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Old 26th November 2009, 07:59 PM
wildcat wildcat is offline
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Default My tour blog of Dublin, Belfast & Glasgow (a short review)

Part 1 - Dublin

I had originally booked two nights in Belfast, with a view to chilling and relaxing the night before the show. But I could just feel the excitement building on the BB as the tour got ever closer and knew I wouldn’t be able to sit tight in Belfast with UB40 playing only 2 hours away in Dublin. Then last week Carolanne mentioned to me that her hubby, Tom, was a Belfast taxi driver and that if I needed a lift anywhere I just needed to ask. There was only one train I could get that would get me to Dublin on time. If I missed it then that was the end of that. I had sleepless nights before, worrying I’d miss it. But my knight in shining armour, the wonderful Tom, stepped in and offered to pick me up from the airport and take me to the train station, which would give me loads of time. So, it was only the night before that I was definite that I was going to Dublin. All I had to do was book a room and get a ticket, which was quickly sorted (fortunately for me it wasn’t a sold out show).

My wonderful hubby, Andy took me to Exeter airport on Friday and the next person I saw was Tom at Belfast airport. What a lovely person he is. When I got in the cab he thrust a carrier bag in my hand and said it was some sandwiches and a drink, as Carolanne was worried I wouldn’t have eaten. So thoughtful. Not only did he drop me off at the station, he took me into the ticket hall and made sure I’d got my ticket and knew where the platform was etc. (thanks Tom).

My train would get me into Dublin by 8.15, which gave me enough time to get a taxi to the hotel, drop off my case, get a taxi to the gig and get my balcony ticket. Part way through the journey my phone network changed and I realised I was technically ‘abroad’. Then I also realised I had no Euros on me. Doh!

The train arrived 20 minutes late. So finding an ATM to get euros, getting a taxi to the hotel, checking in, then taxi to the gig meant I missed the first 2 songs on the set. I arrived at my seat when the 3rd song started. I waited in anticipation for the songs Father Ted mentioned (Madame Medusa, If It Happens Again, etc) but they didn’t materialise. Turns out I hadn’t read his post properly and he’d said ‘here are some songs they DIDN’T play’!!!! But then again I really enjoyed 4 out of the 6 new songs they did. My seat was right up in the Gods at the back. But it wasn’t all that bad really. The sound was great and so were their voices, especially Dunc’s. From up there I could see the audience’s reactions to the songs.

my view of the dublin show

All too soon the set finished and I rushed down to meet Sharon, Tik, Michelle and Ritchie, who I knew would still be by the stage. We got a taxi back to the hotel together (thanks Ritchie for sorting it) and chatted til the small hours. I bailed out at around 2am as I knew Shaz would be picking me up the next morning to take me all the way back to Belfast.

After NO sleep (the room was stupidly hot, even with the windows open, so I couldn’t sleep) I got up on Saturday, ready to do the whole thing all over again.

Part 2 - Belfast

I had to check out of my room by 11am, which was the same time the band was checking out. I had a quick chat with Pikey and then the buses headed off into gale force winds and rain. I said my goodbyes to Chelle and Ritch, then Tik n Shaz collected me. Contrary to rumour (Tik) I did draw breath a couple of times during the 3 hour trip. Honest I did! There must have been a few minutes when I wasn’t talking? I had a great laugh in the car, even when we got lost in Belfast, trying to find our hotel. Thanks to a kind policeman and a local taxi driver we made it in the end.

I quickly found Sarah K, who was getting slowly sh*tfaced with Geri & Caroline. Geri forced me to have some of her wine and soon I was feeling ready to party. Girls, you were great company. Joolz, at this point, was still on her way after her major delays. Without further ado we were down in the bar with the gang, and we laughed so much it hurt and got to know a bit about each other. Did you know that Tom likes 5-Star… and knows all the dance moves and was keen to show us! Dunc came to join us for a while. Then one by one the band came down to leave for the show. I could have easily stayed in the bar!



We all set off for the gig and somehow managed to get almost to the front. As the show progressed I inched my way forwards until a space appeared by the barrier right under Dunx. Bingo! Job done! Nice! Still loving the same 4 out of the 6 new ones (sorry but don’t like Earl’s choice). Astro made a little faux pas after he finished Rat In the Kitchen, he said ‘thank you Belfast goodnight’, only there were more songs to follow. He did ask afterwards whether he got away with it! Erm, no, you didn’t! Brian hurled me a bottle of water, which was much needed, to dilute the gin already in my system!!!

We had a short but windy walk back to the hotel, where Tik moaned constantly about how the wind messed up his hair. We passed a ‘Lady Boys in Bankok’ show and knew Pikey would be interested. When I later told him he asked if we could go and check it out, but we couldn’t as it was closed.



Somehow we ended up in the bar (really?!) where we laughed and drank some more until stupid o’clock, supping the endless supply of champagne.

















Part 4 – Glasgow

Ouch it hurt this morning. But thankfully Tom was on hand to taxi me, Sarah, Geri and Caroline to the airport for our onward trip to Glasgow. Our 45 minute flight got us there much quicker than the band’s trip did. We arrived at 2pm when they didn’t arrive for another 11 hours after being stuck on the boat. Thanks to Paula for picking us all up from the airport. I had a few quiet drinkees with Sarah and my sister, Anita and thankfully had an early night.

All too soon Monday arrived. Sarah & I met up with Soul, Jaye and Mark in the afternoon in the bar, later to be joined by Duncan. I dared him to take some spoons on stage and play them during the show, which gave me an idea for later I then left to meet with my sister and put the champagne on ice.

The SECC hall where the show was had no balconies, as it was all standing. It wasn’t all that full, so it was easy to get near to the front. I heard a familiar whistle to my right, so I knew I wasn’t far from Soul!! This was to be my first time of seeing Eddy Grant. I wasn’t disappointed. He played a mixture of his hits and some new material, all of which got the crowd nicely warmed up. He was by far the best support UB40 has ever had. Well it’s between Eddy Grant and The Wailers anyway. When UB40 came on, the sound was a bit muddy and at times just sounded like a load of noise to me. But the crowd was very lively and really up for it. Personally, I think the new set is lazy. It’s the same intro, some of the same songs as the last tour and too many LOL songs (yes Robin I know it’s a LOL tour but you know my opinion on this) and not enough old, old songs. But it’s great to see the buzz back on the stage. They have come to life since Duncan and Tony have joined and it’s a joy to watch. This is their Renaissance.




boom boom boom!

Back in the hotel after I asked a waiter to discreetly get two dessert spoons and I handed them to Duncan and asked him to play, which he did. Yay!! He played them up and down my arms, across my back, and then handed them to me to have a go, but I was totally cr*p. He said that the thing is to have some rhythm, which clearly I don’t have! Frank Bruno didn’t stay long and when he left he looked down at me and said ‘goodnight madam’ and turned to a bloke and said ‘goodnight sir’ and he let out his famous laugh as he left. Cripes he is so tall and you should see the size of his hands! I spent the next few hours chatting with Pikey, Tony, Sarah and Neat, before I caved in and hit the sack at about 4am.

Next morning we saw Duncan and asked how he was feeling. Although he hadn’t left the bar until after us he had managed to be down for breakfast at 9.30. God knows how he does it. Eating porridge after a face full of lager is beyond me. At check out Astro came in from the rain and sat down beside me and Sarah. He’d been to a Yates and had a Guinness, then went to a Subway and got a ‘Footlong’ sandwich to eat on the coach. At which point Sarah said to him ‘hey Astro I like your Footlong’, to which I replied, ‘I bet that’s not the first time you’ve been told that’. Dear me, time I went home!

It seems such a long time to wait until Cardiff, so I am sat here pondering over another venture…. Mmm, now let’s see….

Last edited by wildcat; 27th November 2009 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:09 PM
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Fantastic read Tanya
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:11 PM
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Brilliant many many thanks for that
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:21 PM
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Awesome Review Tanya and great pictures
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:39 PM
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Some good photos there, thanks. I daren't read too much or open some posts. I want it to remain a surprise until I get to the Sheffield gig, then the Manchester gig, wooo hooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait.

Lol, I read the posts with squinty eyes, just in case they give anything away, like that's going to work!!

Last edited by ellibobs; 26th November 2009 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:47 PM
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Lovely read Tanya.
Great pics too

love jx
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:48 PM
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Lol, the person sat with Earl, what the hell have you got on your knee?
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Old 26th November 2009, 08:59 PM
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OMG Tan what a brilliant read.
My face is aching with laughing all over again
What a pleasure it was to spend the evening with you all.

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Old 26th November 2009, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellibobs View Post
Lol, the person sat with Earl, what the hell have you got on your knee?
Thats Geraldines teddybear handbag
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Last edited by Sarah.K; 26th November 2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 26th November 2009, 09:18 PM
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Top class review & great pics. Thanks
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belfast review, dublin gig review, glasgow review, lol4 tour

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