SECRETS - THE FIAT LUX DIARIES

 
DECEMBER 1983

Sat 3

With David to Amazon Studios, Liverpool to finish off and mix 3 tracks for Limbo. Home in time for last orders!

Wed 7
Live Date: Manchester University: First gig with soundman Paul and roadie Martin. Shown into a little bar where we are invited to set up in a corner. Had to vacate the room to allow for a meeting of the vegetarian society before returning for a soundcheck at 6 pm. The gig went well. I did the lighting, Paul worked out fine on sound and it was one of those cosy little gigs with tons of folk and plenty of atmosphere. Arrived back in Yorkshire at 1am.

Wed 14
To London for afternoon meeting at solicitor James Wylie's to tie up our management contract with the boys. Chris Carr there too and all agree simple terms of mine and Chris's management role so that we have something on paper. After a brief stop at Polydor check into the Columbia Hotel where we meet Chris's brother Steve to organise a photo session with him. He is principally a fashion photographer but we don't see this as a problem. In evening meet up with Sue from Beggars Banquet and Helen Fitzgerald from the Melody Maker for a drink in Hammersmith, then return to the Columbia where David manages to fuse the lights on his floor. Not sure what he was up to.

Thur 15
To Polydor in the morning for a meeting with Billy Keane plus Sally the accountant. Then to Steve Carr's for the photo session in the afternoon. Return to Polydor for the aftermath of the A&R Christmas party. Ian and David take Sally for a meal while the rest of us return to the Columbia.

Fri 16
Warf Rehearsal Studios, London Arrive in taxi as soundman Paul arrives with gear in brand new flight cases. Band perform a showcase for our new plugger Sonny Ray and various Polydor staff including bossman John Preston, Tim Reed , Paul Lowe and Billy. Chris Carr also in attendance and all goes well. Sonny seems particularly keen. After packing up meet Chris again for a debrief in his local in Kilburn before driving back to Yorkshire.

Sat 17
Collect the band and organise hire car and van for start of the tour. Ian, Steve and David drive to Leeds to collect stage costumes from Homburgs.

Sun 18
Howard Jones date: Goldigger's Chippenham, Wilts. The venue is a big old concrete cinema painted blue. Meet Howard Jones for the first time as soon as we get back stage. He is very generous to us and invites us to share his superior dressing room and food. Chris, Sarah and Billy come to support us. It goes well but soundman Paul complains that he was no allowed to use the full capacity of the PA. Travel to Columbia hotel London for overnight stay due to TV interview.

Mon 19
Howard Jones date: Royal Court Theatre Liverpool Arrive at Polydor at 9.30 am and it isn't open. Billy arrives soon afterwards and lets us in. The TV crew arrive. It is a Norwegian TV interview arranged by Polydor and it is conducted on the roof. Steve says it was ridiculous because no one could understand each other and they just end up larking about for the cameras. Drive to Liverpool, a familiar venue from the Blancmange date, and arrive in good time for a 6.30pm sound check. Howard Jones is doing Top Of The Pops, so will only arrive at his show time. Tonight the sound is good and so is the audience response. Afterwards the boys sign autographs in the bar before returning to Wakefield for a night in our own beds!

Tues 20
Howard Jones date: Rock City , Nottingham When we arrive at the venue at about 3pm there is no dressing room provided, so I have a word with Howard and he once again invites us to use his. The band has trouble with monitoring during the show and the sound is a bit lacklustre. There is also an issue with the lighting which isn't up to par. It is only when Howard goes on and has similar problems that we realise it wasn't anyone having a go at us. Stay in The Portland Hotel which was a bit grotty.

Wed 21
Howard Jones date: Civic Theatre, Guildford The general consensus was that there was no desire to breakfast at the hotel, so I drive to Leicester Forrest motorway services and we dine there instead. More eating at Pizzaland once we get to Guildford. Here I get stick from the band who claim I am trying to proposition the waitress! We then buy presents for soundman Paul's birthday before arriving at the venue. There is plenty of room backstage at this one and the show goes well with a good time had by all. Meet our agent Mick Griffiths of Asgard for the first time and Tim Reed. Chris Carr, Sarah and Helen Fitzgerald are also in the audience. Afterwards we all go back for drinks at Newman's Guest House where we are staying.

Thur 22
Howard Jones date: Queen Victoria Hall, High Wycombe, Bucks Take the band on a scenic route and see quite a bit of countryside and explore the picturesque town. This is Howard's homecoming gig so we only get half a sound check because he is having his performance video-ed and the crew have to rig. Also Howard is putting on his brother's band before us. Ian's Memorymoog starts to go wrong, so I send out an order to Plaquets hire company for a replacement. Unfortunately just before stage time they arrive with a Minimoog, so we have to chance it with Ian's faulty one. The band go on stage in a flat panic, but somehow it all comes together and Ian's keyboard mostly behaves itself. David manages to rip the electronics out of his SG guitar, but even then it's still declared a good gig. Afterwards Howard gives us a bottle of wine and a card saying "lovely to have you on the tour". Have difficulty getting into our hotel the Clifton Lodge due to arriving after midnight and we have to wake the proprietor. Obviously not used to "rock n roll hours" around here.

Fri 23
Break for Christmas. Steve sets off for London while I drive the others back to Wakefield.

Tues 27
Howard Jones date: The Lyceum, London The final date of the tour and Steve's birthday. Ian and David drive down to London and meet Steve at the venue. Chris Carr and Billy meet the band after the soundcheck. It turns out to be the best London gig so far. Paul Lowe and Mick Griffiths join in Steve's birthday celebrations in the pub around the corner, then there is an after show end of tour party thrown by Howard in which he presents Steve with a bottle of Champagne. Check into the Columbia hotel in the early hours.

Thur 29
Live Date: I.C.A, London with Gene Loves Jezebel Some fans were already waiting during the soundcheck which was encouraging. The performance was a bit rough but good fun and there were a lots of friends in the audience including Steve's wife Gill and London mates and some of David's Grimsby pals. Chris Carr brought John Cale to see the show. Lots of Polydor staff were in attendance, plus Helen Fitzgerald and Sue Johns. Afterwards both bands and virtually everyone else went for a meal at a creperie on Queensway. Then all back to the nearby Columbia for drinks - John Cale playing hopscotch with David and Chris down Bayswater Road.

Thur 30
Steve and Gill stay in London for New Year while David, Ian and friends return to Yorkshire.

<< return to secrets index