#38. The Grey Horse Pub, Kingston. 13.09.08.

Phants flyer for gig#38

Another legendary evening in Phantom history! All things were ticking along nicely with just 3 days to go before the gig. The band were in (ph)ine form and well rehearsed with all 26 songs from the proposed set list sounding great in the rehearsal room. Then things began to unravel… Our lead guitarist was the first to fall by the wayside having to go into hospital for emergency surgery on his hand! Surely he could still play with his teeth! Maybe not! So, the Phantoms five piece was down to a quartet. Then the very next day we found out our singer had also spent all of the previous day in (another) hospital and was unfortunately ruled out of the gig due to illness! So now down to a trio! Bugger! Obviously this resulted in mass panic with the three remaining Phants (especially Jon!) but the show must go on! So an emergency rehearsal on the morning of the gig was convened to see if we could salvage any songs from the wreckage, and as the evening was to prove, I think we got away with it!

Our top support band ‘Fit For Purpose’ kicked the evening off in fine form proving how good a well rehearsed trio should sound! Then Phantoms Lite™ took to the stage. It was only at this point when most of the crowd suddenly began to realise that we hadn’t been joking about half the Phantoms being missing! Anyway, the brave three soldiered on with Al & Bri sharing out the lead vocals & Jon attempting to play the missing lead guitar & keyboard parts on the bass! After 4 songs into the set Gav Jones from ‘Fit For Purpose’ joined Phant Lite™ on stage to assist with the lead guitar line for ‘I Fought the Law’. Once we had coaxed him into the spotlight he delivered a killer performance despite having only had 2 hours to learn how it went! Thanks mate! With the added support of a packed house of ardent Phant Phans (just short of 100 of you!) the band cruised through the first set, ending it with a rousing rendition of ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ by Oasis. All in all, a pleasing first set with the new Phantom’s trio making a surprisingly affable sound! Big thanks to all the support & encouragement offered by the Phans during the break. With your favourable comments ringing in our ears we confidently took to the stage for the second set.

More magic was to ensue. The early songs went well, apart from Al & Bri forgetting which songs they had each agreed to sing! Things then began to hot up as the crowd responded fantastically well to ‘Molly’s Chambers’ & a great rendition of ‘My Generation’ featuring Jon’s faultless reworked bass solo. ‘Chelsea Dagger’ & ‘I’m a Believer’ saw the ever more frenzied Phans in fine voice and then all the bands credibility was instantly evaporated (like they ever had any!) when Al delivered a kazoo solo in ‘Let’s Stick Together’! Actually the crowd loved it and it sounded surprisingly good (so the Phans told us after the show)! The only downside was our drummer nearly drowning in his own spit whilst trying to drum & kazoo at the same time! It was then time for another special guest to join the band on stage. Big Kev Rogers (previously of fellow Feltham band ‘Fused’) stepped up to crank out the lead line to an anthemic rendition of ‘Run’ by Snow Patrol. Nice one Kev. A quick encore followed and then the end of the evening arrived all of a sudden when the new look Phantom threesome ran out of songs they could play!

So, a potential disaster turned out to be another great evening. Having said that, the two absent Phantoms were sorely missed by all present and we can’t wait to get the full line-up back for our next appearance at the Grey Horse on Dec 6th where we hope normal service will be resumed! Though the members of Phant Lite™ will miss all that extra space on the tiny stage! BTW, Simon’s operation on his hand went well & hopes to be back in the fold soon, as does our front man Mark who is over the worst of it.

Big thanks to Gav & Kev for helping us out on the night (with little or no warning!), to the Zurich branch of the Phantoms Phan club for making the trip especially to see us (I hope you weren’t too disappointed!), to the brilliant dancing stranger down the front (whoever you were!) & for Jill (wife of Phantoms roadie) for managing to delay the birth of her baby (otherwise things could have been even more messy)! See you in December.

The Phantoms were: Brian Spencer (guitar & vocals), Jon Novice (bass & vocals) & Alun Westoll (drums, vocals & kazoo!). With special guests Gavin Jones & Kevin Rogers (on lead guitar).
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