The Cockwork Flanges Tour 2013 - A Recollection

Started by Neph, June 06, 2013, 01:30:06 am

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June 06, 2013, 01:30:06 am Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 09:49:01 am by Neph
I've been sitting here, now full of wine, with the intention of writing a review of the tour but I'm not sure I'm really able. To be honest I wasn't particularly looking forward to it, even with my unerring love of Clockwork Angels still intact. I couldn't really put my finger on why not, perhaps my advancing years had diluted my expectations of these events but I would have happily given up my tickets a week before the tour. Obviously my mood changed the day prior to Manchester, a work day that couldn't end quick enough with excitement in my belly and that strange tickle in the anus..................don't try to tell me you don't get it too! I don't think there is a Wikipedia section for a tickly anus but there certainly should be. Anyway, I drank far too much in Manchester ( doubles from my second favourite Aberdonian didn't help) and it all passed in a bit of a haze. Except the bit from the front row that is. A surreptitious visit to "speak" to Mick Parry at the break lead to me and Baldie Pete (you might know him, he's Baldie and his name is Pete) staying for the second half as guest of the front row. Normally the MEN Arena security is tighter than Baldie Pete's wallet but for some reason it seemed they were all away on a work's night out to a Robbie Williams tribute act. Regardless, the wee bald yin and the big bald yin had a bit of a blast front row. The pre gig meet up was as great as ever. Hooking up with Kev Owen is something I should do more often so seeing the "Penzance Love God" is always going to be a good day. Add in the heady mix of TNMS's answer to Lee McCulloch, Stuart Borland, and you have a great day already. I had a quick hello with Slim, as everyone who has met him has said, his online persona seems to bear no relation to his "real life" persona. Let's be honest, he's one charming motherf****r in the flesh. A mancrush I'm not ashamed of. So that was Manchester and it's hazy memories.

I decided to give Birmingham and London a miss this year. Mainly because Birmingham is a shitehole and I'm pig sick of London or perhaps it was down to the decision to visit Amsterdam instead. I think my days of doing every Rush date is well behind me, the feeling is the same as when you realise that you are too old to play professional football, even though you always knew you were too shit to ever have played at that level your heart droops when you realise that you've retired without ever having played, a bit like Michael Owen. A sort of yearning but at the same time a level of acceptance. I did think of a last minute visit for the Birmingham gig. I thought I could have thrown in a visit to see my sister but since my sister is like Exiled Yorkie but without the sunny exposition I thought better of it.

So to Sheffield, a city of enlightenment, culture and elegance. Sorry, I keep getting Sheffield mixed up with Paris, an easy mistake to make. Most UK industrial cities have made some transformation over the last decade or so but you have to admire this city's reluctance to get involved with a word called progress. If Jeremy Kyle was a city he would be Sheffield. Enough of the cheap jibes, at least they have a tram system that works. Baldie Pete, Dave Ogg, Vladman...................................................your trams took one hell of a beating. As for the gig, it was one of those gigs that had no right to be magical but it just was. A small crowd that was really, and I mean really really up for it helped elevate this gig to way beyond what it was any right to be. Nights like this are always a bit odd, it's not unlike going to the doctors to get your prostate checked. You think the doctor will ask, "how's your prostate doing" and you'll reply "fine, absolutely tickety boo doctor", In reality you're lying on a trolley with you're pants around your ankles and your knees up to your chest with a doctor's digit rummaging about your rectum. Not quite what you had in mind but, to be honest, it's better than you will ever admit to. And with that in mind we move onto.........................

GLASGOW!!! City of my birth. Home of European Cup winners and some other team that embarrassed themselves by refusing to pay their debts so got liquidated and had to reform as some kind of tribute act that got lucky and got admitted to division 3 when they should have gone the way of Third Lanark. Basically that's all you need to know about Glasgow, and it's also the truth. Glasgow is very often lucky enough to witness a sighting of the lesser convicted Roadcrew and once again we were fortunate to have in our midst the pensioner without portfolio, well without substantiated witnesses at least. Glasgow was another great gig, totally expected but still hugely appreciated. Thankfully there was not another all nighter at the Crowne Plaza, a sense of sobriety and a wanton need for a bag of chips seeing to that. For the umpteenth time I shared a room with Baldie Pete and for the umpteenth time he behaved like a true gentleman, those Jimmy Saville comparisons are just so cruel and mildly untrue.

And so to the highlight of the tour for me. A city I'd never visited before but had intentions to since I was a teenager. That's right, it's  the pot-smoking, whore-ridden waterways of Amsterdam. A stranger city I don't think I've witnessed. Multi storey car-parks......but for bikes. No after show burgers and hot dogs but fruit and baked potatoes!! No wonder these people are taller, fitter and better looking than we are. Well, better looking if you don't include the star of World War Z, Arjen Robben. Urinals that were at tip-toe level for even the best hung guys like myself. Spirit of Rich admitted to his constant struggle of the Dutch urinal and to what he himself quoted as "his miniscule cock" but I reckon the big, make that wee, guy should have some respect for his balls perched on the urinal honesty. As for the show, yes there actually was one, it was quite a stormer. The all standing, apart from those that sat, set-up took me back to the days off the Signals tour at the cow shed that was the Ingliston Highland Exhibition Agricultural Centre. At least Woody had entered into the spirit of things with his slight whiff of cow shite, that's what happens to a man that was drinking for 16 hours the previous day.

So, what have I been trying to say? Actually, as per usual it's not the shows that were the highlight but the people I met. People I've met on numerous occassions, people I've got to know a bit better and people I've met for the first time. My Scottish compadres - Jimmy G, Dixot, Vladman, Stuart B, Muppet, Blastzone, Glesgared, Dods, Baldie Pete, Wullie,  Dave Ogg, the elusive Gebs, Gman, and to anyone I've missed, I salute you. To those I got to know better on this tour, Paul and Linda, NeilP, Pudders, JP and Mrs Japes, Raza, thank you for your company and your friendship. To the usual suspects, Analog, Nick Sims, Giles, Slim, Rich, Mick Parry and the multitude that I've failed to mention I look forward to the next time.

As I said earlier I was going to write a review but I'm not really able. A splurge of piss and wind is my best attempt.


Nicely put wee man, especially the last para....
RC1.1 abd g/n 11/0/bcd/tG PeW/- ~600 x 0 61%



I have to say I'm still grinning thinking about Amsterdam - it was a fantastic, if slightly mad, 24 hours for me. Neph and I were like the original idiots abroad wandering around Schipol Airport trying to find the right bloody train to get us into Amsterdam - and even when we figured we'd found it we weren't convinced!

I really should try and put some thoughts down in a similar vein......but a great end to my Rush adventure for this tour :)


I really feel it is the people we are with that enhance the whole experience  8)
Lovely to speak to you again Michael and find out it was actually you that introduced yourself to me all those years ago!
Spirits fly on dangerous missions

Captain Ron

Great writeup Neph. Really brightened my day. :)
"I was brought up to believe" (but never to leave beer)

Graham K

Nice post Neph, you legend you!  ;) Got me thinking about ditching my usual gig buddies from the office so I can join the serious madness next time   8)
Toronto 1976 (in my dreams)
Ingliston 1981, 1983
Glasgow 1988, 1992, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2013...
Denver 2002
London 2004

Stuart B


June 06, 2013, 14:53:52 pm #8 Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 14:56:59 pm by Matt2112
Great read, Neph, really captures the experience of many of us I think.

Allow me to get some personal negativity off my chest and on the record.  I am slightly bitter about circumstances conspiring against me so that, unlike the last two tours, I was unable to get the time off work I wanted; this time round I managed to squeeze half a day off for London, an hour off for Manchester and nothing at all off for Sheffield.  I was carrying a cold on the day of the Manc show which seemed a dreadfully mischievous and annoying reprise of an illness I awoke with on the day of the Glasgow S&A gig.  The journey down to the O2 was plagued by delays to an immensely frustrating degree ("Rough-riding tracks", anyone? ::) ).  And I arrived at the Carbrook in Sheffield 45 minutes before showtime.  So all in all I got far less time for the pre-meets than I'd have liked.

I fancied Amsterdam and I really fancied visiting Germany for the first time.  But a three-week "window" in my professional life where I simply couldn't take any time off exactly covered the period of the European tour.  Not any other time of the year, when it would have been okay, but the very exact atomically precise worst three weeks it could possibly have happened.

Note, however, that I stated I'm only slightly bitter about it.  There was no sentient agency behind it all - it was just sheer bad luck.  And, most importantly, it didn't stop me from cherishing everything about the three dates I attended any less - meeting old and new faces, witnessing barnstorming performances from Alex's side, then Geddy's, then 11th row centre.  And immediately post-show in London I even managed an after-party, getting completely leathered in a legendary rock bar with a former work colleague, finally passing out on the lounge sofa in his Tooting Bec apartment some 7 hours later.  Causing me to miss my morning train home from 15 stops away at King's Cross (I'd set the time on my alarm, but not actually activated it), setting in motion a Lynchian odyssey as I explored my options to a constant ambient soundtrack of chanting Borussia Dortmund fans.  But all that is another story. :)
The keys to happiness


Nicely put Michael, you've captured a lot of what I feel in your post and saved me the effort of writing something that wouldn't have been half as funny.  :P  As ever, it was a pleasure to share a room with the smaller half of the Slaphead Brothers TM although since Neph is a man who has washed more men's genitalia than you might care to think about it's always a worry that he might walk out the toilet carrying a sponge and wearing a look of intent  :o





What a great tour...summed up beautifully.
Anger is a gift.

Night Flyer

I really enjoyed that read. That's very well written indeed. Well done.  :)
Forgive your enemies..... It will really annoy them.


Some people say they've seen angels,
I've seen United,
That's enough.


Nice one Neph.
You've got Sheffield pegged too :)
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection


A great read I've got tears running down my face ;D
'some are born to move the world, to live their fantasies'