Feline-fan’s tour diary

Thirty years ago exactly, the band set out on a tour of the UK in support of their new album Feline. In the year since their last tour, they had left EMI, moved to CBS and released a new studio album. Mark Senior from Sheffield planned to attempt the full tour and he recounts his exploits for us here..

We’ve also added in extra memories from Mark’s touring mate Phil  Coxon from Derby-who has already supplied us with tour diaries from ’79 -’82. Phil’s sections are all attributed to him, all other text is from Mark. Over to our tour guides…

Mark (shown right): Hello all, well where to begin? I got into the band in Summer 1980 when using a spare ticket to watch the band with a few mates at Manchester Apollo on the Who Wants The World? Tour. The fervour is now not quite as intense as it once was but it burned brightly for many years and will never be completely extinguished. That fervour took me all over Europe and has been responsible for many a wild night and, oohh, the women I’d never have met had it not been for the Stranglers! I did the Folie, Feline and Sculpture tours in the UK and then a few more in Europe after Hugh had left the band. Doing every gig on the Feline tour stemmed from a bet I made with John at the end of the previous tour, when, in a drunken moment after the last gig I told everyone I’d do the lot next time. They kept reminding me about it so I had to do it, simple as that.

Phil (left): It’s January 1983 and Stranglers’ fans have plenty to look forward to -a new single, an album and, of course, a new tour. Yet again The Stranglers have changed-electronic drums and acoustic guitars. Who would have thought that from The MIB?!! I’m being a severe lightweight on this tour having actually booked a two week summer holiday (like normal people do!) so holidays are on short supply. However I’m still looking forward to seeing the band again and meeting friends old and new.  StillI’m hoping to do seven gigs…

January 21st Newcastle ‘The Tube’

M: We were all looking forward to the upcoming tour and when we found out that the band were appearing on the well known weekly rock show “The Tube”. Robbo and I decided we just had to go, I mean Paula Yates was on it for God sake!

I got the train to Alfreton and met Robbo and his mate Phil in a town centre pub and armed with a case of lager we set off in the car. Arriving in Newcastle, we found the studios and were almost at the front of the queue. When Jools Holland walked backwards down the queue talking to camera, I couldn’t resist tripping him up (you can see this on the video of the show if anyone still has it).

Inside we hung around for ages until the band came on, they played Midnight Summer Dream, European Female and, joy of joys, Who Wants The World? (watch full Tube footage here). We didn’t get a chance to speak to the band but I got a couple of photos of the lovely Paula and a kiss!

Feline UK tour:

January 28th Chippenham Gold Diggers

M: Well here we go again! Up at 7, pack the bag with spare clothes including a selection of white t-shirts (by now everyone and their mum was wearing all black so being an awkward sod I’d decided to do the entire tour without wearing a black shirt), several cans of Strongbow, a walkman, the sleeping bag and off we go.

I met Robbo and his mates Eddie and Phil on the train down, arriving in Chippenham we followed the usual procedure, find the venue then find a decent pub, I saw John (JJ) at the soundcheck and he put me on the list for the entire tour, fantastic, only the travel to worry about now. The gig was brilliant, the best set list ever: Heroes, Toiler, Princess, Tramp, Genetix etc. Afterwards we stopped at a house owned by a mate of Krista’s and I ended up in the bath with some bird. What a first day, guest list for the tour, fantastic gig and a shag!

P: First date and I’m on the train with Dean-as ever and Chris off down to the West country for what is, for us, a new venue. We find a pub and there’s lots of old faces in there-Mark, Krista, Linsey, Robbo and mates. Mark has had a few and is playing tonsil tennis with a girl who is wearing bright red lipstick and pretty soon it looks like Mark is also wearing it! He’s had a good start to the tour! Showtime-and there’s no Waltzinblack intro! Instead the band come on to Aural Sculpture-another great example of their creativity. The gig is a great mix of the band’s back catalogue with at least one track from all the albums and with a good airing of Feline stuff as you would expect. It’s a great start to the tour even though it seems a bit strange with the acoustic guitars. We’re heading back home as we aren’t going to St Austell or Poole so, seeing as we are in the West country, it must mean an overnight stop at Bristol Temple Meads!

Poster for St Austell

January 29th St.Austell Cornwall Colisseum

Off to the land of webbed feet and ‘Get orf muy laaand’ again, and with a big hangover too! Train to St.Austell via Bristol and Exeter, left our bags in the station and went to the beach and had a quick dip, that got rid of the bloody hangovers I can tell you. Outside the venue we helped a t-shirt seller having a bit of trouble with the locals so he gave us free shirts. This was another top gig but as I’ve said before I just didn’t like the venue, no atmosphere.

We’d been invited by local fans to a party afterwards but they wouldn’t let us in so Eddie (a complete nutter) picked up their milk bottles and hurled them through the plate glass front window. Seconds later we are being chased down the street by a howling mob. Somehow we escaped and we dossed in the station.

January 30th Poole Arts centre

As we were standing outside the station the t-shirt guy drove passed and gave us a lift, we stopped on the way at a farm to buy scrumpy. I knew it would be potent when I saw a cow, obviously drunk, lapping at a puddle of the stuff in the yard.

We arrived at the venue at 5pm, the gig was f##king mental and Gary (Bainbridge) and I stood on each side of the mixing desk holding it down as the sprung floor went up and down like a tart’s knickers, the crowd were going berserk! Back at the hotel afterwards chatting to Jet, Bill Tuckey and Nik Malham the amazingly weird and entertaining tap dancing support act. Booted out at 2am and we kipped in a shop doorway, thank God for the sleeping bag!

January 31st Bristol Colston Hall

Hello again Temple Meads, forever associated with Stranglers tours. Travelled to Bristol on the train with Nik Malham. Had a pot of Earl Grey in a local tea shop, very civilised! Me, Robbo and Eddie got a B & B for the night, had a few scrumpys before the gig. Ructions later when Rob and Eddie didn’t get in and stormed off in a huff. I watched the gig with Linsey, Krista and Phil Coxon, who I think taped the gig (we only ever taped gigs for passing around our group I hasten to add). I’ve still got a copy somewhere.

P: I have a sickie off work and travel down with Dean and Pat. I see my old mate Gary Bainbridge helping the crew set up the band’s gear and meet Mark and the others. I’ve brought my tape cassette player and a blank tape along which I manage to get into the venue and do a bit of recording… Nuclear Device kicks us off and leads straight into a great version of Toiler-classic, now we’re into the new and my personal favourite off the new album Ships That Pass-I love the way it builds up with the bass and keys-brilliant. Hugh says “Hello ooh aar ooh aar land. I know, I live here!” and proceeds to ask us if we liked the support Nik Malham. Err, no not a lot! Apparently he made six quid tonight with what was thrown at him!

On with the set-It’s A Small World segues into Just Like Nothing On Earth, No More Heroes which sees Dave having a few technical problems during his solo, Who Wants The World, Never Say Goodbye and the classic Baroque Bordello. Then Golden Brown is swiftly followed by Princess of The Streets then we have Midnight Summer Dream which segues into European Female with JJ at his very best. Tramp, Raven and Duchess and to finish it off we have London Lady and Genetix-what a great gig! Then, yes, you’ve guessed it… another night on Temple Meads station! The plan was to use another sickie and go to Cardiff in the morning but I fear work have got the idea of what I’m up to so, for future employment, I decide to go to work.

February 1st Cardiff  University

Once again got the train with Nik, by now we’d got to know him quite well and made a point of going down the front to give him some support each night. My diary says he went down quite well in Cardiff but that wasn’t always the case. A straw boater and blazer wearing tap dancer supporting the Stranglers is a brave man in my book! After the gig tonight there was a party in John’s room at the hotel, the room ended up a bit trashed, I clearly remember a sandwich stuck to the wall. Staggered off for my train at 4am.

JJ & Mark in Birmingham

February 2nd Birmingham Odeon

Home at 9.30, three and a half hours sleep, off to Birmingham at 4.30. I don’t have much info on this one but I know Phil was there, the diary says “reasonable gig”. We had a few drinks in the Holiday Inn with the band afterwards, I slept in the hotel fire escape.

P: Consecutive nights at Brum great news we can get back home using the day return-the Odeon was a great venue and always had a good crowd and atmosphere. Sometimes the venue security were over zealous but they usually give in in the end due to the sheer weight in numbers as Birmingham must be one of the top venues for stage invasions! A few of us manage to get backstage for a quick drink before Myself and Dean get the train home leaving Mark and the others there.

February 3rd Birmingham Odeon

I couldn’t be arsed staying in Brum all day so I got a day return home to Sheffield, arriving back in Birmingham at the same time as yesterday. Tonight’s gig was much better than yesterday’s, the band are getting into the groove now.

Back to the hotel again and once again a party in John’s room, Linsey and Krista were there as were several of the reggae band Steel Pulse. Dino, the security guy, had just been in to warn everyone that, after the damage to the room in Cardiff, there had better be no damage tonight.

Party in JJ’s room

Just after he left John poured a few glasses of red wine and one of the glasses just shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces, the wine staining the table and broken glass flying all over. To get a better look he switched the table lamp on and the bulb exploded, this was getting fucking spooky! Dino came back in the room ten minutes later and went ballistic upon seeing the mess as John vainly protested our innocence.

P: Second night at Brum and, as we’re going upstairs, we bump into Bruce Gooding from the crew. Playing two nights at the same venue virtually gives the crew a day/night off which, according to Bruce, was used in true rock n roll style if you know what I mean!! It’s an excellent show yet again and get the train back to Derby.

February 4th Oxford Apollo

On the train to Oxford I happened to sit opposite Pete Jones from Carlisle who was to become a very good friend and someone who I would attend a lot of Stranglers gigs with. When we left the station we immediately got hassled by the local skinheads but after a minor scuffle we hurriedly found the venue and went inside. My diary says the venue was a bit shabby and the sound was a bit rough but that the gig as a whole was pretty decent. Afterwards we went to the hotel and me and Pete decided a good rest was needed so we booked a double room, luxury! Most of the band crashed out early but we stopped up drinking and chatting to Hugh and Dino until very late before a welcome night in real beds, a rarity on tour!

P: My old friend and touring partner Mick is joining us today. The venue is seated and it’s not the best gig so far. We also bump into Fiona from Slough who was another regular on previous tours especially on The Meninblack tour ’81. We manage to get a few hours sleep before getting the train to London to watch Derby play at Chelsea. We’re actually missing tonight’s gig at Nottingham but it pays off as Derby win 3-1. We miss all the following week’s gigs up north, but Mark and the girls are still going strong.

February 5th Nottingham Royal Theatre

Got up feeling well refreshed, compared to crawling out of a sleeping bag in the pissing rain it was bliss! At breakfast we chatted to Dino and Paul Roderick, no sign of the band. Pete had to go home and I headed for Nottingham, met my ex-girlfriend Ruth before the gig. Best concert of the tour so far, an “outstanding set” says the diary. Back to Sheffield tonight.

February 6th Manchester Apollo

I got a lift over to Manchester with four mates, the gig was sold out and they were hoping to pick up tickets outside, unfortunately the touts were asking 15 quid a ticket which was a hell of a lot at the time. I bumped into Bill Tuckey and asked him if he could help, I hoped he’d get a couple of them in and then they could pool their money and buy tickets for the others. Bill, bless him, immediately put all four of them on the guest list. This was typical of the man, a wonderful guy who knew all of the fans who followed the band everywhere and was liked by all of us. RIP Bill, we all remember you fondly.

Anyway the lads were so chuffed that they gave me a tenner and bought me my drinks all night! Manchester Apollo was another venue where the Stranglers always produced the goods and tonight was no exception, I have a soft spot for the place anyway as it was the venue for my first ever Stranglers gig. We were all too knackered for after gig partying tonight and headed off home.

February 7th Leeds University

Pete Jones and I arrived at the University at midday and everyone else showed up in ones and twos during the afternoon, terrible weather, freezing rain and driving snow so we all got soaked but the gig was worth it. After failing to find “Randy Mandy from Bramley” in the packed hall I went right down the front to pogo away my frustration among the teeming masses. Staggering out drenched in sweat into the freezing cold was no fun but we soon arrived at the hotel where John was throwing another party in his room, booze and other substances were there in abundance. I remember sitting outside in the corridor for a bit of fresh air when Jimmy Pursey arrived.

Very late on, almost everyone else had gone and JJ was dangerously pissed, he had that smile on his face that told you straight away that he was up for some lunacy! “Krista tells me you’re gay Mark” he says, “Er…no John, definitely not” I reply. “Oh go on, don’t be shy, admit it” he goes on, “I’m not bloody gay she’s winding you up” I say (Krista is laughing fit to burst in the background).

Suddenly all hell breaks loose. “I’ve fancied you for ages” says JJ and starts chasing me around the room, in the chaos he drags off my trousers and rips my pants in half and chucks them across the room! Luckily the whole episode was a massive wind up cooked up my John and Krista. I ended up dossing in my sleeping bag on the floor of John’s room.

February 8th Day off

Train home sans underwear which was now hanging from a tree on the hotel forecourt, I didn’t have any spare pairs on me as I was going home after the gig due to the day off. Freezing my balls of (literally) as the zip on my jeans had been broken during the previous night’s fracas, so I had to go all the way home with my hand in front of my fly!

February 9th Glasgow Apollo

Resplendant in new underpants and trousers I got a mid-morning train to Glasgow with Robbo, downing a few cans on the way. Dumped our gear in left luggage, met lins and Kris and found a pub. Wasn’t keen on Glasgow at all, bloody intimidating place to be if you’re English. We were getting nasty looks everywhere but luckily we were hanging around (always have to get that in somewhere) with some lads from Aberdeen that we knew so we didn’t get too much hassle. At least the gig was absolutely top class, Glasgow isn’t known as a Stranglers stronghold for nothing. The hotel was miles away so we headed for the station (which stank of piss) to doss down for the night.

February 10th Aberdeen Capitol

7.10 train to Aberdeen and the first thing we did was find a B + B and got some sleep until about 5pm. We met up with our Aberdeen mates again in the pub before the gig which the diary tells me was “An absolute classic”, John karate kicked an over enthusiastic stage invader during Heroes. Pete arrived late due to work commitments, turning up halfway though Midnight Summer Dream. After the gig he managed to get a room at our guest house. We sat up until late in one of our rooms, guzzling lager and cider and chatting, happy to be in the warm again after last night.

February 11th Edinburgh Playhouse

We arrived in Edinburgh at 3pm and met a bloke Robbo knew in the Duke of Wellington pub who’d said he’d put a few of us up. The bloke was brilliant, buying us all beer and letting five or six of us doss at his house after the gig. Edinburgh was a nice place and in the pubs the locals were much more friendly than we had experienced in Glasgow, we all had a good time and the gig, though perhaps not quite as good as the last two, was enjoyable and relaxed (if relaxed is a word that could ever be used about a Stranglers concert). I bought a concert poster which I still have. After the gig we met Robbo’s mate and his wife in the pub and dossed down in his living room after a good session on the beer.

Edinburgh Playhouse poster

February 12th Newcastle City Hall

We spent the morning looking round Edinburgh and some of us went to the castle and it’s museum. Very interesting with a lot of WWII memorabilia but for me the greatest moment came when I saw the tattered flag of the French 45 infanterie regiment and it’s eagle standard, captured by Sergeant Ewart of the Scots Greys during the legendary charge of the Union Brigade during the battle of Waterloo. To see it at last having read so much about the charge of the Greys was a hair stood on end moment, brilliant! (Google it people!!). So you see, Stranglers tours aren’t only about gigs, boozing and shagging, not quite anyway!

Anyway after the one o’clock gun, we all met up again and headed back south of the border to Gary’s home gig in Newcastle.

I don’t have much written about this gig other than that the band made a balls up of Who Wants The World?  I got a lift back to Sheffield with Robbo’s mate Phil who’d come up to Newcastle in his car.

February 13th Sheffield City Hall

This time it’s me on home territory and I nip out to the local for a couple of lunchtime pints. Arriving home 2 hours later my mum is already playing host to the first black clad arrivals, Lins and Kris are here and Gary and Pete arrive soon afterwards. By late afternoon Robbo and Phil plus a few of my Sheffield mates were also in attendance.

We set off en masse for town on the bus. Knowing that my old man was a baker, the band had asked for some chocolate and cream eclairs and Dad had done a couple of dozen extra the day before. Before going in the pub I dropped them off backstage with Bill. Some arsehole had used several of our names on the guest list so Bill got us in the back. Absolute top gig right from the band storming into the first track all the way to the encore. Oh yes the encore !!

The band were still in the habit of pulling a token gobber on stage, debagging them and spanking their bare arses. Tonight a greasy looking, spotty oik was dragged on stage, his trousers and pants pulled down. Then Mr Burnel swiftly left the stage to return seconds later with one of Dad’s eclairs which he quickly rammed up the oik’s arse. “Don’t worry we ate the rest” the band told me later! Following the Stranglers on tour back then was many things but boring certainly wasn’t one of them! We went to the Hallam Towers hotel but the band weren’t in party mood so we headed off home.

P: It’s Mark’s hometown gig and there’s a good turnout of the touring party. Sadly, this is going to be mine and Dean’s last gig tonight. Anyway we’re all waiting around the stage door and it soon becomes apparent that there’s a problem as we are all struggling to get in. Mark finds out that some people have already used some of our names on the guest list! Not a good scenario-we are all severely pissed off and Mark is fuming-understandably! All of a sudden the stage door flies open and there stands Bill Tuckey who beckons us over and lets us all in there must have been about ten of us and we were through that door and in the hall in a flash-he didn’t need to do that for us but he did-what a gent.

So, with the relief at getting in and it being Dean and my last gig, we really enjoy it tonight-brilliant gig. Everyone enjoys the show-Mark especially-the last gig you want to miss is your home town gig and it nearly happened to Mark. Thankfully Bill helped us out-that was the sort of bloke he was. So we say our goodbyes and get the train back home. I only managed six gigs in the end but enjoyed it immensely, a great set and gigs from The MIB yet again.

February 14th Watford Verulam Arms (secret gig)

This one was a secret gig but soon became fairly common knowledge among the faithful. As I’d sworn to do the entire tour this one had to be done too somehow even though tickets were as rare as Sheffield United european cup wins and we were told that due to the size of the venue the guest list was out of the question.

Well the plan was to get in the pub early on and simply stay in which worked brilliantly right up to the moment the pub shut and they chucked us all out ! Anyway the hours started to tick by and Pete and I were getting a bit nervous as the punters started filing in, normally Bill helped out in these situations but he was extremely busy and stressed up and told us “I told you it was a no go” (which in all fairness he had!).

Anyway we’d all but given up and could hear that the gig was about to start when suddenly the door opened and Dino’s head peered round it, seeing the two of us he says “Come on you fuckers, hurry up”, next thing we’re in with Dino saying “Stand at the back and behave” as the band launched into Nuclear Device! Good old Dino!

The atmosphere was mental and the pub was absolutely heaving, all we could see were the heads of John and Hugh. The sound was absolutely terrible and I bet the bootleg sounds God awful, it wasn’t a gig you’d want as a live album, but on the night it was just great! After the gig we got the train into London and dossed with John and Spence at their place on the Westway.

February 15th London Hammersmith Odeon

Well everything got a bit chaotic tonight. Firstly there were problems with the guest list so Bill got us in the back door at about 8pm. There was a line of bouncers right across the front of the stage which did not go down well with the band who left the stage after the first two songs. Eventually the bouncers were persuaded to leave and the band returned. Unfortunately the “fans” down the front took all this as a signal to start ripping seats out and generally trash the place. The gig was pretty much ruined and thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to the venue, me, Pete Linsey and Krista were standing at the back and had a perfect view of the unfolding madness, as far as I remember there was no encore but I can’t swear to it.

When the gig was over we filed out into the night with no idea of the repercussions to come although it was obvious there would be some. As it turned out the actions of a few nutcases would rebound on the band big time.

February 16th London Hammersmith Odeon (cancelled)

Jonesy had to go home to work and Krista went to sign on. She phoned us up later at Spence’s place to tell us she’d heard the gig was off! I phoned up the band’s hotel and spoke to JJ who confirmed it, he sounded tired and angry both with the idiots who caused the trouble and with the band themselves for trusting the nutters at the front to behave without the bouncers. So now they are banned from Hammersmith Odeon…

Suddenly finding ourselves without a gig to go to we went, with our White City hosts Spence and John, to see The Alarm at the famous Marquee, Wardour street. Not as good as the Stranglers but a decent gig, the Alarm were just starting to get a big reputation in those days. Afterwards we found ourselves standing at the bar with Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers and chatted with him over a pint or two.

TVS Studios, Gillingham October ’82

February 17th Brighton Conference Centre

I went to the soundcheck with Linsey and Krista and Bill handed me a tour pass as a souvenir. Nice one!! We met Robbo and Eddie in a nearby bar for a pre-gig bevvy. Then into the venue, once more the familiar intro and the band launched into Nuclear Device and stormed through a fantastic set.

Then the sweat soaked encores and that’s it then. Linsey, Krista and I have done every gig on the Feline tour! John told us at the start that he’d buy a meal at his favourite Greek restaurant in London for any of us that managed every concert (he did too during the Aural Sculpture tour but that’s another story!). We staggered back to the station and banged a few cans down on the way back to London, ears still ringing. Dossed with the usual mates and off home the next day.

Feline French Tour:

February 25th/26th

Pete Jones and I had decided to do the French leg of the tour and, after a week’s rest, off we went. Pete arrived at our house on Thursday night and we set off on Friday morning via London and Dover. Pete got so carried away flirting with a tasty French hottie on the ferry that he sprinkled sugar on his chips instead of salt, he ate them too!

We got a train straight through to Paris at about 4am and managed to find an empty compartment and slept all the way to the Gare du Nord. The idea was to hitch a lift to the first gig, in Strasbourg, but after three hours of getting nowhere and freezing our bollocks off we gave up, deciding to put pints of Kronenbourg ahead of The Stranglers in Strasbourg on this occasion before going straight to Lyon the next day.

We checked into a small hotel, we got a twin bed room and the landlady assumed that we were batting for the other team and I swear she really did say “Oooh la la !” Anyway we had a look around Paris including the obligatory trip to the bloody Pompidou centre where we dutifully took pictures of each other a la Euroman. Pete f##ked up the one of me completely and only got half of me on it! We drank rather a lot of beer and “Pinard” and hit the sack “Vive le vin rouge!”

February 27th Lyon Palais d’Hiver

Suitably refreshed and a bit hungover we had a leisurely breakfast and a couple of litres of coffee before setting off to Lyon. No bloody hitching this time, we went on the TGV, then the fastest train in the world, it certainly crapped on British rail !

The venue was easily found as we’d spotted it from the train as we arrived, we quickly bought a few cans and headed in the general direction. It was a cold but sunny day and we settled down at the stage door with a can or two on the go waiting for someone to turn up. An hour or two later a couple of cars arrived and the band got out along with Bill and Dino, I still remember the looks on their faces. “What the fuck are you two doing here?” said John. Dino and Bill just laughed.

We went in the venue with the band and stayed inside until the gig. This was my first Stranglers’ concert outside the UK and it was fantastic, gorgeous French punkettes abounded, the entire hall stank of cannabis, you got stoned just by breathing in! Nik Malham was support which was a nice surprise. Afterwards we had a couple of beers in the bands hotel before being unceremoniously chucked out at about 1am, we dossed in a shopping mall doorway and it was f##king well freezing, we had to keep getting up and running around to warm up a bit !

February 28th Paris Salle de la Mutualite

As it was so bloody cold we were up early and off to the station for a couple of coffees before getting the TGV to Paris at 6:20 am. Arriving back in the capital we booked into a hotel near the venue.

After a couple of hours sleep we headed down to the concert hall and met Nik Malham and Krista who had come over for this gig and arranged to meet us here. Not long afterwards the band arrived for the soundcheck. We were chatting to JJ and I remember him telling me something of the history of the venue, he told me that French fascists had held rallies there in the 1930’s, he then invited the three of us to the end of tour bash at the Backstage club after the gig and shortly after that Dino came over and handed us tickets to the party.

After the soundcheck I nipped out for some cans and was soon surrounded by a few French skinheads trying to grab the cash out of my hand, I did a quick impression of an olympic sprinter and dived round the corner into a wine bar, once in there I naturally had a couple of glasses of red to calm my nerves!

The gig was very enjoyable and I was getting on famously with a lovely French punkette with spiky blonde hair and red and black striped trousers. After the triumphant encores we set off for the party -without the punkette unfortunately!

The record company was paying for all the drinks and it would have been churlish to have turned down their hospitality so Pete and I waded in with consumate enthusiasm! Not only were the band in attendance but also our old friends from the Meninblack tour Taxi Girl (the greatest ever Stranglers’ support band imho), and it was great to meet up with Alexis, Laurent and Mirwais again! Needless to say the party was heaving with gorgeous French blart.

Mark’s Paris poster

March 1st The end of the tour…

We left the party at about 6am and things got a bit hazy after that. I lost Pete and Krista but somehow managed to find the hotel via the Metro and after another few hours in Paris I headed back to England.

The legendary and unforgettable Feline tour was over.

I was to follow the band on one more UK tour and several in Europe after moving over here but things would never again quite reach the dizzy heights of that fantastic few weeks in 1983. That was the tour that, for some of us, was THE tour!


The main protagonists :

There were certainly a few other regulars on the scene but the following list is a fair proportion of the “hard core” fans on the Feline tour :

Gary Bainbridge – Newcastle, Phil Coxon – Derby, Paul “Robbo” Roberts – Alfreton,  Pete Jones – Carlisle, Linsey and Krista – Evesham, Phil and Eddie – Alfreton, Nick Hall and mates – Huddersfield (Nick isn’t mentioned in my diary entries for this tour but he was around and went to a lot of gigs), Ian “Tiny” Squires – Sheffield, Howard – Manchester-plus me, Mark Senior-Sheffield.  It would be great to hear from any of them…

Special mentions Of course, the Meninblack themselves Jet, John, Hugh and Dave, Dino-band security and the much missed, late, great Bill Tuckey-tour manager…

Bill Tuckey is fondly remembered by those who knew him, the band, the crew and fans alike. Here’s a message about him from Sil…


Bill Tuckey-tour manager

Bill was the band’s manager when I started working for them full time. He came from the Micky Most era as his brother Len Tuckey was married to Suzi Quatro and also played bass in her band. Bill had wonderful stories of the 70’s pop scene when he was tour managing both Suzi and Racey.

Bill with Dave & Pam

He and I worked very closely together when I was head of production for the band. His opening catch phrase was always ‘Hello Boy’ (which I adopted and use to this day). He was both a great boss and friend, great fun to be around and, god, we got up to some seriously silly pranks on tour. Off tour he was quite a private person and lived alone in Ingatestone. It was a real sadness when Bill was diagnosed with a inoperable brain tumour just after he attended my wedding and he died a couple of years later aged 50. I truly miss him very much as he was my mentor to become a manager as his approach, knowledge, manner and humour were all top drawer.

‘Hello Boy’ God Bless You xx


Example tour setlist-Sheffield City Hall 13th Feb:

Nuclear Device/Toiler On The Sea/Ships That Pass In The Night/It’s A Small World/Just Like Nothing On Earth/No More Heroes/Who Wants The World?/Never Say Goodbye/Baroque Bordello/Golden Brown/Princess Of The Streets/Midnight Summer Dream/European Female/Tramp/The Raven/Duchess/London Lady/Bring On The Nubiles (cocktail version)/Down In The Sewer/Genetix

Thanks to Mark (aided and abetted by Phil) for their shared memories of those Feline days…

JJB, Feline tour ’83