It's 2nd September 2000 and I'm looking forward to seeing Robert and Paul from The Mavericks and a singer called Kevin Montgomery at a converted Chapel in Northfield, Birmingham, England. Also, on that day I was introduced to Pat Buchanan and Jeff Finlin.
5 years later, 6 January 2005, I am looking forward to seeing Kevin Montgomery and The Road Trippers at 'Fidders' in Bristol. Since that night in Birmingham, I have enjoyed seeing the guys almost every year at various venues around the country, musicians such as Dean Owens, Carter Wood, Trish Murphy, Al Perkins, Mike McAdam, Rune Kjelson and Johnny McKinnon, and made lots of new friends along the way!
So, we arrived at 'Fidders' for 7:30pm. It was lovely to meet up with fellow fan, friend and Hanmade Website visitor, Lois again. While they sound-checked, we had time to catch up, have a drink and explore the venue! It's a good live music venue, which is obviously a converted warehouse or working building. The stone walls gave it a great backdrop and atmosphere!
Chris Cook is the support for this tour and gave us a taster of his new album and other original songs. Just him, his slightly battered, but tuneful guitar and a foot operated percussion pedal. His self-penned material was strong and well received. This is Chris' first visit to the UK and I hope we get to see him again soon!
After a break, Kevin and Johnny McKinnon started off with Kevin Montgomery Online favourite, 'Stumbled' from his, 'Another Long Story' album. Robert Reynolds, Paul Deakin, Al Perkins and Mike McAdam then joined them on stage. The magic that was there on the first tour in 2000 has not been lost over the years - If anything it's grown! The Road Trippers have established their own sound, style, sense of fun and strong fanbase! It's always nice to recognise people from previous tours and shows.
Before the band kicked off, there was the usual banter between the audience and band and the first of many impromptu performances - The Beatles', 'Taxman'! Mike McAdam also gave a slightly belated, but fab 'Shadows-esque' rendition of, 'Sleigh Ride'! Al Perkins subtle slide-guitar in the background blended in nicely with the '60's sound! As well as the old favourites from '2:30am' and 'Another Long Story', we were also lucky enough to hear some of Kevin's new material.
Unfortunately, I can't remember the title, but there was one song that really rocked along and I hope to hear again soon either live or on a CD! They played several songs penned by Kevin's Father, Bob, and before, 'Heartbeat', Kevin spoke about the television programme of the same name (A UK drama show set in the 1960's Yorkshire Dales) and that he preferred 'Coronation Street' (A long running UK Soap Opera). It was so funny hearing him talk about the Sunita storyline!
Everyone was on their usual top form! - Paul Deakin, who really gives the drums some 'stick' when called for and combined with Robert's bass - The Road Trippers' rhythm brings the room to life! Johnny, on Keyboards has also found his place in the band. Whether it be a mellow piano accompaniment or a cool organ sound, he gets it spot on! It was fun to hear his short, but sweet, 'Lady Madonna'! Similarly with Mike, his head is filled with riffs and tunes, which he can play at the drop of a hat!
Towards the end of the night, Robert inspired him to roll of a number of 'Animals' hits, which the guys - and the audience - joined in with! It was also good to see BBC Bristol DJ, Keith Warmington back to play harmonica on one of the songs. Some favourites of the night included, 'Way Back When', 'Melrose', 'Tennessee Girl', 'Ooh Las Vegas' and 'Flower Of My Heart'.
The show ended around half-midnight and there was a chance afterwards to purchase a t-shirt (And chat to Carol and Ian again, who work so hard behind the scenes!) and to say hello to the guys. It's really nice that they always try to make time to 'meet and greet' at a gig. So, thank you for a wonderful show and a great start to 2005!