Thursday, August 30, 2007

Business as usual- as usual

I went to the dentists and the doctors yesterday morning. (I thought I'd get them both out of the way in one go.) My dentist is still far too good looking to be a dentist; that said my lame 'I've had a bad back' protests fell on deaf ears as she told me off for not flossing correctly. Or at all. Or something. My doctor's away on holiday (as usual) so I saw a different one; after recounting the full painkiller-powered horrors of the last week-and-a-bit I was told that there's nothing wrong with me, or that if there is 'they' don't know what 'it' is. I was then given a barely readable photocopy of some back strengthening exercises and told to 'take it easy' and to 'be careful'. But of what exactly?

Oh well- back to work then. A suitably annoying tube journey up to Tottenham Court Road (the voice over the tannoy said that the Metropolitan line wasn't working so we all crammed onto a Jubilee line train, which, you've guessed it, was then overtaken by several Met line trains. Am I the only person who thinks that they do this deliberately?) got me to Starbucks in time for a coffee and a rant with Stu before we resurrected the 'We Will Rock You' guitars once again. Stu's been told that there's an extra performance coming up- did he really say that it's going to be at St. Pancras station?!?

In the meantime, the next few days look like this-

Friday- Blues Brothers gig in Zurich. Yes, you read that bit right.
Saturday- Pistols gig in Hitchin, at Toby the drummer's stepson's 18th birthday. Yes, you read that bit right as well.
Sunday- Blues Brothers gig in Windsor. At least it's only down the road.
Monday- back to working in the shop (probably, unless I start again on Tuesday), then a Barflies rehearsal in the evening.

I really must remember to 'take it easy' and 'be careful' mustn't I?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A year in the life

I started this blog exactly one year ago today.

I'd originally intended it to be purely a record of my antics with a guitar in my hands; somewhere along the line it's turned into a reflection of the chaotic mish-mash of rants, theories and insults that normally ricochet around my warped mind, with the odd bit of music thrown in here and there. Well, that's how it looked to me a few minutes ago when I had a random look back through the archives in search of something to say about it all... I'd considered concluding it today with a last 'that's a year in my life folks' message- but I must admit that I enjoy writing it too much to stop.

So- the second year of blogging starts here. Good luck everybody- let's see what happens next...

Here's yet another Blackpool clip:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZDkkz53l1w

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to work, back to the future, back to front, back in black (etc etc)

Saturday and it's gig time again, this time at The Wheatsheaf at Leighton Buzzard with The Pistols. My back still hurt but was nowhere near as bad as it had been- it's actually quite difficult to think how it could have been worse 'though I suppose it could- it's now more of an ache than a pain, if you see what I mean. I've been as careful as I can be but it's really difficult to remember not to bend down, or to lift, or to pick up... and I've got painkillers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants to take, all of which could be seen as ideal preparation for a Pistols gig (I remember telling the paramedics on Monday night that the morphine they were giving me was 'research for my next gig'. They've probably tipped off the drug squad.) In a rather bizarre experiment I tried walking around the front room with my Les Paul strapped on to see how I felt; I managed about 10 minutes with no ill effects (I did get caught in front of the mirror for a while but I'm not admitting that here) so took this to be a good sign. Liverpool beat Sunderland and my brother Terry came round with his daughter Anna to see how I was, all of which contributed to an optimistic mood, especially when they decided to come up to the gig with us. I phoned the venue to check it wasn't 'over-18's only' (for Anna, not Terry) to be told that there was no problem bringing her along but could we not swear so much at the landlord this time. Hmm...

The Wheatsheaf's been going for years as a live music venue- I think The Price nearly played there in the early '9o's with, of all people, Glen Matlock so there's at least 15 years on the clock. There's plenty of Pistols t-shirts around and aside from the rather worrying addition of a strobe light to the lighting equipment (I hate 'em!) a good gig's in prospect. I'm not drinking (I'm in enough trouble already!) so I spare East the embarrassment of ordering me a soda water and lime. Anna seems at home- at one point attempting to order a WKD- and there's much innuendo from the other band members as to how I got a bad back in the first place. I managed to get a high bar stool on my side of the stage in case of emergency which I used to great effect in between songs; generally I felt ok 'though I found I was almost waiting for my back to start hurting and so was on edge all the time. To take my mind off this (a bit) I had a new toy- Stuart the guitar repair man's friend Tony has built an overdrive pedal based on the classic Ibanez TS 808 'Tube Screamer' which he gave me to try out. It sounded good 'though I found it wasn't quite enough of a lift for the solos; in the second set I used my Digitech 'Screamin' Blues' pedal which really did the trick. Tony's an electronics wizard so will no doubt come out with an upgrade... by the second set there was much pogoing and even more swearing at the landlord (Toby- 'don't you think it would be an idea to get paid first?') and I got through it all without collapsing in agony which could politely be described as a relief.

Sunday and it's Barflies rehearsal time again. Another excellent session- we're up to a set-and-a-bit's worth of songs and sounding better and better. I sat down throughout- really weird, I like standing up and playing!- and effect pedal experiments were scuppered by the fact that I was playing through a rather well used Marshall valvestate stack which I don't think Jeff Beck could have got a good sound out of. Oh well. We're back in there next Monday evening with yet more new songs to learn in the meantime- should be fun.

Apologies to non-guitarists for all that stuff about pedals and the like. I'll get back to the gags'n'insults next time, honest!

http://www.thepistols.co.uk/

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bend me, shape me

I went to see an osteopath earlier.

Is it just me or is there something very strange about standing in front of someone that you've only just met wearing only your pants and socks? And why do I think that it would have been less weird if I hadn't have had my socks on?

Anyway after pushing and pulling me around he told me that my back was out of alignment, but now, thanks to him, it's not. And, do you know, he might just be right- it does seem to feel a bit better. Mind you I am on enough painkillers to confuse Keith Richards (yes, I know, it's not all bad news).

Oh well- I've got the rest of the week off from the shop, then a gig with The Pistols on Saturday and a Barflies rehearsal Sunday, both of which I'm determined to do even if it means playing sitting down. Mind you, he did say something about overwork...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mind your backs

About 8 o'clock on Monday morning I was drinking coffee and watching Breakfast T.V. with Shirley. We were musing on what the week would bring for us and those around us when I went, in the words of The Clash, straight to hell. The best way I can describe it is that it felt as though the bottom half of my body was being forcibly separated from the top half of my body in a horizontal straight line roughly level with the base of my spine. The pain was INDESCRIBABLE, a spasm of about 30 seconds or so of screaming agony which subsided long enough for me to say something like 'oh no, my back's gone' to Shirley before the pain returned, every bit as insane as before. I was flat out on the bad, covered in sweat and- I don't mind admitting this- absolutely terrified. Shirley phoned for an ambulance but they told her to call my doctor first; she did and he prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets over the phone (shouldn't he have seen me first?!?) which she went and picked up. In the meantime the spasms had stopped- provided I didn't move of course, if I did a wave of pain reduced me to a helpless mess- and I convinced myself that if I took the tablets that I'd been given then I'd be 'ok'.

Sadly I was wrong. I spent the day laying as still as possible with hopes that the tablets were working but sometime around midnight the spasms returned with a vengeance and Shirley called 999 again. This time they sent a paramedic team of 2 ladies and a gentleman. They took one look at me and said the word 'hospital'. When I said that I was currently unable to move they then said the word 'morphine'. My reply was something like 'as Edmund Blackadder would say "it rhymes with clucking bell"'.
Mr. Paramedic seemed amused. 'Ooh you've got wigglies. Do you do a lot with your left hand?' It seems 'wigglies' are what paramedics call strong veins; when I said I played guitar he said it's normally builders who have veins like mine. I guess that's about the only thing that I would have in common with them? 'Mind you' he continued, 'I haven't got my glasses with me'. I heard myself say 'You'll be telling me that you've come straight from the pub next' which got a rather nervous laugh from all concerned... after various scary stories of needles bending or even breaking he managed to get one into the back of my hand, then said he was going to give me something to stop me vomiting when he gave me the morphine. After that it was, as he put it, 'time for the good stuff'. I was given a similar injection many years ago after an operation- I remember getting up, falling over and not feeling a thing. I think this one was stronger- it felt as though I was insulated from the outside world, as though it was all happening somewhere else and I was protected from it all. I don't wish to condone heavy drug use here but I think I can see why people would want to feel like I felt then... and the pain which, only a few minutes earlier had me helplessly doubled up in agony, had all but gone. But now, the tricky bit- I had to stand up, then I had to walk from the bedroom, down the stairs and out into the waiting ambulance.
Well, to cut a long story short, I did it. I don't remember doing it, but I did. Apparently I was (a) dripping with sweat and (b) light grey in colour. But I suddenly found myself in the back of an ambulance telling the young lady my name, address etc. It turned out that she had the same birthday as me... we got to the hospital- it seemed to take ages but Shirley (following along behind) tells me that they were going slow so as not to go over bumps in the road and cause me pain) where I was wheeled into Accident & Emergency and then said goodbye to the paramedic team. I'll probably never see them again. Sitting here, typing this now, I feel like I owe them, well, everything. But it was just part of a day's work for them. Amazing isn't it?
The next 5 or so hours are at best sketchy. At some point in proceedings I was given a injection in my lower back ( Shirley- 'it looked like you had 2 eggs growing out of you'), some more industrial strength painkillers and was examined in a very unfortunate area by a very good looking young Indian lady (I remember saying 'but we hardly know each other' when she told me what she was going to have to do). We left the hospital at 7a.m. and went home, almost as if nothing had happened. We sat at the table drinking coffee, both remembering different bits of the preceding 7 or so hours, her telling me things that I didn't know I'd done, me telling her how it had felt to do them. A strange, surreal conversation, 2 very different sides to the same story. Maybe the strangest thing about it all was that no one had been able to tell me what was wrong with my back, or how it might have been caused- the best estimate was that I had 'twisted a muscle which had gone into spasm'. I must remember not to do that again.

It's now Wednesday afternoon. I didn't do much yesterday. I couldn't do much yesterday. (Annoyingly I was offered tickets to see The Rolling Stones last night. Bugger!) Today I've sat at the computer for the first time since Sunday, checked my e-mails (not very many- boo hoo!) and decided to write up what I remember of Monday here. I might remember some more later, or tomorrow, or next week- in which case I'll add it accordingly. It might not have much to do with 'guitars' (although I've become oddly proud of my wigglies!) but it has a fair amount to do with 'Leigh's mad world' . Well, I think it does- but I keep thinking about those paramedics and others like them who see situations like the one that I was in every day and who just get on with their jobs without any fuss or any ceremony. I only hope I can learn from them and the way that they did what they did- no drama, no panic, just do what's needed to be done. For me there's a genuine heroism here, that goes to show what we as people can achieve for ourselves, for each other, and together. And- inevitably- I keep thinking about my Mum, who spent the latter years of her life so disabled that she was virtually unable to walk or talk. How did she cope without going insane?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

'Keep on rockin' in the free world...'

Now the dust has settled on the Fordham and Blackpool gigs I've managed to get a bit of perspective on things. I still think the shows should have been cancelled, but we played well despite a chronic lack of rehearsal, and the audience reaction on both nights reflect the high regard and affection the band and their music are still held in. And on a personal level I'm glad that I did them- I wouldn't have played them if Paul hadn't ok'd things but it feels like I did the 'right' thing under the circumstances, and I think that I played well enough to justify me (rather than someone else) being there. I've since seen some camcorder footage of the Blackpool show, a good raucous performance with Mark really rising to the occasion and showing what a great frontman he is. And I've also got around 80 minutes of the Ruffy/Segs/Rollins session on dvd courtesy of Mark Wyeth- I watched it all this morning with amazed amusement, or amused amazement, or something. I really did it! It was really me!

So- now what? Well I've just got back from a highly enjoyable Barflies rehearsal at Ruff Rockers in Uxbridge and can hardly wait for next Sunday's session already. We've been offered a gig at The Woodman in Northwood next month which we might be ready for, but I for one would rather wait until we're really ready rather than cobble something together for the first available date and then not play as well as we otherwise might. Maybe I'm aware of how relatively unprepared we were for the Beck Theatre show, or maybe it's because the Ruts gigs were so ad hoc- either way I for one would like to get it right this time, not least because we're playing some great, varied material which deserves to be played well.
In the meantime I've got a gig in Leighton Buzzard with The Pistols next Saturday which I'm really looking forward to, then The Blues Brothers band are off to Zurich the following Friday. It's all good stuff- but it doesn't feel like it's enough. Maybe I'm being greedy but I just feel like I want to play as much as I can at the moment. I think I'm playing well, and I'm really enjoying it. Why shouldn't I want to feel like that more often?!?

Here's another Blackpool gig clip:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUdwBRQ6PZ8

-not as good as the other one but still good fun?!?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Second night nerves- Blackpool's Burning

The second and last show of the 'should have been cancelled' mini tour was the big one- on the main stage at The Rebellion Festival at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool. A gig to be nervous about at the best of times, this one's compounded by the fact that the band was initially billed as 'The Ruts' as opposed to 'Foxy's Ruts' which led to speculation as to how many original members were due to be performing and even as to whether Henry Rollins might be singing; add to that the fact that The Empress Ballroom holds several thousand people and that we were on the same day as such punk luminaries as The U.K. Subs, Penetration and The Adicts and you have what could politely be called a 'pressure' gig.

I was working in the shop on Saturday which meant that I couldn't go up then with the rest of the band- a shame since old Price cronies were everywhere (Newtown Neurotics, T.V. Smith, Lurkers, Blaggers etc) as well as plenty of other people that I'd like to have seen- ah well, there's always next year... so I was up worryingly early Sunday morning and on the tube to Euston Square by 8.30a.m.- I'd forgotten how quiet it is at that time of the week (if you see what I mean). I wanted to get on the 10.01 service to Lancaster- change at Preston for the Blackpool North train. I was at Euston for 9.25- plenty of time to get my ticket (£63.90!) and some overpriced food and drink (£5.15! -mind you, a good 'Quadrophenia' reference methinks) and await the arrival of the 10.01... which, to cut a long story short, becomes the 11.01 (a disembodied voice blamed 'over-running engineering work in the Rugby area') amid much foaming-at-the-mouth from a large number of Manchester United supporters- and some human beings unfortunate enough to be near them at the time.

Scum. Nothing else.

Meanwhile I'm on the train at last with the latest 'Mojo' magazine (excellent Stones/Keef feature) and Derren Brown's 'Trick of the Mind' book (excellent generally) for company. We wind our way up the country- I always remember Crewe station as being massive 'though I guess I was smaller the last time I went through it?- without too many hiccups until a voice announces 'due to the late running of this service it will now be terminating at... (pauses, almost as if they're deciding where it's going to be terminating at; everybody's listening now...) Preston' (a relief for me but not so good for the man down the aisle from me currently barking into his mobile phone...). At Wigan a family get on and sit nearby; Dad's wearing a suit without a tie, Mum's in what I'd imagine to be her 'best' dress, the boy and two girls are smartly dressed too but Mum & Dad aren't happy- the boy points out the local football ground and his Mum scowls 'why would I want to see that?'. Dad stares out of the window, not looking at any of them and not looking as though he ever wants to again. After what seems like hours we reach Preston where the words 'WELCOME TO LANCASHIRE' are emblazoned over the exit. There's a train in for Blackpool North- I've got a ticket for Blackpool South but the ticket inspector says it's ok for me to use it on this train. The carriage is full of seaside-bound revellers singing 'Glory glory Man. United'. I can't wait to get out; to take my mind off them I send a suitably unpleasant text about them to Stuart the guitar repairman who responds with enough vitriol to melt my phone. Good man.

At last I'm in Blackpool. (there's something I never thought I'd write!). Outside the venue there's about a hundred or so punky looking people, most of whom are smoking. I call Mark Wyeth who brings me out my 'Access All Areas' wristband- we walk through to the Ballroom where the evocatively-named Suicide Bid are finishing their set; I follow Mark into our dressing room and say hello to drummer Laurie and singer Mark. We're due on in about an hour-and-a-half so there's plenty of time to write a setlist out (after much discussion we settle on the same one as the previous show), get changed, warm up by running through 'H-Eyes' and generally sort ourselves out for the show. I wandered back into the ballroom where Sonic Boom Six are now playing- the hall's not that full but I still reckon there was a thousand or so people watching them. Hmm... imagine if it were full...
An hour-and-a-quarter later and the hall is very full indeed. I'm on the stage setting my stuff up- I've got a Marshall TSL 100W stack to play through and it sounds terrific. I look out into the hall- it's the one that you see on telly, you know the one, where the political conferences come from? The audience looks a bit different today though. Most of them are expecting to see Paul Fox playing guitar but instead they're going to see me. Let's hope they like what they see.
15 minutes later and Max Splodge is on stage introducing us. He tells the story- similar to Kevin at the previous gig but better somehow, maybe a bit more heartfelt, or personal, or something... we walk out on to the stage, I pick up my guitar and look out- Price fan Andy Knight is in the front row, a friendly face among thousands. Halfway through 'H-Eyes' and no-one's thrown anything yet; I put my head down and solo- the song ends to enough applause to nearly knock us over. Thank God for that... after the show we all agreed that we played better at Fordham (Laurie was particularly unhappy with his performance saying that he felt that he 'ran out of steam') but couldn't believe the response from the crowd, everything that we could have hoped for and more. As I came offstage I heard my name called- it was Steve from The Neurotics. Talking to him I mention the lack of rehearsal; during the conversation I realise that we didn't play any of the songs that I ran through with the 2 Marks last Thursday (it seems so much longer ago than that). Amazing. People are coming over to me to shake my hand, to say thanks, to talk of the emotions that they felt as we played, as I played, the music meaning so much to them, to me, to us all. Incredible.

After getting changed and cooling off a bit Laurie and myself watched a couple of songs by The U.K. Subs (sounding as good as ever; actually I've just remembered that I lent them a guitar lead and didn't get it back. Bugger!) then went to get something to eat. We were talking about how no-one ever recognises either of us after gigs (Mark the singer gets mobbed every time!) when the guy on the table next to us comes over- he looks as though he's been crying and it turns out that he has. He couldn't believe our performance, how well we'd played under the circumstances, he shakes my hand so hard that it hurts but it doesn't matter. How could it after what he'd just said? Later on I meet Marco from Germany- The Ruts are his favourite band ever, he loved it, didn't want it to end. I tell him how much his comments mean to me; as I say it someone walks by with 'you only get one life- what you do with it is up to you' written on their t-shirt. I saw some of Penetration's set- I last saw them nearly 30 years ago, never thought I'd ever play on the same bill as them. As I'm t-shirt shopping for my brother Terry I bump into Arturo from The Lurkers who tells me how good it all sounded; I say I'll see him for a drink at the acoustic stage when John Cooper Clarke's on, in the meantime join the rest of the band in the bar. We swap stories of what people have said to us; Andy Knight comes over to say how much he loved it and how everyone he's spoken to are saying it was one of the best sets of the festival. Laurie says he's spoken to Paul, he sounded 'gutted' not to have been here but pleased that it went well. We go back in to see a bit of The Adicts set then I go off to meet Art and to see John Cooper Clarke. As I get there I'm told that JCC hadn't turned up.

Oh well- I guess something had to go wrong didn't it?!?

http://www.rebellionfestivals.com/

http://www.humanpunk.com/

Here's a clip from the gig:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aWojzLJTEo

Saturday, August 11, 2007

First night nerves every one night stand

So it was then that, after a busy enough day in the shop, myself and the long-suffering Shirley made our way up to Cambridgeshire for the Fordham Festival. Bad Manners are headlining, we've got the slot before them and I'm feeling nervous. I've not eaten much during the day which isn't big or clever so we stop at a service station on the A11 for a carton of pasta and even more inconclusive ranting on my part. The site is easy to find being extremely well signposted with the only dodgy moment coming when we encounter a level crossing (Shirley hates 'em!). There's a band on as we arrive, they're ok if a bit hippyish for my vastly bigoted tastes- we meet up with the lads and are introduced to the Bad Manners boys who seem a splendid bunch which eases my awkwardness a little. I'd met Doug/Buster before- he always seems pretty friendly; we swap Dr. Feelgood anecdotes (really!) before the next band drowns us out, they're pretty punky and play some suitably unlikely cover versions. We spend a few minutes putting a set together- 12 songs, 'just the ones we're sure of', that should be 45 minutes or so. Manners keyboard man Ritchie suggests that him and the horn section join us for 'Jah War'- they did that when I saw them at Brighton late last year and it sounded great so it seems like a good idea to me.

Suddenly our gear's all set up and Kevin (the band's agent) giving us a 'do it for Foxy' pep talk, a nice gesture but certainly not necessary for me to hear since that's about the only reason I'm doing it any way... he introduces us, explaining the situation- Paul's too ill to perform but we didn't want to let you down- something like that anyway. Mark our singer says more-or-less the same- and then, at last, it's 'H-Eyes' and then, at last, we're playing rather than talking and it's sounding good, great even, and then it's 'Staring at the Rude boys' and a voice shouts loud, we'll never surrender and we won't and we don't and there's a few people dancing and singing along and I'm sweating already and we're playing well, very well even and the Manners boys are on for 'Jah War' and it's going down better and better, and 'In A Rut' has that big guitar solo that I've seen Paul play so many times and now I've got to play and at last I feel ok, relaxed even and I'm trying as hard as I can because I mustn't let Paul down now, not now that we've come this far, and then it's 'Babylon's Burning' and the crowd's going mad and we're going mad and we've finished our set but there's still another song to do and it can only be 'Human Punk' and Mark's out in the crowd and they're singing with him and they love it and they're right to because we've done it. All of it. Game over.

Thank you and goodnight.

Right- that's the 'easy' one out of the way. Let's see what tomorrow brings...

http://www.humanpunk.com/

Friday, August 10, 2007

Something that I (should've) said

I saw Paul Fox on Monday night- a haunted, haunting sight. Foxy's Ruts are doing 2 gigs this weekend but Paul won't be playing at them, because he's too ill. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN CANCELLED- but they weren't. I'm playing guitar at them instead of Paul. I wouldn't have, but he's asked me to. I'm nervous, apprehensive even- the audience will be expecting Paul, and instead they'll get me. To make matters worse we've not been able to have a full band rehearsal, and to make matters even worse they're 2 festival shows in front of potentially large audiences.

I'll let you know how I get on; in the meantime I really must learn the word 'no'...

http://www.humanpunk.com

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Kings of the Castle

2 excellent gigs with The Pistols this weekend just gone:-

Friday was at The King Billy in Northampton, very much a 'rock' venue judging by the music on the jukebox and the number of people there who told me how good their 'rock' nights were. Even the local branch of Professional Music Technology (yes, that's right, P.M.T.- it's a chain of musical instrument shops in case you don't know) had HOUSE OF ROCK written on it in big letters. Paul (Rotten) was just setting the P.A. up as we (myself, Shirley and East) arrived, Tim (Vicious) and Toby (Cook) arrived soon after. The audience-to-be were mostly out the back in the beer garden (this 'no smoking' thing is really happening isn't it?) which rather oddly had a pool table in it, and the toilets in the main bar are labelled 'Birds' and 'Blokes'- like I say, very much a 'rock' venue. Still they gave us a case of lager for the band (most of which were driving- East's face lit up) and by the time we started playing there were a few punkier looking people about, many of whom seemed to know every word of every song. By the second set there was even a bit of pogoing. All good stuff, rather offset by the fact that Paul had one of his microphones stolen. Oh and we discovered that the world's most powerful hand drier is in the gents toilets at Toddington services which I guess is worth knowing in a 'rock' sort of way.

Sunday began with a highly enjoyable Barflies rehearsal at the worryingly early hour of 11a.m. (this happens when you let a drummer book your rehearsals!). Andy had bought with him 'Andy's big book of songs' which had in it enough to keep us occupied for the first part of proceedings; Simon bought with him a highly entertaining c.d. of possible songs which kept us busy for the rest of the session. I'm really looking forward to getting out and gigging...
From there it was off to the rather unlikely surroundings of Hertford Castle where The Pistols are appearing at 'Rock at the Castle' (actually this is why we started rehearsing at such a scandalously early hour. It wasn't really down to the drummer... I bet he still leaves me a nasty comment though!). The backstage pass had a photo of a long-haired Steve Jones on it- I wonder if the organisers realised that?- and there were free cans of lager for the bands and their associates (most of which were driving- East's face lit up again). Toby's elsewhere so Jim's on the drum stool and we've been warned (a) not to play 'God Save The Queen' and (b) not to swear. Hmm... a frantic 20-ish minute set saw us (a) finish with 'God Save The Queen' and (b) only say the word 'sod' a few times (it's in one of their songs as I'm sure you know). I wasn't sure how we were going to do but we actually went down very well even among the younger parts of the crowd. Most of the other bands that we saw were playing original material with maybe the odd cover thrown in here and there- an encouraging thing methinks. A fine afternoon all round saw us back in Uxbridge in time for East to break the dvd writer on his computer (he was transfering film of the afternoon's show and 'had an accident') and for a few beers with Dave the drummer (who's probably left his nasty comment by now).

My next gig with The Pistols is at The Wheatsheaf in Leighton Buzzard on August 25th.

I can't wait.

http://www.thepistols.co.uk