Finally! The event that I've been looking forward to for months was just two days away. Emilie came along this time as well, and once again she arranged so we could stay at one of her relatives place in central London. We took the flight over from Stockholm late Wednesday evening, arrived at the house in Sheperd's Bush, met Iain (the relative) and then straight to bed.

The rehearsals
We overslept and was a little late for the rehearsals that took place at Sync City Media, which was located in a business centre north of London. Around one o'clock, we saw Chris Abbott just outside the building as he was looking for Press Play On Tape. They were late. We went in and were met by Ben Daglish, the organizers Kenz, Waz, Boz and a few other guys. One of those guys was Pascal Roggen, who was going to play the violin on Monty on the Run at the event. He's just a very positive guy, and we got along staight away.

Still no band after everyone had finished their lunch, and so we went to the studios office to check things out. Ben and Pascal started to jam on songs, and I started to record it with the MD. They played folk songs and Ben also told me he wanted Press Play On Tape to put Master of Magic back into the set (and was going to persuade them too). We discussed Auf Wiedersehen Monty for a bit and that was fun. But an hour later, and lots of looking at the clock, things got a bit boring. The guys even started jamming on Mama Mia!

We went into the rehearsal studio, and I just had to try out the borrowed synth drums. I have a rock background, so it was weird at first, but I adjusted quite easily. In fact, the gear in general looked really nice. Ben kept jamming on every instrument he could get his hands on, and finally, the band arrived. I had a small chat with Jesper Holm Olsen, the guitar player in Press Play On Tape, who I'd been mailing with about doing an interview with the band. They got their gear up and started rehersing Krakout with Ben on flute. I plugged the MD into the mixer table to record everything, but because of the fact that it was an idea that came up quite late, I didn't get a proper sound and the volume from the mixer table just hit the roof. After a while, I plugged it out, and started recording with the microphone instead. Emilie took a couple of pictures, and organizer Kenz was recording the whole session with his DV camera.

They played through Auf Wiedersehen Monty a couple of times with Ben on keyboards and flute, before it was time for the great, great version of Monty on the Run with Pascal on violin. Ben talked Press Play On Tape in to end the song abruptly, right after those final solo bits, and he also suggested that they should expand the end of Aztec Challenge with lots of solos.

The first interviews
Because I knew the main event was going to be really busy, I decided to get some interviews done right after the rehearsals ended. I interviewed Ben first, just to catch up with things. Next off were the organizing crew: Boz, Kenz, Waz and Chris. I didn't have to ask many questions, because they were really happy to talk (about everything), and for me it was nice to hear what these guys had to say. Dedicated people! Press Play On Tape was next and I was really curious to learn more about the band, since I knew very little.

Emilie and I left the rehearsal studio, took the train to Covent Garden and went to a pub called Marquis of Granby. We were meeting Adam Gilmore there to do the interview we've talked about. Adam used to work just around the corner, and this was his regular place. We noticed that Adam was drinking lots of beer - and really fast too! He later told Emilie he was a bit nervous about the interview. :) After the interview, we walked to a spaghetti house nearby, and talked about everything and nothing. Adam told us he had Swedish friends, and that he'd been to Stockholm several times and was thinking of going back later this summer. He generously paid for everything and was just a top lad!

The event, the glorious event
We were supposed to see the England vs Brasil football match, but decided to stay in bed because we had a long day infront of us and lots of things to do. We arrived at Gossips around six, went in and had a small chat with Chris and Robert Stjärnström from Machinae Supremacy. Ben signed the C64 I had brought, and Pascal played a part of Monty on the Run for us. Before things were gonna get really busy, we decided to grab a bite to fill our empty stomachs. Walking back to Gossips gave us both a great buzz, because people had started to gather just outside the entrance to the club. They were all here for a freakin' C64 event! What an amazing sight!

We went in to find David Whittaker in the bar ordering another pint. Now, everyone knows what happened last time, so David had decided to take it easy on the drinks (so he told us). He signed my C64 and I did a small catch up interview with him. He works at Jester Interactive now and he's back composing music again! Isn't that great news?!

Gossips looked like a typical, scruffy rock bar. It was in a basement and it had "lots of red on the wall" as Pascal put it. The air-conditioning didn't work that well, and so when Gossips was crowed, it became quite hot. The shop they put up was bigger than the one in Birmingham. Although the sale figures weren't as big as Chris had hoped for, the shop had some really neat things on sale. Like the CD releases from Reyn Ouwehand, Instant Remedy and the Remix 64 CD. The 107th issue Zzap!64 was on sale too, but I forgot to buy it!

The Wizball video by Mark Hennessy-Barrett and the Atari Robot video by Boz (among other things) were shown on the TV monitors. The game competitions were unfortunately cancelled, but the C64's were set up for anyone who wanted to have a go.

Press Play on Tape hits the stage
What everyone had been waiting for was now introduced by Ben Daglish, the host for the evening. He entered the stage by playing air guitar with the national anthem in the background. The first act never showed up, so Press Play On Tape was called up on stage. Before they started playing, their "game boy band video", with a typical boy band production of Comic Bakery, was shown on the TV monitors. They kicked off the set with the intro from Giana Sisters, which actually was nicked from Machinae Supremacy's version of that song. Hilarious! Giana blended into Warhawk and was followed by Aztec Challenge and Thrust with Pascal playing on both those tracks. It was so nice to hear these songs live, and even though there were mistakes here and there, it didn't matter at all. Rambo - First Blood Part 2, Flimbo's Quest, Crazy Comets, Delta and Ghosts'n Goblins followed before the highlights of the evening.

First off was Monty on the Run with Pascal doing those fast and furious violin parts. And after the last note was played, the audience were cheering like mad! Ben joined in on Krakout and Auf Wiedersehen Monty. The keyboard couldn't be found, so Ben played the intro to Auf Monty on flute. I tell you, it was horrible to listen to at first, because he didn't get many of the notes right. But it got lots better. Auf Monty is such a heavy song! Press Play On Tape finished off their set with Outrun, which was lots of fun especially because Heidi was saying "Checkpoint" every once in a while. The first 8-bit rock concert outside of Japan was a fact!

We mingled for a while and found Slaygon, Cupid and Widdy chatting away, and joined in. I also met and talked to Mat Allen, Lala, Adam Lorentzon and Peter Sandén, but missed Jason Page, Stephen Robertson (Sir'86) and The Shark, which was a pity. A longer event next time is a must!

Jon Hare interviewed
I interviewed Jon Hare next and he told me things like why he and Chris Yates didn't work together anymore and why Sensible Software were sold to Codemasters (among many things). Expect a longer interview with the man on this webpage soon! The next interview was done with Pascal in the ladies room, simply because it was quiet (the mix of music and people talking makes it quite hard to hear what people are answering).

More live performances
Machinae Supremacy was fun to watch because they're such a tight band and their Giana Sisters cover sounded great. They also played a bunch of C64 tunes they'd put together in to something they called Sidology one and three. The songs they played were Cybernoid 2, Rocky Star, Deflektor, Outrun (episode one) and Flimbo's Quest, Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid, Monty on the Run, Commando, Outrun (episode three). I just love the punkvibe in episode three! Studio versions of these songs are avalible on their website, and according to singer/guitarist Robert Stjärnström, episode two will be avalible in a not too distant future. During the gig, we met Adam Gilmore again and he signed my C64 and kept buying us drinks. Adam is taking his driver licence in July, and if everything works out well, he'll come over to Stockholm! Iggy Pop is playing at the amusement park Gröna Lund ya know! :)

During the evening, the other acts Octave Sounds, Rebekah Mancino and Seth Sternberger were playing, but I missed them all because no one ever announced that they were gonna play. At least I didn't hear an announcement!

Interviewing Joseph and Ouwehand
Meeting Richard Joseph again was a blast! He was a bit devastated because England lost the football match earlier that day. Other than that, he was in a great mood. I always seem to interview him after "very many of these", as Richard once said, and he kept hiding his beer whenever Emilie took a picture. Later on I interviewed Reyn Ouwehand and he told me many interesting things (like how he got the Last Ninja 3 gig). I was supposed to interview Jeff Minter after that, but he left as I was interviewing Reyn. Actually, I asked him about an interview earlier, but it seemed impossible because he could hardly speak. Too much smoke and alcohol maybe? Someone else grabbed him, and so, no interview was done.

It's all over - for now
The clock had turned three, and the event was over. We said goodbye to those who were still hanging around, like Boz, Chris, Cupid, Widdy and the very drunk Press Play On Tape lads. All in all, it was just a brilliant evening! Too short, too sweaty, but brilliant! People from Morocco, Hungary, UK, USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Norway, Germany and Belgium were at the event, and it shows how important these kind of events are. I'm looking forward to the next event and are curious what Chris, Waz, Boz and Kenz will do next time!

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