It’s hard to imagine The Bottlenecks ever getting stage fright.
But bassist Anthony Gregson admits it was tough for the usually super-confident Morecambe rock band to shake off the rust when they returned in October after a long layoff.
“When I got on stage the the pressure was really on,” says Anthony.
“It was the first time I’d felt that way since I first played when I was 17.”
But after a tentative start, the raucous rockers sounded better than ever as their comeback gig progressed.
And Anthony says the Later...With Jools Netherland show at The Platform has “blown the cobwebs away”.
Now the group is ready to rock Smokey O’Connor’s for what is becoming an annual tradition – The Bottlenecks’ New Year’s Eve bash.
“We’ve only done two gigs this year, well, one and a half really as the Later...show was just two short sets,” he said.
“We needed the break. (Lead singer) Simon (Thornton) has had a baby. Besides, we had been playing everywhere. We were overexposed.”
But now the band is back and better than ever, assisted by Blackheart Afterglow keyboard player Graham Simpson, known as ‘The Wizard’ because of his striking beard.
The Wizard will be weaving his magic at the New Year’s Eve show too, having earned the band praise from grizzled veteran local musician Bernie Kelly.
“Bernie says we’ve got a much fuller sound now and he never compliments anyone!” jokes Gregson.
The band will combine ‘man rock’ classics by AC/DC, Bon Jovi and Guns ‘N’ Roses with Christmas songs and some new material on December 31, with DJ Mick ‘Jacko’ Jackson spinning the festive tunes from 9pm.
“And this year we promise to get the countdown to New Year right,” said Anthony. “It was messed up last year and we got a lot of complaints!”
Tickets for The Bottlenecks New Year’s Eve bash are selling fast. Get them from Smokey O’Connor’s pub on Morecambe Street or the band’s Facebook page.