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.