Have you ever had Acupuncture? It's weird isn't it? I'd not had it before Friday when I went to see a physiotherapist in an attempt to get my ailing left thumb sorted out. He did tell me what's wrong with it- I forgot the name of the condition almost immediately but it seems that I've strained it by lifting something badly; I don't remember any particular incident but I guess you never really know with these things do you? Anyway he suggested acupuncture and massage so I decided to give it a go... about halfway through my time with him and with needles hanging out of my forearm I suddenly remembered that I had a gig the next night- maybe I should have mentioned it earlier? I came out of the session with an aching arm and, I suspect, a worried look on my face.
To console myself I stopped off at The C.D. Shop in Eastcote. This is an interesting establishment that I'd not visited for quite a while, 'though it's one of those shops that always seems to me as though it comes from another time; it doesn't have a website (at least, not one that I can find) and the chap behind the counter always encourages 'browsing' which most people under 30 would probably be unable to do without a computer connected to the internet. As I stumbled around the shop he informed me that he had 'Bob back in stock' (he thought I might have come in for 'Together Through Life', the new Bob Dylan album) and then invited me to have a go at his competition... on the wall next to the counter is one of those boards that I remember from shops when I was young, they've got little white plastic letters that fit into the grooves on the board which I think were often used in cafes to advertise special meals available that day, and I remember them being used in places like record shops to tell you what new releases had become available. On his one it said something like this:-
NAMES IN THE FRAME
1 Chuck Berry
2 The Beatles
3 The Crickets
4 The Valentinos
5 - - - - - - - - - - -
So- can you fill in the name in position 5 in the list? I'd got halfway back to Uxbridge before the answer came to me- I of course got off the train and went back to the shop to tell him the missing name. I'm sure you can work it out, but if not I'll tell you it next time...
I woke up next morning with an arm that ached for England and the prospect of a busy day in the shop that I could well have done without. As it turned out it wasn't too bad- it was good to see some of the Saturday regulars that I'd not seen for a while, and being a bank holiday weekend it wasn't as busy a day as it might have been. I managed to avoid lifting anything too heavy- at least until I had to put my amp in the boot of the car- and myself and the long-suffering Shirley (accompanied by East on camera duties) arrived at The Walnut Tree in Bourne end just as the rest of The Flying Squad were setting up. Andy had borrowed a P.A. system from the shop earlier in the day with a view to buying it if it suited our purpose; we couldn't get one of the monitor speakers to work (rather embarrassing from my point of view!) but the rest of it sounded fine.
By the time we kick off just after 9 o'clock there's a few people in, and although our first number gets a reaction (almost total silence) that suggests that we might not be the right band for the venue by the end of our first set we're going down well and the second set even sees a few people dancing. We made a few mistakes here and there- we really must learn the arrangement to 'Baby Jane'- but there's talk of a return gig and my hand feels nowhere near as bad as I feared it was going to, making for a highly successful evening all round.
And I've just had East on the phone telling me that he's done me a DVD of our show which should make for interesting viewing- 'the sound's good but the picture's a bit dark...'