Sunday, February 04, 2007

All together now

There are some things in life that are just too bizarre even for me to comment on- and then there's the story of the Sex Pistol and the golf club.

As gigs go this sounds a weird one- Glen Matlock of the 'notorious' punk rock group playing a solo acoustic show at Ruislip Golf Club. Actually it's not quite as mad as it sounds- they have regular comedy nights there ('The Comedy Bunker') as well as jazz gigs; in a bizarre punk-precedent I saw Hugh Cornwell do a solo show there many years ago and very good it was too. Fortunately we're not gigging much at the moment so I've got Friday night off and this is too good to miss. Myself and East made our way across to Ickenham to meet Esso and Nigel from local punk legends The Lurkers in The Coach & Horses (punk trivia fans may like to know that this pub can be seen on the cover of The Lurkers wonderful 'Fulham Fallout' album. Then again a punk trivia fan probably already knows that I suppose.) We're also meeting John King there (he wrote 'The Football Factory'! He's my mate!) and we're meeting Big Andy and my brother Terry down at the gig. But something's wrong- East's not well; it's his stomach playing up again. I ring the long-suffering Shirley- she drives over, picks him up and takes him home. And now it's 8 o'clock and John's an hour late... Esso, Nigel and myself finish our drinks and walk down to the golf club where we meet Terry and Big Andy- ex-Matlock guitarist Paul O'Brien's there too along with old mate Andy Knight among others. I go to the gents and there's Mr Matlock himself who says hello-- I reply with something like 'I never thought I'd ever have a pee next to a Sex Pistol' Surreal stuff. John's arrives just in time to catch Glen's kicking off (should that be teeing off?!?) with 'Different World'- 50 or so in the audience which is enough for a 'standing room only' situation and a good atmosphere all round. By 'God Save the Queen' it's all going very well indeed (when he got to the guitar solo he just said 'where's Steve Jones when we need him?') and I was really pleased he played 'Ambition' which Iggy Pop recorded- I must track that one down one day. 'Pretty Vacant' closes the show then it's encore time with Paul O'Brien joining in on 'All or Nothing' and, after a few disparaging comments about someone called John, a strange vocal-less 'Anarchy in the U.K.' with the audience singing every anthemic word.
As we made our way back to the (thankfully still open) Coach & Horses I reflected on what a strange night it had been, as a song that changed a lot of people's lives (including mine) became a beery cheery singalong with one of it's co-writer's describing himself as 'the Wally Whyton of punk' in the process. Now there's something I'd never thought I'd see.

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