Sunday, August 03, 2008

Saturday's kids

A more-than-occasional visitor to these hallowed pages is 'Ian the Saturday boy'. He started at Pro Music just after I did (incredibly that's over 2 years ago) and has made a considerable impression on the shop's customers, not least the younger female ones... since he's now left school and about to (a) go to university to study Fine Art and (b) about to start working the odd day here and there in the shop on his own I guess I can't call him 'Ian the Saturday boy' any more. So- Ian has been in the shop with me and Simon most of this last week to get a bit of weekday experience, and it's been good to have him around. I think he'll be ok on his own, 'though he won't be able to spend quite as much time looking at
as he normally does- anyone would think he's their guitarist or something...

As if to underline his change of status he wasn't available to work yesterday (he was away participating in a pole vault competition. Really!) so Max the carpenter bravely stepped into the breach alongside your humble narrator. I thought I recognised the tall chap interested in trying the electronic drum kits- it was only after he'd left the shop that I realised it was ex-Big Country drummer Mark Brzezicki; after I'd served Chas and Dave's drummer Mick Burt with his sticks I waited hopefully for Ringo, Charlie Watts and the girl out of The White Stripes to arrive, but sadly to no avail. Maybe next week?

After closing up and meeting the long-suffering Shirley it was time to head into the Buckinghamshire countryside for the only gig of the week, at Chris and Debbie's 25th wedding anniversary party in Shabbington near Thame. With the rest of the band already set up and soundchecked we found them at The Old Fisherman pub on the outskirts of the village without too much trouble. Pete's back with Mike in the hats 'n' glasses and Steve's on trumpet next to Richard on sax, but it's the usual suspects apart from that (Ian, Squirrel, Marc, Tracy and myself) and with sound guru Ian Bond away in the U.S.A. with King Crimson (call the prog-rock police!) Rod's behind the sound desk. After a quick drink we made our way to the venue, another tent in the back garden (we get a few of these at this time of year). I got set up as quickly as possible, then there was just enough time to get changed and grab a drink before our first set. There'd obviously been a bit of drinking going on (I'll leave you to think about that for a minute!) judging by the amount of rather unco-ordinated antics on the dancefloor, not least during 'Rawhide' where at least one young lady got herself into a position that she may have regretted in the morning... the second set saw Pete and Mike in party mode (Mike had forgotten his black shirt and had to buy a several-sizes-too-small-for-him one from a charity shop on the way to the gig) with much jollity all round. During 'Mustang Sally' Pete introduced the band; as I came off stage a lady stopped me to ask me if I really used to be in The Kinks as she'd 'used to scream at them years ago' (presumably at their gigs, 'though I guess you never know?) I introduced her to Ian- he played for them for many years and still works with Ray Davies from time to time- which seemed to please her greatly... in sharp contrast to the gig refered to in last month's 'Independance Day' posting this was one of the best 'tent gigs' for some time, with friendly people and a splendid evening all round. It's good when that happens!

I'm back in the shop with Ian tomorrow; it's his first solo day on Wednesday...

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