Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table


Kev on stage

In keeping with our new theme of writing about our lives, etc; I thought todays post should talk a little bit about my hectic, albeit compact schedule for the upcoming weekend. But first a little bit about what I do.

I’ve been a professional musician pretty much all of my adult life, and an amateur one since the age of 8. I often find peoples perceptions of what I do way off the mark. Many times, over the years, I’ve had people come up and say “Hey, you’re great! You could be professional!” I calmly explain that I am, in fact, professional. “No”, they persist, “I mean, like on the TV”.  I further counsel them that I have in fact appeared on TV many times, alongside stars from the 60’s, 70’s, and beyond, and that many of my former heroes are now in fact my friends.  They dig in. “No, I mean Top of the Pops.” So there we have it. The criteria for fame, achievement and professionalism is appearance on a show where you mime.

People also find it hard to understand that you can play to 10,000 one day, and perhaps 50, in a pub, the next. But that is the nature of the job, and I’ve done just that many times.  It’s not just the general public that get this wrong. People in the business do too. The Ents manager on a cruise ship where I was performing my solo show in the Caribbean a few years ago was moaning about The Supremes. For the uniniated, The Supremes are the single most successful all-girl group of all time. I was support for them on their New Years Eve show as we meandered between the islands. They had asked for some sandwiches in their cabin.  Phil the ents guy, was moaning about it. I stopped him. “They’re the Supremes, Phil!! You have an onboard florist, you should have had flowers in their cabin, and a tray of sandwiches when they boarded. It costs you nothing, and you will get it back ten-fold in goodwill!” He didnt seem to understand. Then I told him of how WE were looked after on our International tours with the bands I play with. Complimentary trips to whisky distilleries, Private viewings of Lenin’s tomb, Specific days off for sightseeing in New York. He seemed stunned. I understood why. Being humble and easygoing breeds contempt.  You need to tell everybody you’re important, and they believe you.  I knew a guitarist who was working in a band supporting an old star of the 50’s , Dorothy Squiers (she used to be married to Roger Moore) at a large Northern variety venue. Her career had seen better days, and the guitarist had been asked to take a crate of champagne backstage to the Grande Dame’s dressing room. He knocked and nervously entered. “Where would you like these, Mrs. Squires?” he asked. “It’s not Mrs, its Miss, and put the f**kers in the corner!” came the thorny reply.

It’s a funny old world….

Anyway, lets look at my trip as an episode of the TV series “24”. The clock starts at 18:30 hours, when I pull into the car park at Alicante aiport. I have just 10 minutes to get to check in before it closes, and my flight leaves at 19:20.  I land in Manchester at 21:10, and with only hand luggage, I will make a swift exit and run through arrivals to board the airport train to Manchester Piccadilly.  I will be met by Mark, the guitarist, and we will drive the 5 minutes to the exclusive club gig in the City Centre, where we will take the stage at 23:00 for half an hour of the Sweet’s greatest hits. Following the show, I retire to my reserved suite in the hotel above the venue. After chatting with the guys, drying off and changing, I’m hoping to get my head down by 1 A.M.

I’ll rise for an early breakfast, aiming to be out of the hotel for 0900, in an attempt to do a little morning shopping. This is  quite simply, the most important part of the trip. I am on a mission to find some Pink Silk pyjamas for Miki; something we’ve so far failed to do in France and Spain. And all this before catching the airport train from Piccadilly back out to the Airport in time to check in at around 13:00. My flight leaves Manchester at 14:30, landing around 18:10,  and once again, with only hand luggage, I’m out of arrivals and back at my car at 18:30.

This is fairly typical of my trips, though it is by no means my shortest. I will be in the UK for 17 hours and 20 minutes. I did a show in the West Country last year, where I got it down to just 14 hours. It depends how the flights fall. I will of course, dedicate the additional 3 hours 20 minutes to pyjama hunting.

Of course, some of my trips are excrutiatingly complex, such as one in Germany last year that entailed no less than 17 train connections over 2 days, and usually for a show that lasts no longer than 60 minutes.  It is a life like this that prompted my friend and fellow musician Saxon’s Graham Oliver to declare: “Let’s get this minor inconvenience out of the way”  before going on stage on one of the tours we did together. Sometimes, amidst the confusion, chaos, potential lost luggage,unprepared hotel rooms and missed connections, there lurks the reason for it all. Blink, and you’ll miss it. But for those precious few magical minutes under the lights, with a sea of expectant faces, and the guitar coming to life in your hands, it’s all worthwhile.

Kev Moore

Portrait of Kev by Miki


April 10, 2008 - Posted by | Art, Entertainment, events, life, Music, painting, personal, random, travel, writing | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Yeah, Kev Moore, you are the Jack Bauer of the Music World!
    I have painted this portrait some days ago, for a small exhibition of musicians paintings which I will make in a club from Garrucha (provincia de Almeria), where Kevin is performing a solo show once the month.
    The next one is on Friday, 18th April. So if you want to see him live (believe me, he is worth the trip and, ladies, he is extremely sexy on stage… but don’t forget, he is mine!) and see the portrait in original, take a plane or spread your wings and come here!

    Comment by Miki | April 10, 2008

  2. Fantastic. Makes me think of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” and that time in the late 80s and early 90s when advertising became a kind of art….when shoulder pads for business suits became uncool.

    Just past Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” influence on pop-art.

    Comment by sittingpugs | April 10, 2008

  3. I agree, Pugs, it’s fantastic. I was stunned when Miki first showed me the finished painting , I love it. Your comparison with the ground-breaking A-ha video is a good one. But the painting is a scene from a gig last year. Does this mean I’m twenty years behind the times? 🙂
    Interestung you mention the late great Robert Palmer. In my first pro band, I worked with a guy called Bob Vann, he was a keyboard player and great singer. He was Robert’s cousin, I guess it ran in the family.

    Comment by kevmoore | April 10, 2008

  4. The painting is great, and it was great to read this entry about your life!

    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | April 10, 2008

  5. I have a musician friend who told me that a lot of orchestras are now having trouble traveling with their instruments (because of terrorism). Have you had any troubles like this?

    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | April 10, 2008

  6. Madame Monet, great question! I think I’ll answer you in a new post, as opposed to a comment, today.

    Comment by kevmoore | April 11, 2008

  7. […] Monet posed a thorny question in a comment to my last post “24″. She had heard of members of an orchestra that had experienced terrible problems trying to […]

    Pingback by Instruments of Terror « Café Crem: “Let US talk about US” | April 11, 2008

  8. Love it when a ‘rocker’ comes clean!

    Comment by Michael | April 11, 2008

  9. Kevmoore, small world about the Robert Palmer connection.

    It’s never too late to reference the heyday of the 80s. ^O^

    Comment by sittingpugs | April 12, 2008

  10. Ah, those magical minutes do make it all worth it. I was just reading a discussion in one of these other posts about how fame isn’t important. But art really does love an audience! It’s like a spiritual high to make that kind of connection with other people.

    Comment by shelleymhouse | April 15, 2008

  11. It’s interesting , isn’t it Shelley? How does one really quantify fame? I’m not sure that all artists want fame in the celebrity sense, but I’m certain they all want recognition, if only to validate their output.

    Comment by kevmoore | April 15, 2008

  12. Well Kev, you’ve really wet my appetite for seeing you perform. With all the sacrifises you’re constantly making to perform your music, there must be incredible passion coming through in your performances. I’d probably just sit there and blush and swoon to think I know you!
    And the painting Miki! You really know how to capture your man with paint – matches the passion of his music.

    Comment by Susan Cornelis | April 16, 2008

  13. Susan, I want to sit one day with you at the place where Kevin is performing, in his band or solo. His passion comes really through. I remember the first time I saw him on a solo performance, I thought:
    “How lucky I am that I am with him, because, I would have fallen totally in love with that screaming guy and he would surely have another girlfriend and I would be sad to death!”
    Really, I am sure, I would have known at once that HE is MY MAN FOR EVER. I see and sense everything from him when he is performing…
    By the way: his solo gig is about 5 minutes from the Valparaiso Foundation…

    Comment by Miki | April 16, 2008

  14. Susan, I’m sure you and Miki will be there one day when I’m “doing my thing”. Guess I’ll really have to work hard with the expectations you two have! But I will say, I can’t stand watching singers/performers who just stand statue still and sing. I cannot envisage any other way of delivering a song than giving it everything, otherwise, what’s the point?

    Comment by kevmoore | April 16, 2008

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