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March 11, 2014

Tartan review by Ian Logie


posted by Mike Walton

All of the above are just a bare few of the adjectives used to describe Saturday 8th March in Manchester but what lies behind the plaudits -This is my personal memories { Yes I have them } of a gathering of Rod Fans .

My day started with a coach trip North & the first potential disaster was averted when my seat companion turned out to be a very pleasant fellow football fan so the time soon passed & I was being deposited in a surprisingly very pleasant sunny Manchester. Onward to the hotel & here God decided to have his first joke at my expense when the charming lass on reception informed me the hotel had NO on-site bar & directed me to the pub across the street .

Fortunately I did not need to make use of these annexe facilities as a pre-party livener afternoon had been arranged at Sashas in the town centre & so it was a quick scrub up & another cab ride to begin the festivities .
Sashas as on a previous visit was busy & a few Rodsters & Rodettes had already commandeered tables & steady arrivals over the next few hours built up the excitement to the main event .

This was to be SMILER's first organised event for ten years & very few I met had memories of the previous so we were all very much in unknown territory as to what to expect especially so since the organisors were only throwing out tit bits of info & subtle hints .

Finally it was time to head to Party HQ & 5 of us decided to enjoy the full experience with a long march rather than cab & so we hit the mean streets .

Suddenly before us was The Star & Garter - OH the joy a deeply dark dirt & soot encrusted building with no fancy neon signs deeply reminiscent of approaching the small pubs & clubs of our mis-spent youth . Negotiating a tiny single file entrance & a stairway that would have tested Chris Bonnington we finally reached Home for the next 8hrs ish & what a Home - Totally basic & Totally appropriate for what was to come & as many others have said we are going to spend the night transmorged back to the early 70s !

Meeting & Greeting old & new friends including Rods brother Don , who even dug deep & bought me a pint , soon gave way to the Tribute Act arriving on stage & again any fears of a disappointment were blown away as they blasted into classic after classic Faces tracks . Faces Experience make no attempt at vocal impressions & have great voices in their own right but in the musical performance they are absolutely spot on top dollar & the journey back was complete .

All too soon they gave way to the DJ for the remainder of the night & myself & 3 accomplaces decided to hi-jack the stage & give a virtual performance to some of the tracks being played I hasten to point out the mics were actually turned off so minimum damage was done to anyones hearing .

The raffle was next and I was lucky enough to choose a prize from one of many signed Rod items, I chose a SMILER magazine which I also got Don to sign despite him warning me it would seriously effect it's worth - I'll take my chances Don lol .

Very all too soon the night was ended & we made our way to our various overnight stays with so many memories & so many hopes of it happening again soon .

I have stated many times I have spent my life travelling to shows & football & have partied with the best of them including the Tartan Army but partying with Rod Fans holds it own with all of them !!!!

Here's to the next one !!! xx

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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