Tony Penultimate

Bradford and Gateshead

Once again I'm banging one out (as we say in the blog business) before I actually finish the deed, in other words: I have to catch the early train back tomorrow to get to my daughters sports day, so I won't have time to write up our gig at the Sage Gateshead tonight.


We are playing two shows in the north of England - Bradford and Gateshead, but without George, who is taking some well earned time off. 

Our touring schedule is pretty heavy (thats where the money is in music today) not only is he a bandleader trying to control seven ageing egomaniacs, but also the director of an international brand/business (The Ukes) which is enough to drive anyone to distraction. 

We are still a s*** hot show and very much like a football team who have a large squad 10 people so we can “rotate” the players. Yesterdays show was at the Bradford Alhambra. I remember my Spanish brother in law asking me why so many British cinemas were given Spanish/Arabic names, Alhambra, Alcazar, Mecca etc - I suppose its all to do with 1920’s exoticism.

There was a shadow cast over the evening by the news of the assassination of the British MP Jo Cox (who is from Yorkshire) by some maniac…we removed Psycho Killer from the set as it seemed inappropriate - but the show was sold out and well received.

The theatre is beautiful with a modern exterior, but the inside was still as it was since it was built. Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin have all played here, as has my mother and grandmother’s idol, the Austriann tenor Richard Tauber 

(I too am fond of his singing and carry his tour schedule on my phone).  I’ve been thinking of him recently as we also played the Semperoper in Dresden where he was principle tenor - he learnt the part of Calaf in Turandot for the German Premiere in 1926 (the character who sings Nessun Dorma) in two days flat - an incredible feat! 


The show went well with an old friend Ros, unexpectedly turning up - she’d organised a party where I met Gilly, my wife in 2000 - I hadn’t seen her in 16 years and she’s got two beautiful daughters (both ukulele freaks) - how time marches on for us all.  


We are staying in a splendid place near to the venue called the Great Victorian Hotel, a typically impressive 19th century palace which is totally impractical in this day and age and we about to catch the train to Newcastle.

I've seen that woman on the right before somewhere

They have updated it sympathetically and my room is comfortable, it also has a chain on the door, which will help keep me in  



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