And so the Ukes had been booked to play a benefit for the Friends of Sussex Hospices which was being held at a palatial residence in Framfield, Sussex. While I live in the neighbouring county of Kent, anywhere in Sussex takes me an age to get to as there are no motorways directly there - so a journey of 60 miles took me two and a half hours on small windy roads - I could have got to Heathrow airport in that time! I once again continued my dive into rap culture and spent the whole journey listening to the excellent Dissect podcast.
I know some of the peeps who are organising it - David Liddell and his wife Chloe, who used to be my flat mate before he got married and when I lived in London in the eighties, he is a good guy and although I haven't seen him for a while. I'll always remember him at our wedding 18 years ago, a friend pointed him out on the dance floor "who's that short guy on the dance floor really going for it? - the one dancing with the frightened looking woman" (it was his wife). David, despite being a regular looking senior executive, hides a deep passion for the Rolling Stones and whenever they get played, he explodes into a series of ecstatic spasms, high kicks and frenetic dance moves etc.
As a rule, the easiset gigs are the ones where you dont know anyone, the ones where you do, always make me a bit nervous as, if the band dont enjoy it, you get the blame! I remember, back in the 90's when the Ukes played my sisters wedding at a London Club, for some reason the bands dressing room was in a dungeon under the stage, with no food or water, while I was fortunate enough to barf my way through a three course dinner upstairs, before joining them on stage - I got several shades of sh*t for that one....
The gig as you can see was in a top of the range marquee and was a black tie affair - we joked that everyone had come along dressed up as imposters!
While waiting for our dinner, Jonty perused some of the classy magazines left on the table - if you know any farriers who aren't registered, please email Jonty or tell the police!
Since there was an ornamental lake nearby, out came the trusty mosquito spray, courtesy of Richie (he always has everything!)
A quiet moment backstage before we went on - the gig was well received (they mostly have classical concerts I understand). Those of us who were staying over at a local hotel got back just in time to find all the pubs closed, so we retired to our rooms for a lonely cup of tea - pathetic really.