Friday, November 19, 2010

The Gig of Shame - The Results Show

The lines are closed, the votes have been counted and verified.... And we have a winner (loser).

If you're not sure what this is about, I ran a quick poll to find the artist that people would be most embarrassed about admitting they'd seen perform live. I had 53 nominees, and 16 finalists (see the blog post below this one).

Celine Dion came out of the blocks fastest, but was only ahead for a short amount of time before Gary Glitter came from behind (and she's not his type at all...) but unfortunately old GG didn't win, and I've had to throw away all of my paedo bummer jokes. I am not happy.

For a long time we had 3 acts tied for the top spot, and despite a late but unsuccessful surge by Shane Ward, we have got our Top 3.

So without further ado, here, in reverse order, are you top 3.

In third place, with 12 votes, is.........


In second place, with 13 votes, is..........


And in first place, with 14 votes, is.........


So, congratulations STEPS! The weirdos on Twitter have decided that, if they were ever tricked into watching you perform live, they would rather die than tell anyone about it. Well done you.

The 4 Twitterers that nominated Steps, so have actually watched them live and decided to tell me about it, are @ComedyFish, @Alyo23, @SophiaMutio and @Crossy33.

Steps may have won, but it is with regret that I inform you their lovable member H has recently passed away.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gig of Shame - The Nominees

This morning I asked you to suggest the most embarrassing gig you've ever been to. This could be a solo artist, group or band. Someone tried to get The Chuckle Brothers in Panto onto the list but I thought that would be opening up big can of worms.

It was interesting to see the sort of act that some people found embarrassing. Can you believe that someone tried to get Stereophonics and McFly onto the list? The swine.

So, I had 52 entries in all (and I will list them all below), but we will concentrate on only the 16 that had 2 or more nominations. It will be down to you lot to vote on which of the 16 you think is the most embarrassing act.

Your 16 finalists, in no particular order (apart from descending alphabetically), are:

Please vote. You can vote either by clicking on the poll (top right), or tweeting me @DavieLegend

The vote will close when I am bored of this.

If you are interested in the full list of nominations, they are as follows:

  • 5ive

  • ABC

  • Apache Indian

  • Atomic Kitten

  • B*witched

  • Bitty McLean

  • Bros

  • Bubba Sparxx

  • Bucks Fizz

  • Charles & Eddie

  • Chas and Dave

  • Craig David

  • D*Ream

  • Daphne & Celeste

  • Haddaway

  • Jason Donovan

  • Kula Shaker

  • Let Loose

  • Madonna

  • Marilyn Manson

  • MC Hammer

  • Meatloaf

  • Paul Young

  • Peter Andre

  • Rod Stewart

  • Runrig

  • Scouting For Girls

  • Shaggy

  • Shakin Stevens

  • The Darkness

  • The Levellers

  • The Nolans

  • Tina Turner

  • Vanilla Ice

  • Venga Boys

  • Yazz

I apologise if any of these acts are spelt incorrectly, or don't even exist, as I haven't heard of half of them and couldn't be bothered to research each one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mr & Mrs Littlest Hero

It has been two whole weeks, to the hour, since I received that phone call that I so wanted to talk about, but wasn't allowed to. In that time we've had tears, stress, laughter, beer, headaches and cupcakes.... Oh, and a wedding.

Lee rang me on the Tuesday (yes, I can say his name now), and had to stay in London, supporting his girlfriend Gina and her family, until Sunday. He organised a lot of the wedding over the phone, before finalising the details when he got back to Pembrokeshire on Sunday evening. There were of course a million and one things for him to stress about, but he told me his main concern was that Gina found a dress she loved. While she spent a couple of days wandering Chelsea looking for the perfect dress, Lee worried. Not only about whether she found one in time, but also about how much a dress from Chelsea would cost. But not only did she find one, she looked stunning in it. They were also able to get her mum to one of the fittings, which as I'm sure you are aware, was the whole point of the hurried wedding.

Lee was back in work Monday, and pretty much worked around the clock until leaving early on Thursday at 3.30... He decided he had to work that week when he got the bill for the dress. I took Friday off work to help out where I could, and, along with one of the best men, and Lee's dad and brother, we worked from 8am to 9pm on that Friday. We also had the pleasure of being joined by the bridesmaids to lay the tables in the marquee. We left the farm, and met a load of the boys in the local pub for a "quiet few"... I got to bed at 1.30am, and found out the next day that Lee's brother, and one of the Ushers, had been sick in the night. Job well done.

I awoke on the day of the Wedding to beautiful sunshine... We couldn't have asked for better weather. After a few calming pints in the pub we made it to the church. Gina's mum was brought in minutes before the ceremony started, and while Adele sang Make You Feel My Love. Gina entered. She looked beautiful. There was not a dry eye in the house. Lee later admitted that on seeing her, his legs went weak, and he had to take a few seconds to compose himself... I think that was the first time he'd let himself relax for 10 days, and the enormity of the occasion hit him. The ceremony was short, but sweet. It was a genuine pleasure to see the smiles on their faces, and love in their eyes as they said their vows.

After several (ahem) photos were taken, Mr and Mrs Lee Rees left the church grounds in a beautifully restored VW Camper, while the guests walked the 100 yards to the farm, and entered the marquee. The afternoon fare consisted of dainty sandwiches and cupcakes, accompanied by Tea, all served in mismatching crockery. It was a lovely idea, and really worked.

Gina's mum was brought in for the 40 odd minutes it took for the speeches, and then spent the rest of the evening in the house... Her husband was making regular trips back and forth, and I'm sure he didn't let her miss out on anything that happened. The speeches were each touching, heart warming, and hilarious in the right measure, and I am proud to say I only cried 3 times. The Toast Master kept the afternoon moving on, and using the Art of Rubbish Jokes, kept the mood light. Lee spoke beautifully from the heart, and only cracked twice: Once when trying to express his love for his new bride, and once when thanking his mum. The 2 best men both had me laughing aloud (LOLing to you Internet geeks), and one even name checked me.

But the star of the show was the Father of the Bride. He had told Lee on the day that he proposed that he would write a speech, but that he would not be able to deliver it. This honour was given to the Toast Master, Tim. Tim had expressed concerns just before that it was too emotional for him to get through, but he managed admirably. The speech was beautifully written. He was the only one to really mention his wifes illness, but managed to have us all laughing with his next sentence. He spoke very highly of Lee, detailing his great qualities as a man, and thanking him for the gift he had given the family on that day. It was a brilliant speech, and brought a lump to my throat, and tears to my eyes, while also making me laugh like a fool.

I managed to get through the first dance without forgetting any words, or breaking down crying, which I will take as a great result. I cannot describe the honour I felt at being asked to perform for Lee and Gina, and gave them both a massive hug afterwards.

The evening turned into a cracking party. There was an enormous Hog Roast which me and the boys tried to tackle on our own. Lee's brother Carl and I played another set later in the evening which had everyone dancing, and many pints and glasses of wine were sunk. There was even a massive pile on in the middle of the dancefloor, and the image of Lee, the Groom, doing Teddy-Bear rolls on the dancefloor still makes me laugh now.

But the highlight of my night was when I looked over at the dancefloor and saw the Father of the Bride, waistcoat undone, tie round his head, throwing out some killer shapes. The fact that, even during these tough times, he could let loose for 20 minutes and enjoy dancing with his daughter on her wedding day, really cheered me up and made my night.

It was a cracking day and night, perfect in fact. I asked Lee what he would have changed if he'd had a year instead of 10 days to plan it, and his reply was "not one thing". He married his soul mate in the company of their dearest friends and family, and in so doing, made 2 womens' greatest dream come true.

It was one of the greatest piss ups I have ever had the honour of being a part of, and I didn't even start drinking until 11pm. I love you mate.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Littlest Hero

In order to explain the excitement, pride and honour I felt at a certain phone call last Tuesday evening, I must first offer up a little background information. This is going to be difficult to do as I don't want to reveal any names because, while not quite a secret, this whole thing is being kept quite close to the chest.

So, before I get underway, I must ask that if you know me in the 'real world' and can guess who this is about, please don't go shouting about it to all and sundry.

Back in January, my best friend went missing for a few months as his girlfriend's mum was diagnosed with cancer (they are 22/23 years old). The family run a local farm, and as she and her parents were spending lots of time in and out of hospital, she had to drop out of Uni to help at home, and my mate was helping out any way he could. He was working long hours in his job (a job where his wage is based heavily on commission), and then heading to the farm to help out in the evening. He was helping in the mornings before work. He was driving people to the private hospital in London, which is about a 4/5 hour trek. He was exhausting himself trying to do what he could to make things slightly easier for his girlfriend and her family, and he was doing it to the detriment of his social life, and quite often his job... and most importantly, he was doing it without complaint.

Fortunately, after a lot of chemo, her mum started to get better, and against all odds she went into remission. Things started to get back to normal, he threw himself back into work, and more importantly, he started coming out on the beer with us again... we'd missed him.

In June, he and a few others walked Kilimanjaro for several local charities, one being a charity that cares for terminally ill patients in Pembrokeshire. They raised an astonishing amount of money - a whopping £38k, and we were all immensely proud of him.

Come September his girlfriend was due to start the first year of her Uni course again as she had to drop out the previous year. The week before she was to move up, her mum unfortunately became ill again. She cancelled all plans of going back to Uni, and my mate was prepared to help out in any way he could once again. He went back to spending all of his time in work, on the farm, or travelling up and down the M4... He was doing this at great expense to himself as the hotel and petrol bills were adding up, and the time he was taking off work was money he couldn't afford not to earn. Once again, I'd hear the odd "I'm so sorry I can't make it, I'm too tired" or "I've got to help out down the farm, sorry", but he didn't complain or moan once. He was actually more apologetic to us that he couldn't make certain events - what a dick.

In a saddening turn of events, the cancer was pronounced terminal a couple of weeks ago, and while I don't know the exact expected length of time that was given, it wasn't long. They were just trying to get her well enough to bring her home, where the charity that my mate raised nearly £8k for just a few months before, could look after her.

That brings us up to last Tuesday evening. I had just got back from rugby and was about to shower when my phone rang. My mate was giving me an update as he had been stuck in a hotel just outside London for nearly week.

"It's horrible mate... Everyone is in tears the whole time. Her mum and dad are devastated that she won't get to see her daughter married... So I've been thinking for a while, I've spoken to her dad and her sister, and I proposed this morning."

I was chuffed to pieces and told him so...

"And what's more, we're doing it a week Friday".

This got more of a "are you fucking kidding me?" response... but he was serious. They were planning a wedding for 10 days time. I had to ask that he made sure he was doing something he wanted to, and not something he felt he needed to, and his response of "To be honest, I always knew I'd marry her, I'm just doing it a few years earlier than I'd imagined" got me pretty choked up.

The tears then started flowing properly when he said that they both wanted me to play a set at the wedding, and more importantly, play for their first dance. I couldn't have been more honoured and accepted instantly. I was buzzing for the whole evening.

My other best mate, he who will be one of the Best Men, and who I spent the weekend with, was telling me on Saturday how he had received a phone call the night before which hadn't been so happy. Our friend was stressing over the amount of work he had to do to organise the wedding, he was dealing with the inevitable emotion involved in the whole situation, and he had contracted food poisoning. He wasn't in the best of places and there were a lot of tears flowing.

Thankfully, when I saw him last night, he was absolutely bouncing. They had found a dress, the marquee was up, the rings were bought, the church was booked, the guests all told, the DJ booked and the food and transport sorted. There were hundreds of little things left to do obviously, but the major problems were under control and he was the most excited I had ever seen him. Once again, it was obvious he was under a lot of pressure, but he didn't once moan, or even bat an eyelid when he admitted he was PAYING FOR ALOT OF THE THING HIMSELF. He did say the cost was being shared equally between himself, the Bride's parents, and his own parents, but he is forking out A LOT OF MONEY over the next couple of weeks, and doing it with the biggest smile on his face that I have ever seen. Did I mention he was only TWENTY BLOODY THREE?

So, Saturday will be a pretty emotional day. If worst comes to worst and she passes away before Saturday, they will obviously postpone for a year or so... but as it stands, Saturday will be filled with laughter, love, tears, poorly played guitar, several short jokes aimed at the Groom himself, and I'm sure a Mother In Law that has had one of her dreams come true.

So, this is for you, you short-arsed little prick. I couldn't be more proud of you than I am right now... You are pulling off the impossible with apparent ease, making several peoples dreams come true, and bringing some pretty hard-bastard blokes to tears. You are a hero and I bloody love you. I could not be happier for you both and I am sure you will enjoy a long and happy marriage.

And the best news yet? He's only gone and organised a free bar all day and night! WHAT A FUCKING LEGEND!