A defensive move giving time to prepare a more considered attack next time. The band know its been a patchy gig as
well. The cause is quickly identified in the dressing room as everyone adds a cogent twopennyworth: the new
numbers have been rehearsed before the tour at the expense of the older ones which have been left to take care of
themselves. Conscious that the older songs are not going too well they've started thinking harder about them on stage; which makes it worse because they lose the natural flow.
The cause is discovered. Manfred resets the pieces on his board and prepares for another drubbing. A couple of
Swedish girls who've been hanging around since the sound check – one of them in a ludicrous pair of white fur thigh boots – are ushered in but
quietly ignored as the band continue their mopping up operations. Chris Slade's pressure cooker handle breaks, threatening him with starvation for
the rest of the tour. Pat King moves purposefully towards the girls but it's only because they are standing between him and the beer. By now slight
embarrassment is being commented on by one and all with a fair amount of amusement and its with a certain amount of relief that the promoter arrives to supervise the retreat to Copenhagen.
The Patti Smith Gambit Cautiously Accepted
MMEB x Queens Knight
A table has been reserved at Daddy's Dance Hall for Patti Smith's performance which starts about ten minutes after the
band and entourage get back to the hotel. The Journalist is tired but keen, never having seen the lady. The band are
tired but curious. They're not expecting to enjoy it much but none of them remain unmoved by the show, (mind you, have you tried to remain unmoved by a Patti Smith performance).
Manfred is impressed by her conviction which, if it's not consistent, provides some remarkable spurts. Chris Thompson
likes her voice and Dave Flett raves about the drummer who he reckons holds the band together. The Journalist agrees with them all, the smarmy creep.
The Copenhagen Bait
Pawn x Porn (check)
Walking back to the hotel, Manfred and The Journalist are lagging behind the others, locked in a musical debate. Out of
the corners of their respective eyes they notice two girls following them. Manfred and The Journalist pause to look in a shop window. The girls do likewise.
"It's a pretty dumb thing to do, following a rock group around," says Manfred. "It's not as if rock musicians make
scintillating conversation after all. The sort of girl who hangs around a rock group, making herself available, can't have any self respect. I mean would you talk to a girl like that?… Jesus she's got a nice arse."
The Copenhagen Endgame
MMEB x Tivoli Gardens (Check)
With all the major pieces intact and well briefed on Manfred's side, the game can now be brought to a brisk conclusion. The band attack the evening's
gig at the Tivoli Gardens with a determination that's apparent from the start. They push aside technical hassles with backing mikes and the
synthesizer in a relentless drive to gain and hold the momentum they never quite achieved the previous night.
Dave Flett's guitar, which suffered from a fuzzy sound quality earlier, is now piercingly clear and his solo on 'Spirits In
The Night' cuts and thrusts like a fencer aiming for the eardrum. Manfred's playing too is forthright and direct; he solos
with uncharacteristic effervescence and his segues between numbers are probably the biggest single factor in the success of the gig.
They haven't solved all the problems – 'Father of Day' still sounds lethargic and it takes a couple of excellent solos from
Flett and Manfred to shake it into action, and 'Blinded By The Light' gets bogged down in the middle although the vocal duet between Chris Thompson and Manfred towards the end launches a splendid climax.
They allow 'Might Quinn' to go slightly over the top in the heavy metal sense, a fault that is made forgivable by drawing the relatively reserved audience to their feet and bringing the deserved reaction.
Afterwards The Journalist scurries backstage to find a brace of guitarists basking in the quiet inner euphoria that follows a 'good gig'. "That", says
Flett, "is the first time I've felt really in the gig on this tour. From now on it's just going to get better."
Manfred however is upset by the technical hitches and is involved in a heated debate with the road crew. But it's not a prima donna-style tantrum.
There's no abuse being thrown around. The argument is kept to the strictly practical level of ensuring that the problems don't occur the next night. A
new routine is agreed and will be tried tomorrow. Only then is Manfred prepared to admit that the music was a great improvement and he doesn't
concede that his own contribution was anything special. The Journalist has already noted that Manfred is not prone to false modesty.
The Pussy Cat Endgame
MMEB and Entourage x Pussy Cat Discotheque (check)
Mate in five moves (some more, some less).