Angelic Upstarts On Tour

From Sign of the Times, 2, 1983

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2 thoughts on “Angelic Upstarts On Tour

  1. Jolly

    Scouse was right Middlesbrough was a tough old town. I was with The Business when they played in 83/84. I’m not sure of the exact year cos it was a long time ago. I was living in Scotland at the time and had travelled down earlier in the week to stay with my sister. I remember going to see Boro play Chelsea earlier during the day and then making my way over to Arena (old Rock Garden) to meet the band. They came with Lanky Paul, Richie Lewis and a Geordie driver that worked with Mark as a hospital porter. Within 5 minutes of being in the venue for a soundcheck the geordie driver had been hit by a Teesside doorman and was now sporting a black eye. Red Alert supported and got a bit of stick from the slightly sparse crowd. There was a bit of tension when they played from a small section of local skinheads. The Business too got a bit of stick during their set.

    After the gig i made my way to the van with Kev (drummer) and came back to see a small scuffle at the door entrance with some of the skinheads that had caused the troubles earlier, before the door flung open and the skinheads ran off. It was then we realised that it was Mickey Fitz that was being attacked. He wasn’t in too bad a shape, but he wanted to go to the hospital to check the blood coming from a cut in his head. So i took him and the rest of the band to the General Hospital because i knew where it was.

    The band also had a problem that because they’d been late arriving to Boro they hadn’t booked themselves into any accomodation, so I suggested that they could stay at my grandparents small house in Stockton, It was late at this time and they both would have been in bed, but I knew that Freda (my grannie) would be ok with it. So once Mick had come back to the van after getting a small number of stitches it was off to Stockton we went. After arriving at Patterdale Avenue i went to the door with Mickey and Mark to knock on the door. My grannie came to the door and she was fine with them staying. I only told her that 2 members of the band were staying, but after she went to bed I snuck in the other two. I slept upstairs whilst the band settled in downstairs. The roadcrew slept outside in the van.

    In the morning I made sure I got up before my grandma did and went downstairs to wake the band up. Obviously when my grannie came downstairs she saw the extra two members but in typical fashion didn’t say anything. She made them all some tea and my grandad came down. Joe had Parkinsons, which he’d more than likely picked up from the paint fumes when he worked for ICI and was a cantankerous old soul. He had no problems with the band staying and cracked some of his old jokes. “What’s the best thing out of London?” “The road up north!” Mark tells a story of him going earlier upstairs to the toilet and all he could see was my grandads false teeth staring at him. The band said their goodbyes and I travelled back to my sisters in Boro. Middlesbrough was indeed a tough old place back then.

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