Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Humble pie

Well well well - 2 high ranking police officers resign, the scary woman with the red hair is arrested then appears alongside the senior and junior Murdochs in front of a commons select committee, the 'whistleblower' is found dead - can all this really be happening? As previously mentioned here I doubt that this will bring the whole Murdoch empire down but these are certainly extraordinary times. I watched a bit of the hearing - it seems that nobody knows anything about anything. I had a feeling that might be the case. And as for the 'comedian' that couldn't even manage to put a custard pie in the right place - you would have thought a clown could have managed that? Anyway well done Johnnie Marbles, you've just given all the right wing toadies in the media a chance to write pages and pages of sympathy along the lines of 'brave and humble 80 year old is protected by his loyal wife in the face of a senseless guerrilla attack by previously unknown and unfunny alleged comedian'. I bet they're writing that while I'm writing this. But here's a thought - these days it's practically impossible to take a tin of shaving foam onto an aircraft, so how on Earth did he manage to get some into somewhere with a name like Portcullis House?

Meanwhile back in the real world it was sad to hear of the death of former Motorhead guitarist Wurzel earlier this month. I spoke to him briefly at the Paul Fox benefit gig back in July 2007 (can that really be 4 years ago?!?) and he seemed to be a really nice chap - and anybody who played on a track as great as 'Killed By Death' is alright as far as I'm concerned.

It was a cracking evening on Friday when The Flying Squad supported The Small Fakers at the Tropic At Ruislip. For reasons best known only to the little pixies that live in the madder parts of my mind I decided to wear a suit, t-shirt and hat for the gig; the same little pixies also told me that it was a good idea not to take the hat or suit jacket off during the show (don't worry, I'd have kept my t-shirt on - the little pixies aren't that mad!) meaning that I was the hottest on stage that I can remember being for some time. With Phil the usual soundman (presumably) busy elsewhere Mick the surrogate soundman insisted on my guitar being quieter on stage than usual (I learned a long time ago that the last thing you do at a gig is get in the soundman's bad books so I didn't argue the point; with hindsight I think I should have asked to play louder as I was only on 2 out of 10, and valve amps sound better when they're turned up, honest!) but I guess there's no point in worrying about that now is there? It wasn't easy for me to hear what I was playing which could have accounted for some of the more, shall we say, experimental moments of my performance (along with the sweat in my eyes) but again there's no point in worrying about that now. Overall we played better than at last month's show with Andy on particularly good form up front, and we went down well enough to get an encore, which is always a moment for a support band to savour. And The Small Fakers were terrific, playing some very - make that very - obscure material next to the expected hits and classics, while their set finisher 'Tin Soldier' (surely one of the greatest pop songs of all time) had grown men fighting back tears such was it's excellence. The Small Faces were a fabulous band, and the Fakers made the job of playing their music look easy. Great stuff, and it was wonderful to see so many people at the gig, a testament to the Tropic team's dedication to live music.

The Rikardo Brothers played at The Load Of Hay last night, a little loose here and there (Pete couldn't make Tuesday's rehearsal) but still sounding good to me. We sounded good to the people I spoke to afterwards too - it's interesting to play songs more usually heard performed by much bigger bands with a relatively simple vocals-and-two-guitars line-up. Some songs inevitably work better than others, and it's definitely a case of 'less is more' on most occasions. We're starting to get offered a few gigs here and there, and all three of us enjoy playing together so there will hopefully be quite a bit more to come from The Rikardo Brothers in the future - even if I'm still not sure about the name...

I'm playing again at The Load Of Hay this Sunday evening with The Upper Cut. It's my 50th birthday. Now there's a sentence that I'd never thought that I'd write... if you're in the area then please drop in - it should be fun. Well, I intend to have a good time anyway!

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