Now this is getting a bit weird... we (The Flying Squad) were due to be playing at The Red Lion in Egham this coming Saturday (May 2nd in case you're counting) but we're now playing at The Walnut Tree in Bourne End- no, I don't know what's going on either. Maybe that old saying about how 'ours is not to reason why' applies? Oh well- we sounded good in rehearsal last night- it's our first '2 set gig' (we only played a half hour support show at the Ruislip show earlier this month) so we had to get a few more songs together in record time. I'll let you know how we do- or you could come to the gig and see for yourself...
Since starting in Edmonton at the end of January The Chicago Blues Brothers have played the best part of 20 theatre dates, and we played our last one for a while on Saturday at The Westcliff Theatre in Clacton. Ian Bond is back behind the sound desk but it's all change in the horn department with Bev and Steve in place of Richard and Dave on sax and trumpet. Roger returns on keyboards, and in Jake's shoes it's the comeback king himself Mr. Pete Tobit, but other than that it's the A-team all the way. With Tracy delayed in heavy traffic soundcheck saw a rather unusual version of 'Natural Woman' with Pete on vocals (we wanted to run the song so that Roger could get the piano introduction to everyone's liking) as well as trying 'Looking For A Fox' with the opening riff played on guitar and bass rather than keyboards as Roger's never heard the original version. Come to think of it- neither have I!
Time for a drink and a look around- the theatre's mostly staffed by volunteers (as was The Regent Theatre in Christchurch where we appeared the week before last) and they're a friendly crew although some of the men were a bit intimidating in their red ties and blue blazers- then again they were all about 80 years old... Shirley's behind the merchandise with Squirrel's wife Lindsay, and trade is brisk from the moment they open the doors which always bodes well for a good show, which this one definitely is although I had a few 'bad thumb moments' (I really must get it looked at!) and managed to cut my right index finger during a particularly boisterous 'Gimme Some Loving' resulting in more than a little blood on my Telecaster. Ah- just like the old days... mind you it stopped working* completely during 'Riot In Cell Block #9' but was fine when I tried it after the show. It felt a bit like when the T.V. repairman comes round to fix your set and it works perfectly when they're there but goes wrong again as soon as they've gone- don't you just hate it when that happens?
So- no more theatre shows until September. It's been a good run of work... actually it hasn't, it's been a GREAT run of work. The band's playing well, Matt's made the role of Jake his own (sorry Pete- but you said it too!) and there's talk of recording a new album before the next batch of dates in the Autumn, as well as some corporate and festival shows dotted throughout the next few months. In the last posting I said it was going to be 'a long hot summer'- I'm pleased to say that it looks as though I wasn't wrong. Excellent!
*The positive terminal of the battery had worked itself out of the little clip thingy that it fits into, which serves me right for landing on it from about 20,000 feet instead of just stepping on it like you're supposed to! Bugger!