Sunday, August 31, 2008

Two years in the life

It was Bank Holiday Monday evening and I was just watching some murder on the T.V. ('C.S.I. Miami' is not as good as it used to be is it? Mind you the women are getting even better looking!) when my phone rang; it was promotess extraordinaire Sarah Pink calling with an intriguing proposition. Would I like to do a week of dates next month with a Ruts tribute band who are supporting Bad Manners on the Northern leg of their upcoming British tour? Well yes, of course I would... it turns out that Foxy's Ruts singer Mark Paul has reformed Savage Circle (he was singing for them when he joined Paul & co.) and his guitarist's mum has been in an accident making him doubtful for the gigs. Sadly the shows are in a week when I've already got I've got 3 C.B.B. gigs which is a shame since I'd loved to have done them- I was just saying to Shirl the other day how it'd be great to do some Ruts stuff again. Still, no moaning- it's good to have the C.B.B. gigs!

Tuesday and Wednesday in the shop were busy enough for this apparently 'quiet' time of year, with American Tom (Paul the guv'nor's daughter Charlotte's boyfriend) photographing much of the shop stock for use in our upcoming internet sales campaign, (well, everyone else is doing it!) and Stuart the guitar repair man ploughing his way through what seemed like a never-ending supply of broken guitars that had accumulated over the last week or so. Ian the former Saturday boy called in to collect his Telecaster, to which Stu has fitted a Fernandez Sustainer unit (how many more gadgets does he need?!? He's already got a pedal board the size of a football pitch!) which- you've guessed it!- allows notes to be sustained indefinitely as well as more bizarre feedback effects to be conjured up at will. All good fun, and to say that Ian is pleased with it is a bit like saying that I was pleased to meet Steve Cropper...

...which happened on Thursday, the 2nd anniversary of my first blog posting. I've just had a random look back through 2006/7- did I really do all that stuff? Yes, I did. Do I really do all this stuff? Yes, incredibly, I do... which reminds me, I must phone a few people and tell them about my Fender endorsement!

Friday I had what theoretically counts as a day off, 'though much off it was spent going through the set for last night's short notice dep gig with The Briefcase Blues Brothers. This is Mario's Blues Brothers band, who I last played with over a year ago (I should look it up in the blog shouldn't I? Hang on, I will... Christmas Eve 2006. Was it really that long ago?) 'though I've worked with Kylan the bassist and Matt the keyboard man in Mario's function band a few times since. Matt joins Mario in the hats'n'glasses, Adam's on drums and we're playing at a wedding at Priston Mill, a very picturesque venue somewhere between Bath and Bristol. Our new sat. nav. takes us straight to it (I knew we should have bought one ages ago!) and we're set up and soundchecked in no time, which is just as well since we're on at the unusually early hour of 8.30 p.m. with a Frank Sinatra tribute act on for the hour before us. Although Mario & co. play many of the same songs as us (they'd have to if you think about it!) a lot of them feature different arrangements, and are often in different keys making for, shall we say, an interesting gigging experience for your humble narrator- but I have to say, a highly enjoyable one despite the odd missed cue here and there. Oh, and Matt did the splits during 'Shake Your Tailfeather'. He's a martial arts expert you know...

This week I'm working in the shop, going to see The Sex Pistols in Hammersmith and X-Ray Spex in Camden Town, gigging in Basildon with The Chicago Blues Brothers- looks as though there's more than enough going on to keep me blogging for another year. Excellent!

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