Saturday, 10 March 2012

Part 4 - The Fruits of Success

  The next four months was like a haze for the young men and not the good type of haze you get from burning off your rose prunings on a crisp Winter's afternoon. From Wetherby to Yeadon and Pudsey to Hebden Bridge in an old landscapers van rented to the band by their own manager and chaffeur. The boys played clubs, pubs, halls and garden centres to enthusiastic crowds and some of the smaller nurseries were even sold out! Under Captain Craw's watchful eye the boys honed their act and onstage banter which mainly consisted of fruit and veg themed jokes mainly written by Pots to while away the time in the tour van. Brian didn't really know what was happening except that when the boys featured in the entertainment column for 'Gardener's World UK' he felt they were about to break into the big time. Still it wasn't all plain sailing with the lads cooped up in the van for long hours and not much time off tempers sometimes frayed, ''Imperial Green Longpod is the most superior broad bean variety Ali and you know it!'' Pots screamed into Ali face during the drive to Thrum Hall for one of the largest church fetes in the area, ''I'm a Witkiem Manita man when it comes to broad beans, sorry Pots my good man, Ali often teased the other members of the group by insisting on going into bat for inferior bean varieties and Pots took the bait almost every time, ''Say Imperial Green Longpod is the best or I'll belt you'' Pots stood up in the van ready to pounce on a giggling Ali, ''Hey, quiet you morons!'' the two boys were startled to hear the voice was coming from their leader brian who almost never raised his voice even when white butterfly grubs took out his entire cabbage crop last year, ''I've had it with you two, either shape up or ship out'' Brian yelled, Ali and Pots were totally stunned, Brain was the main songwriter and they knew he was their only ticket to stardom, so they all went back to their seats and spent the rest of the trip in silence.  

  Captain Craw knew this was the turning point he'd been waiting for and as he pulled up to the church gates he stopped the engine and said ''Boys, you've all been working very hard and I think you've earned a rest…'' he said quietly, ''Rest? What are you mad? Everything's just starting to go our way, is this what you call management?'' Brian said to the captain incredulously but the captain continued '…look I've booked you three a months holiday in a tulip farm in Holland, you'll get away from the grind learn more about bulb propagation and recharge your batteries…'' Pots andy Ali smiled widely as this was like a dream come true for them, 30 days of nothing but tulip sorting and genetic plant study, ''I won't go! I'll play without you, I'm going to be a star and none is going to stop me!'' Brian huffed at none in particular ''Oh I forgot the other reason for going over there they also have a state of the art recording studio, how would you like to record your first hit album boys?'' Brian hopped out of the van and started doing an improvised jig around the van as Ali, Craw and Pots looked on laughing, ''I think that's a yes'' the Captain confirmed.    

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