More Power, any power, The battle of the Liverpool Empire.

The Wined Up, Englands National Sport, I/O (The Heavy Band), Alternative Radio, French Lessons. That was the line up for the Radio City Battle of the Bands competition, broadcast live on air from the Liverpool Empire. The date, March 6th 1982. Some weeks ahead of the gig we were approached by the drummer of what turned out to be another of the finalists, we had been pondering on a change of drummer, not for musical reasons, more that Keith had become quite uncontrollable in his special brew consumption and we were wondering just how out of control it might get particularly as we were getting some quite tasty gig offers coming in. Not sure of the motivation of the drumming prospect but he was very useful and was admired by the band too, plus he was local, living in Wallasey. We rehearsed with him a couple of times but we decided to stick with the devil we knew. Roll on to the night of the gig, everybody’s gear is set back stage in their respective groups, to be brought on stage as required, all seemed fine. French Lessons were on last, don’t fully recall the running order, but very thing was fine. When it came time to go on, we’re nervous but OK, roadies had got the kit and the keys bay on stage and in position, the band are in position, alls ready to go. Phil Easton, who’s baby this was and a great job he’d done of it too, gave us a great intro, and off we went, it was only then I noticed first with my ears, that the pitch shift on the Odessey had been wound down, I corrected it, no big deal, its never happened before, but the first 4 bars sounded as bit strange. Subsequent numbers went OK till the middle to Time Bomb, a cracking live song, and a favourite with our fans who had filled more than half of the Empire. Just as we stared the second chorus, Ronnie’s Amp died, so did mine, and all the keyboards in the bay. No power! We get out to the front of the stage to get the audience to sing the song with us, that worked, then a little drum solo, we’re out of ideas now, so I walk back to the keyboard bay, just as I get there, the lights on the keys and the amps flicker back on, as I walk up to the keys we hit the last chorus full power and sail through to the end of the song and the bang at the end and I don’t think anyone in the audience realised that anything untoward had happened. It seemed someone had flicked the switch on the power to our side of the stage, it seems a certain spurned, wallasey based, drummer was seen lurking on the area of the switches………… No connection I’m sure.

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