The intermission lights were dimming and scattered chatter was turning into a cacophony of high-pitched squeals and titters. OL’55 and TMG had carried off the first half admirably, fuelling the mounting frenzy.
Streamers were ankle deep over the stage. Under cover of darkness, 5,000 young females had poised and primed themselves for the marathon to come and, as a ragged roadie screamed out his instructions, they rose in perfect unison, roaring like the backwash of a 747.
As Sherbet hit the stage, the girls hit the seats, craning on tiptoe for a view through waving arms, banners, streamers and giant signs proclaiming undying dedication and decidedly lustful proposals. They’d been begged and implored not to stand on the seats but within seconds they were up and nothing but fire hoses could have shifted them.
At least one girl every 20 seconds was launching herself at the stage though few were reaching their target. An ambulance team at the side of the stage had a neat conveyor belt system whereby the apprehended invaders were mopped on the face with a sponge and those who could walk were shoved back into the crowd to begin their lemming run all over again. Others were left to writhe and howl on the cement floor of a cleared area.
As the set neared completion, exacting escape plans formulated well in advance were being effected backstage.
An armoured payroll truck was backed up to the stage door, steel doors folded back to allow it to fit flush to the building wall and envelope the door. Already some of the smarter girls were leaving the hall and dashing around the back to the stage door.
On the last note of the last encore, the five musicians tossed their instruments to roadies and ran to the just-unbolted stage door. One stride landed them in the armoured vehicle, followed by members of the support acts.
The truck lurched forward and the steel doors slammed shut.
Sherbet never really operated as a rock band, they reigned. The young satin-clad princes were far more than musicians. They were an enterprise. Through their manager, Roger Davies, they were totally self-contained.
They ran their own tours, owned their own publishing rights and their own record label, operated their own fan club, controlled their own merchandising and their own destiny.