Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vintage and rare guitars

And it was indeed a very long day. By lunchtime it was becoming all too apparent that I was developing the hangover that I'd up until that point managed to keep at bay with toast and coffee (either that or I was sobering up!) and by talking total gibberish to customers. Somehow I got through the afternoon - just! - and then went home and fell asleep. You knew I'd say that didn't you? But it really was a great night, with The Upper Cut giving a fine show which ended with a worrying amount of young people dancing wildly and quite a few drinks being drunk. Several kind souls bought me cards and presents, Mad Jock and his mates Brian and George came down all the way from Glasgow for the occasion (really!) and, well, quite a few drinks were drunk. The long-suffering Shirley eventually got East and myself out of the building sometime before 2 a.m. (oh yes!) by which time quite a few more drinks had been drunk. And why not?
The day itself had been relatively quiet (although you may argue that pretty much anything was 'relatively quiet' compared to the evening) with my Dad and brother coming round for the afternoon and your humble narrator showing heroic restraint when it came to alcohol. Given the mayhem that followed this was definitely a good move - I didn't have anything alcoholic to drink before 8.30 in the evening which might seem a bit serious, even (gulp!) sensible but I wanted to be able to play a decent show. Ooh, I am getting old... in the meantime Shirley and her family managed to surprise me - and I mean surprise me! - by getting me a Vintage Lemon Drop electric guitar, which was sitting on the front room table when I stumbled downstairs in the morning. Hmm... that'll be the same guitar that was in the shop a few weeks ago; given the amount of subterfuge that has clearly gone on over the last few weeks I may never believe anything that anybody anywhere ever says to me ever again!

The last gig of my 40s (sounds dramatic doesn't it?!?) was with The Chicago Blues Brothers in Sutton Courtenay near Abingdon, at the same venue / enormous house that we played at last August. As Richard arrived to pick me up around 6 o'clock the news of the death of Amy Winehouse came on the car radio - another casualty, another member of the dreaded 27 Club. Sad. I saw her at 'The Strat Pack' concert where I heard that voice for the first time - the guitar obsessives around me complained that she shouldn't have been there as she wasn't a guitar hero or something, I thought she sounded extraordinary. I wasn't sure if I liked her or not, but she certainly sounded extraordinary. There seems to have been a grim inevitability about her death, which it seems no one around her could do anything to prevent. A great shame.
It was the first CBB show for ages to feature a 3 man horn section - joining Richard on sax is John on trumpet who's not played with us before, and Andy on trombone who last played with us at Leeds Castle back in July 2007 when he distinguished himself by falling over on stage whilst pretending to be galloping around on horseback. Strange but true. Roger returns on keyboards, Tracy's on vocals, Marc and Squirrel are on drums and bass, Pete and Mike are in the hats 'n' glasses and our 90 minute set goes down well with the assembled multitude, quite a few of whom had clearly been enjoying the hospitality of the host to the full. Well the ones dancing in front of and indeed on the stage certainly had been. I seem to remember this happened last time too. Excellent!

Yesterday I had a rehearsal with T.V. Smith for our gig at the Rebellion Festival next weekend, today I'm playing a Blues Brothers show in an Italian Restaurant in Leeds. No, really, I am. This 'being 50' lark is off to a good start...

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