Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Things can only get better

This posting is several days late - read on to discover why...

It feels like ages since The Chicago Blues Brothers last theatre show - probably because it is ages since the last Chicago Blues Brothers show! - and sadly circumstances mean that there's not likely to be any more in the foreseeable future. However before I get too maudlin let's say that it was a fine night on Friday at The Courtyard Theatre in Hereford, although the day itself was not without incident. I received a text message from Tracy the night before checking what time she was due round the next day (her and dep saxman Bob were coming round to us where Pete and co. were going to pick us up in the minibus) and to say that she wasn't too well and would see how she felt the next day - sad to say she was too unwell to play the show which meant that Pete made an unscheduled appearance on backing vocals. Overall the show was a thoroughly enjoyable affair with the near sellout crowd up for it more-or-less from the first notes of 'Peter Gunn' and the band rising to the occasion accordingly. Well, all the band except me because I played terribly. I'm not sure why - maybe it was an off night or something, but I made a bad error early on (the rising riff in 'I Can't Turn You Loose' is played 3 times there Leigh not once!) and followed it up by a shaky solo in 'She Caught The Katy'. Things got a bit better as the show went on but overall I was disappointed with myself. Bah! In the meantime the rest of the band played brilliantly; Bob hadn't played sax with us for something like 4 years but sounded superb, Dave was as great as ever on trumpet, Chris was depping on keyboards for the absent Ian and sounded excellent and the rhythm section of Squirrel and Marc were as solid as they normally are - all good stuff apart from my hamfisted attempts at the guitar. Oh well... it had been a good journey up there - Friday afternoon journeys can be difficult but ours went very smoothly, with one stop for what I believe is these days referred to as a 'comfort break' - I didn't get one because there was a bloke in there for ages and I got bored waiting 'though from what everyone said facilities were a little 'basic' so maybe it was for the best! Somewhere on the A436 a yellow car had gone through a wall - it looked like it had been there for a while (no airbag - looks like they got away with it' said Bob sternly) to the extent that it almost looked like a work of art. When we got to Hereford I sent a text message to Shirley to tell her that we'd arrived safely - she sent me one back to say that a workman in our road had cut through a cable so we now had no Internet, television or landline phone. Bugger! (Now you know why this posting is late - it was fixed yesterday!) Phil had the P.A. up and running ready for us, and soundcheck went well although it's one of the very few times that I've ever asked for the guitar in my monitor to be turned down. Well, it was deafening! No one else could stand in front of it! It was an 8 o'clock show so there was plenty of time for some food, and for me to meet up with my old musical ally Simon who moved down to the area a year or so ago. I've played in several bands with him over the years, and he was in The Barflies who made their one and only appearance at Big Tel's 50th birthday bash a couple of years ago. It was great to see him again.
As previously observed the show was a very good one aside from my poor playing although quite how a mobility scooter ended up being ridden across the stage by Pete at the start of the second set and by the B.B.'s in 'Funky Nassau' is something of a mystery to me... after the show there was time for a quick drink with Simon who said that he thought I sounded like Buddy Guy! I must play 'terribly' again!

Saturday was the busiest day at Balcony Shirts for a while - it always is when you've been up late...the journey home had been enlivened by a stop at the afore-mentioned 'basic' service station - the guy behind the counter wouldn't let us in as it was late so Pete angrily led us all back to the bus! We stopped at the services down the road instead... oh and the yellow car was still there in the wall. Maybe it was supposed to be there?
After finishing at the shop it was home for a quick snooze (I'm old ok?!?) before getting my guitars together for the evening's Upper Cut gig at After Office Hours in Barnet. As Roger the drummer and myself neared the venue Terry the singer called to say that we were to load in at the front of the pub rather than through the back door like we have done every other time - it was a bit dodgy on the double yellow lines but we got the job done, and all agreed that it was a bit less precarious than using the steps around the back. After setting up Terry the bass observed how there were a lot less people there than we've had for our previous shows there - I guess it's the end of the month and the Christmas credit card bills are in?
9.30 and our first song 'Sweet Soul Music' was greeted by the site of people moving away from the stage and the manageress frantically gesturing to us to turn the volume down; a couple of songs later a glass fell off the P.A. speaker column and broke - it shouldn't have been on there, but maybe we were a bit loud! We limped to the end of set without too many other adverse incidents; the second set was much better with a bit of dancing from the (few) people present, and I played a bit better than I had the night before which was something of a relief.

No gigs this week - time to practice then, or watch telly, make a phone call, go on the internet...

1 comment:

Snaggletooth said...

I think I may have observed before that there is no such thing as 'too loud!'