“We’ve been around for 73 years & people are still coming to see us. I’m 112!”
Date: Tuesday 13th December, 2016
Venue: Moat House Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, UK.
After an introduction, the evening started with Steve White taking to the drums and talking about the styles he was playing as well as offering tips to new drummers. He was joined by bassist Damon Minchella (ex Ocean Colour Scene & Paul Weller backing band). Their set lasted for about 30 minutes. He asked for no phones to be used during his set so I have no record of what was said to use for this and tbh I was totally distracted by the fact that the empty reserved chair at the end of the row (three seats down from my daughter who was blown away by the fact and was grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat) was filled by none other than Mr. Chad Smith! And I admit I did the fan girl thing of taking a
photo of his feet as I could see them clearly and kept pretending to cuddle my daughter so I could turn round and glance his way. Suddenly Chad jumped up and joined them on stage for a jam session of about 5 minutes.
Then it was time for the man himself to go solo! Chad kicked off playing drums along to RHCP’s ‘By The Way’. He then addressed the audience for a while. The guy is so funny and had everyone howling (even though the kid Christmas thing looks harsh written down, it wasn’t the way it was delivered). I’m not sure of the exact order things were said in but this is what I can remember (and can repeat!):
He spoke to the audience apologising for RHCP’s show in Birmingham on Saturday (I was there and it was still amazing!) saying it was a weird set list and there were human & technical issues too.
He jokingly referred to Stoke-on Trent as Stoke-on-Kent and asked if RHCP had ever played there before deciding it was the first time he’d ever been there.
The event was held in the hotel ballroom and sparkly lights were showing on the ceiling so Chad joked about them and asked if the mirror ball could be turned on too before joking about one Christmas tree not being lit up and they’d paid to have both of them with lights on.
His language was colourful and at one point he spotted a kid in front of him and said, “Have you ever heard anyone say fuck before? Well you have now! Merry fucking Christmas!”
He spoke about Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States and joked that someone insulted Donald Trump on Twitter and that he would nuke them. And then added, that he, Chad, predicted this on December 13th.
The Big Bang was the first drum kit! And he needs to go on the Science Channel with that shit!
He was 7 when started to play drums. And you need to practice and practice if you want to make it. He laughed that was little else to do as a child as there was no internet so he’d play drums along to albums.
He commented on how blessed he is to be able to play music for a living and work with such a great bunch of guys touring the world.
Notable quote which I wrote down: “We’ve been around for 73 years & people are still coming to see us. I’m 112!” 😀
At some point he also played drums along to RHCP’s ‘Power of Equality.’
He also played some more and took requests from the audience e.g. the Immigrant Song by Led Zepp and was joined for a jam session at the end by Steve and Damon again. One child got to play on Steve’s drum kit and they were giving him advice about playing in a band (you have to look at other band members and interact with them and not play in isolation):
At the end, there was a Q&A session. Most people were given drum sticks for asking questions and one lucky guy asked about a (Holy China) cymbal and Chad Smith promptly handed the whole thing over to him! One question was about Saturday’s RHCP show and Chad talked about the issues again in a little more detail. At the end, he thanked us for having him in Stoke and RHCP in Birmingham at the weekend and the honour it was to play here because of the famous rock bands and drummers the area has produced. He mentioned Glenn Tipton, Ozzy and Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and that John Bonham was (one of the) greatest rock drummer ever.
It was announced by Steve White that they would be signing things at the end and he asked for RHCP fans just to get one or two things signed as there were so many people. However, Chad went straight outside, came back in for a minute or two and people started to line up and then he went again. After a few minutes, we were told to move to the signing table in the next room and again people waited but after a while assumed Chad had left. It was obviously a mix up and I don’t think people had expected for things to be signed until it was announced they would but maybe next time! My poor daughter had raced out to the car to get a RHCP CD to be signed so she was a bit disappointed but cheered up when she got to touch Chad’s drum kit (we did ask first! I had to do it as well hahaha) and have her photo taken next to it and someone kindly said they would try to get an autograph for her.
It was such a good evening and I’m still amazed it was so close to me as things like this are normally down in London! It was amazing to be able to see Chad play the drums so close as you don’t normally get that view in a concert. Would recommend going to one if you ever get the chance.
Sorry my pics are a bit fuzzy as there was a bank of lights immediately behind Chad Smith at the angle I was sitting and I couldn’t wander around to get a better shot as everyone was seated.
Video from FatPigeon Live
Interview with Chad Smith and footage from the Drum Clinic.