Sunday, February 17, 2008

Skinhead ache

It's Sunday morning- my head aches and I don't feel as though I've been to sleep. Isn't drinking wonderful?

As part of my 'if you don't go to see the bands in the pubs they'll stop putting music on' campaign- which could of course be seen as a rather lame excuse for going out drinking when I'd be better off having a night in- I went to see The Beaky Band at The Old Fox in Ickenham. Beaky (a.k.a Tony) is a member of '60's popsters Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich; he comes in the shop a fair bit and always seems like a really nice guy so I thought I should make the effort and go to see him play. His bass player is Terry Peaker, an old mate of mine who I used to play in The Informers with (another good reason to go) and his drummer is Geoff-off-of-'Rockschool' (remember that rather strange T.V. programme back in the 1980's which attempted to show you how to play in a band? It's Geoff the drummer from that show! Really!) and they don't do that many gigs due to Beaky's other commitments which was yet another good reason to go... details are necessarily sketchy due to the amount of lager consumed but judging by Stuart the guitar repairman's reaction (he spent rather a lot of their show gripping his sides, helpless with laughter) it may not have been the greatest show ever but it was good to get out and see some friends play (even if Terry kept telling people that he 'didn't have his playing head on'), and I hadn't seen Nigel and Pete from The Lurkers for ages, and if maybe they were a little unwise in their choice of material ('Free Bird', 'Rock and Roll', 'Little Wing' etc) it's surely better to be ambitious than to play safe... ok, so it wasn't that brilliant really. Then again Beaky's about to embark on a 64 date U.K. tour so he must be doing something right?

Friday night it was back to Maidstone (I'm beginning to feel quite at home there) for a Chicago Blues Brothers show at the Pizza Express. Pete's back as Jake- his latest retirement was at the Hazlitt Theatre across the road from this gig!- but it's the usual suspects apart from that. Marc bought along a small Yamaha drum kit with a 16" bass drum which looked a bit strange but sounded good although as he put it, 'if it sounded that good none of the bigger ones would exist'- a good point well made as they say... we've played there quite a few times but this was one of the best shows we've done there with Dave and Richard behind the bar dancing with the barstaff (shouldn't they have been on stage?!?) (Dave and Richard that is, not the barstaff) and 'Mustang Sally' as an encore which believe it or not we hardly ever play. A fine evening.

Today I've got songs to learn- I'm doing some gigs in a couple of months with ska legends Simaryp (or is it Symarip? No one I speak to seems to know!) and have a CD of material to go through; I've heard 'Skinhead Moonstomp' and Skinhead Girl' (a bit of a pattern emerging here don't you think?) but there's 20 songs on the CD which is a fair bit of music and we're rehearsing this week so I'd better get on with it. Time to disappear into a mountain of paracetamol...

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