DUPE

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Maidstone - 25th February 2005

The Flower Pot

The Flower Pot is a small pub on the eastern end of Maidstone and for those with an architectural eye, it has superb wood panelling at the higher end of the bar. However, such observations are dreadfully un-rock’n’roll, especially as we played at the other end, by the dart board.

Having not played live since early March 2004 (my 40th Birthday), the first couple of songs, Got to Get You Into my Life and Big Hunk of Love were a little nervous as we got used to the sound of the band again. A touch of feedback in the first number was set upon by our Behringer Feedback Destroyer - a box of tricks which should be a must in every band’s inventory. All you do is crank the PA volume to way over the level you need it and this natty device isolates all the nasty frequencies and damps any feedback. During the rest of the gig it just hunts around for one-off howls and deals with them - it’s the fifth member of DUPE in many ways!

The debut outing of Doctor My Eyes was nervous to say the least, but we’ll persevere with it. It’s a wonderful song but deceptive in its complexity - easy to play, hard to play well.

The first set built quite well with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down sounding fresher than it had done for ages. Let it Be was most enjoyable with a wonderfully warm symphonic sound and we were pleased with the reaction to Blinded By The Light and the set closer, Black Night, which concluded on a particularly frenetic final chord.

After half and hour of chatting, relaxing and drinking, we launched into the second set with Rockestra which opens with Brian coaxing howling feedback from his Stratocaster until I decide to count the rest of the band in for this rip-roaring instrumental.

We all felt far more settled at this point and the debut of Deep Purple’s Lazy went superbly with Pete’s banshee screamed vocals driving the short vocal section forward nicely. Brian and I pissing ourselves with laughter also added to the mood, we would like to think. The contrast of This Guy’s in Love with You directly after Lazy worked nicely and gave us poor old buggers a chance to have a breather. Pete’s singing was, as ever, delightful on this number which is quite challenging due to the low register of the vocal line.

From then on, without wanting to appear arrogant, it was pretty much Standard Operating Procedure. The debut of A Day in the Life was thrilling to play and I was particularly sent during A Long and Winding Road - surely one of Paul McCartney’s most seductive and moving songs.

The set proper ended with Goldern Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End - the wonderful ‘multi-song’ from the sublime Abbey Road album from the Beatles. After that, the impracticality of leaving the stage to await cries for encores meant that I was forced to indulge in an appallingly indulgent exercise of screwing sufficient applause from the lively crowd. Fortunately the audience were marvellous and we concluded the gig with the Monkees favourite Day Dream Believer followed by Hey Jude.

Hey Jude is the G-Spot of the repertoire, if you’ll forgive the analogy. Apparently John Lennon rated it as one of his favourite McCartney songs at a time when he was being particularly caustic about his songwriting partner’s output. Once again the simple and thoroughly moving tune had the crowd singing along with aplomb, and the Na-na-na bit at the end (excuse the musical jargon), went bananas as ever.

We were elated at the end. It was great to get back on the road and very satisfying to air some of the old favourites alongside new and terrifying numbers in this, our twentieth year together.

A huge thankyou to everyone at The Flower Pot and all those who travelled to see us.

We will be back at this venue in the near future so keep checking the website for more news.

© Dave Griffiths 2005