We make it to Newcastle in relative bliss. We have satnav, heating and the lads get to watch American Horror Story on Camino’s laptop. We arrive at The Cluny 2 all a little nervous. Without Dan Gray we’re unsure of how its going to go down but we’re looking forward to our support act Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra so our worries are somewhat alleviated. It’s a great set too.
Dan on the shop in NewCastle
There’s a nice crowd gathering which look to be up for a good time. We’re not disappointed either…lots of dancing and enjoying the flagon. Afterwards we’re hell bent on partying and find ourselves in a cheap pub, not one but three or four hours later we’re necking shots of whiskey and drinking pints…some girl wants to snog me and I’m arm wrestling (all fun as I recall)! Waking up early next morning with a terrible terrible head in the Travelodge I draw the curtains and see people at their office desks only feet away – I cannot complain!
Skinny live on tour
Next journey is to Leicester – we need to be reunited with our Landy so we’re hoping it’s ready and not too dear – Thank goodness it’s the former and not the latter! We hop back into the cold, crowded ‘trusty’ Landy and get back on the road. Everything takes a lot longer than normal today. After an interview we finally manage to set up our gear as people start entering the pub. Friends and family walk through the door along with a very ill Party George still eager to party given that it’s his birthday. It’s only a cold and it doesn’t appear to stop him from tasting the beer in his hand. Roger Wilson joins us on stage and off we go – party on stage and have a great time.
Skinnies with Beetlejuice
Tuesday is Winchester. Again relatively unknown ground but I have some friends there so it’s going to be fun whatever. The venue is called The Railway and I like it a lot. It’s the first venue we have arrived early at, but assume it’ll not be a problem only to find this sign is on the door! Charming. Anyway, there’s enough time to pop to a pub we heard about called The Black Boy, which has lots of fantastic things in it and great food. You should check it out. The gig is great too as there’s a big crowd singing and dancing and we have lots of fun (again). Cheers Winchester!
Skinny live in Winchester
Wednesday is London. It’s a long time since we’ve had a gig in our hometown and we’re all really excited to find it’s SOLD OUT! Whey hey – we’re happy about this! Sisters are on track and we have a fridge full of booze plus Roger Wilson as support. It’s going to be a good’un and yes – it turns out that way! I think I might have crowd surfed and some of us ended up at new friend’s houses until the wee hours of next morning. Whoops. Somehow we manage to get some sleep before heading to Brighton. With very weak bodies and hurting livers we set up, eat and wait for our early slot. It’s a great gig and ends up being another late late night with a lock in at some unknown pub dancing on the bar to Queen.
Hastings seems impossible when I wake up the next morning but is actually apparently not after a couple of beers and some fish and chips we get to the venue…another great support slot in the guise of King Size Slim. Following this we get to the stage….there’s moshing, some guy rips most of his clothes off and there’s a stage invasion…not to mention shoulder rides on dangerous ground. All very good fun…Hastings – you never seem to disappoint! End of tour bed has never felt so good!
Ahoy there dear Skinny friends. What a weekend we had down in the land of smugglers! The Ship Inn, Dymchurch, welcomed us with open arms as usual. We very much enjoyed the crazy dancing (and not just by myself), broken tankards and haggling at the Skinny Shop – so sorry we didn’t sell the anchor to the gentleman who’d travelled 100 miles to see us but we just couldn’t part with such a gem for that amount!! If you change your mind though…keep an eye out for our Skinny Shop on the website where the items will soon be displayed and available to purchase…
Anyway, many songs, shanties and swigging later I vaguely remember the crowd slowly dispersing and Skinnies making our way upstairs to a comfy bed for a lovely night’s sleep before our trip to Hastings for yet another round of skinny shenanigans. Ooof…heads were sore and hands were shaky when we awoke but we had love in our hearts and food in our bellies so we left in high spirits, set for Mule’s home town – Hastings.
After a cold afternoon of shopping in the Old Town (where I got a lovely suitcase in which I plan to carry my skinny dresses on our forthcoming adventures), we started to set up in The Stag. As friends arrived, new and old, we started to feel the energy return to our poor old bodies ready for round two…woohoo…a busy pub, successful sales at the shop and lots of singing from band and crowd…we had a blast! Emotions were high when the beautiful Rob sang Bye-Bye My Roseanna in a rip-roaring shanty session, which followed the Skinny sets.
What a brilliant weekend! So lovely to catch up with you all again. And to wake up to snow. Beautiful end to a beautiful weekend with beautiful people. Thank you especially to Allan, Star and Elaine for being such great hosts. We WILL return – oh yes, we will!
PS… (From Mule) If anyone has any pics of the weekend, please post them on FB for us so I can insert into this post. I forgot to take any for some reason?!
If you wake at midnight and hear a horse's feet, Don't go drawing back the blind or looking in the street. Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie, Watch the wall, my Darling, while the gentlemen go by.
Five and twenty ponies trotting through the dark. Brandy for the parson, Baccy for the clerk, Laces for a lady, letters for a spy, And watch the wall, my darling, while the gentlemen go by.
We’re heading back down South for a couple of gigs over this weekend 3rd and 4th Feb.
Friday night sees Skinny return to The Ship Inn, Dymchurch, on around 9, free entry.
Saturday night we’re at The Stag in Hastings, on around 9, free entry.
Both gigs are without PA and crowd participation is actively encouraged! Get your singing voices ready!
Hastings was up next. I must admit the thought of playing my home town filled me with the worst nerves i’ve encountered for some time. For some reason playing in front of people you know well is worse for me than playing to a room full of people you don’t know so well. Funny eh?
We pulled up to my Mum and Dad’s place for a lovely lunch accompanied by 50’s classiscs on the radio, my Mum showed off her encyclopedic knowledge of rock n’ roll music and we were all amazed by her flawless rib, sausage and salad meal combo. What a cook! After dinner we headed down to the beach for a spot of swimming. Lorna went in, the rest of us looked on in wonder. It was icy cold and the waves were rolling in.
Lorna braves the cold and waves
Half frozen, we jumped back in the Landrover and went back to my Mum’s to record the tale of my Great Grandfathers bum tattoos form the source… It was lots of fun and after more tea and bread pudding we had run out of time. We headed over to the Old Town to check in to a B&B called The Medieval Lodge which was built in 1489. The guest house is located near The Stag on All Saints Street which in itself is a sight to behold with ancient houses jumbled together on a very narrow road.
After a quick lie down, we headed to The Stag for some food and to set up our stuff. The amazing landlord, Alan greeted us and fed us with the best meal we’ve had in a pub all trip! Saturday night in Hastings is usually a raucaous affair so we had every hope the night would turn into a massive party and we were right. A lot of my old friends and family showed up which was amazing to see (Thanks all!) and with regulars also in attendance, the place was packed out. We launched into the set and soon had the crowd singing along at the top of their voices. It was a classic gig and we all had a great time.
At the end of the night after an extended and unplanned shanty session featuring songs from locals and Skinnies alike, we got one of our new friends, Rob to record us a message for tomorrow night –