...and beyond! It's been a busy week-and-a-bit since my last posting, not least in the shop where things have been pretty hectic to say the least. Paul the guv'nor's been away on the Isle of Man (something to do with motorbikes I believe?) so I've been in the shop every day, even Thursday after the Dominion Theatre string-changing session- like I say, busy times.
After Saturday in the shop it was time for a tube journey up to Barbican for a Blues Brothers gig at a wedding reception at the Plaisterers’ Hall, much of which was spent with blood pouring out of my nose. Nasty! I get hay fever and it'd been bad all day, (all week actually) and when I was young I burst a blood vessel in my nose so I'm a bit prone to them at the best of times. Fortunately it stopped by the time I reached my destination where any worries about not being able to find the venue were dispelled by the fact that it has the words ONE LONDON WALL written on it in letters approaching 10 feet tall. I found the lads downstairs and was introduced to drummer Marc Cecil (John was away gigging elsewhere) who was sitting in the corner learning the set from a DVD playing on his laptop. Mike Hyde was in for Michael as Elwood and Steve was in for Ian on keyboards so a bit of time was spent on working out an 'easy' set- or at least one that more-or-less matched the one on Marc's DVD. When I arrived Andy Abrahams was on (was he on 'X-Factor' or 'Pop Idol' or something?) so when he'd finished there was just time to set up, get changed and find a drink before a highly enjoyable 90 minutes-or-so set, during which a young lady down the front got herself (and Pete!) rather over-excited, and I ended up with a Borat impersonator only inches away from me, wearing that costume... oh and a man played a tea tray with his head. Or did he play his head with a tea tray? Answers on a postcard please, usual address...
Sunday saw another 'Big Tel's Big Gig' rehearsal, this time at Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon where Terry works as a technician- the girls in the first half of the show are all ex-pupils which is how he originally met them. The school plays host to 'The Crown' church on Sunday mornings meaning that we had to use the side entrance- 'never mind the bollards' roared Andy as we triumphantly disregarded the 'no entry' signs. We were in the music block which boasts an impressive array of equipment- ironically I didn't do music at school but judging by what I saw I wish I was doing it now! Aretha finally made it to a rehearsal (she's been away at university) and sounded excellent as did Jo and Chloe- if only we could get our bits right... I played my old (1963) Stratocaster which doesn't get played anywhere near as much as it should these days and Terry's Mum had made us all sandwiches. A fine day's work.
Monday and with less than a week to go before The Price play the Glastonwick festival it was time to head down to Brighton Electric studios for a not-quite-last-minute run through of our set. As East and myself were leaving Andy called with the news that there was an 18 mile tailback on the M25 and that it might be an idea if we sought a different route... to cut a long story short we ended up at a roundabout just outside Dorking being faced by what can only be described as a giant metal cock. No, I don't know either- if any one does, can they let me or East know... Malcolm managed 6 bottles of lager, today's old guitar was my Les Paul Deluxe (played through a Marshall JCM 800 half stack and sounding as great as ever) and the band sounded pretty good to me which is just as well as there's no more rehearsals before Sunday's show; we're on at 12.30 in the afternoon and I can't wait. Hurrah!!