in
Tring, UK - 20 March 2004

The "Tring Thing" that never happened...

We're heading for a great, big, worlwide power cut...

Anyway the wind blows...

Power to all our friends...

The SAILOR fans and friends were all seated in the Court Theatre in Tring, UK on the evening of the 20 March 2004, ready for SAILOR's 30th anniversary headline concert. The show was sold out, the stage set looked marvellous, the fans were dressed up and ready for the best and most special show in years. SAILOR started their performance at 8 pm with their trademark-song "Sailor", receiving a more than fantastic applause from the audience. When they were just about to start the second song "Blame It On The Soft Spot" there suddenly was a power cut because of the terrible storm outside - not only at the theatre but at the whole town. There had already been problems with the electricity in the afternoon, but now SAILOR had to leave the stage in order to try to solve the problems together with NaylorMan.
The fans started their own little party in the dark theatre, in spite of the worrying events, waiting for NaylorMan who gave them regular updates on the power cut. Everyone hoped the problem would be solved in the next few minutes, so the show could go on. But at 9.45 pm there was still no electricity and it was rather unlikely that it would come back soon, so SAILOR decided to play the concert on the next morning at 10 am ("Sunday service with Rob Alderton"...). For quite a few fans this unfortunately meant that they could not come back to see the concert because they had to drive a long way, flights to catch etc., but it was the only way for SAILOR to rescue the concert at all.
On Sunday morning approximately 100 tired but yet expectant SAILOR fans found their way to the Court Theatre in Tring once again and then enjoyed the most special and unique concert in years, including not only SAILOR's greatest and latest hits but also some rare songs like "Jacaranda" or some songs that were never before played at any live concert: "Nickelodeon Nights" and the brand new song "The Harbour Bar Bell", written by Rob.
Photos from both days will be online soon (we suggest that we just turn the first night into the official Tring fan-meeting or something like that).
If you have any photos, reviews or anything else about the "Tring Thing " that you would like to see here too, please e-mail them to us at
marinero@t-online.de!!
Further information soon.
Best wishes and SAILOR-greetings,
~ The MARINERO crew

Here's a special message from Phil Pickett that he left in the guestbook on 01 April 2004:

Hi everyone!
I just wanted to thank all of our very special fans for their stoicism, dedication and enthusiasm in the face of adversity and the devastating power cut at Tring a couple of weeks ago and our first show in England for many moons (the only light we ended up seeing that night!)
Hearing the whole audience singing songs & having fun in the dark however (by the way, what else were you all doing out there?) was a very moving experience from an even darker dressing room & helped greatly to lighten the mood and sense of frustration we all felt when it finally dawned that the Concert would have to be postponed, electricity permitting, until Sunday morning at 10am. As Peter said in the dark "it feels like the best show we've never done!"
One or two of the fans have commented on the respect they felt was shown by the band for their audience in returning next day to play so early - but in my book all medals, awards and Gold Statuettes must surely go to the fans themselves for having the tenacity, love & dedication to drag themselves out of their warm Sunday beds to come back and see us! In many cases travel, accomodation and flights etc all had to be changed at the last minute, so please tell me what band out there ever had such a fantastic and loyal (& growing again!) collection of fans?
(Rob Alderton also deserves pats on back & 'drinks all round' for putting the show on in his own local theatre at Tring - as well as building and designing such a great stage set - well done shipmate!)
Anyway it all turned out great & memorable as these things often do in SAILOR, and although a bizarre experience to say the least, we all eventually enjoyed a fantastic time together.
Do hope to see many of you again very soon, and especially next year up and down the country on our first major UK Tour, so tell all of your friends and bring them along - It promises to be a very special 30th Anniversary year for us kicked off in fine style by "the show that nearly never happened!"
So thanks again everyone -"SAILOR Salutes You!"
Love,
Phil Pickett


Photos by: Katrin Wagner, Karsten Wagner, Wilma Kleinertz, Walter & Stephanie Tryhuba


Peter


Rob and Phil at the Nickelodeon



In front of the theatre...


Eileen, Karsten and Katrin in front of the Tring sign - the last photo before it was blown away by the storm, we guess ;-)


Eileen and Malcolm in front of the theatre


Sold out...


Katrin, Stephanie, Karsten and Sarah


Katrin and Linda


Eileen and Malcolm in the audience...


Malcolm and Wilma


Eileen, Karsten and Wilma


The Wagners...


Malcolm and Sarah


Malcolm and Susanne


Karsten and Walter


Leisl and Karsten


Katrin, James and Malcolm


Oh what a story to tell... - A concert review by Katrin Wagner:

Katrin together with Rob during the soundcheckThe trip to the "Tring Thing" starts for us - Karsten and myself - a few days before the concert. We travel to the UK and stay with our friends Malcolm and Eileen Knowles. Special thanks to them for the great time!!!
On the 19th we all meet another German friend, Susanne, and drive her to Tring, where she will stay at the hotel next to the Court Theatre. When we arrive SAILOR are busy with their soundcheck at the theatre. After a short talk to the boys we decide to check out a marvellous Chinese restaurant in the next town. (Thanks for the recommendation, R.! ;-))
On the 20th we meet all the other SAILOR fans at the Court Theatre.
The show is sold out, the stage set looks marvellous, the fans are dressed up and ready for the best and most special show in years. SAILOR start their performance at 8 pm with their trademark-song "Sailor", receiving a more than fantastic applause from the audience. They were just about to start the second song "Blame It On The Soft Spot" when there suddenly is a power cut because of the terrible storm outside - not only at the theatre but at the whole town. There had already been problems with the electricity in the afternoon, but now SAILOR have to leave the stage in order to try to solve the problems together with NaylorMan.
The fans start their own little party in the dark theatre, in spite of the worrying events, waiting for NaylorMan who gives them regular updates on the power cut. Everyone hopes the problem will be solved in the next few minutes, so the show can go on. In the meantime we talk to many of the other SAILOR fans, take photos etc.
But at 9.45 pm there is still no electricity and it is rather unlikely that it will come back soon, so SAILOR decide to play the concert on the next morning at 10 am ("Sunday service with Rob Alderton"...). For quite a few fans this unfortunately means that they can not come back to see the concert because they have to drive a long way, flights to catch etc., but it is the only way for SAILOR to rescue the concert at all.
Before everyone leaves SAILOR talk to their fans at the dark theatre and comfort some sad and shocked people. We are so sad because of all the work that has been put into this show and also for the fans who can't come back tomorrow morning. To sum all the feelings up, here's a quote from Rob's new song "The Harbour Bar Bell": "
How’d this happen? How could it have been?"...
On Sunday morning approximately 100 tired but yet expectant SAILOR fans find their way to the Court Theatre in Tring once again and then enjoy the most special and unique concert in years, including not only SAILOR's greatest and latest hits but also some rare songs like "Jacaranda" or some songs that were never before played at any live concert: "Nickelodeon Nights" and the brand new song "The Harbour Bar Bell", written by Rob.
Who would have thought that SAILOR would ever announce a concert by saying: "Morning!", or as Grant said it: "Welcome to breakfast with SAILOR!" (but where was the breakfast?)? ;-)
Right after the last encore we have to say goodbye to the four SAILORs because our flight back home leaves at 3 pm. (Again special thanks to Malcolm and Eileen!) We Soundcheck 19.03.2004
arrive at the airport just in time and get back home at 10 pm in the evening - still a little confused about the strange events of the last days in Tring...

Strangely enough, SAILOR fan Linda Welch and I had the same idea - we both created a special Tring poem using the lyrics of the new SAILOR song The Harbour Bar Bell written by Rob Alderton. Here's my version, and you can see Linda's review and poem further below.
May Rob forgive us both the abuse of his wonderful song... ;-)

It all began in a theatre in
a lovely small town that was well known as Tring
where the SAILORs were ready and started to sing - and the music began.
They all were dressed up and made some good noise
in nautical outfits - an obvious choice
the fans all sang on the top of their voice - and the music played on.
Oh, what a story to tell
SAILOR fans singing and cheering their stars - waiting for "The Harbour Bar Bell"…
They all thought it would be a wonderful night
but then something happened which gave them a fright
no more electricity, no sound and no light. What the hell's going on?..
How'd this happen? How could it have been?
no sound from the mechanical music machine
the Nickelodeon produced no more music, no steam - no more music played on.
Oh, what a story to tell
SAILOR fans singing and hoping in the dark - waiting for "The Harbour Bar Bell"…
The concert couldn't happen due to power cut and storm
so all the sad fans had to go straight back home
but the next morning some of them could go back on - and again the music began.
The SAILORs gave all that they possibly could
in the end their unique concert was far more than good
they played their whole set - who'd have thought they would? - and the music played on.
Oh, what a story to tell
SAILOR fans hurry to catch their flights home - still singing "The Harbour Bar Bell"…

Copyright by Katrin Wagner, updated 28 March 2004


A concert review by James McCarraher:

The choice of setting for the Tring Thing was glorious - an intimate little theatre in the middle of nowhere.
The stage was beautifully set up and Rob Alderton had followed through with his plan to lay sand around the stage. The love and enthusiasm of SAILOR's newest recruit clearly played a major part in the atmosphere created within the theatre, and it was a dreadful disappointment that the lack of power should see much of his work undone.
Sadly, I missed Sunday due to family commitments, but I would like to thank those that ordered my book and say 'hello' to both old and new friends I met on the night.
James
Copyright by James McCarraher, 28 March 2004


A concert review by Linda Welch:

It was the show we had all been waiting for and I was really excited about seeing SAILOR on British soil again - the last time for me had been in December 1977!  When I reached the hotel the first thing I did was check out where the theatre was so that I didn't get lost in the dark. Luckily, it was only a minute or 2 away on foot, and when I got there I found Karsten and Katrin already waiting. It was good to see them again - although we chat often on line I hadn't seen them since the concert in Egmond last year.  They told me that there had been problems with the power in the afternoon during rehearsals and I remember thinking, 'Thank goodness they've managed to get it sorted out!'  How wrong I was!
I went back to the hotel to shower and change into the almost obligatory stripey top and white sailor hat and as I was leaving the hotel a little girl whispered to her mother, 'Look, she's one of 'them'!'  It turns out that her father was a mad keen fan and had brought the whole family along to see the show, and his daughter had been playing 'I spy a SAILOR fan' all afternoon!
Sitting in the front row of the theatre, admiring the wonderful set and chatting to other fans, some of whom I knew from the website, some I'd met at other shows, was a great way to build the atmosphere.  The soundtrack was of TV and radio shows from the height of SAILOR's UK fame in the 70s and most of the audience was humming along.
At last, the show started with 'Sailor' - my favourite track of all time - and everyone jumped to their feet (until a very young man in a suit scurried over and told us all to sit down again!) to dance and sing along.  Everyone was so thrilled to be there, you could feel the enthusiasm in the theatre and then the unthinkable happened!  A few bars into the next song - Blame it on the Soft Spot - the electricity failed! It wasn't a simple thing like a blown fuse, no, this was an all-out power failure in Tring and the next town, and despite the best and most persuasive efforts of all involved, there was no chance of power coming back on in time for the show to go ahead...
But all was not lost!  Like the true professionals they are, SAILOR invited us back to a 'breakfast show' the next morning.  It wasn't perfect - some fans had flights to catch and wouldn't be able to make it - but it was the only way the show could be saved.  We felt our way through the darkened theatre back to cars and hotels, hoping against hope that the power would be back on by morning...
And it was!  Although a little bit tired and bewildered to be performing so early on a Sunday morning, SAILOR gave us a fantastic show, with all our old favourites, and a surprise new song from Rob - The Harbour Bar Bell - which was wonderful. There was also the announcement that they would be performing again in June - Pete and Hugh on Friday 25, and SAILOR on Saturday 26, so for those fans who couldn't stay for Sunday's show, there is at least an opportunity to see them again in 3 months time.  I've already got my ticket for 25 and 26 June, and I can't wait!
Thank you to SAILOR for retrieving the show and thank you to all the fans who made it such a friendly event.  I'm looking forward to seeing you all again very soon.

And now, here's Linda's Tring-poem:
Linda Welch based this on the wonderful words and music of Rob Alderton:

My story begins in a theatre in Tring
Where hundreds of fans came to dance and to sing
There were Katrin and Karsten who’d come from Germany … And of course there was me!
We were all dressed in nautical gear
And all of us so thrilled to finally be here
As they came out on stage we all gave a cheer – and the music began
(Guitar Solo)
What a story to tell
SAILOR at last on stage in the UK, ringing the harbour bar bell

Well, SAILOR had planned to sing into the night
But then something happened which gave us all a fright
Someone or something turned out the light - What the hell’s going on?
How did this happen? How could this be?
They’d paid their bill to the electric company
But a storm raged outside and nobody could see – and the fans all sang on
(Bass Solo)
What a story to tell
SAILOR at last on stage in the UK, ringing the harbour bar bell
The audience rose to their feet – and some cried
No-one could have guessed that the power had died
We could have gone home but we all stayed inside – and we started to sing.
We were happy to wait ‘til it was fixed
Sure Naylorman would manage to pull off his tricks
But the storm carried on and the lights still stayed out - in the whole town of Tring!
(Drum Solo)
What a story to tell
SAILOR at last on stage in the UK, ringing the harbour bar bell
SAILOR decided to call it a night
But all was not lost, although well it might!
They invited us back to the theatre next day, so the show could go on!
The show was a triumph for everyone there
The band were all shattered but they didn’t care
The whole show was great and made up for the last night – long may SAILOR play on!
(Nickelodeon Solo)
What a story to tell
SAILOR at last on stage in the UK, ringing the harbour bar bell

Copyright by Linda Welch, 28 March 2004


A concert review by Malcolm Knowles:

Part 1: The Darkness
We all know that sometimes days just don’t quite turn out the way you expect. Well Saturday 20th March sure was one of those days. After weeks of quiet anticipation, the day finally arrived when SAILOR would play their first full set in the UK since the DVD/High Wycombe gig. Having paid a quick tourist visit to Camden Town in the morning, Katrin & Karsten (who we had welcomed a few days earlier) together with Eileen and myself headed off to Tring. Arriving early, we stopped by the Tring town sign for a few photos and noticed that it was rather windy!! However, this was mid-March and we were out in the countryside so nothing seemed particularly unusual.
Having dropped K&K at the theatre (they were hoping to see the band beforehand), Eileen and I headed up to the local hotel. Now this is a good quality hotel which was hosting a very posh wedding when we walk in dressed in our SAILOR gear demanding to know where the bar was. I’m not sure what the bride thought as we strolled through her photo shoot but I just hope we didn’t ruin her special day in any way.
In the bar we greeted SAILOR fans we had known from High Wycombe and the amazing "Sarah’s Party". It was also good to see Susanne, who I had met in Kassel last year, and some new faces, especially those who had traveled from outside the UK. As we walked down to the theatre anticipation was now running very high. After a short (!!) wait outside the doors opened and we took our seats.
The stage looked wonderful. There was the street lamp, a full size anchor (not sure who carried that in), ropes, barrels and even some sand (just to add that perfect touch). We sat chatting and taking photos with other fans for a while and then finally the moment arrived. The lights went down and on came the band. To ensure this perfect evening stayed perfect, the band opened with "Sailor". Now I have long held the belief that this should always be their opening number – it is after all their signature tune. I accept that it is not the easiest song to play and that the band would probably prefer to play it later in the set when they were into their stride. However, play it first they did and it was a brilliant opening number. The sound in the auditorium was perfect and audience response was fantastic.
Sadly, at that point the power failed and we were plunged into darkness. Not knowing if or when power would be restored, the band and theatre staff had tough decisions to make. Information is difficult to obtain from the electricity suppliers at the best of times but on a stormy night when power is failing in many areas it is almost impossible. The audience remained patient, taking more photos, swapping SAILOR memories, singing (who were those brilliant girls?) and, of course, supporting the theatre bar!
However, after nearly 2 hours, and with little sign of power being restored the inevitable decision was made – the concert would have to be postponed. For those lucky enough to be able to stay, the band would play the concert the next morning at 10am (for which I will write a separate review when I can muster another burst of energy). For others however, this was the end of the road. With flights to catch or other commitments on Sunday, it was never going to be possible for everyone to return. Refunds were given to those who needed them and the band stayed behind for a while to offer their apologies. Everyone understood that this was not the band’s fault. We understood that they had no option but to give up and send the audience home after so long without power. We understood that very few bands would have offered to play a concert on the Sunday morning, rather than just call it off completely. However, we also understood that the opportunity for what was to have been a very special day for SAILOR and their fans had gone and would probably never happen again.
There wasn’t much to say in the car going home. K&K put on brave faces but, in the end, all we really wanted to do was cry :-(
Malcolm
to be continued...


More reviews and comments about the "Tring Thing" at the guestbook!


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