." Rob informed him that he was about to compliment Johnny's singing - but now felt that he "was a fat bastard."
"Fast Freddie", the dancing man, was in his element again. He dervished around for a few songs and added to the atmosphere. Several other faces were recognized as regular attendees and it was good to see a reasonable crowd. Next gig here will be St Valentine's day.
Last Gig: The Black Horse, Nov 2nd
The first gig in nearly a month and this can often go one of two ways. Sometimes the band can be very rusty and out of practice, alternatively, sometimes the energy can push the band to dizzy heights. Fortunately it was the latter tonight. The band kicked off with "Get it On" and it was really powerful. The Black Horse's manager had said how people had come especially to see the band and how popular Burn is but the lack of applause seemed to disprove this theory.
Still, they warmed up a bit as the evening went on. Rob used his smaller Line 6 combo so that immediately meant the volume was survivable. Johnny, who had driven at breakneck speed from an afternoon gig with rock 'n' roll band The Copy Cats used his Sei Custom Bass though the batteries that powered the LED's in the neck started to die and it meant he was struggling to see where the correct notes were. ("Nothing unusual there, then" - Rob.)
Ross stayed with his acoustic drums again and caused much mirth with his trick of switching round the beat during certain songs. This attempt to cause confusion brings a smile to his fellow band members and disrupts the rock dancers in the crowd. However, tonight there were none. An Australian girl requested Men at Work's "Down Under" but Johnny politely fended off this suggestion. At an SRB gig the night before, someone had requested Tina Turner. "Oh yeah, what do you think that would sound like? Perhaps I can do some Abba too?" Hmmm, sometimes people seem to miss the point.
Well the band reckoned it was great to be playing again after a small lay off. Roll on next week.
Last Gig: The Belle Vue, Oct 4th
Johnny discovered a large nail sticking out of his car tyre as he loaded up for the gig. It looked a bit nasty and as the tyre rapidly deflated, he supposed it really was. This changed a leisurely drive and set up into a race against all the other slow, mimmsing bastards, poodling along at legal speeds who weren't in a hurry to go anywhere and who all seemed to want to go to High Wycombe. The gig started on time though the bass players hands seemed blacker than normal, brake dust and dog crap mingling with road dirt and sweat.
However, he was in excellent voice and the lads started with a bang. Ross didn't bring the electronic sounds ("thank you, God" - Johnny) as the venue is quite small and he drummed like a god. Bad news from the Guitar side of the stage. Rob could feel the returning pain of his tendonitis. This is especially bad news as Rob had been working hard to overcome this affliction and it seemed he had succeeded. He still played like a man on fire, and though he was critical of his playing, it was only noticed by him.
Henrik and Cheryl made the trek to see the band and brought a couple of Dave's to hear us for the first time, too. Fine chaps. Tina and Al took up the front seats so that Al could mouth abuse at Johnny and Tina could assist if it looked like Johnny had forgotten the words again.
Rob is going to the States and Johnny is going to Scotland so there are no gigs till next month.
Last Gig: The Gate, Sep 27th
Last Gate gig of the year. Once again it was busy and the average age seems to be getting lower and lower. Burn seem to be getting a large teenage following these days - The band would like to believe that but maybe the Gate is a little more free with the drink/age limit?
Still, they seemed to be into it. Ross used his triggers again and despite a few problems, seemed to be getting better results. The volume crept up accordingly and Ross admitted that it was the loudest Burn had ever played. Johnny took his ear plugs out for the 2nd encore, "Burn" and nearly passed out from the shock wave! The band apologises for any damage that may have been caused to young ears.
One of the problems with the stage area is having a large pool table directly in front of Rob. This does block some of the sound and up at the back of the venue, the sound doesn't always carry so well. This is no problem to Rob who believes if you can talk to your mate above the band then it's not loud enough. "There is no problem on earth that can't be solved by turning up. Blackmore, Malmsteen and Hendrix may have had speed, dexterity and musicianship but I have more than that. I have VOLUME". He makes an one exception. "Apart from the bass. That doesn't need plugged in."
Johnny realised that he may gone a little too far at the end when the PA didn't seem to be handling the vocals as well as expected. Mind you, having the drum amplifier directly behind Johnny's mike may have influenced this a bit too! "The poor thing can't cope" he grumbled. "Drums aren't meant to be amplified. You never see African tribesmen with bongos and spears.... and a Marshall stack!"
Last Gig: The Pineapple, Sep 26th
This gig was put in as a late filler for a band that pulled out. The Burn boys found a really good audience tonight, full of familiar faces and some who hadn't seen the band before. The ladies were "lechtastic" according to Johnny, and Rob passed several of his "lech" messages on his guitar whenever one passed near. Those who have heard the band before know these sounds only too well.
Ross brought his drum triggers and samples sounds to augment his acoustic kit. Johnny feared the worst. "We've created a Frankenstein monster," he moaned as 25 minutes of Ross hitting the drum whilst tweaking the sounds began to take it's toll. "Will you give it a rest?" begged Rob. "Pheeww pheeww" went Disco Ross. "Shut it" suggested Johnny. "Bonnnngggg" went Prog Ross.
Then the gig commenced. Johnny suggested Hold Your Head Up. Ross responded, "Can't do it mate. The triggers are cutting out. Can't get the synth sounds". Rob immediately picked Gimme All Your Loving - "Can't do it mate. Can't get the synth sounds." This did cause several people to wonder how the band had managed to play the songs for the last 7 years without the new technology! Possible TART behaviour suspected.
Rob reckoned he wasn't at his best but the others were happy enough. Rob feared his wrist was beginning to play up again but all seemed ok by the end of the night. Johnny used his Precision Bass for the first time in 4 years and loved it. "Not loud enough, though," he felt. "Too Bleeding loud" quothe Rob.
Last Gig: The Anglers, August 31st
The return gig at the Anglers and the band was not sure how many punters would show. In the end it was a fairly small batch of people but Johnny advised them to keep moving to different seats after each song to make it look busier and this undoubtedly helped. However, it appears that not enough alcohol was purchased behind the bar which caused the band payment "problems" from the management and so it is unlikely that Burn will play this venue again.
Never mind, the show was good and those that were there enjoyed it. First of all we were all treated to an audio display of Ross's new electronic drum sounds which he first used last week. Obviously the boy has been working on them as he gave us everything from Chinese gong sounds to African bongo bongos to what sounded like one of Rob's famous farts. How this was recorded does not bear thinking about! Rob was ecstatic and told Johnny how good he thought it all sounded. Johnny pointed out that this was because Rob was on the opposite side of the stage from Ross's amplifier and from his perspective, it was like standing in front of a Harrier Jump Jet. He was keen that the amp should swap sides regularly so that Rob can also enjoy the bowel-turning motions from Ross's kick drum.
Elliott got up and sang Wishing Well before departing to his regular haunt - The Militia Canteen. Big Jim was in the audience having earlier attended an afternoon gig that Johnny had done with blues band The Fire Dogs. Such dedication is much admired by The Critic and he gets a Big Burn Badge as a thank you. Graham and Liz also get one for stalwart supporting (despite G's comments regarding Skoda Cars and their owners)! "Bastard" explained Johnny.
Rob's hand gave him no problems (hooray!) tonight. He seems to be through the worst of it despite not taking the doctor's advice and shutting up for several weeks. ("Pity" - Johnny). Now he is free of Burn gigs for almost a month when the band play the Gate.
Last Gig: The Golden Fleece, August 23rd
Our 10th Anniversary Gig.
Rumours were abound that certain guests were going to show, like Tom the old keyboard player and Simon(e), the Lady-Boy Drummer. No chance! Instead, it was a cracker of a rock gig with some surprises. The place was very busy and had a really good atmosphere. The band got stuck in straight away and Rob was flying tonight. Ross had augmented his drums with special electronic triggers which gave some great sampled sounds alongside his normal acoustic ones. "Could you hear them, then"? he anxiously asked as Johnny turned round during a particularly loud passage. "Are you deaf, mate, Quasimodo could have heard them".
At the start of the 2nd half, came the "unplugged, acoustic" set. This was a bit of a compromise. Rob had never even seen an acoustic guitar before, let alone actually play one, so he compromised by playing his electric! Ross stayed with acoustic drums, but compromised by adding the electric sounds as mentioned. Johnny pulled out an acoustic 12-string guitar and started singing "Cuts Like a Knife" then was joined by drums, electric guitar and.... a bass! But no bass could be seen. It turned out that Johnny was playing bass pedals with his feet whilst simultaneously singing and playing guitar. Ross admitted being impressed but Rob muttered that "it just means 3 things that he can fuck up at once."
Rob gave a fine speech at half time thanking everyone for 10 years of music and laughs. He thanked Ross & Johnny but did not miss the chance to "have a go" at both of them. Johnny was singled out for certain memory lapses and a high turnover of lady friends. Ross got it in the neck for certain bad behaviour on occasions but it seems only fair that Sas should be reminded here of his own particular, unique characteristics - mainly broken gear and bones caused by his famous "tart attacks" through the years!
Well, it was agreed that not much would have been changed if the band had the chance to do the 10 years again...except maybe get Ross in from the very start.
It was over far too soon though most of the songs on the special list got played. A fabulous version of "Catch the Rainbow" was followed by "Born to be Wild" and of course, "Smoke" as an encore. Surprises included "Highway Star" getting the first airing in years, much to Colin & Joe's delight, and "Soldier of Fortune/ Temple of the King" in the acoustic section.
Good to see so many regular faces in the audience. Lots of pix were taken and we'll see if any are good enough for the gallery.
Last Gig: The Anglers, West Drayton, August 17th
A new venue for the band though Rob and Johnny had played here many times backing vocalist Elliott Tuffin on Sunday nights. It is one of the few places that is really set up for bands with a full stage, lights and curtains. It turned out that Johnny had played here over 12 years ago in a band called The Intruders when the audience numbered 3! Thankfully, this was not repeated tonight and several regulars and friends attended.
Graham and Liz were celebrating Graham's birthday with seats in the front table and got a rousing "Happy Birthday" sung to him by the band. Hopefully he was really embarrassed by this singling out as he had made some totally unjust remarks about Johnny's new Skoda.
Johnny's brother, sister-in-law and niece were in the audience and Elizabeth said how much she enjoyed it - which was a pleasant surprise as none of the songs had been written in her lifetime. "Still not as good as Justin Timberlake, though" she observed.
Rob was in full lead guitar mode tonight and "gave it large" with a heavy metal jacket approach. No wrist problems were apparent and his playing was vintage Rob. Several admiring comments were heard later - "Faster than Yngwie", "Sounded like Blackmore, but better", "Looked like he was waving his cock at the audience."
Ross said the sound on stage was poor from his drum seat and the lights were in his eyes, making eye contact with the band difficult. Still, Elliott who was in the audience thought he was a "great drummer". Johnny & Rob tried hard to dissuade him of this but he remained convinced. Elliott got up to sing 2 numbers and turned in a really powerful performance. Elliott is a tremendous singer and we would advise anyone to catch his act.
Henrik & Cheryl were there too and Henrik reckoned that the sound was the best he'd heard the band. Rob agreed with this but commented that "Johnny had got louder in the first number. I can always tell that as soon as my guitar disappears that the git has turned up!" Johnny came back with a clever observation of his own. "Tart" he suggested.
Next week - The Golden Fleece - our 10th anniversary gig.
Last Gig: The Flags, Chalvey, August 8th
Oh dear! It was too hot for anything - especially playing music. The punters at the Flags thought so anyway. Not so much an audience, more like an audient. As many as 10 people were in there at any one time. Rob had got there early "to have a drink" he claimed but the rest of the band were not convinced. Anyway, he wasn't early enough because the exotic dancers had already finished.
Ross couldn't believe that he'd missed the strippers and sniffed the girls' dance-pole as consolation. "Smelly pole" he observed. Rob, immediately responded "How dare you! My parents were Polish - they were fine people". After some discussion, it became clear that he had totally misunderstood the remark. All was well again, although, 2 hours of sweaty rock later, those who stood close beside Rob decided the original comment was probably correct.
Despite this great disappointment and the lack of people, Ross turned in a vintage show. This greatly surprised Rob & Johnny who had expected a minimal output performance. On the contrary, he really enjoyed himself and was in an entertaining mood all evening.
Johnny blockaded the club's portable air conditioner and had it blast at him point blank all evening. Such selfish activity was rewarded later when he was forced to buy a round of drinks for the band and two loyal friends, Graham & Liz who braved the heat to laugh and shout abuse.
Rob's hand spent more time in the ice bucket than on his guitar neck, in an effort to keep the tendonitis at bay. Earlier in the week, he had spoken to guitarist Gary Davies about coming in to do a couple of gigs to let Rob have a rest. However, greed and pride took over when he realised that Gary would earn the money and may do too good a job. Johnny said he would much prefer Rob to continue - "If only cos Gary is the only guitarist in the world louder than Rob!"
Some locals called for favourite songs and the band obliged where they could. "Paranoid" was given a play and was fun though is unlikely to get played regularly.
Last Gig: The Swiss Chalet, Swindon, August 2nd
Temperatures soared tonight and it was very humid in Swindon. Ross made them turn down the white spotlights and keep the flashing coloured lights to a minimum. Then he moaned about the dry ice machine which Johnny thought looked like fun- until he choked on the fumes during the test run. It was decided to turn it on for last number "Smoke on the Water" but when Rob activated it, a little puff appeared with all the might of a stubbed out cigarette. "Pathetic" was the band's opinion.
Ross was back on form tonight and Rob seemed to have some relief from his aching hand. It turned out that Ross had supplied him with a couple of horse-tranquilizers so he felt no pain whatsoever - some of the audience asked if they could borrow some too!
Johnny was accused of dropping a beat during "Space Trucking" which he immediately refuted. "Rubbish" he argued. "I put an extra one in." That's what he calls value for money. "Anyway," he continued, "Once we dropped a whole song from the set and no-one noticed!"
Some dancing people got up to boogie along to "Smoke" and generally the vibe was very good. Next gig will be a return to The Flags where the band hopes that the exotic dancers will have finished before the band takes to the stage. In fact they will be going along extra early to ensure this.
Last Gig: The Pineapple, Amersham, August 1st
The Pineapple is becoming a regular fixture. Bands play twice a week here at this pub run by Brenda Sas, Rob's ex. This means that you can hear good music, drink good beer and get attacked by Rob's three daughters, Terri, Robyn and Dani. The latter has taken many of the photos used in the gallery and SRB page and some movies too. She got great amusement from sticking beer mats all over Johnny's car until he responded by sticking them all over her!
The pub was busy according to Brenda but they majority preferred to listen to the music from the benefit of the other bar. We have often heard it said that distance improves the band's sound.
Johnny got a little hoarse tonight but good friend Tony had brought his wife and son David to hear us so he attempted to overcome his miserable limitations. David eagerly played Johnny's mighty Warwick Streamer Bass in between sets and also at the end, in an effort to convince his Dad that he needed one too. Dad did not bite and said he needed to put some practice in first. David said, "Why? Johnny clearly doesn't."
Robyn was observed blowing raspberries in father Rob's face after the gig but it was not clear if this was her opinion of his playing tonight. Ross displayed his whole range of drum techniques all the way from A to B with feel and emotion rivalled only by a drum machine .
"Baba O'Riley" got a rare play tonight and "Gently Weeps" is becoming a tour de force.
Back to the Court Inn - the venue that has parking for 3 Baby Prams, if you squeeze them up close together. Rob once had a shouting match with some hotel residents when they blocked his car in the narrow courtyard and wouldn't move when he asked them politely! Mind you, Rob uses the Saddam Hussein school of diplomacy when dealing with people and this sometimes leads to misunderstandings.
A dip of the hand into the ice bucket and Sas was ready to rip it up. What a trooper! Rob used his smaller, more polite amp for which the people of Witney were very grateful as it is a smallish venue. Johnny took no prisoners and stayed true to his normal big rig with the Sei bass. Ross said he felt un-inspired tonight so didn't play with his usual "sparkle".
One happy camper felt like dancing and dragged Michelle up from the audience to gyrate. After a minute, she came to her senses and sat down, leaving Disco Man all alone to boogie till he too gave up. Johnny introduced a classic song by Golden Earring - "Radar love" - and Ross commenced the intro to "All Right Now"! Oh well, perhaps no-one noticed?
Last Gig: The Crown, Lechlade July 20th
The gig was held up by 20 minutes due to Johnny being late. He'd been playing double bass with The Copy Cats over in West Hyde all afternoon, then driven like a madman to Lechlade, hence the delay. All the usual suspects were there including Colin & Sue who took seats directly in front of the band - the deaf fools! As the pub is not that large, Johnny and Rob used their combo amps which are a little smaller and less damaging on the ears.
Rob's hand had hurt all weekend and he was plunging it into iced water in an effort to take the pain away. BURNGIGS has been following this recent affliction for several weeks and now a doctor's appointment for tomorrow may reveal what the problem is.
Meanwhile he struggled on and, if he was in pain, then no-one could tell. Moira Simpson, visiting from Cheshire, told Ross and Johnny that he was a "brilliant guitarist" and wouldn't be dissuaded despite helpful comments from them like "really crap" and "miming". Mind you, she loved the band so much that she described the gig as "better than sex" which the whole band disagreed with. "You must be doing it wrong," said Johnny.
Johnny used his Red Rickenbacker and was in good voice, Ross had his old spark back after last week and played brilliantly. He was persuaded to play "Rock 'n' Roll" but omitted the drum solo at the end - the big tease! Someone suggested "Highway Star" and for one moment, it seemed as if it was going to happen but the band crapped out. However, come the August 23rd gig.......
Last Gig: Princes Risborough July 11th
Definitely one of the high spots of the year - the third gig we have done with our good friends, The Good Old Boys. Rob's relationship with these guys goes back years, to when he recorded/produced some stuff for them in the early 90's. He and Johnny worked with Bassist Nick Simper, in Quatermass II and also with Guitarist Pete Parks, in Elliott Tuffin's band.
As usual, Burn played first. It was extremely hot but the Club had air conditioning which helped immensely. It did not have a lift so all carrying of gear was done by hand up 2 flights of stairs. Fortunately, we used The G.O.B.'s PA so that helped a bit. It also gave us a great sound out front but without monitors to hear our on stage sound, it wasn't as clear as we are used to. In fact, Ross described the dead, stage sound as "playing into a thick curtain". One enthusiastic fan asked if we could do a number featuring the drummer but Ross declined as he felt he couldn't do his drums justice under these difficult, sub-perfect sonic conditions and he needed a more stable ambience. "Tart!" said Johnny. "Poof!" said Rob.
Using his Red Rickenbacker, Johnny turned in a strong performance but Rob stole the show with a virtuoso display, despite the recurring hand problems. Mind you, his niece was over from the States for the first time in years, so he was probably just showing off. The audience were very appreciative, however, and one couple actually danced to "Smoke on the Water".
The G.O.B.'s had people dancing from the start and even got Johnny up to dance with Liz. Fortunately, the others had gone by then and were not able to ridicule.
Last Gig: The Black Horse July 6th
Third and last night of the 3 Counties Tour. The Black Horse is big but is constructed so that we play straight at some roof columns and cannot be seen from certain parts of the venue. Some punters are happy with this arrangement and we did have a couple actually dancing and clapping with enthusiasm long after the songs had finished. They bought us all a drink at half time, too. That should have earned them a free CD!
This was a bit of a low key gig. We had our good friends Alan & Charlie in attendance, pretending not to eye up the females in the audience but we could see them.
Johnny's Bass packed up just as we were to start but fortunately, it turned out to be the lead. Buy cheap & you buy twice! Rob, suffering once again from carpal syndrome/repetitive strain injury/tinnitus/tendonitis/appendicitis dipped his wrist in the magical ice water and pulled out a great performance, despite admitting he was "knackered". He almost brought along his smaller rig tonight but realised in time that Johnny might drown him out. Ross managed to slip in several of his comedy phrases that the band know so well, even when he doesn't mean them, to keep us all amused.
So endeth the tour. The big gig comes up next week with The Good Old Boys and we're looking forward to that immensely. See gig guide for details.
Last Gig: Riff's Bar July 5th
Riff's Bar is a great rock venue, in Hook, just outside Swindon. It has many excellent bands playing regularly and some visiting acts from the states. It is run by music lovers and has a good in-house P.A. system. This was our second time here this year and was much better attended.
Our friends Alan, Colin, Lynne (also known as Sue), Smurf and Barbara came to hurl abuse as usual. Colin & Lynne having escaped a wedding reception, were in need of rockular restoration.
It's very easy to get a good sound here so that meant we enjoyed it all the more. Rob placed his Marshall 4 x 12 on top of another Marshall 4 x 12 giving the appearance of the famed Marshall stack that he and other Top Rock Guitarists (Blackers, Malmsteen, Iommi, Weedon) once used. "It's a very full sound - so much that other instruments are not really needed," claims Rob. "In fact, they just get in my way - especially that bloody bass!"
Ross, a believer in the adage "If it's worth doing, then it's worth OVER doing", actually miked up his bass drum. Did he think that we couldn't hear it? Sadly, Ross had been poorly all day but dug deep to turn in an excellent performance.
Rob also played well despite the recurring pain from his wrist. Johnny suggested that the repetitive strain injury was not caused by music but perhaps by some other more abusive technique. However, it was pointed out that it was his left wrist so unlikely be the cause of self-infliction. Johnny on Warwick Streamer VI was in good voice, no longer inflicting the second night audience with his hoarse, Lee Marvin growl. Mind you, some said he sounded like that on a first night, too!
Last Gig: The Pineapple July 4th
The start of the "3 Counties Tour" over this weekend. This was our return to The Pineapple for the first time since April and a few familiar faces were there.
Tina & Al sat near the front so that they could hit us more easily with a selection of vegetables and fruit specially prepared for the evening. By angling his cymbals to catch most of what was thrown, and using his drum sticks, Ross was able to toss a very nice salad, adding some herbs and seasoning to taste. "Rounded my evening off rather nicely," he said between mouthfuls.
Our new Danish friend Henrik was in attendance once again and this time he brought several friends. Colin and Sue came back for more as they had missed the last gig at the Gate. Mind you, they had gone to see Deep Purple & Lynyrd Skynyrd that night so we could appreciate the crisis of decision. It wasn't busy tonight but we enjoyed it and it seemed to go down well.
Poor Rob had trouble with his left wrist tonight and needed to soothe it in ice cold water to get through the gig. It may be a repetitive strain injury or, more seriously, a bout of tendonitis. Johnny believes it to be the former as he suggests that Rob has played the same solo in every song for the last 10 years! Rob favours Tendonitis because his big hero, classical/rock guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, also suffers from this terrible affliction - that and playing too many notes.
Johnny (using his 1964 Fender Jazz bass) was surprised when the other 2 played the song "Burn" differently to him. This was annoying after so much practice and then, especially disappointing when he realised it was him that had cocked it up! "Well, that's the way it would have gone if I'd been on it originally," he grumbled sadly.
Dani Sas took some more photos and a couple will appear on the Gallery.
It was the hottest day ever and also the longest day of the year. The Gate had erected a marquee in front of the pub and as many people sat outside in the heat as were in the actual pub. There were many who attended our last Gate gig which had been a cracker and it definitely seemed that the average age was much younger than the normal Burn crowd. After speaking to some of them, they professed a love for "older" rock music - which certainly is a lucky break for us!
Such was their enthusiasm that we turned in a spirited performance. This gig was notable for three things. First up, and important to all gear geeks, Johnny (Warwick Thumb 6 bass) set the PA up a different way, using the famous Harmony Machine through the send/return ports. This made the vocal sound much clearer and increased the volume. This is very important to all but Rob, who views vocals as "the crappy bit between guitar solos". Even when it was pointed out that this was called "THE SONG", he maintained that, overall, it was unnecessary and could be cut out.
Secondly, we performed "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for the first time and it was received very well. We hadn't actually ever practiced it and there was a moment half way through when we realised we didn't know how to finish it. Still, it's a great song and it could be regular number. It will be interesting to see how it grows and develops over time to become "Burn-ified".
Finally, to our complete surprise, Ross played a drum solo to finish Rock 'n' Roll. Not just a drum solo in fact, but a drum clinic. He started several patterns, playing like a wild man then slowing to a conclusion whilst Johnny and Rob waited to come back in.......No, he was off again like an express train on another rhythmic away-day trip. Many times he did this and the audience was ecstatic. Finally, after some 6 or 7 minutes, he cued Rob and the song finished. He got a standing ovation. Then, he actually spoke through the mike. We all thought he was going to apologise but he simply warned kids against doing that at home. Comments were heard "Just like a John Bonham solo", "Better than Ringo", "Sounded like a man building a fence." Well, he's not getting any more money.
Rob was happy with the show but had to race away to the airport where a plane took him to his villa in Spain for a few days. He had to miss out on an invite for a backstage pass to the Deep Purple gig in London the same night. (God, this paragraph reads well - sounds like a rock star kind of thing!)
Ross & Johnny returned home to hot milk and bed.
Fabbo gig. The heat, the beer, the music, the scantily clad teenage girls. Marvellous!
After a month off for holidays and "stuff", we resumed the gigging life. We all met up early to discuss the 10th Anniversary gig in August at the Golden Fleece. Rob wanted a standard rock gig, Ross felt an acoustic segment (unplugged) plus guests and Johnny wanted a full orchestra and girlie backing singers. The problem with these suggestions were that, a- Rob doesn't know what an acoustic guitar looks like, b- We can't find Tom (former keyboard player) and we don't want Simon (drummer) cos he's a woman now! c- The orchestra/girlie singers will want paid.
Well, we'll have something special for August but in the mean time we got stuck into the usual numbers. Sue requested (& got) Radar Love & Jailbreak but there were gasps of disbelief when Colin asked for Anal Love. He always seemed so straight and Anglo Saxon. After clarification, this turned out to be Ain't No Love by Whitesnake so much relief was felt all round.
Ross suggested a new set up due to discussion with another band who played here and we followed their example by setting up further into the pub and out of the alcove. Ross always complained about not hearing Rob where he sat before. This, everyone felt, was a sure sign that his ears have gone because Rob can usually be heard in the next county.
Johnny favoured the Sei bass without a headstock which always gets people asking "how do you tune it?" Those who have heard Johnny will tell you that he obviously doesn't know the answer and this has never been a consideration in his playing.
Smiles all round at the end. Everyone agreed it had been a good one. "Nice vibe," said Johnny.
A very warm evening and the Belle Vue was very busy. Rob chose the full Marshall rig this time and our good friend, Jim, had done some sterling repair work on Rob's aging foot pedals. These pedals have seen some severe abuse over the years- either Rob dances the Dervish Waltz as he passes over banks of different sounds in an effort to find the closest to Ritchie B., or he kicks them across the room in the throws of a "tart attack". Jim has got to know these pedals well in recent years. However, Rob played so well that we forgive him his violent tendencies.
Ross dropped a hint that the digital drums are not a figment of his imagination and that they would soon appear - he just needed to fine tune them. We predict this fine tuning will continue till the Winter. The problem is that he is trying to get them to sound just like the drums he currently uses. Doh! He pulled off the shock of the year by actually doing a short (but very good) drum solo at the end of Rock 'n' Roll. Gasp, shock!
Johnny turned up in his Fathers' car, having written his own off the night before in Southampton. It takes more than a dice with death to stop a Burn performance and he turned it on to reach the dizzy heights of mediocrity. The Warwick Streamer 6 was the axe of choice tonight. The Rev. Ricky Cameron was in the audience, on a visit from his parish in Glasgow and as he was not wearing his dog-collar, he was able to head bang unobserved.
The Swiss Chalet usually proves a good gig and this was a
cracker! They had a new light system which confused us until help came from the
staff. It seemed they wanted it to flash with the music but we hated that. A
simpler solution was sought and it looked pretty good we thought.
The attendance was good and we had several nutters up
near the stage area. One was Freddy who bopped and gyrated to every number
including Rob's tuning up in between. Amazing energy!
Rob put off recent disappointments such as falling out
with vocalist Elliot T. and being turned down for the Government sponsored
"Learn to play easy guitar" scheme for school leavers, to play a storming
Johnny warned the others that he had a new lady in tow and wanted to be on top form and show off. In the end, he settled for not completely sucking!
Ross was a rhythm god. Bet his wife loves him.
The crowd were very generous
and several people came up to say how much they had enjoyed it.
The Court Inn always seems like a venue that needs a
small jazz combo playing in the corner but what they get is Rob Sas on “11”.
Fortunately for the non- hearing impaired, he chose his Line 6 combo which
merely parts hair in the centre leaving scalps still attached. Johnny completed
a series of recent memory lapses by
forgetting to bring his bass amp though he remembered the speakers. In
desperation, he played his SEI bass through the PA, leaving the stack of
speakers as a silent prop, and though he felt it sounded like s**t, he observed,
sadly, that no-one else noticed the difference.
In the audience was a former band mate of Simon – our
original drummer before Ross. He confirmed that Simon is now Simone and doesn’t
use the gents anymore. Interesting…. but he’ll never get back in Burn with those
Well attended - a steaming gig was the feeling by
Last Gig: The Pineapple April 11th
This was a new venue to Burn though the Self Righteous Bros. had played there before. Brenda, the Boss had opened up the rear of the venue and this made a big difference as more people could get in and we could turn it up!
A local paper had sent someone to cover the gig and some pix were taken by him and by Dani Sas. Some of these are on the new Gallery and we will change them on a regular basis. We covered Paul McCartney's "Jet" for the first time in months and we so enjoyed it that it may get regularly aired again.
All in all, a very enjoyable
gig and we made several rebookings for later in the year.