What a fantastic gig! Every time we play at the Royal Oak it
just gets better & better, mainly down to the positive, well up
for it, enthusiastic, live music loving crowd. Plus this time
round, aided by our great support band, Chopper Squad, making
their debut live appearance.
The Squad kicked the night off in fine style. A rocking
rendition of Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’ proved to be a
standout track, alongside the climax of their encore, a top
rendition of ‘Get It On’ by T-Rex. Thanks Chopper Squad.
So to the main event. Oh, before I start, MASSIVE thanks to ex
band member, Paul, for stepping in at the last minute due to the
unavailability of our usual bass player. No small feat learning
an hour and a half set in only a few weeks. What a pro. And what
a set it turned out to be.
Highlight of the evening for both band & bopping Phans alike was
the Phantoms full on reworking of the Bangles 80’s classic ‘Walk
Like an Egyptian’. It went down & storm, clearly appreciated by
the masses. Unknown to everyone else this song had caused the
most ‘discussion’ in rehearsals working out the key change in
the middle. Probably no-one in the crowd actually even noticed
that bit on the night but the band enjoyed it none the less!
Half way through proceedings, whilst the guitarists were up to a
bit of tuning, the rest of the band launched into a quick
rendition of ‘happy birthday’ for birthday boy Andrew & party in
the crowd. What a great present, the Phantoms playing at your
Next, time to ROCK, and as the band ripped into the intro to
‘Highway to Hell’ our choice of song was vindicated on this
occasion by the energetic response from the local (Frenchman!)
in the AC/DC t-shirt.
Other stars of the show were the dancing couple down the front
ensuring that parts of the Phantoms set resembled of an episode
of ‘Strictly’. I’d love to see Anton Du Beke trying to
choreograph a cha-cha to the Phantoms cover of ‘Gay Bar’! I
With the planned encore done & dusted & the band doused in sweat
& gagging for a pint, the fantastic but demanding crowd were
still baying for more, resulting in a completely unrehearsed
encore. Once we’d had a quick chat with our stand in bass player
to find out what else he could possibly remember the Phantoms
duly launched into the final song of the evening, what turned
out to be a brilliant cover of ‘All the Small Things’. If we are
that good without practice maybe we shouldn’t bother with
rehearsals in future? On second thoughts.
Thanks again Paul. “Come and play with us Paul. Forever… and
ever… and ever”.