Matlock Bath, Wed 21st March (22/03/01)

Neil Woodhead:

Wednesday 21st March brought snowy chaos across much of England, but that didn't deter the lads from their first gig of the year. We left Huddersfield and trekked through snow, fog, sleet and driving rain - as we seemed to climb one mountain after another in search of this elusive watering hole they called Fishpond.

The oasis of Matlock and then Matlock Bath came into view and we were treated to the delights of this small town with it's cool chairlift and Abraham's Heights. The Fishpond itself was a great venue and we soon realised that we'd missed the first support and were mid-way through the skiffleband - who were certainly entertaining in a rather unique way.

After a short wait Nigel, Neil, Ken and Carl appeared to take the stage - although Ken soon realised that a battery had gone in one of his pedals. This took an age to replace, must to the typical laughter of everyone else. Indeed, Ken spent all night doing one thing and another with his equipment, never ready to start any of the tunes when the rest of the lads were!

The beginning of the gig saw a two man 'moshpit' in front of a sell out crowd of 200, however numbers at the front soon began to swell and by the end was a few rows deep - hot and sweaty in the usual biccies gig style.

The set was a typical biccies set with Irk, Wassail, Fred T, Vitas, 24hr etc. However we were also treated to a new song called Paradise Lost - this was at the point Ken spent fiddling with his batteries. The encore was typically biccies with Worried Man and Trumpton Riots - once again brilliant.

This was Cathy's first ever biccies gig and she seemed highly impressed and amused by the whole thing - we even heard that she and Heidi danced to Irk The Purists - whatever next?

The trip home was much the same, mountains, snow, ice - albeit with a stop at a 24hr garage for refreshments - no fucking Pringles though!

Excellent trip and a good gig to start 2001, but we need more lads - much more and soon..... what about a tour of Scotland?