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Checking in with Tommy C

For the last 3 weeks the diet version of the Tommy C House band has been practising what we call a polished support set ready for the rebirth of ‘Legends’ nightclub to ‘Legends – The Music Venue’.


Our set was 30 – 40 minutes in length with up beat songs, aiming to get people moving. To the dance floor that is and not out of the door! With regards to ‘Legends’, The new direction for this (Gillingham, Dorset) venue was the brain child of my brother Alan Clements, employed by the owner to create a new direction, vibe and atmosphere for ‘Legends’!


The night before this big date, I was playing at ‘O’Neils’ in Bournemouth supporting The ‘Wonkey Donkeys’, and then had a meeting planned early morning of the 14th with ‘Willowen’ to discuss future recording projects (watch this space). Lack of sleep was the usual amount for me, so I was looking forward to a rare Saturday night off. Once the meeting was complete I took ‘Willowen’ to see the venue in its new form. With the stage built, lighting in place it looked rather grand. George from ‘Willowen’ were very excited to book a future date to play there!

Steve Chick from Last Monday and I were running the sound for this event. At 1pm the hired PA from ‘Absolute music’ arrived and we set to work positioning the multi-core stage box and the speakers. Once the main core of the multi core was in place, we hooked it over the frame work so that it was hidden and not placed along the floor. As fun as it might be to injure people by seeing them trip over a cable, I don’t really want to use my public liability insurance yet!


Once all mics were tested I headed off home to change, by now it was 4:30pm and I knew I had to be at the venue by 5pm to start sound checking. Once all acts were sound checked and the evening got started it was a very positive start to the rebirth of this venue. I felt very proud to be a part of it. We were the opening act (videos will be on youtube soon). The last time I had actually performed in ‘Legends’ was during a battle of the bands competition back in 2003. This was with my first band ‘The Running Culprits’. We actually ended up winning the contest so it did feel a little strange, as again I was playing ‘legends’ in a 3-piece line up, but this time with Wez Bennett and Owen Kent. Our set went down a storm and got people ready for the main act, who had literally just arrived during our 5th song!


I was looking forward to ‘Guns 2 Roses’ because they were the UK’s top ‘Guns N Roses’ tribute act. When Gavin (AKA Axl) arrived I was introduce to the band and started to question what they want from the stage sound. To my surprise, Gavin just wanted a monitor in the middle of the stage, and the more room on the stage the better. They did a rough line check, went back stage and got changed in to their alter egos.


From my experience of controlling a mixing desk in an open mic environment, I know that it is possible to do sound engineering on the fly, but with a loud band there were a few more faders to address than a singer/guitarist. I was in my element, I would take my time to listen making any adjustment needed. A good sound engineer never sets up the sound and leaves it, you never know when feedback will strike!


I enjoyed their set massively, singing along and watching men old enough to be my Dad acting like they were 17 again, getting into the music. Music does affect people in so many ways. I was impressed by Jack (Slash) this 18 year old lad was just something else on the guitar, a real pleasure to see someone play the instrument with confidence, control and tone. He was a nice bloke to talk to too, quite shy in fact. At some point in the evening there was a wedding proposal but the guy didn’t have a ring. Axl could see a budget version of the November rain video in the making!


The main piece of satisfaction for me on this evening wasn’t just the positive comments about the band, how we played, how good people thought we were but the message the organisers and the staff sent out to people. No one left saying they had a bad time, they all left raving about it and did so for the next week or two! Pretty chuffed that not only did we play the event, but I also was involved in doing sound for the event. The best bit of praise came from my older Brother thanking everyone for their time and effort to make the night a success. I bet you are wishing you were there now!


Until next time!