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Don’t stay at the Charles B and B, Matlock Bath (HMHB, Matlock Bath Pavilion, 26 April, 2013)

May 20, 2013

“He said I’ll love you til I die

She told him you’ll forget in time”

George Jones  – He stopped loving her today

So far, biscuit tours have been blessed with good fortune – pedals only falling off when we’re safely back in London, Sylvia of the Falcon being in a good mood,  no-one being crushed under a truck.  That kind of thing.

DPAKThe gods that made the gods are feeling much less indulgent on this tour.

I should have heeded the early omen of the strange rattling noise coming from somewhere at the front of my bike.   No matter, I think – it’ll sort itself out.   But on arrival at Matlock Bath, we soon realise we’ve been brushed by the wings of something dark.   

The staff at the Charles B and B, which had looked promising at the outset (offering both accommodation and pies) deny any knowledge of our booking, made several weeks ago, and are utterly unsympathetic to our plight.  A surly youngster refuses to help in any way, leaving us to find alternative arrangements even though everywhere’s been booked for ages because HMHB are in town.

It’s now 8:45 and the band will be on stage soon.   A random bloke at the Charles mentions a place called the Gables, a mile and a half up the road, but we find only a holiday cottage already occupied by a family.  “You can stay in my nan’s room” if you like, says the man.  I’d have favoured waiting to see what his nan looked like, but Nick is already on the phone looking for alternative arrangements.  

Back in town, we try the rather splendid-looking Hodgkinson’s Hotel, but no room at the inn there either. Finally, we speak to Roger, who runs a place called the Cables (not Gables).  He’s fully booked too, but in a display of extraordinary kindness, not only puts us up in his new luxury caravan (not static) but also insists on driving us to the gig, and coming to pick us up afterwards.JDOGs

Thanks to Roger, we make it to the Matlock Pavilion, an amazing venue (it’s like a post-apocalyptic scout hut, festooned in bunting made from old newspapers) just in time to see Nigel and the boys  arrive on stage to the strains of Tchaikovsky.  We meet up with our friend Sarah, who’s brought her home-made Joy Division oven-gloves.

Some moshers with poor social skills aside, it’s another great gig.  Inbetween songs (there’s a particularly rousing Joy in Leeuwarden) NB offers betting tips on the Giro d’Italia (you can still get 20-1 on Sammy Sanchez if you’re interested) and snatches of George Jones songs.  For the encore they pull off a surprisingly touching version of ‘Femme Fatale ‘ by the Velvet Underground

Afterwards we chat to some friendly Matlockians, before Roger arrives with our lift.  Assuming that he wanted us to get back in time to avoid disturbing them, we’re pleasantly surprised when he offers us a drink, and we end up in his lounge with Scotch and coke and three blokes from Everton who were also at the gig.


Roger’s caravan, not static, naturally.

Correctly attired in football shirts and with heads fully shaved , they are proper HMHB fans and we swap stories of past gigs including a few about the ‘Bates motel’ near Holmfirth, run by an unconvincing transvestite.   Then they get out Roger’s Wii for some late-night golf and bowling, at which point we make our excuses and head to the caravan.   

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  1. Dave mill permalink

    Hi chaps its the evertonians dave and terry just want to wish you good luck for the rest of your adventures and maybe see you soon at one of the gigs.

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