An fine gig last night saw the return of several old faces to the fold- Mike as Elwood, Richard on sax, Tracy on vocals, Dave Bunting on lights (researching for next year's Southend show which we're filming for possible DVD release) and Ian Bond on sound- and one new face; with Ian away in Germany gigging with Roger Chapman Chris is on keyboards for the first time. Myself, Tracy and Dave travelled down with Pete- after negotiating a traffic jam on the M4 caused by people 'rubber-necking' at the accident on the other carriageway (I hate that don't you? Mind you, we all do it- don't we?) we stopped for a break at the Gordano services on the M5, arriving at The Brewhouse in Taunton around 3 o'clock. It's a good venue- part theatre, part arts centre, part meeting place, and with the rest of the troops arriving shortly after us we're set up and ready to rock in no time. Soundcheck saw a somewhat unexpected attempt at Ian Dury's 'Sweet Gene Vincent' with Mario on vocals (I must re-learn the chords for that one) and Marc, Squirrel and myself jamming Jimi Hendrix's 'The Wind Cries Mary' (no, I'm not sure what we thought we were doing either) as well as running through several keyboard-led songs for Chris's benefit. He plays a fair bit with Marc in other latin-oriented combos but had done a good job of learning our set from a DVD of the recent Colchester gig.
With soundcheck over I walked over to the nearby 'Howards' fish and chip shop for a cone of chips (whatever happened to chips in newspaper eh?) and wandered up and down the high street catching up on phone calls and wondering who on Earth thought it would be a good idea to set up an ice rink outside the venue. A similar thing is being attempted outside the Civic Centre in Uxbridge this week- Squirrel told me they tried it in Southend one year but it was a mild winter and the ice wouldn't freeze... it seems to be a bit of a bizarre idea to me- then again lots of ideas that seem perfectly reasonable to other, saner people often seem bizarre to me.
Back at the venue the show's sold out (hurrah!) and with everyone in high spirits it's a good gig despite the rather odd sight of a man asleep in the front row for most of the first set. Chris coped well with things, a 90 year old man asked Tracy to marry him (!) and with the merchandise stall besieged by what seemed like the whole audience after the show the evening's definitely a successful one- oh and someone said that the man asleep in the front row had checked himself out of hospital so that he could come to see the show...
And it should be a good show tomorrow as we're off to Switzerland to play in a shopping centre. Really. Then again if you think that sounds a bit weird follow the link below (we're listed as The Bootleg Blues Brothers- go to 'artists offer' then 'tribute bands') to find a frankly astonishing description of us on the Swiss promoter's website- any ideas or suggestions as to what they are actually trying to say would be gratefully received... well, it makes a change from a caption competition doesn't it?!?
I guess it's all in the translation, as they say. Mind you, the rest of the website's just as mad! Excellent!!