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History of the Band

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Chapter 10 : The 2005 Reunion Gigs

After several months rehearsing and preparation, the "big day" arrived - Saturday 15th October 2005.

Paddy & Gail's Wedding Reception (therefore, the Reunion Gig !) was held at the Village Hotel, Chilwell, Nottingham. The band, plus the P.A. and lighting crew arranged by Miff, all had to be there in the morning to set everything up and soundcheck, so that everything was done and finished by the time the wedding party arrived later in the afternoon. Plus, all the members of the band also had to attend the wedding ceremony too, so it was all a bit of a rush ! And for the first time, 617 were without their Roadie.... but I guess Paddy did have more important things to do on that day, after all !

Post-soundcheck at the Village Hotel... The first time a 617 stage had been set up since 1992 !The band and crew began arriving at the Village Hotel at 9am. Ever-present and newly re-involved (even though he said he was not interested in having anything to do with the band again !), first man there was Coop ! He would be generally helping out and also operating the lights during the show. Miff had previously arranged for everything to be "ready to go" by that time, but the hotel staff had not set up a stage nor sourced the requested power for the equipment. So the first hour or so was lost simply by having to get the staging in place and wait for the site electrician to turn up to give access to a 32Amp power supply in the function room. Once that was all sorted, all the gear was set up and the band began a lengthy soundcheck. There was a nightmare moment for Gary as, for the first time ever, one of the keyboards refused to boot up ! Today, of all days !! Luckily though, it was just a temporary "glitch" and a few minutes later, it came on. But time marched on and by about 12.30, everyone had to leave in order to get to the church for 2pm !

Once the wedding ceremony was over, all the guests went to the Village Hotel for the reception. Upon arriving there, the band immediately checked all their equipment and discovered that someone from the hotel had kindly cut the power to the Function Room at some point during the afternoon - not a great thing to do when Amps and pre-heaters, etc. had been left powered up after the morning soundcheck ! Power was soon re-established though and thankfully, all the equipment came back up again.

First reunion gig - Paddy & Gail's WeddingWith the band not scheduled to perform until about 9pm, it was a long day for them all to stay sober ! But as showtime approached, the band went up to the "Bride's Courtesy Room" to get changed. Twenty minutes later, to the tune of the "Dambusters March" intro track, 617 took to the stage for their first public performance since 1992 - and the first ever as a 6-piece !

First reunion gig - Paddy & Gail's WeddingIn short, it was a triumph ! All the Wedding guests thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Paddy & Gail - for Paddy, it brought back all those memories of "the good old days" and for Gail because she had never actually seen the band perform before. But I doubt anyone enjoyed it as much as the band members themselves - after just a few bars of the (highly appropriate) opener, "The Boys Are Back In Town", - it was like nigh-on 14 years had just melted away !

617 played a one-hour show, plus "obligatory" encores, ending as usual with their "signature tune", Van Halen's "Jump", before finally leaving the stage to much applause and acclaim - and hitting the bar for some very well-deserved beers !! The rest of the night was spent very happy... and very drunk !!

Having now proved to themselves - and everyone else - that they could still do it, it was probably only now that the band decided that they would do another show in a few weeks time. It had been mentioned a few weeks previous, but nobody really wanted to commit until they saw how the "Reunion Gig" went down : Drummer Ady's wife, Lindy, was having a 40th birthday party - and she wanted 617 to play.

Having now agreed to do it, 617 were faced with all the other problems that they didn't have to worry about for Paddy & Gail's Wedding.... namely P.A. and lights ! Miff managed to supply these originally as a "Wedding Present", but clearly this was not an option again.

But again, "old friend" Tim Saddler, came to the rescue by offering to loan an EV Q66 power amp, some lights and a smoke machine. But the band still didn't know how much of the original, existing P.A. equipment still worked, after all these years in "storage".

Coop was now back and fully involved again, so he organised a "P.A. Rehearsal" with Keri, Gary and Kev, in order to go through all the gear and make it work again. Everyone was amazed to find out that the Yamaha EMX300 desk still worked near perfectly, as did the multicore (apart from a bit of dirt and surface corrosion) and all the microphones. Every lead was checked and the vast majority of those worked too ! The P.A. was run up for the first time since 1992, but now using the EV Q66 to power front-of-house and the mixer amp that the band used in rehearsals, to run the 2x12" monitors.

The biggest problem, was the discovery that not all the speakers appeared to be working in the big Peavey 3020HT P.A. cabs ! Having found this, 617 did not have time to try and get the cabs fixed before the next gig. So Coop bought a new 24-channel Graphic EQ, did much work on the setup and amazingly, ended up getting a pretty good sound out of those Peaveys !

Saturday, 5th November 2005, Ilkeston Town Football Club - Lindy's 40th Birthday Party... and the second reunion gig.

Although it was actually Bonfire Night, the party itself had a Halloween theme, with everyone in appropriate fancy dress. The band arrived at the Club's function room in the morning for set-up and sound check, leaving plenty of time to experiment with the P.A. and loaned lights. Everything came together though and after a lengthy soundcheck, everyone went home to get ready for the party.

Second reunion gig - Lindy's 40th PartyOnce again, 617 took to the stage at about 9.15pm (with Ady, Geoff and Muz still in fancy dress and makeup !) and played a 1 hour-plus set (including a couple of new songs, no less !!) to great applause from the audience. And again, after coming offstage, everyone hit the bar ! It was about now that conversation turned to the idea of carrying on with the band....

Everyone had enjoyed playing together again and a lot of work had gone into not only getting the music and the show back together, but also the P.A. and other equipment too. It just seemed such a shame to "waste" all that effort and for 617 to go back into "retirement" again. Everyone began seriously considering carrying on......

On to Chapter 11 :


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