Chapter 10 : The 2005 Reunion
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 !
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.
With 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 !
In 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
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
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.
Once 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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