Monday 5 February 2024

What a blast we had at The False Dots 45th Birthday party at The Dublin Castle

When you start a band, you never think about whether it will still be around in 45 years time. When the False Dots did our first gig, my Dad was 61 years old, the same as me now. I was 18. The idea of someone as old as him playing a gig was incomprehensible. Yet here we are, the band playing at The Dublin Castle, surely London's best grassroots venue to celebrate. It is quite bonkers really, but The False Dots have always been a bit bonkers. It was a wonderful evening. We were deilighted that our mate Jamie Whelligan (who played at The Mill Hill Music Festival with his band) joined us, accompanied by our Trumpet player Tom Hammond. Jamie has an amazing sense of melody, something that Liverpool acts seem to just have instinctively. I had a chat before the gig with Jamie about some of our shared musical loves, such as Moby Grape and Syd Barratt. I can chat for hours about obscure albums by artists I like, to the few people who share such tastes. Jamie is playing with his full band, Whelligan on Saturday night at The Slaughtered Lamb in Farringdon. It's a great venue and will be an excellent night out. 

Next up were Inbetween Honey, a bunch of lads from Ireland, doing their first gig abroad. I was really excited to have them on the bill. I'd watched a couple of their videos and was impressed. They are actually far better live, which is the sign of a good band. They have great songs and are very powerful. They are also a lovely bunch. They dragged all of their family down, I'm sure a few boozers in Kilburn had rather quiet nights. It was great seeing their joy at playing such an iconic venue. There was meant to be another band on, but they dropped out, so the band were able to play an extra few songs. We were given the option to play longer, but as they'd come over specially, it seemed only fair to let them have longer than the 30 minutes originally scheduled. I hope they come back, and will deffo go and see them again

By the time The False Dots were due to play, the house was rocking and everyone was up for a party. I had been a bit worried, as many people are skint at this time of year, I certainly am! I needn't have worried. Friends had come from all overto see us. Our old drummer, Dav Davies, who played on our first two demos and at our first gig came down from Shrewsbury. He'd not seen the band since! He brought his wife and daughter and had a great time.We got a few pics with him after.

Amo joins the Dots for a pic!
There were a couple of girls from Amsterdam, a few friends from Spain, Ian from Reading, a well as our lovely regulars, Sue and Gary came down from Dan's carpet shop in Burnt Oak to do the Burnt Oak boogie, our number 1 fan Amo  was there as always.

 My mate Paul the plastic paddy came down with all his family, as much to check out Inbetween Honey, as he is an afficionado of Irish bands. My lovely kids brought all their mates as well. My sister, who along with Dav was probably the only other person at the first gig was there with her fam. She hadn't seen Dav either for 43 years. It was one of those nights (sorry if I didn't mention everyone, but I'm a bit hazy from it). We always try and chat to as many people after gigs as we can. Thanks to all.

As for the set.

1 Wacky Races - We love to break the rules, they say start with a fast song, this is our slowest and starts with a heavy dub beat. Myself and Fil dressed up as Wacky races characters, to get in the party mood!

2 Bubble Car - My missus favourite song, Tom Hammond on trumpet did an amazing job.

3 Oh No Sharon - We always love watching the reaction of new fans to this one. We start it with the theme tune to Eastenders, which gets a laugh or two!

 4 Rambo's Rampage - A song for our drummer, about his discovery of Mod culture as a lad. A beautiful haunting trumpet line from Tom.

5  We all love a party  - We had to do this one, as we were having a party!

6 Longshot Didn't die - Our tribute to The Pioneers, it always gets the audience going with the Woo Hoo's!

 7 Channelling Ian Dury - Our tribute to the great man. We had to do this!

8 Burnt Oak Boogie - Our youtube hit, the biggest selling song in Burnt Oak in 2022!

9 Buy Me a Bottle of Jack - Our superfan Amo's favourite song, he asked us to do it specially

10 Sci Fi Girls -  Our new single, a bit of silliness about our love of sci fi and especially Dr Who's assistants.

 11 Not all She Seems - The last man standing from our first gig. Still the highlight of the set!

12 Action Shock - Our closer, where we go mad and have some fun. I broke a string but it doesn't really matter for this one!

Encore  Saturday - Our love song to the fans of football. We play with the HadleyFC banner behind us, so I used it as an excuse to extoll the joys of non league football. I'd been at Hadley earlier in the day, watching them win!

Rog with Dav after the gig

After the gig, I had a chat with Dav and he gave me a cassette of our first gig. I'd never heard it before. We discussed the gig and some of the characters in the band. Dav hasn't played drums for 20 years, which is a real shame. There must be a band in Shresbury that could use a great drummer like him.

 I listened to it and was amazed at how fresh some of the songs sound. We were far better than my memory of it!

I finally got away from the pub at 1.30am. What a night. Thanks to everyone who has kept the faith!

Here is a snippet of Saturday, with the excellent Tom Hammond taking the lead on Trumpet.



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