Meanwhile back in the real-ish world I've been working in Balcony Shirts for most of this week, spending a fair bit of time writing copy for the new shirts appearing on the website. Unlike here where I can ramble on for pretty much as long as I like on any subject I like (I bet you'd never have guessed that eh?) I've only got 100-150 words per shirt to play with which makes it quite tricky sometimes, particularly when you consider that for search engine optimisation (no I didn't know what it was either!) I'm obliged to include certain words - have a look at the new shirts on the site and see if you can work out which they are! In the meantime I had a visit in the shop from my mate Dave who's just returned from working in China, and who tells me that when he tried to access these hallowed pages while he was over there he was unable to as they're considered to be 'subversive material'. Have you any idea how happy this makes me? Excellent! (Yeah I know it's probably blogging in general rather than mine in particular that it frowned upon as it can't be regulated - but allow me a moment of glory why don't you?!) I wonder what they'd make of the excellent Monkey Picks blog of 'revues and indulgence' (his term not mine, though I wish I'd thought of it!) which is written by a near relative of one of the Balcony boys - recent posts include a visit to a scary East End shop, a revue of Ginger Baker's autobiography and a 'Your Best Bob Dylan Album Calculator' (click here and have a go! It tells me that mine is 'Highway 61 Revisited' although I nearly ended up with 'Bringing It All Back Home' - it obviously works!) which gives a good cross-section of what Monkey sees and Monkey do's...
Talking of subversive material (of a sort) I finally go round to watching the first two episodes of the (ahem) 're-imagining' of 'The Prisoner', and very ordinary it was too - something that could never be said of the original '60's series. It was so ordinary that I nodded off during the second show - Patrick McGoohan must be spinning in his grave.
'Oil City Confidential' received it's U.K. T.V premiere last week on BBC Four (it's out on DVD in June - hurrah!) although discerning folk like myself who have already seen it would have been more excited by the re-broadcast of a 'Sight and Sound In Concert' that featured The Feelgoods alongside the then up-and-coming Ian Dury and The Blockheads. Mr. Dury had the look of a man who wasn't going to let his moment pass him by whilst although Dr. Feelgood were terrific you got the feeling that they were trying a bit too hard for the cameras - then again it can't have been easy to follow what had gone before... I remember watching it all the time and it was great to see it again after all these years, but I wonder how many more items like this are lying in the vaults, and maybe more to the point how many have sadly been lost forever. Let's hope they re-broadcast the Tom Robinson Band show next!
No gigs this week as observed in the previous posting (although mad as it may sound I nearly ended up playing in Bucharest on Thursday - then again nearly isn't nearly enough is it?) but I did have a rehearsal with the mighty T.V. Smith on Wednesday afternoon - I'm playing three shows up in Yorkshire with him next month (full details on his website) and since one of them is at his annual 'Earthbound' fan convention we're learning quite a few songs that I've not played with him before. It should be fine gathering... and I might not be gigging myself this weekend but I am going to see Iggy And The Stooges - now that's something to look forward to!