Shows by Robin Ian Mellis Dyos-Smith on Mixcloud


INVERNESS - rockness

Friday 23rd June

Had an early start packing for the big weekend.

The driver who was picking us up for the airport; oh boy! After reminding him 3 times we wanted Gatwick, he still took us to Heathrow. We never noticed coz we were too busy chatting! When I attempted to have a polite go at the driver, he said 'Oh, I thought you were joking!'

Yeah, right.

Made the plane with minutes to spare. After a short flight, got off at Inverness.

I point out to bob that I see a record box with Caged Baby on it. Hmmm. Mr & Mrs Baby must have had a sense of humour.

Grabbed a cab to the Heathmount hotel. A most pleasant pub come hotel. Ended up in the loft conversion, which was fine for bob, but I have to duck a lot. After getting unpacked, we made our way to a great little tex mex place (traditional Scottish Tex Mex) and got fed and watered. This was great grub, and just as well we were out, as the Heathmount was putting on a Hen night! We nipped over to an offie, grabbed a couple of bottles and settled in for the night.

Saturday 24th June

After a hearty breakfast we grabbed a cab to Loch Ness (about 9 miles away) and all I can say is 'Wow'. I was outside the gates of the venue and the landscape was absofuckinglutely stunning. If you've never been to Loch Ness before, you never realise how huge the area is. The gate area (and the venue) are inside an enormous natural bowl at the northern tip of the Loch. The smell of the pine forest which frames the bowl is quite a new experience.

Being two of the earliest arrivals of the throng to come, we spent some time waiting for the gates to open. With all the chanting and yelling, it was like being on the terraces, and like all footie fans everywhere, they needed to be fuelled with alcohol (double so, if they were stereotypical scots). Hordes assembled carrying crates of lager, despite conditions of entry was 'no bottles will be allowed in'. So at 10:00 in the morning a lot of fans were necking the booze as fast as possible (couldn't waste it, obviously).

All the acts were top notch, except for Audio Bullys (who sounded like an over enthusiastic teenagers given his first spot on a pirate radio channel from his bedroom), but the heavens opened at that point and most took shelter in the dance tent where Scratch Perverts entertained us.

Fatboys performance varied between over the top and tailored to Scotland (opening on the video screens view of the Earth from space, rapidly zooming in to Britain, then Scotland, then Loch Ness, and not forgetting the break in the middle to silence, with the screens blaring 'I've just seen Nessie' followed by a Fatboy mix of the automatics 'Monster') then simplistic (finishing with an untouched playing of Marleys 'Could You Be Love'). Creams 'Sunshine of your Love' got the Cook treatment although it has to be said half the audience were too young to know the original. The finale of Praise You to a grand firework display.

Strange thing about the audience. I'm not sure how unfamiliar they are to live performances, but they did insist on squeezing through the 20 thousand crowd to go have a pee or get a drink, and then expect to find their place again!

So, show over – this is where the fun begins. Nighttime; middle of a field with 20 thousand folk fighting to get home. Do you think we could get transport back? Buses and coaches-full. Taxis- totally unmovable. Those that were full would have cost a packet, cos the roads were jammed (remember what I said about

Inverness being like a village?). So, a 9 mile walk it was then. Nice that even at midnight, you got a glimmer of light to walk by, and as the coaches went past you could see the luggage compartments flapping open with dozens of human legs dangling out!

Got back about 2:30 with very aching feet. Gave 'em a wee soak before crashing out and dreamed of a nice flight back to London…..

Sunday 25th June

Early start, still with aching feet. Got loaded up with a full Scottish breakfast and got to the airport early. Waiting for the flight, my companion caught sight of an old chum who was looking busy with airport staff. Tried to get his attention to no avail when he strolled out with a familiar looking gent. ‘Yeah, he always reckoned he was going to have a career in music.’ I was told disbelievingly, to which there was a beep on my chums phone. The text said something like ‘Sorry, couldn’t stop. Got a job roadie-ing for rock bands and had to chauffeur one of the Spin/Saw Doctors’.

On the plane, we were deep in conversation, as only a pair of nerdy anoraks could be, when out the corner of my eye I saw a young blonde lady approaching. Guessing immediately who it was, I was wondering ‘Do I interrupt my friend in his full geek flow, and look like a sad twat who has never seen a celebrity before by pointing furiously with breathless excitement, or do I act casual like this is all totally normal thus allowing my chum to finish, but looking like I really am more interested in nerdy conversation than the foxy celeb, risking looking rude to them. Dilemma.

That was quickly sorted, as she sat down and cut across the conversation introducing herself; ‘Hallo, my names Zoe. Do you mind if I sit next to you?’

Do I mind? Stupid question. Also, true to my guesswork, her hubby strolls on board with Caged Baby and a small entourage. Hallo Norman.

‘Only’, continues Zoe ‘I don’t really fancy sitting with that lot!’ she jokes.

At take off, we do our introductions, bit of small talk and Zoe orders a bloody Mary or 2.

The reason they were on the flight was to round off what had been a top weekend by going on a food tour of Cornwall, but realised they where all too intoxicated to drive!

She asks me how I got into Norman music. ‘Well,’ I explain ‘when I was a young record collector in East Ham, the guy that ran the local shop was a total fan, almost a stalker. Used to hunt out the original recordings that Norman had used as samples,’ at which point she interrupts ‘Kevin? Kevin Kelly?’

She shouts down the plane ‘Norman, this guy only knows Kevin Kelly!’

Now, this is the point where my jaw hit the floor. It gets better.

as bob was sitting next to zoe I will let him add the details....

Mr Cook comes over and asks if Zoe is bothering us. I suggest if we need help I’d wave the sick bag.

Anyway, Kevin Kelly is the alter ego of Aldo Vanucci, a dj who I haven’t seen for half a dozen years or more. When I knew him, he was just a small time vinyl dealer and was branching into musical abuse. Occasionally dabbling in mash-ups and pimping the latest and the strange, he remained always faithful to the Fatboy. Unfortunately, when I moved home so did he, and we just lost touch.

Since those days, Aldo Vanucci has moved on up to be quite a name around Plymouth, heading Ride records, supporting Catskills, writing for Fatboy as well as supplying a lot of his source material (vinyl dealing Big Time), and has maintained a daytime job of supplying advertisers with tunes. And he’s a dad too!

I couldn’t believe it. The very bloke I paid money to see, and here I am, on the plane home, being updated about an old friend. What are the chances of that?

I said, ‘If you see Aldo again, tell him I want to get in touch’. But Norman just said ‘You really don’t think I’m going to remember that, do you?’ (I did forget how out of it they were)!

Zoe was a little tipsy by London, and couldn’t stop rabbiting. There was even a point where the conversation was getting very personal and I had to say something on the lines of ‘If you keep on talking about this stuff, I’m going straight to The Sun when I get off this plane’. It was nice that Zoe felt that comfortable with me, but there are times and places and all that!

So thanks to Norman, Zoe and the Internet I have now re connected with Aldo Vanucci. Thanks guys!