Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Another blog posting, another death to report - this is getting depressing! However I can't let Reg King of mod legends The Action leave the building without a show of respect in these hallowed pages. I've just played the 'Action Packed' compilation CD and can only join the likes of Monkey Picks in lauding him as one of, if not the greatest, British soul singers. If you're not familiar with him or the band then (a) shame on you from a great height, and (b) have a listen to 'I'll Keep On Holding On' and 'Since I Lost My Baby' and see what you think - you are very unlikely to be disappointed. Another very sad loss to the music world.

Friday evening saw an ever-improving Upper Cut play The Dolphin in Uxbridge. We appeared there back in the summer at Horsepower Hairdressing supremo Adam's birthday party, and reaction among the locals was positive enough for Noel the guv'nor to offer us a date in our own right. In an ongoing quest to decide which is the best guitar for me to use in the band I'd opted for my Relic Stratocaster this time (I've been using the SG for most of our gigs although the FMT Telecaster has made a few appearances) which took a bit of getting used to from my point of view, although by the end of the first set it seemed to be making sense so maybe I've found the right one for the band. I've always tried to avoid changing guitars during gigs if possible especially in small pub gigs - there's often no stage which makes any instrument vulnerable to being knocked over by passing punters, so having more than one out increases the risk - and while it's very difficult to find one guitar that'll cover the material that a band like our plays the Strat seems to be the closest one yet. I'll try it at again at next month's Bethnel Green bash and see how it sounds then. In the meantime our 2 sets caused an increasingly good reaction from the assembled audience, and a euphoric Noel offered us a return date next year. Excellent! And once again Pete from Awaken joined us for a couple of numbers - he's playing there with his band on the 26th of next month so maybe I'll get up and do a couple of songs with them that night.

Back in September a commercial to raise funds and awareness for this year's poppy appeal was filmed in Windsor Street in Uxbridge. Some (actually rather scary) soldiers marched up and down the street as your humble narrator and the rest of the Balcony Shirts team (they were filming right outside the shop) joined the locals in forming a mock-Remembrance Day parade. In a moment of amusement / madness Scott and Dave attempted a high-five (I believe that's what the young people call it - and no I didn't join in, not least because I kept doing it wrong!) every time the camera panned across the shop. It's perhaps for the best that none of these gestures are visible in the finished article, which you can see if you click here - the shop in the background as the main character stand on the mini-roundabout looking around. Which reminds me - I must buy a poppy. Well, you should shouldn't you?

As mentioned last time it was the first anniversary of the Balcony shop opening yesterday, and myself and Scott spent the first hour of our day putting up balloons and the rest of it dispensing cake and Cava to the customers and selling an inordinate amount of stock, much of it at reduced prices. We took delivery of a Danelectro Pro earlier in the week - judging by the amount of attention it's been receiving it won't be in the shop too long, and it's great to see the musical equipment side of the shop developing so quickly. And given the success of the day there's a good chance of mince pies in the shop in the run up to Christmas...

No gigs now for 2 weeks. I wish I was doing the '80's Rocked' shows. Actually I wish I was doing any shows. Boo hoo. Then again Shirley and myself are celebrating 6 years together today - yes I know, on Halloween! We've spent the afternoon at The Westfield Shopping Centre, buying all sorts of things that we didn't know that we needed. Ahhh...

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