Monday, April 30, 2007

'Ever since I was a young boy...'

Friday afternoon proved to be just about long enough for me to revise Austin's set, (or at least to try to second guess the most likely songs that he'd want to play) and to decide that, yes, I was going to play my new Zemaitis-alike guitar rather than the Les Paul that I'd normally use for one of his shows before it was time to head off to Wimbledon and the familiar surroundings of The Alexandra pub quite near the centre of town- except that they've changed it quite a bit since I'd last been there, not least by filling it with South African people who, though friendly seemed all to be of a mind to tell us what songs we were going to play before we'd even set up our gear. Still they seemed to enjoy our efforts as did I- it's a rare set list that includes 'Car Wash', 'Born to be Wild' and 'Losing my Religion'... and Shirley got chatted up/asked to dance by men instead of women for a change which I guess is good? My guitar played as well as I'd hoped it would (which is very good indeed) and somebody asked Shirl if I was as good in bed as I am on guitar, which gets weirder and weirder the more I think about it. A fine evening.

A somewhat bleary Saturday in the shop began with the arrival of perspective new Saturday boy Joe who seems to be a good prospect, being both annoyingly young and even more annoyingly good on the guitar (I'm sure he said something at one point about doing his Grade 8 exam- that's as high as the grades go...). Paul the guv'nor was on good form and the day passed without too much incident though the highlight for me had to be when Tony (a former guitar pupil of mine) bought in a Takamine electro-acoustic guitar previously owed by Simon Townshend; I find myself unable to resist a go at 'Pinball Wizard' on it whilst wondering out loud if Pete himself had played that song on the guitar- 'a moment' as Paul described it. He wasn't wrong.
The Wrestler's Barn is, you've guessed it, a barn at the back of a pub called The Wrestlers in St. Neots, 20-odd miles north of Stevenage. Finding the town is easy; finding the pub is something of a nightmare- after endless 'is that it over there' moments (there's a lot of pubs in St. Neots!) and wondering if we really did just pass a fish and chip shop called The Codfather (we did, a number of times) we eventually managed to find the correct bit of the one way system and arrived in time for a quick soundcheck. The pub had been closed for a couple of weeks following a drug bust (!) so we were told numbers were a bit down on normal but the people who were there were well into it even though Tim/Sid's bass packed up at the end which meant no encores. Ah well- leave 'em wanting more eh?

Sunday started earlier than I'd have liked- 2 late nights in a row were starting to catch up with me. (memo to any younger readers- never wish that you're older than you are!) I'd thought about going up to the guitar show over in Docklands but instead went up to Camden Market with Shirley who's after some shoes (as usual!) (sorry Shirl!) with the intention of getting myself a Sex Pistols t-shirt or 2 for stage wear when depping in The Pistols; instead I came home with some bootleg dvd's (The Who for myself and The Cockney Rejects for my brother). Hmm... after a quick snooze (like I say, never wish you're older than you are!) it was off to Ruislip Golf Club with Big Andy to see Glen Matlock play a highly enjoyable acoustic show- a excellent end to a busy weekend.

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