Going to see the MIB abroad.... - Did anyone else do thsoe SIS trips?

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Post by saminblack » 02 Jan 2005, 13:42

Prompted by a thread on Liz's site about the best ever Stranglers gig, I realised the one I enjoyed the most as a whole was a trip to Holland in the days when SIS organsied trips to gigs abroad and I wonder if anyone else here went on those?

As I said on the other site, a gig isn't just about the music - after all the Stranglers rarely ever let us down and 2004s shows have been as good as any - but our memories are about the time of the gig, the people you ,meet/were with, the atmosphere, the surprises, the hearing of new songs etc etc.

As such, I will remember to the day I die the trip to see the MIB in Utrecht, Holland, on one of those trips organsied by SIS in the 1980s (I think this one was late 84). I went on my own and was as nervous as hell as I didn't know anyone but I just had a ball from start to finish as did everyone.

We travelled over on a Thursday night from London and the gig was on Sayturday which meant we spent a drunken Friday night in Utrecth and then on Saturday we hit Amsterdam. That was amazing itself for a wide eyed innocent like me but I didn't stay shy for too long (!) and nor did many of the people I was with who all discovered that Holland/Amsterdam had plenty to offer - most of which I will leave to your over furtile imanginations. Three things I recall as examples...

1) About ten of us in black leather and MIB t-shirts went to see our collective first (and in my case last!) live sex show. We were all totally embarrassed to be honest and none of us knew the 'ettiquette' of such things so at the end of the (ahem) performance we all clapped - much to the bemusement of the 'cast'.

2) Standing waiting for the coach to the gig, I spoke to a tough looking Glaswegian fan who looked well scary. I said to him 'amazing what you can find in this city aint it?' to which he replied 'sure is' as he quickly showed me the gun he had just bought. Gulp.

3) One of our 'party' refused point blank to go the Red Light district for a look around with us citing the fact that it was all disgusting. Fair enough - I respected his position. However, I respected it somewhat less two hours later when we all went into a porn shop and found him happily tucked up in the corner surrounded by hardcore mags. You gotta laugh.

There was only one coach load of us who had made the whole weekend 'hotel' trip but two other coaches arrived on the night from the UK too and so the gig was dominated by 150 Brit-fans who took over the venue and left the local bewildered and rather fearful.

The gig was great - I can still recall the amazing version of Hanging Around even now! - bit the weekend itself made the whole thing magical.I met so many great people that weekend, came to really like Holland and the Dutch people, loved the gig and susbequently I did SIS other trips to Germany and Belgium which were just as much fun. But nothing beats that Utretcht gig....anyone else remember it?
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Post by The Little Nuclei » 02 Jan 2005, 13:54

??? Are you the same SaminBlack from Nuneaton....and you wrote a review in Strangled about June 89 gig @ Brixton ? Sorry, it was your review you wrote for your local paper...the gig you mention above, must have been Utrecht Music Hall, 23-03-1985 on the Sculpture Tour....I couldn't make this one, but went to Pinkpop a few months later... :D :cool:

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Post by saminblack » 02 Jan 2005, 14:07

That's me - but I'm from Tamworth not Nuneaton (it's only 10 miles away though but we've got a better footi team than them ).

Thanks for getting the date right - I didn't realise it was as late as 85.

How was your pinkpop trip?
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Post by The Little Nuclei » 02 Jan 2005, 15:27

saminblack wrote:That's me - but I'm from Tamworth not Nuneaton (it's only 10 miles away though but we've got a better footi team than them ).

Thanks for getting the date right - I didn't realise it was as late as 85.

How was your pinkpop trip?
:cool: PinkPop was a fantastic trip...as were the other two I went on. These outings were actually put together by a company called MGP, who were based in Brighton. I don't think SIS had anything to do with them but maybe did the mailshots etc......

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Post by simoninblack2004 » 02 Jan 2005, 18:59

I did one of the SIS bus trips.
It was lat 80's I just spilt with my wife and went with my 'penfriend'from London. We went to germany, the Phillipshalle in Dusseldorf.
It was a 3 day binge to say the least. She had german Grandparent so she spoke germa while we were there.
We drank so much and I kind of hung around with a group of 10-12 people, some Scottish if i remember/
The ferry over the chaneel was terrible, everyone puking everywhere.
We played a footie match in the car park against the german fans and we won 3-2, i scored the winning goal!!!
Anyone here on that trip??
It was a great time, didn't like the food very much, and as we were leaving, the English football fans ariived for the euro tournament and smashed the -place up literally, I saw it on the news jsut as i arrived home!! Assholes!!
I still have the photos someehre here, will try and dig them out and scan a few if anyone here thinks they may remember me there.
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Post by ThruBeingCool » 02 Jan 2005, 19:28

I went on 5 of the MGP trips in the eighties...

Lille 1983 - The best of the lot I went to.

Dusseldorf 1984 (45 minute set!) - got kicked off the coach in Ostend with a mate and a soldier we smuggled on board, hitched it to Dusseldorf in the end!

Pink Pop, Holland 1985

La Louviere, Belguim 1986 (the all-dayer to end all dayers!) - didn't make it back with everyone else due to needing hospital treatment!

Dusseldorf 1988 (JJ in kilt, no encore etc!)

So many memories of each one, unforgetable experiences!


:pissedagain:

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Post by theraven1979 » 02 Jan 2005, 19:31

ThruBeingCool wrote:I went on 5 of the MGP trips in the eighties...

Lille 1983 - The best of the lot I went to.

Dusseldorf 1984 (45 minute set!) - got kicked off the coach in Ostend with a mate and a soldier we smuggled on board, hitched it to Dusseldorf in the end!

Pink Pop, Holland 1985

La Louviere, Belguim 1986 (the all-dayer to end all dayers!) - didn't make it back with everyone else due to needing hospital treatment!

Dusseldorf 1988 (JJ in kilt, no encore etc!)

So many memories of each one, unforgetable experiences!


:pissedagain:
There was a pic of this in NME at the time.

TBC what hospital treatment? Loved to have been at any of those gigs you mentioned - Any chance of a in-depth review sometime?

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It taught me how to laugh again"

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Post by ThruBeingCool » 02 Jan 2005, 20:28

I'll see wot I can do! :D

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Post by simoninblack2004 » 02 Jan 2005, 22:02

ThruBeingCool wrote:Dusseldorf 1988 (JJ in kilt, no encore etc!)

So many memories of each one, unforgetable experiences!


:pissedagain:
So TBC, we must have been on the same bus in 1988 then?
I remember that some prno film was playing on the bus and someone got really pissed off with it and made them stop playing the movie?
Also, at the gig, the MIB screwed up Vietnamerica at the inro and had to start again. First time I ever seen them screw up a song!!
There was also a 'smike bomb'let off and you could hardly breathe during the dussledorf gig.
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Post by ThruBeingCool » 02 Jan 2005, 22:25

simoninblack2004 wrote:So TBC, we must have been on the same bus in 1988 then?
More than likely as I think there may have been only one coach from the U.K. for this gig.

More later.......

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Post by ThruBeingCool » 03 Jan 2005, 01:32

O.K...here goes!

Mead Gould Promotions! Who could forget them? A tour company who specialised in taking fans to see their fave bands to concerts in Europe. They always advertised in the NME, (amongst other publications) and their excursions focussed on the bands of the time with large followings. It says something about The Stranglers popularity in the eighties that MGP included them in their roster.

I was lucky enough to go on 5 organised trips to see The Stranglers in Europe with MGP. In most cases you had the choice of the 'hotel' trip or 'skipper' trip. The latter option meant that u never really had chance to freshen up properly and roughed it for a couple of nights. i.e. travelling overnight to the gig and again on the return, your only chance of kip being on the coach.I only ever went on the 'Skipper' trips!

The first, in Lille, Autumn 1983 (i think) was during the french leg of the 'Feline' tour. I was really excited at being able to see The Stranglers on foreign soil and this trip did not disappoint. As I've mentioned in nearly all my posts, part of the appeal of a Stranglers gig is bumping into old friends & new. Lille 1983 was really my first experience of this excellent social aspect.

There were 3 coaches full of Stranglers fans who travelled from London for this gig. I went with 2 other mates from Nottingham. On the coach down to Dover, everyone seemed to be a bit shy and a little wary of each other. Then we all hit the ferry, enjoyed a few drinks and were all brothers and sisters in arms when we arrived back on the coach on french soil!

We were all dropped off in the old part of town in the afternoon. Yes, everyone on the piss in Lille.Plenty of time before the gig to have one's quota of french beer! Fuck all else to do! However, things were't all good natured and a few people started to get a bit rowdy. No doubt about it, the anglo-hooligan element kicked in as the day progressed and more alcohol was consumed.There was an incident in a Cafe where some fans let off a fire extinguisher which resulted in the local gendarmes being called.May have been an arrest - not sure.

Anyway, the coach eventually picked us all up and drove us to the venue - where the media were waiting! Yeah, there was a french t.v. crew waiting for us all, no doubt in anticipation of some aggro! i.e. 3 coach loads of bevvied up, mainly English fans of the notorious Stranglers hitting their town. A few fans did indeed give them the response they were probably looking for...the old 2 fingers, a bit of swearing etc..generally playing up to it and doing wot punks are supposed to...ahem!

Shortly after a big red car pulls up at the venue. We KNOW it contains Stranglers! A few of us surround the vehicle, the window is wound down to reveal a cool as fuck looking JJ Burnel in the back!. Also with him is Jet or Dave...maybe both, can't remember exactly!...I scream "ENG-ERLAAAND!! at them. They laugh and the car drives on. Ace moment.

The gig goes off without any incident that the media may have been looking for. Although, the atmosphere does resemble that of a football match due to the crowds in-between song chants. The Brits have certainly made their mark tonight!

Other memories of this gig? I bought a nice sweatshirt with the 'feline' logo on the breast. Only saw it in t-shirt form on the U.K. leg of this tour. Also, I was stood next to a mixed race girl at the front during the gig. She told me that she was an erm...previous aquaintence of JJ...and from his reaction I think she certainly was! To say anything more would be pure speculation....Oh..wasn't there a transvestite as support act that night? Great gig etc...one of only 2 where I saw a full set via MGP in the eighties.

Just over a year later there is another trip oganised by MGP. This time to an indoor festival at The Phillipshalle in Dusseldorf. It's approaching Christmas 1984. U gotta treat yourself now & again, ain't ya?

So I find myself once again in London with 2mates from Nottm drinking in a London boozer somewhere near the pick-up point. We get in an awkward conversation with a couple of fans from Sheffield. They refer to US! as southerners and keep mentioning how we have go it so good....ah well. But u have to bear in mind that this was the year of the miners strike and tensions were strained, to say the least, between people from Notts & Yorks - no matter what walk of life u came from! This is relevant to this story, I assure u......please read on.

This trip was not exclusively 'Stranglers' and attracted a small minority of fans who followed the other 'named' artists on the bill. O.K..it was only Marc Almond fans as I recall! There was one particular chap on the coach who looked as camp as fuck etc and who had travelled to see his spunk-guzzling hero. With all of us! Gotta admit he had some bottle!

However, during the 'bonding' on the ferry between certain folks-in-black, it was decided to send out a search party for this little tyke...dunno why..(yes I do!)..but during this time me & my mate bumped into a sozzled bloke with his chrimbo prezzies in tow and struck up a conversation with him. Turned out he was in the army, was returning to Germany and he luurrrrrved The Stranglers! Once we told him where we were going, well that was it! My mate and me decided that we could smuggle him on the coach! We were all on the back seat, so surely room for one more to sqeeze in? So we did.

All was well until squaddie decides to start irritating a couple sitting immediately in front of us. The girl, who is aware of this extra baggage, complains to the courier and soldier boy is ejected from the coach. In our stupid, pissed up state, with an alcohol-fuelled, mis-guided sense of loyalty,
I opt to get off the coach with 'squaddie'..and so does another of me mates..one remains on the coach.

Next minute we find ourselves stranded on a Belguim motorway, late at night! It's not long before we say goodbye to Corpoal Clot and go our separate ways..and in our case..hitch-hike to Dusseldorf! Sort of.

What followed was a long night of flagging lifts, I even played dead at one point to get someones attention. It worked. After an initial lift from a nice Belguim chap ('Skin Deep' was played over his radio!) and another from a woman by herself (risky or what?) who left us somewhere near a town called Leuven ,we are held at gunpoint by the Belguim police at daylight! Yeah, they don't take too kindly to people hitching actually on the motorway there! After checking our passports we are pointed in the direction of the town (Leuven) and eventually pay for a train to take us to Dusseldorf!..via Cologne where we have time to visit the cathedral & enjoy some fine german sausages for brekkie!

After arriving in Dusseldorf early afternoon we take a taxi to the venue. Everyone else is out on the town but our coach is parked up there with the driver & courier inside! We sheepishly approach, they can't help but smile and let us on the coach to kip before they pick everyone else up in town. Good to know we're all still friends!

Fast forward to the gig and we once again find ourselves in the company of our 'friends' from Sheffield from 24 hours ago. They congratulate us on making it to the gig and complementing us on our "NORTHERN DEDICATION!" Give me fuckin' strength!

Anyway, time for The Stranglers - they aren't headling, Marc Almond is - and we are treated to a 45 minute set of mainly 'Aural Sculpture' songs - yippee!...All this way etc!!! Still, I manage to get on stage, get forcibly removed, then still get straight back to the front all in this short space of time. Remember JJ signalling to security to treat me gently then gesturing to the rest of the audience that I was a nutter!

More memories? Well, I remember Billy Bragg played this gig as well. Me and my friends fucked off to a seedy, nearby, local boozer after The Stranglers set and I smoked some dope which made me feel like Superman, whilst one of me mates almost shat his self 'cos he thought he was gonna get arse-fucked by one or two of the locals! Great days!

Fuck it...can't be arsed to write anymore at this point..see wot the response is and maybe waffle on about the other 3 MGP organised gigs at a later date...



:booze:

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Post by philjxn » 03 Jan 2005, 01:50

Waffle on .....more waffling please. Never did one of those NME specials and regret not doing so. Had a fair share of horrible, shiver like fuck...kip by the side of the road type strangs adventures...however...the NME ads always beckoned and I never had the $ or perhaps the bottle to do em...so keep typing. Loved the last installment intrigued to read about your other ventures abroad.
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