Monday, October 25, 2010

More is more

This is my 400th blog posting!

As befits something as self-indulgent (and indeed self-obsessive) as the unprompted writing of a seemingly limitless series of missives about yourself (ME ME ME IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!) I thought this would be a good moment to include this page from 'Vive La Rock!', the first issue of which also includes articles on the likes of The Ruts, Motorhead and The Ramones among others, as well as this rather splendid revue of T.V. Smith at The Load of Hay. It's all good stuff, but given this excerpt it's fairly obvious that I would say that...

Let's set the controls for number 500 shall we?

And if you're anywhere near Windsor Street in Uxbridge this Saturday 30th October then why not set your controls for a visit to the Balcony Shirts shop, which opened exactly one year ago - there might well be a bargain or two to be had, and there's a fair chance of some live music from various members of staff. Acoustic guitar in a t-shirt shop? Anything's possible...

More sad news - Ari Up from The Slits has died. I well remember the outrage that they caused, four (un)typical girls daring to call themselves musicians in the face of the 'they-can-hardly-play' / 'they're-awful-even-for-women' opposition from the grown up's who preferred to listen to 'real' music. I saw about half their set at The Lyceum in late 1978 when they were supporting The Clash, when their defiant, dub-powered mischief-making was both embraced and rejected in more-or-less equal measures by the Clash-hungry hoards - when I said to my school friends that I'd seen them and they were nowhere near as bad as most of them thought that they were most of them were horrified. I just decided that they'd grown up already... I bet they didn't like Norman Wisdom either, but I remember laughing at his onscreen antics when I was a lad. Another mischief maker, and he's gone now too. Shame.

And it was a shame that there weren't more people in The Directors Arms in Borehamwood on Saturday when The Upper Cut gave an energetic show to a handful of diehards including 2 lads who alternated between dancing wildly (and occasionally just a little bit too close to the band) and playing pinball (yes, one of them did ask for the song!) while most of the audience sat at the bar listening. It can be somewhat soul-destroying to play to an almost empty room, but I thought we didn't let it get us down and as a result played a lot better than we might have under the circumstances. Paul the guv'nor was philosophical, saying that he was trying live music and would 'see how it goes from now until Christmas' as well as promising us a return date if he continues booking bands - he used to run The Heath Tavern in Hillingdon back in the dim and distant past (Terry, Roger and myself played there a few times when we were in The Informers back in the 1990's 'though he wasn't running it then) and seemed like a nice chap so let's hope it works out for him.

And it was shame that there weren't a few more people at The Load of Hay last night, where Zarbo's spirited performance went down well with the dozen or so people watching. They're a difficult act to categorise (never a bad thing methinks - check the 'movies' section of their website to see what I mean) but Andy and Paul play everything live (i.e. no backing tracks) and produce an implausible amount of sound for 2 people. It's all original material too, (apart from a version of 'Personal Jesus' and the closing number 'Old Man River') which is a good thing to see. Talking to them afterwards they seem quite self-critical about their act - neither feels as though they've really 'got going' yet - so it'll be interesting to see where they take it from here.

The Upper Cut will be taking it to The Dolphin in Uxbridge this coming Friday evening - that should ensure a bleary shop Saturday for your humble narrator - and I found out today that Dave Sharp is playing in the ''80's Rocked' show that I mentioned in the last posting and that I'd have been playing in if I'd been able to learn the songs in time. I'd love to - no make that love to - have been playing alongside him. If you can make it along to our gig it'd be good to see you - I could do with something to cheer me up...

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