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...

No comments: