STEVE CONTE NYC TOUR BLOG: UK, AUGUST 2015
Hey all – I’m back in New York, reflecting on another fabulous & memorable trip to England. I did 4 Steve Conte NYC shows in 6 days with the band plus 1 solo guest appearance – and as usual, I had a blast!
Monday, August 18: We kicked off show #1 in Guildford at the Boileroom, which it was great way to start – a dancin’, drinkin’ sing-along crowd full of true music lovers! Thanks to Brijitte West, lead singer from NY Loose, who brought out a bunch of friends (now new fans) and wrote a review of the show that will be published soon. In the house: Nigel Heaslewood, Jo Squirrel & Chris Wyatt. Our trustworthy pal Rich Halliday was also in attendance to provide good vibes & a bottle of red.
Thursday, August 20: For show #2 we drove up to beautiful Yorkshire to play The Octagon in Keighley, another great crowd of music lovers moved straight up in front of the stage as we started playing. Mr “Johnny Gowcho” turned on a bunch of new folks to us and it was great to see our old friend Chris Rockson & crew. There’s a nice video compilation of the gig made by the club that’s up on youtube
Due to vehicle troubles, getting out of Yorkshire in time for our London show on Friday night would prove to be a challenge however…
Just after breakfast in Keighley our sick Transporter van was up on a flatbed lorry & getting towed to a garage to assess the damage. By mid-afternoon the word came down that the clutch was burnt out and that they couldn’t get the parts and have it fixed until Monday so we had to just start driving our faulty vehicle in hopes of making the London gig. The first 2 hours was bumper-to-bumper traffic, crawling at 5 MPH on the motorway – I wasn’t sure that we would make the gig at that rate. I began calling my pal Richard “Rags” Ragney of Role Models, who booked us in London on their album release show, warning him that we may not make it in time to play our set at 9:00 till 9:45pm. Then miraculously, things shaped up on the road and we pulled up to the gig at 8:45, so…
Friday, August, 21: On show #3 at the Black Heart in Camden we had 15 minutes to get the gear into the club, get dressed, line checked and then bang – onstage! We managed to play at least 40 minutes of our 45 set and were joined by Rags for our final rave-up on Pills. Later, I joined his band the Role Models for a cover of The Heartbreakers “One Track Mind” (check out their new album – they kicked ass live!) Upstairs at The Black Heart it was a proper hot ‘n sweaty rock club, it was literally like a sauna. But it was a rough ‘n ready night of rock n roll – the place was mobbed and these crazy people loved it! Fans came out from as far away as Glasgow for this special night. In the house: Danny Fury & Dave Tregunna from Sham 69/Lords Of The New Church & Dave’s girlfriend Kristiina, Taylor Schenker (guitar player/Michael’s son), Chris Musto from Johnny Thunders band The Oddballs, Brijitte West again, Tom Spencer of The Loyalties, and Dom Daley of UberRock.
Saturday, August 22: Not one to rest on a night off, I headed out to Nambucca on Holloway Road in London to join Swedish rockers Diamond Dogs for a few tunes on their album release party gig that night. We played their song, “On The Sunny Side”, my song, “Dark In The Spotlight”, then the old familiar “Pills” and “Dead Flowers”. They’re a great bunch of guys and although we’d never met before that afternoon we played well together and had a great hangout & Indian meal. In attendance was our old pal Charlie aka “Chelsea Cherokeez” & his better half Nicki Newton – both of whom on one of my tours of UK with New York Dolls – this was Charlie’s 3rd show on my tour, bless him. It was good to see John Dryland of Cargo Records there as well (Cargo is releasing the new DD album.) Also on the bill was a killer band, Dead Sea Skulls – led by an animal of a drummer who stands up in front and sings lead – along with a couple of brothers I know from the Quireboys & Spike; Jimmi & Nick Crutchley. These guys are HOT…go see ‘em!
Sunday, August 23: Our final gig, show #4 at Joiners in Southampton. Although they were a quiet bunch, they must’ve loved the show because not one audience member moved from their spot for the entire 75 minutes that we played! (There are many videos from this gig up on youtube now…) My old pal Grant Nicholas, former drummer of The Godfathers, flew in from Dublin with his lady to see the show and “Marky Rock and Roll” brought out some Conte-virgins. One of my biggest supporters and a sweetheart of a man, Shaun Bradley came out for the second show on this tour and took care of us with shirts, hats, booze and other assorted paraphernalia from his rock n roll trucking company. And it was the final night playing with our support band, Rusty Gs, they’re a really cool guitar/drum duo… check them out if you get the chance.
If I forgot to mention anyone else who came to the shows it’s not meant as a slight, I just literally can’t remember everything…but, I’m sure our drummer Jeroen does – he could write an accurate book on the past 5 years of touring I’ve done in UK!
In closing, I’ve got to thank my band members, Jeroen Polderman & Jan Verdoorn for being great touring partners & for kicking ass on the music from the new album, our tour manager Mark “Smutz” Smith and his lovely wife Athena for taking such good care of us, our booking agent Ben Hylands of IAA Touring, all of the venues & promoters and each one of you music loving people who supported us and bought tickets & CDs – we’d be nowhere without you!