Greenock Town Hall, March 7th, 2020.

If you’d have told me, as I introduced Des Clarke on stage to host the Ardgowan Hospice Ball on a cold, wet March night in 2020, that this event was to be Zap’s last gig for more than 18 months, I don’t think I would’ve taken you seriously.

Granted, I knew all about the ever-increasing threat from Covid – it had, after all, chased Jude, Hannah, and I back from China a month earlier – but (like everyone else across Europe) I didn’t think for a moment that it would become the biggest planet-wide threat since WWII, locking down countries, crippling economies, creating mass unemployment, and infecting 152 million people.

After all, the papers and the politicians were saying it was just a flu-bug – weren’t they? Wasn’t it?

Looking back, The Pearl Ball was a fun, entertaining and – financially speaking – highly successful 30th anniversary fundraiser for the Ardgowan Hospice, but there was definitely an odd vibe in the air…and everyone could sense it.

Especially the person who, during the auction,  successfully bid £520.00 for a small bottle of hand sanitiser signed by “Line of Duty” star Martin Compston and Celtic defender Greg Taylor. A weird precursor of things to come…