Saturday 23 December 2023

The Saturday List #426 - Five decades of the False Dots Xmas gigs!

Tonight, The False Dots do our 2023 Xmas gig at The Dublin Castle. An Xmas Gig (by definition, a gig in the month before Xmas, so starting from 25th November is a long tradition with the band. We love a party, as the band inches towards it's 45th Birthday, I thought I'd list every single one. It sort of tells a story of the rise, fall and rise of the band

13 December 1980 - Harwood Hall, Mill Hill. Our first gig. No one would have us, so we set up our own gig at a church hall in Mill Hill. It was both a triumph and disaster. Our singer, Pete Conway didn't bother to turn up, but about a hundred people did and it was a good laugh. I said that if we could survive that we'd survive anything. This was what we looked like!

26th November 1982 Gooners club, at  The Copper, Tower Bridge Road. The start of a mini residency. By this stage, we had Eleanor Caine on vocals. We'd toured Sweden and played a few decent London clubs. The Copper loved us. The residency ended abruptly when the promoter was busted for dealing cocaine. 

18th December 1983 - Barnet College lig, Crouch End, Eleanor had departed and the force of nature that was Venessa Sagoe had joined, we were brilliant, even if I say so myself. I don't actually remember this gig at all. We did a lot of gigs with Venessa and they all merge into one.

22nd December 1985 - The Three Hammers, Mill Hill. Sort of the end of an era. Venessa had left, Allen Ashley joined. This gig was amazing, we played with Soldier Bike. We'd just got back from a gig in Belgium. I met Clare at this gig, we adjourned to a Warehouse party in Aldgate after. Little did I know that this would be our last Xmas gig for 17 years. Allen left the band shortly after. He persued a career in teaching. The band never really got itself back to a working unit, and although we did a few sporadic gigs until 1990, none were at Xmas until.....

20th December 2002 - The Three Hammers Mill Hill. I hadn't realised until I put this together, but the gap was started and finished at The Three Hammers. Boz Boorer joined us for an Xmas party gig. We were not particularly taking things seriously, but it was a bit of fun, playing old songs.

18th December 2007 - Mill Hill Music Complex Xmas Party. We thought a studio party in studio 7 was a good idea. Staff, friends and customers were invited, a brilliant night.

15th December 2009 - The Claddagh Ring. This was sponsored by Unison, an Xmas party for local activists opposing the One Barnet project. It was a great night. 

13 December 2012 - Friern Barnet Library, A special night, the party to celebrate the end of the Occupation of the Library, after we'd saved it. It also saw the return of Allen AShley to the band, having left in 1985. Allen sang for nearly a decade.

20 Dec 2014 - The Midland Hotel, Hendon This was the start of our long association with the Midland. It became our spiritual home. We played a few numbers at the open mic night, the landlord loved us and asked us back.

19th December 2015 - The Chandos Arms, Colindale. Another local pub that we were proud to support. Award winning singer, Emily Ovenden (now the vicar of St Judes) took over the pub. She announced that she wanted to put on music, so up we rocked. She became great friends. We launched the live music at the pub, with an Xmas bang! It was also the start of the live Barnet Eye Community Awards.

16th December 2016 - The Midland Hotel, back at The Midland for the Barnet Eye Awards. Another great night

9th December 2017 - The Chandos Arms, Colindale, we were back at The Chandos for the awards, we used to move between the two, as we loved both pubs.

11th December 2018 - The Mill Hill Rugby Club. We decided to do the 2018 awards at The Rugby club, as we wanted to do one back in Mill Hill and support the Rugby club, as they were having some financial challenges. 

13th December 2019 - The Midland Hotel. In many ways, the end of an era. The last live Barnet Eye awards, the last gig with Allen Ashley. It was the night after Boris Johnson won a landslide. A real Friday 13 nightmare all around, although the gig was fun. COVID hit shortly after. 

Tonight's gig will be our first post COVID Xmas gig.  I am now singing, We have Tom Hammond on Drums, Fil Ross on Bass and Grahame Ramsey on drums. I think the current line up is possibly our best ever, it sounds amazing. No one knows the future, when we played the 2019 Xmas gig, I had no idea that the world and the band would see such changes. But that is life. Please join us tonight!

Here's what you might expect!


No comments: