Brian Tatler - Diamond Head - Gig From Hell Print
Written by Brian Tatler   
Sunday, 08 January 2012 05:00




Let me start by telling you a story about one of our more recent exploits.


Friday 26th November 2010 Karl, Eddie and I set off at 12.30 in my car for what should have been a 3-hour drive to Gatwick airport. Unfortunately the M40 was closed due to a bad accident, so we decided on evasive action and took the A34 to M4 to M25. We arrived at our pre booked car park about 4pm and checked in for our Easy Jet flight to Basel in Switzerland at 5pm before the gate closed at 5.15pm.


Meanwhile Nick, Abbz and our drum tech Andy Bailey left from Cannock at 1.20pm, got caught up in traffic on the M6 the M40 and the M25 missing check in and their flight altogether!


Karl figured their best option would be to get a transfer flight to Geneva, stay overnight in a hotel, then take a train next morning to Basel, so instructions were left and we flew on without them, meeting up with a band sharing the bill with us (Blitzkrieg) in the departure lounge.


We arrived in Basel to be greeted by the promoter who drove us over the border into Lorrach, Germany. Our scout party checked into the Hotel Mayerhof, where I chuckled at a sign on the wall that read "The shoes fettling machine is located in every floor". While Karl, Eddie and I went for a nice Italian meal and a few beers, Nick, Abbz and Andrew were dragging their cases (plus Abbz guitar in a huge flight case) around Geneva looking for a hotel.


Next day it began snowing and the quaint old town of Lorrach looked beautiful. A sound check was planned for 3pm and our three wandering minstrels rocked up just in time for us to be whisked off to the venue. It was a huge relief to have the band re-united although this almighty cock-up cost the band around £500.


Brian_Classic_shotAlso, when Diamond Head played The Reading Festival in 1982. The set-up at the time utilised two stages, so while the crowd was watching Randy California and his big frizzy afro, our gear was being set up. We went on stage to check all our amps were working and sounding OK, and as I stood playing a few chords a woman wearing headphones came running over from the other stage shouting, "Do you mind, we're recording a live album!" I stopped for a minute and then thought, 'Fuck off! I'm about to play the biggest gig of my life! Why should I care about a bit of spillage on your mics?'


Duncan was very nervous, he shared the same emotions as a condemned man: the inevitable was about to happen and he knew they would be coming for him,  "Hey Bri'" he said. "You know when we were knocking about in your bedroom? You never said it was going to come to this!" Then it was time, and being led up the wooden ramp to the stage was, to Dunc, akin to being led to the gallows.


He did actually think about faking a blackout to escape playing the show, but once onstage and he could hear how massive the drums sounded he started to enjoy it!


In fact, he said "he could kill someone with this drum sound!"