Coincidences are strange things aren't they? After watching 'Our House' with East and Big Tel (we watched 'Psychoderelict' this week - the plot thickens...) I recieved an offer from The F.B.I. Band to play a Madness tribute set with them in Sunderland this coming weekend. Since the only other time I've played this with them was just over a year ago some fairly serious revision is in order, much of which I've been attempting to do today. Their songs sound simple don't they? Let me assure you - they're not...
On Saturday The Upper Cut played at The Dolphin in Uxbridge at a party to celebrate Horsepower Hairdressing supremo Adam's 40th birthday. I went down to the venue with Adam last Monday evening after a day in the shop - as we sat with our soft drinks explaining to Noel the landlord how we were hoping the evening could go he had the look of a man that couldn't quite believe his luck. Was Adam really going to bring 50 or so of his biker buddies with him? Was he rather than the venue really going to pay the band?
By 9.30 on Saturday it was clear that yes he was and, well, yes he was - the place was well populated and I had an envelope with LEE BAND written on it. As we started with 'Dock Of The Bay' the evening was set to be a memorably excellent one, even if said song was dogged with bursts high-pitched feedback which almost threatened to clear the bar. It transpired that Terry the bass hadn't reset the volume controls from his previous night's gig - once he'd turned it all down a bit we were sounding good, and our first set even saw a bit of dancing from the locals. In addition to Adam's crowd there were a few familiar faces present, some of whom ended up performing with us - versions of 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and 'Sweet Home Chicago' featured Big Al on vocals and Pete from The Cane Toads on guitar (Al's an old mate of Terry the bass who sang in a local band called Midnight for many years, and Pete's depped in The Upper Cut for me and I've depped in The Cane Toads a few times) while 'All Right Now' included Martin on vocals alongside the afore-mentioned Pete (Pete's also in a band called Awaken with Martin - this is getting confusing!) In the meantime we played 'Johnny B. Goode' for Adam who certainly seemed pleased with the way things went, revealing plans for 'something a bit bigger' next year. He's clearly a man who knows how to throw a party so that should be an interesting evening... at the end of the night he wondered if anyone had a car with them as he wouldn't be able to take his present home on his bike - he'd just been given a 'God Save The Queen' print (the infamous 'Swastika Eyes' version) signed by Jamie Reid. Now that's a birthday present! Oh and Noel bought a drink for everyone in the band - looks like his luck was in doesn't it?
I dropped the print off at his shop on Monday morning. I'd grown rather attached to it by then.