An inauspicious beginning though; Nige rang before we left to let us know he was returning home to throw up, so one man down before we started. A long drive later, we arrive in Portsmouth with our usual back-of-envelope instructions and proceed to get so lost we actually have to leave town & come back for another try...
We eventually find the pub, and I manage to slice my finger open unloading the van. So far, so good.
A large group of punters in flagrant breach of Government guidelines on alcohol intake were noisily abusing each other as we set up - one gent, honking like an elephant seal at the object of his affections, stuck in my mind particularly: "MAUDE! I'M GONNA DUST IT OFF FOR YER, MAUDE!" (repeat, ad nauseum)
Soundcheck done, everyone retired outside for a fag, while I kept an eye on the gear and seriously considered taking up smoking...
The gig itself went OK and we even got a festival gig out of it, but as we packed down the gear a Dean Gaffney lookalike made an ill-advised comment on the physical charms of another bloke's sister, and the whole place erupted into a vicious bar-room brawl that wouldn't have looked out of place in a spaghetti Western... chairs & glasses were flying, bottles were smashed over heads, and if it was the kind of place that had chandeliers, someone would have been swinging on them.
Eventually the various enormous, shaven-headed chavs & their attendant flotilla of shrieking harpies left, leaving the monumentally bored looking barmaid to sweep up the glass while the harassed landlord dealt with the Police, who had sensibly been waiting round the corner until it all died down before putting in a appearance.
In fact the landlord wanted to come with us when we left, and I can't say I blame him.