I woke up Saturday morning to the rather grim realisation that things weren't getting any better - leaving aside the coughing, spluttering, sneezing and headache (did I mention that I've got ManFlu?) I found that my eyelids were all but glued together with what might best and indeed most politely be described as 'gunge'. Not good frankly. 'You've got an infection' said the long-suffering Shirley, with the look of someone who knows that what they've just said is entirely accurate. At least she didn't say 'I told you so'...
Actually she did, but I'm not going to tell you that here!
With a day in Balcony Shirts followed by a gig in the evening in prospect it was off to the chemist to spend some money - rather a lot of money I thought but the way the pharmacist spoke made me think that buying things like eye drops was a pretty good idea, in the same way as the manner in which he said the words 'Go to see your doctor on Monday' made me think that I should indeed go to see my doctor on Monday... a blearily busy Balcony day followed (Scott was if anything even worse for wear than your humble narrator, although his condition was more down to over-indulgence than anything else, the lucky sod!) 'though I didn't feel particularly worse by the end of it - that said the fact that I fell asleep almost as soon as I got through the front door is pretty significant if you think about it.
The evening's gig was in uncharted territory in more ways that one; a new venue - The Ox in South Oxhey - for a new line-up of Youngblood. With Mick the drummer falling by the wayside myself and Terry the bass have installed Roger Brewer (our old partner-in-crime from our days in The Informers) on drums. Terry the singer took the opportunity to suggest we get a new name, and came up with The 4 Faces which we used for this show - not sure what we'll end up with but that one did for this one, and a raucous evening it was, with men taking their t-shirts off to dance and women demanding request after request from the ever genial Terry meaning that we attempted 'Get It On', 'Bad Moon Rising' and 'Whatcha Gonna Do About It?' with varying degrees of success. We ignored all the other ones! In the meantime Terry the bass bemoaned the changing colour of crisp packets, I remained disappointed that the venue hadn't turned out to be a John Entwistle theme bar and we all agreed that we should have some good times to look forward to, whatever we end up being called.
Things hadn't improved on Sunday but at least they hadn't got any worse - that said I spent much of the day half-asleep and the rest actually asleep. Well, that's what it felt like anyway... after a possibly ill-advised amount of medicine(s) and carrying as many boxes of tissues as I could it was off to Tropic Of Ruislip for a Flying Squad gig with the excellent Chicken Legs Weaver. As we arrived Big Tel and Dave were just getting the P.A. set up, George the promoter was moving tables and chairs into position and all was set for good evening. We soundchecked with a thunderous 'Ridin' on the L&N' and it all sounded good to me - then again I probably wasn't the best judge of things! After CLW's soundcheck a problem developed - our drummer Dave had hoped to record the show on his laptop directly from Big Tel's P.A. system but it wouldn't work; Tel came up to me with the words 'I think I've upset Dave' just as Andy came over to say that Dave had gone home in a state of some distress. 'He's coming back 'though' said Andy not looking totally convinced... he did come back, arriving sometime during CLW's fine set. He went down well as did we - there could have been more people there but the ones that were there certainly seemed to have a good evening. From my point of view it was... ok. I was flagging by halfway through our show and, without wishing to sound too melodramatic (for once!) by the end of our set I'm not sure I physically could have played much more. And I don't think I played particularly well 'though I suppose there's an excuse if I want to use it? Then again my old mate Andy Stubbs (who booked The Price many times during his reign of terror booking bands at Brunel University and is now Uxbridge Town Centre Manager) came up to me afterwards and told me that I sounded like 'a cross between Joe Strummer and Mick Jones' so I guess I can't have been that bad as that might well be the best guitar-related compliment that I've ever received, from my point of view at least.
Monday morning and it's time to visit the doctor. I told him my symptoms then recounted the pharmacist's thoughts - he said something like 'oh well, they're supposed to say things like that' then rather reluctantly examined me, first with a stethoscope... 'there's nothing wrong with your chest' he said as he pushed his thumb against my left eyebrow. 'Maybe not, but when you did that it felt like you'd just tried to pull my face off'. He remained unmoved - 'you might have a touch of something like sinusitis I suppose' he said as he wrote out the inevitable prescription for the inevitable anti-biotics. I think I was in the surgery for around 2 minutes and didn't feel as though I'd been taken particularly seriously; on the other hand Shirley observed that, judging by the strength of the anti-biotics that he'd prescribed, he'd probably just not wanted to worry me. Who knows?
Still one way or another it was time to feel better, and to feel better as soon as possible, as it's that time again... mad as it may seem (particularly to the band members!) this year marks the 25th anniversary of the formation of The Price. With this in mind we're playing as often as we can this year (have a look on our website for details of the first shows) as well as hopefully doing some recording and (gulp!) writing some new material. With this in mind it was time for a return to Ruff Rockers Rehearsal Studios for an epic 6 hour session during which we ran through over 30 of our own songs (did we really write that many?!?) along with a few willfully obscure cover versions, and during which I drink 2 bottles of Lucozade, took probably too many painkillers and got through the whole session without keeling over; that said I ran out of steam when I got home and was asleep within 30 minutes of getting through the front door. Rock'n'Roll eh?
And I've had yesterday and today off sick, during which I've taken my tablets like a good boy and attempted to do as little as possible - but I did watch 'It Might Get Loud' again, and damn good it was too. Mind you I only recognised about half of it- I must have been more out-of-consciousness than in it first time around! Still at last I do believe I'm starting to feel a bit better. Good!