Monday, May 30, 2011

Band of brothers

And the madness continues - we've now had over 15 thousand YouTube hits, and have peaked (so far!) at number 20 in the iTunes country music charts. Amazing, not least because it means that your humble narrator can say that he's played on a top 20 single. Look, there we are above Shania Twain and Taylor Swift; in fact we're the filling in a Taylor Swift sandwich. Now there's a thought... there's going to be a piece about us in the local paper this week, and Thursday morning saw unashamed posing from the entire Balcony Shirts crew when a photographer from said journal came to the shop. His appearance coincided with a visit from Dave the John Hornby Skewes rep who found the whole thing highly amusing - maybe he doesn't visit too many shops who design custom clothing whilst participating in a photo session?

It was a splendid evening on Friday when Tropic At Ruislip hosted a double bill of The Pistols and The Clashed. It was a much punkier bill than the usual Tropic fare, and a successful one with the best part of 200 people attending. Although I've depped in The Pistols I'd never actually seen them play, and they do a fine job in recreating the filth and the fury of Johnny and the boys. Singer Paul distinguished himself by wearing a tweed suit (cue butter gags!) and Colin the guitarist wielded a Steve Jones signature model Les Paul to great effect. Tim and Toby gave the bass and drums their all and although I could personally have done without the 'Great Rock 'n' Swindle' material (they missed out 'Did You No Wrong' but they played 'No One Is Innocent' - bah!) the 'NMTB' material sounded as mighty as ever. The Clashed were enjoyable enough although they were somewhat hampered (visually at least) by having a Mick and Joe mix up i.e. the rhythm guitarist sang like Jones and the lead guitarist sang like Strummer. They also had a bass player who looked about 12 although I think he was a stand-in. Sound wise they were authentic enough to get more than a few audience members bellowing along, and I'm sure I wasn't the only person there who felt the hairs on the back of their neck stand up as '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais' began. And let's face it, any band who does 'Straight To Hell' as an encore can't be all bad can they? I'd probably have enjoyed them more if I hadn't developed hiccups a few songs into their set, a situation which sadly continued for much of the evening and gave me spurious justification for drinking far too much lager; it didn't stop the hiccups and it cost me a fortune!

And it was a good gig last night too - the (ahem) debut 'proper' (as opposed to 'impromptu-get-together-at-a-charity-night') performance of The Rikardo Brothers at The Load of Hay. Following on from our rehearsal on Tuesday Alan (vocals) had put together 2 sets, both of which he largely ignored all evening putting myself and Pete (guitar) on the spot with a few 'do you fancy a go at this one?' moments. Then again nobody in the audience seemed too concerned and overall it was a good first show although we all agreed that in a weird sort of way it's easier to play a unrehearsed gig like we did last time than it is to present a 'serious' show. Maybe there's less pressure if it's all spontaneous? Well, there's a question that could be profitably pondered... maybe I'll ponder it further one day...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We got a hit!

So there we are then - we've had over 12,000 viewings of the Balcony Shirts song for Queens Park Rangers on YouTube and are in the top 30 country music downloads on iTunes as I type this, as well as getting a revue in no lesser publication than The Guardian! We'll be playing it live on the centre spot before for the first home game of next season at this rate!

Your humble narrator wasn't expecting to have any gigs over the weekend just gone, and so was readying himself for another episode of the all-too-sporadic 'Vinyl Rules!' column as I'd have time to transfer some more records over to digital format - however sometime on Wednesday I was asked by the long-suffering Shirley if I would like to contribute to a charity evening that she's involved in at The Battle Of Britain Club in Uxbridge on Friday. 'They're having a 'Britain's Got Talent' theme and Nick the organiser wondered if you'd like to do some solo guitar in the interval, maybe 10 minutes or so?'
What I should of course have said is something like 'I haven't really got time to get anything together at such short notice' - you and I both know I didn't say anything of the sort...

With Voltarol's radio show playing in the background (he played a 'Tommy' medley by Victor Biglione for me as well as mentioning this blog! Thanks Mr. V.!!) I re-strung my acoustic guitar and wondered just what I'd let myself in for. Solo acoustic guitar pieces are generally not very long - well the ones that I can play aren't anyway! - so I'd need five or so to manage the allotted time. Well there's the stuff that I played a Dave's funeral last week, and there's an Ike Isaacs piece called 'Just Funky' that I had a go at ages ago and might be able to remember, and I've been looking at 'Some Summer Day' by John Fahey, and there's that little idea of mine that I've been working on, and I've always fancied a go at 'Bron Yr Aur' by Jimmy Page... that should be enough shouldn't it?
As it turned out it was more than enough. I would estimate that 95% of my audience were young bank employees (Nick is a bank manager) unlikely to be interested in the likes of Isaacs and Fahey (I didn't bother playing either of their pieces - oh well, maybe next time?) even if they hadn't been queuing for their meals. Up until that point in proceedings they'd been entertained by 5 acts in 'Heathrow's Got Talent', although a better description of things might be 'watched some of their workmates make idiots of themselves and watch some others be surprisingly good at singing / dancing / comedy etc'. That said there were a few people listening, and a mention of Mr. Page got a beery cheer from the darkness to my left; I was just about to start said tune when a large gentleman came up to me repeating a car number plate several times in my general direction then demanding that I tell the driver to move it immediately. I referred him to the D.J.... I left the stage to what I thought was total indifference and thinking something along the lines of 'huh - I've been ignored by bigger and better audiences than this lot'; however quite a few people came over to say that they'd enjoyed it, and the long-suffering Shirley (who by now had been given the job of distributing the aforementioned food!) said that plenty of people had been listening. From my point of view I was relieved that I hadn't been as nervous as I'd been at Dave's funeral, and I played quite well although I feel there's still a long way for me to go before I (ahem!) launch my solo career - if indeed I ever do!
After the show Shirley and myself made the short journey to The Gardeners Arms to catch an hour or so of the Ace! club night, and very good it was too. Scott from Balcony Shirts basked in the glory of The Guardian piece, Shirley's brother Trevor introduced us to what felt like everyone in the place (he's a regular there, fairly obviously) and every record that was played was a classic. A good first night for Darren and Simon - let's hope there are many more to come.

In the meantime it's been very busy in the shop - maybe thanks to the song, maybe not? - and there is more acoustic guitar playing on the horizon this week. Following on from our impromptu performance last month I'm teaming up with Alan and Pete from The Good Old Boys for a performance at - you've guessed it! - The Load Of Hay next Sunday. Now officially christened The Rikardo Brothers (don't ask me, I only work here etc) we're rehearsing this evening- not entirely sure sure what material yet, but it should be fun...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eric Clapton spelt my name wrong!

My brother has been working at Shepperton Studios, which as you may know was once owned by The Who and features several sound stages where successful (i.e. those that can afford it) bands rehearse for upcoming gigs and tours. Terry held the door open for a young up and coming Surrey guitarist from one such band the other day; he (maybe that should be He?) was kind enough to sign an old call sheet which Terry had handy. I'm going to the Royal Albert Hall next month to see said guitarist - I'm sure it'll be a good night, I believe he's played there quite a few times before...

Talking of good nights, this Friday sees an event that's well worth supporting, a club night at the somewhat unlikely venue of The Gardeners Arms in Uxbridge - as the poster says, ACE! promises '60's soul ska and beat which is more than enough to tempt your humble narrator through the door. I remember D.J.'s Simon and Darren when they were lads back in the '90's, they've just started the excellent What's On In Uxbridge website which means that at last there is somewhere for bands and venues to tell people that there's something happening locally. Let's hope both the club and the website are successful for them.

Meanwhile the latest Balcony Shirts song has been unleashed onto You Tube - Chris and Scott are both lifelong fans of Queens Park Rangers, and from early on this season decided that if Rangers were promoted to the Premier League they would write a song that included the name of every member of the current first team squad. They've done a fine job, as you can discover if you click here - I'm on lead guitar, which Scott invited me to contribute with the words 'play like Neil Young'. I'm not sure I managed it, although he has since compared my contribution to 'Motorcycle Emptiness' by The Manic Street Preachers. This is high praise in my world (I wouldn't have been telling you that he'd said it if it wasn't!) and I'm not sure that I managed that either, but see what you think. There are also some suitably euphoric t-shirts available that come with a free CD of the song, and the song itself is now available on iTunes. Pretty cool huh?
Chris went to the last game of the season where he met fellow season ticket holder Mick Jones; apparently they play 'London Calling' when he takes his seat at home games. Excellent! Hmm... I wonder if I can get them to play a Price single next time I'm at a Liverpool game?!?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Funeral for a friend

The Uppercut played at The Dolphin in Uxbridge last night. It was a great gig - hot, sweaty and noisy, just like gigs are supposed to be. We went on late as there was football on the television, meaning that we didn't finish until gone midnight; halfway through the second set we all sang 'Happy Birthday' to our drummer Roger (it was also his wedding anniversary!) and there was much dancing and merriment all round. Like I say, it was great. It was also EASY. Easy easy easy. As easy as an easy thing being easy. Well, it certainly felt easy, compared to playing acoustic guitar at Dave Haynes's funeral the day before....

I'd been up since 5.30 a.m., having gone to bed sometime after midnight. I couldn't sleep. Obviously. At pretty much every opportunity over the proceeding few days I'd picked up a guitar and played through some Who riffs, attempting to put them into a medley. I knew from many conversations with Dave what some of his favourites were - 'Pictures Of Lily' always got a mention, as did 'Happy Jack', 'Dogs', 'Substitute', all of them pre - 'Tommy', all of them classics. The more I thought about it, the more songs suggested themselves, after all he loved 'Tattoo', and 'I Can See For Miles' has to be in there - 'I know these' I thought to myself, 'I can do this'... sometime on Wednesday night 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' suddenly made an appearance, as did 'I'm A Boy', making it all too long, too unwieldy, adding to the nerves that I didn't realise that I had. Each time I played the medley it came out in a slightly different way, in a different order - I eventually decided to keep the same tempo throughout rather than vary it from song to song, which helped with the overall flow of things although it still wasn't quite working. Was 'Dogs' the problem? How could I fit 'Tattoo' in without it sounding a bit 'forced'? Should I ditch everything and start again? And then there was 'Waterloo Sunset' - easily one of the greatest pop songs of them all, but how was I going to play it on solo guitar? I changed the key from E to G which let me use some different chord shapes that I felt were more suited to solo performance then, as I'd done with the Who songs, worked out the best way to pick out the melody line among the chords. Eventually I'd done all that I could - time to go to work...

With the service scheduled at midday I arrived at Balcony Shirts at 9 a.m. suited and booted and carrying my trusty acoustic guitar (I'd changed the strings sometime in the previous 24 hours 'though I'm not exactly sure when!) along with a pink heart-shaped foldaway stool. Yes, you read that bit correctly - I'd looked around the house for something that I could take with me to sit on, and with Dave being a big fan of glam rock generally and The New York Dolls in particular it seemed to me to be a appropriate choice. As always is the case when you've got other things on your mind the morning in the shop was a busy one, which maybe wasn't a bad thing as there wasn't time to dwell on what was to come. Sometime around 11 o'clock I got my guitar out of the case, tuned it and played a few chords and scales in an attempt to warm up a a bit before walking around to George Street at 11.30 to meet my Dad who was parked there. With traffic on our side we were at Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip by 11.40 where familiar faces were already amassing. As we walked around the corner to the East Chapel the vicar came over, introduced himself as Ken and then explained that we could get into the chapel when the current service had finished - we'd then have 'a few seconds' to get set up and sorted before the doors would be opened and Dave's friends and family would enter. I became aware of a sudden increase in tension - I don't normally get nervous before playing in public (well I don't think I do!) but this was a very different situation to the kind of thing I'm used to. As we walked into the chapel I saw the previous coffin disappear into the distance as we walked towards it; I set up the stool on the left as you looked at it, with Ken assembling his notes opposite at the pulpit. I played a chord and the reverb went on for what felt like forever - an amazing sound. 'That'll change when there's a few people in' smiled Ken. Well, he should know. Then it was back outside just in time to see Dave arrive, before we all filed into the chapel to the sound of 'All The Young Dudes' by Mott The Hoople. I knew Dave had good taste! I had a chair at the front at right angles to the rest of the congregation, just a yard or two from my guitar - Pete a.k.a. Plug the original Lurkers roadie and one of Dave's oldest friends sat nearest to me, we shook hands as the song finished. 'Play it again' mumbled Plug as silence hung in the air - it came back on just as Dave's journey along the aisle began. I looked across at Esso and his family in the front row on the opposite side of the chapel, he nodded at me with a blank expression which turned to a weak smile just as Dave's coffin obscured him from view. I felt even edgier as the pallbearers stopped a couple of yards in front of me - this wasn't a gig, this was different, bigger, more important. I could feel my heart beating as I loosened my tie and sat down. As the hymn (don't ask me what it was!) was being sung I could feel my neck beating in time with my heart as I mimed the words, all the time trying to keep my fingers moving to stay warmed up. Ken spoke of Dave's humour, his love of music especially the bands of the 1960's, how he attended a Who rehearsal when he was a lad, and then I heard him say my name. It was time.

I sat on the pink stool, picked up my guitar and looked out into the chapel. It was standing room only, and they were all looking at me. Some faces were tearful, others stoic, others for want of a better word intrigued by what was about to occur - I felt the most nervous that I've ever felt in my life. Sitting here typing now I'm actually feeling shaky just thinking about it. I said something awkward like 'here's a selection of Who music for Dave', considered beginning with the intro to 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' but instead started with 'Substitute'; after a verse and chorus it was into 'Happy Jack', a bit more awkward to play and I fumbled the melody line a bit, I'd played it fine so many times so that's really annoying but it's all going ok, it's 'Dogs' next which is probably the hardest one but suddenly I'm playing the chords from 'Tattoo' and I'm the only person who knows that I've now missed two songs out but it doesn't matter because 'I'm A Boy' sounds good as does 'Pictures Of Lily', perhaps I should play 'Dogs' now although that would make it too long, no it's time to end with 'I Can See For Miles', the chorus chord sequence seems to climb up the guitar neck for ever, and I play the last E chord as Esso drums on the bench in front of him. The end. Total silence, then applause. Are they supposed to do that?

I put my guitar down, turned towards Dave's coffin and nodded - I hadn't planned to do that but it seemed appropriate - and then sat down. Ken said something but I've no idea what it was. Then it was serious. Prayers. Curtains. Tears. Poor old Dave.

'And now Leigh will play us out with 'Waterloo Sunset' Oh, it's me again. The melody sounded beautiful, I ran through the verse and chorus a couple of times, then the middle section as people were leaving, then the verse and chorus again, my nerves had gone and so had most of the congregation, I looked up to see Plug still standing a yard or so in front of me listening intently, smiling slightly as I finished playing. Over near the exit the pallbearers seemed to have been listening too. I put my guitar away, folded up the stool and followed Plug outside. I shook hands with Ken, he asked where I play, told me that he has a Stratocaster, he enjoys playing but he can't play like I can. I told that I couldn't do his job. We both laughed. My Dad told him I was playing at The Dolphin the next night and that he should come down. My Dad's like that. I saw Esso just before we left, as we shook hands I thanked him for asking me to play then told him that I'd been the most nervous that I've ever been in my life. He told me that I'd 'made the whole thing' and was I coming for a drink? No, I've got to get back to the shop but I'll see him for a few beers in the next few days. And I will. You should never be lazy with your friends should you? As I left he said that he should get me something for playing, I went to say that I didn't want anything when my Dad interjected - 'you don't have to get him anything, you two have been friends for 30-odd years, you can't give each other anything better than that'. Like I say, my Dad's like that. And like I say, you should never be lazy with your friends. Well you shouldn't - should you?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

'What's the secret of good comedy?' a.k.a. 'The rain in Staines...'

Another weekend, another wedding, this one on Friday night at The Horsted Place Hotel in Uckfield. Tracy's put a band together to play at her friend Lisa's nuptials, and it features some familiar faces from Chicago Blues Brothers gigs - joining her and Matt on vocals are Squirrel and Marc on bass and drums, Chris on keyboards, Ian on saxophone and your humble narrator on the six-string razor. Dave and Big Tel are on P.A. duties, and everyone is present and correct by 6 o'clock to set up and talk through songs for the show. There are 2 requests - Adele's version of Bob Dylan's 'Make You Feel My Love' for the first dance and (gulp!) the Engelbert Humperdinck (ahem!) classic 'The Last Waltz' (something to do with David the bridegroom's football team apparently) to end the evening. Much of our soundcheck is taken up running through these songs as well as 'Son Of A Preacher Man' which we've been meaning to play for ages but have somehow never got around to. With everything sounding good it's time to get some food then get changed for the show - except there's nowhere to get changed and no food... actually that's a bit harsh as we were invited to change in the toilets (it's been a while!) and a small platter of sandwiches appeared for, ooh, several seconds, or at least as long as it takes for 9 people to take a couple each. Oh well. In the meantime Matt spots Tracy's high heels with the words 'are they M&S or S&M?', the bar (which appears to be free for everyone except band members who want to buy an alcoholic drink) is open, and the plan is for our first set to start at 8.45 for 45 minutes; there'll then be a break for a 'surprise' fireworks display with our second set running from 10.30 - 11.30. What actually happens is that we play for around 20 minutes from 9.10, then from 10.45-12.10, and the 2 sets couldn't have been different from each other...
Tracy offers her congratulations to the happy couple who take to the dancefloor as 'Make You Feel My Love' begins. But something's wrong - Chris is playing too quickly, or changing chords at a different time to the rest of us, or something - either way Tracy can't fit the words in, and it sounds terrible. Terrible. It's so bad in fact that she stops the song and apologises and attempts to make light of the situation, talks to Chris, they try to work out what's going wrong.... bizarrely Chris, who is in my not-so-humble opinion a brilliant musician, is playing in 3/4 time rather than 4/4 - somehow we get through the song although I for one never want to hear a recording of our efforts. (Once again lots of people filmed it! Bugger!) From there it's a shaky version of 'Play That Funky Music' before 'Midnight Hour' nearly stalls as half the band start in the wrong key; thankfully 'Superstition' goes some way towards redeeming us before Tracy makes the 'please could you all go outside for a surprise' announcement and we're spared further confusion. Chris looks nearly suicidal but we all tell him it's ok and all forgotten about, he says he's been having trouble with the timing of the song all week and even listened to it on his iPod just before he started playing. I must say that you can sometimes get a 'blind spot' with a song or a part of a song and if that happens it can be really difficult to get through it; you also have to very careful that you don't practice doing it wrong which then makes it very hard to ever get right!
The second set, when it eventually arrives, couldn't have been more different. Squirrel described 'Take Me To The River' as 'Steaming!' as it roared to a conclusion and he wasn't wrong - we sounded like a totally different band than the one that had tightrope-walked it's way through 20 minutes of near-chaos only a couple of hours earlier. Tracy invited a young lad called James who was wearing a pair of training shoes that lit up when he walked to join us on 'Mustang Sally'- he roared 'RIDE SALLY RIDE!' at a speaker-threatening volume then looked very pleased with himself. Meanwhile the dancefloor was full for much of the proceedings and we got compliment after compliment when we finished which given our antics in the first set was a huge relief all round. Well, it certainly was for me. Even 'The Last Waltz' sounded good!

And last night The Uppercut returned to Staines 8 days after our first ever show there - weird! - for a gig at The Town Hall. It looks as though the building has recently been converted into a bar - it's certainly a very impressive structure with a balcony and some of the most ornately-framed mirrors I've ever seen. They're even in the toilets! It's somewhere that could turn out to be a fine venue too, although as we began with 'Dock Of The Bay' we looked out to see about 15 people in a venue that could have easily held over 500. Still we played well (you always do when there's no one there!) taking the opportunity to play a few songs that we'd not performed for a while as well as trying out some newer material. By the interval there were a few more in, but by the time we finished there were 2 - 2! - people watching us. Mind you the bar staff were dancing, which is always a good sign for a re-booking! 'You deserve a crowd' said a burly security man as we finished on the stroke of midnight - so does the venue, although as we loaded our gear out in torrential rain of almost Biblical proportions we realised why no one had wanted to brave the walk across the Town Square. Shame.

Anyway I can't sit here typing all day as there's work to do. I've been asked by Esso to play at his brother Dave's funeral on Thursday; I've got to put together an instrumental medley of riffs from '60's Who singles as well as playing 'Waterloo Sunset' as people are leaving. I've never done anything like this before - no pressure then...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Holiday weekend?

And so it continues to continue - my brother Terry called me just before midnight last night to tell me that Henry Cooper has died. Somewhere there is a photo that I took of my Dad and brother with Mr. Cooper, he seemed to be a nice chap (we'd gone to see him doing a one man show at The Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth and although Dad and Terry had met him other times as well it was the only time that I spoke to him; actually all our family encountered Our 'Enry at some point as my mum met him at Budgens in Uxbridge back in the early '70's when he opened the store!) and judging by what I've read about him on the Internet today he's being well remembered which is good to see.

And Osama Bin Laden is dead as well - but you knew that already didn't you?

I tuned in at the allotted time to hear Voltarol on the radio (or to be pedantic, on my computer) only to be confronted with this track - my first thought was that he'd cracked up completely although I then realised that my clock was a bit fast... in the meantime it's been 3 busy gigs in 3 busy days for your humble narrator:-

The Uppercut made their first appearance at The Anglers Retreat in Staines on Friday night - as we pulled up in the car park Roger remarked that the pub used to be called The Lord Lucan. Interesting! (It's seems that it was actually called The Lucan Arms although locally it was known as The Lord Lucan. He was in the news a fair bit back in the day - whatever happened to him eh?) The two Terrys met us outside with the news that there wasn't much room but 'at least they've moved the sofa'; they'd actually stood it on one end next to the bay window that we were due to play in, it looked splendidly bizarre as did the huge tiger print chair at the other end of said space. I'd hardly got through the door before a young man came over to ask what type of guitar I played; he later spent our first set trying to talk to Terry while he was singing - why oh why do people keep doing that? - then left at half time in search of 'birds'. I doubt that he found any. Electricity came from a cupboard next to the chair via a lethal-looking spaghetti of extention leads, and we'd just about managed to cram ourselves into place when Terry noticed that we'd been billed as a Rod Stewart tribute band on the blackboard behind the bar. Oo-er... in the event we managed to play enough Faces 'n' Rod-related rock to satisfy the people there who had come to hear it, as well as getting through the rest of our act without getting lynched. We're back there in July - the inter-band 'should we play more Rod?' debate has already started...

Saturday it was down to Poole in Dorset for a Blues Brothers show at The Esporta Sports Centre. Originally intended to be an F.B.I. Band show the group personnel eventually became something of a hybrid between our show and theirs, with Marc (drums) Dave (trumpet) Mike (Elwood) and myself from The Chicago Blues Brothers joining Tony (Jake) Ian (sax) Jon (bass) and Jim (regular dep for Richard on keyboards) from The F.B.I.'ers. I travelled down with Jon and Mike for a journey that included spotting an AA breakdown truck with a speedboat on the back and a car with an advert for PSYCHIC FRAN on it's driver door but was otherwise reasonably uneventful; with everyone present and correct we set up in the foyer in front of the fireplace (!) and ran through 'I Can't Turn You Loose' as a somewhat echo-ey soundcheck. After some food (sausage, chips and beans for them, falafel burger for me) we retired to The Dorchester Suite (not as grand as it sounds!) as the guests started to arrive to get ready. It's a 'V.I.P. Event' which seems to be a 'free-to-get-in-if-you're-a-member' evening with food and a live band, there are a fair few in by the time we get to play and the dance floor starts to fill up from the middle of our first set. I thought we were a bit rough to begin with - too many deps maybe? - but by the end we were playing well and there was plenty of dancing and general merriment. A good gig.

I got in sometime around 2 o'clock on Sunday morning - by midday I was meeting Squirrel (C.B.B. bassman) at South Mimms Services on The M25 to journey North to York for a show reminiscent of last July's Sicilians gig. That was a a birthday party, this was at a wedding and both were organised by Matt (Jake in our show) who lives in the area. After a very straightforward 3 hour journey we sat in for an hour in Matt's back yard enjoying the sunshine, discussing tactics and running through songs; his friend and ace drummer Dion arrived (he's currently touring in the 'Jackson Live' show) and we made our way through some spectacular scenery to the venue, The Wood Hall Hotel near Wetherby. As we pulled into the car park a badger wandered out in front of us, completely untroubled by our or indeed anyone else's presence - excellent. It's James and Sarah's wedding and the mood is good - after a (very) quick set-up we got changed in The Scott Room before myself and Matt began our first set with Michael Buble's 'Crazy Love'; We'd been asked to play it although it hadn't really occurred to me that the couple would be having their first dance to it - as I began I realised that not only were half the guests filming it but that the couple had rehearsed a dance routine to it. No pressure then... fortunately it went well (as usual I wouldn't have mentioned it here if it hadn't) and it set the scene for 2 sets of increasingly well-received raucous rocking 'n' rolling, with Matt at his energetic best throughout. Great stuff - we must do it again sometime.