Barrys Birthday Bash in Boston - Barry Middleton

While I was the landlord of “The Runner” in Nottingham I was lucky enough to reach my 50th Birthday, the big question for several months prior to April 29th 1997 was “what are we going to do on your birthday Baz?”

Well after several meetings, after hours sampling the fine ales & lagers coming from the pumps, it was agreed to do something away from “The Runner”, it was left to me to decide and it was agreed that most people would go along with my decision.

So the following day I just happened to receive a phone call from a promoter, Malcolm of “The Axe & Cleaver“ in Boston Lincolnshire who wanted some advice on some band or other, after a while chatting to Malcolm it dawned on me The Axe & Cleaver, Birthday do, could be interesting.

So I put to Malcolm the idea of hiring his venue in Boston for my birthday bash, the first hurdle was it was a Tuesday night and they held a regular Open Mic’ session which he really did not want to cancel, so I asked Malcolm what sort of a turn out they would get on an average Tuesday, his reply of 10 to 15 punters almost made me gag, Malcolm I replied I am talking about 100 people plus who are all good drinkers and will not be driving, at this moment I think the pound signs started to drift before his eyes, so the deal was done, I had the use of “The Axe & Cleaver” in Boston, I had an in house PA with lights but it was nearly 60 miles to Boston, how on earth are we going to get there and what are we going to do when we get there.

Time to talk to the girls down the pub, I managed to get a few of them together and form a small committee to organise transport and sell tickets for the night out in Boston.

In the mean time I had managed to get a fantastic line up together for “Barry’s Birthday Bash in Boston” local muso’s Ian Siegal & Aynsley Lister jumped at the chance to perform at “The Bash” and it just so happened that Gregg Wright from the US of A was touring the UK and had a night off this particular Tuesday April 29th 1997, so the plan was set.

On the evening waiting at “The Runner” for the transport to turn up was amazing, the crowd just kept getting bigger and bigger by the time the 2 x 52 seaters had turned up “The Runner” was packed with people asking each other what are we doing & where are we going, I couldn’t believe the” girls committee” had sold all these tickets and booked two coaches to get us all to Boston.

When we eventually arrived at “The Axe & Cleaver” our little convoy of two coaches full of regulars supporting my birthday bash emptied onto the streets of Boston, as we all piled into the boozer the expressions on the bar staffs faces were an absolute picture, little cries of “this is ridiculous” and “Jesus when are they going to stop coming in”.

The performers had already arrived and sound checked and I was assured everything was going to be alright when the other bar staff Malcolm had sent out for turned up, true to his word more staff did indeed turn up and boy were they needed, from about 8.30pm until after midnight the place was absolutely bouncing.

Needless to say I didn’t have to buy many drinks as the night went on, and by 10.30 I was well and truly oiled. So a breath of fresh air out the back with the bands sounded like a good idea, wrong, at the back of “The Axe” the changing rooms come accommodation, are what appeared to be air raid shelters packed with about ten muso’s sitting in a cloud of sweet smelling weed, well needless to say I had to ask them to stop smoking this illegal substance and was promptly thrown back into the car park, it is around this time I start losing track of time.

The next morning I wake up in my own bed with somewhat of an hangover, made myself some coffee, step over quite a few bodies on the floor of our living room, they all appear to be alive just and make my way down into the pub where several punters are still drinking (this is about 8.30am), everyone keeps thanking me for a great night, but to be honest after 10.30 I can’t remember a thing.

No one was left behind, no one was hurt or injured, no musical instruments were left in Boston, and 13 years later we are still talking about “Barry’s Birthday Bash in Boston”

Barry Middleton

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