Stuttgart - Porsche Oldie Night 18. March 2005
[click on the pictures to enlarge]

It was the first concert in 2005 for us and I was really looking forward to see the Three Degrees for the first time, the Rubettes again after many years and the Dozies together with Dave Dee on stage again ! 
Since we went there for the whole weekend (although only on the Friday show) we started not too early. Usually Stuttgart is not that a long drive - only trouble was to get to our hotel within Stuttgart then. We lost almost an hour just because of Stuttgartīs silly traffic guidance.

Arriving at the hotel we got the first funny sight - Beaky lying on two stools of the hotelīs beer garden taking a nap in the sun !
Of course we decided to join him there after checking in ...

 ...and had a great time ! Finally we had the first really warm spring days and then to sit there in the sun, enjoying some cold drinks and a good conversation was unbeatable !
We also laughed a lot - first at Tonys consternation when I told him I wanted to get a real Beatles-typical Rickenbacker guitar - in turquoise ! Although he usually grabs every guitar immediately he boasted he would "NEVER !!!" play a turquoise Rick. Weīll see... And then again we guffawed when he pulled out his "purse" - a big transparent plastic zip-lock bag containing some Euros ! 

Well, after one or two hours we were joined by some other fans from Stuttgart as well and at some point we decided to start out to the hall - although Manuela told us it would not be necessary to be there before official opening time we were nervous as usual. 
But it was only one hour to wait - okay, we really could have been there half an hour later without trouble, but somehow it belongs to a concert to wait at least a short time... 
Good was it in the regards that I could check with the security guards if they permitted my camera which was no problem. And then we started to get our first-row places as usual. No Problem there either.

So far I had never been to those Porsche Oldie nights, although it is every year in late March. So I enjoyed to browse around and take a look at the Porsche cars they always show on both sides of the stage 

This was the funny one - marked like a butchered hog...

... while this one was one of my all-time Porsche favorites - with that Martini decor

The wait was no problem with some cold drinks and some of the usual people in the first row talking all the time. And then it started with a bang - a phantastic band I had not seen for some years: the Rubettes feat. Alan Williams - or as I prefer to call them: the Originals.

Bill Hurd had left them some years back and so there was Mark Haley - a new face to me on keyboards - but he fitted perfectly.

The others had not changed a bit

Their performance was smooth as I remembered. They had the audience up singing, dancing and clapping in no time.

Of course they played all their big hits ...

"Lets hear if you remember the text this time my friend..."

... with the addition of a medley of acapella songs - a wonderful idea I think - all four of them in front singing some good old tunes

But the really big surprise to me were their Taiko drums

The four of them performing a perfectly choreographed drum sequence on those big drums, full of force and power !

Although that was something completely different from all the other performances you can get on an Oldie Night, it made the audience absolutely wild ! 

Right: A typical Alan-Williams-shot during I can do it

So after another magnificent Sugar baby love we were wound up completely.

A last shot of those four guys and then they were through...

Such a start for a long oldie night ! At that point I already thought if it goes on like this, weīll be ready for the oxygene tent after the last act...
Luckily the waiting time was buffered a bit with some good music, at least here they had the mind to turn on some oldies during the breaks.
So it did not take very long and then I got to see the Three Degrees !

My first surprise here was their band: 7 musicians joined the three ladies on stage - and they were absolutely phantastic !
Helen and the other two took turns on lead vocals and each of them really had a fine voice.

Their choreography was also excellent and so they hooked the audience as well.

My favorite of course was Dirty old man - of which I had seen an old recording just a few days before...

I had enjoyed those ladies very much, all those beautiful soul songs and with that big band behind it was quite an experience.
After them they had announced a band of which I had never heard of before - the Legends of Doo-Wop. I had no idea what to expect and actually at that point I was not very eager to see them. 

But they turned out to be lots of fun - also with a big band on stage they were four guys performing whatīs called Doo-wop - music like the Flying Pickets made popular with a lot of voice-effects.

Although I did not know most songs it was a great performance. Only problem in my opinion was that with all songs in the same style at one point it got a bit boring.

"Papa oom mau mau" - a song for Johnboy ?

Then it started to get really tough for me. Somehow I was already tired from the first powerful perfomances and the next was someone I did not know at all: Freddy Cannon. Anja had already told me he was from the USA and into RockīnīRoll so I thought well, letīs see...

But in the end I have to admit it was just not my kind of music. Most songs I did not even know and actually he was not working with the audience much, so not much to say here. 

In the meantime I had finally learned how to avoid those two camera-cars running in front of us during all performances. Sometimes they would be in the way of a great shot but thatīs a photographers life.
After Freddy Cannon I was even looking forward to Suzi Quatro - I had not seen her for years so one performance might even be great.

Actually I like Suzis music. I am just not a big fan of her on-stage style. But I guess being a woman myself I see her with different eyes.

"Hey Dozy, take a close look - Status Basses are available with headstock as well !!!"

What I do admire is how she works on the bass. Sheīs quite a great player - and since my interest in instruments had grown during the past months I was able to identify her bass instantly: a Status - like Dozy uses on stage as well. 

Suzi in action

Suzis performance was pure power that evening. Many of the hits inlcuding my favorite If you canīt give me love - plus a few newer songs. Only thing that made me a bit sad was her new tribute to Elvis - with many elements similar to a text I had written the year before... 

The brass section - they were fabulous !

Although Tim is a fine guitar player I still miss Robbie with his casual manner on stage.

The guy on the sax is a gem though, his facial expressions are always good for a laugh

The drummer had a nice solo part towards the end. Now we know why he insists on so many drum elements

It was a fine  performance (and of course the longest one on this show), Suzi at her best again !

In the end we were glad to get another breather after all this action. The next one to come was Dave Edmunds.  

Although I knew his name from so many oldie samplers most songs were either unknown to me or standard RockīnīRoll.

So once more - just not my style. Only I hear you knocking was sort of a highlight

But I was not the only one being bored. Somehow the atmosphere had come to a low level after so many great acts. Dave Edmunds had not been able to fire up the audience as the others. Personally I think many oldie concerts have that problem: too many bands or at least an unfavorable order of bands. But at least we knew the last one would be able to have everyone up and singing and jumping within a few moments: Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich ! During the break when they brought forward the set of timbales and cowbells we already thought they looked weird, but we would soon find out...

Dave captured the audience immideately. Altogether they burst on stage with Hold tight and suddenly everyone was in action again !

The weird looking cowbells

"Hey I did hear that wrong note chap !"

During Hideaway Dave had his fun mocking Tich during his solo again

"See, even Dozy noticed it..."

Actually they all were in a great mood that evening...

"Careful Dave - or Iīll bite !"

...with Dave trying to poke the others all the time.

"Does it really hurt that much ???"

Their voices were phantastic during the show - all five of them - such harmonies are great to hear.

"Hey Tich, I see a wrinkle ..."

Of course they performed all their big hits...

"What ??? A stoppage of gun ? Help !" a phantastic version of Diana Rossī You keep me hanginī on

Zabadak was the first big one involving the audience - everyone had to sing along. Melanies daughter Nina was a big fan of Dave and when he pulled her up on stage to sing with him that was a wonderful moment for her - although she was too afraid to sing herself...

Left: one of the rare moments when Tich is not whirling around

Right: rocking Dozy - with his headless Status bass...

And then Beaky was the one to make everyone laugh...

...first with his burst trousers - on the right side there was a 4cm long tear along the seam...

Even Dave could not believe what he heard there...

...and then as he started to hit the cowbells for Save me - and they just produced an odd "plok-plok" !! The whole band looked over to Beaky, but they had to muddle through.

"Huh ? Whatīs that ??.."

"One more joke and Iīll punch my guitar right into your face !"

Their performance was phantastic and they even played Last night in Soho...

...where in the middle part Dave went over to Dozy to "shoot" him with his finger. Still he kept a straight face...

The highlight as usual was when Dave brought forth his bullwhip for Legend of Xanadu - chasing Beaky almost off the stage

"I thought you liked it ???"

For Bend it Tich switched from his PRS to the mandola. This song always winds up the audience. They had us singing along a big part and it was just phantastic to be part of it. 

"See ? That surely was the 50th photo she shot tonight"

Unfortunately that also was the moment I had used up my last roll of film. But that way I was able to completely enjoy the grande finale of Hold tight ! The five guys giving full power again and the audience longing for more. But of course every show has to have an end and so finally I think after 1 o'clock we were on the way back to the hotel.

Since we had been till the end most of the others had already gone to bed and so it was one of the quieter evenings in the bar (okay, except for the two glass-crashes that we suspected were a means of the only waiter to say I wanna close up now). I talked a bit with Dave and Johnboy - who was really astonished to see me drink pure bitter lemon - and who then when I told him I drink only on special occasions said he really want to see me drunk. Guess Iīd better be careful... Necdat retired early to look up some of the TV footage of the Formula 1 race and even Tony was too tired to stay much longer, so we all went to bed not too late.

The next day was a leisurely one. Staying in one hotel for two nights has its advantages. After breakfast we saw most of the bands whirling around - me catching an autograph of the Three Degrees and talk a bit with one of them, Anja catching Freddy Cannon and I think some of the Doo-woppers. We also talked with the Dozies again - who were on the way to the city - Tich telling us he needed to get to a music shop - and my alarm bells started to ring ! He surely looked a bit sad - what had happened was that he had made the small mistake of not closing his guitar bag - and then picking it up - BANG ! His wonderful PRS had fallen down and a small part was broken for that he needed a replacement. Unfortunately he had also cut one of his fingers while trying to grab the guitar before it was too late - now we understood why he had been talking about doing his exercises to "let the blood flow"...
Recently I found someone in the PRS forum giving the perfect comment on such happenings:
Peoples bodies heal - not PRSi ! 
But he had been lucky - first he managed to get that part and second, that guitar at least functioned without trouble for the second night.
During the day we
went shopping for a while but decided not to go into the city. Back in the hotel Melanie was back with her family - with their youngest sitting on Tonys lap - he really enjoyed that - a family man. We joined them and talked about this and that and asked if Tony had a spare suit - because of the tear and really laughed when he told us that he had gotten that light one from Tich ! No wonder it had burst... Well, time just rushed by. During lunch Alan Williams was on a nearby table and so we talked a lot with him as well. Later a few other fans arrived that we knew and so we joined them in the lobby. Necdat, Anja and myself did not have tickets for the Saturday show but we had decided to stay nevertheless. 
But I really did not understand a few of the others who had purposely come over only that afternoon - they had spent hours on the train or in the car - just to sit around in the lobby one evening - they had speculated on some backstage passes but surely they must have realized that it would not work out for a whole bunch of people. I would never so openly expect any band to give me such special treatment.

But at least everyone was in a phantastic mood (okay, the Dozies had no other choice after receiving a second bunch of funny photos from the last concerts I had been to). I even got John to pose for a photo with me - showing how much he likes doing anything for those crazy fans...

"How I love these fans..."

Actually John had only been kidding Tich who was standing around...

Well, the evening was quite uneventful except for some private troubles of my own. The Dozies said this evening the concert had been even better than the day before and Tich confirmed that his guitar was alright. In the night the bar was filled completely since a lot of people had shown up, even one from the Glitter Band. 

So after way too little sleep and a hurried goodbye we also left for home on Sunday morning. It had been a great weekend altogether and personally I want to thank especially the Dozies for this !