Wednesday, August 24, 2011

96 Tears

In these days of evil presidente there isn't much good news to be had, so it's great to be able to report that the Hillsborough Online Petition has reached the required 100,000 signatures to call for the release of Government papers pertaining to the 1989 disaster. Let's hope this brings justice for the 96 a bit closer.

Two great songwriters have sadly left the building since the last posting - Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford both contributed immeasurably to popular music, Leiber with Mike Stoller (with whom he worked for the best part of 60 years) and Ashford with his wife Valerie Simpson. Leiber and Stoller wrote any number of classic songs for the likes of Elvis Presley and The Drifters in the '50s and 60s as well as 'Stuck In The Middle With You' (I didn't know they wrote that!) and 'Pearl's A Singer' (or that!) in the 70s. Ashford and Simpson wrote countless Motown hits for other artists as well as having several in their own name. If they'd only written 'Hound Dog' and 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' they'd be two of the best songwriting teams of all time. Two very sad losses to the music world.

The Chicago Blues Brothers journeyed to Maidstone on Saturday evening for our first show at The Pizza Express since last New Year's Eve. With Squirrel away Pete made a rare appearance on bass, Martin makes his debut with us on sax and returning for the first time in ages it's T. Rextasy drummer John Skelton, who was the drummer in the CBB's when I first started playing with them all those years ago. Chris is on keyboards, Dave on trumpet and Matt and Mike are Jake and Elwood for a show that featured '634-5789' for the first time in a very long while. It also saw Dave play the trumpet solo in 'Minnie The Moocher' from up on the balcony, and your humble narrator cutting his hand on his guitar at the end of the solo in 'Sweet Home Chicago'. Well. Matt was egging me on, and I thought I'd be fun to try a bit of a windmill... I never learn do I? Nevertheless it was a good show overall, and it sounded like it was a good show next door at Earls judging by the songs I heard Vince Vortex play - 'Seventeen', 'I Fought The Law', 'New Rose', '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais'... time I formed a punk covers band methinks!

In the meantime there are two potentially excellent shows on the horizon this weekend - The Uppercut return to The Dolphin in Uxbridge on Friday, and I'm depping in The Duplicates at The Pelton Arms in Greenwich on Monday. I started this blog on August Bank Holiday Weekend 2006 - hopefully these shows should be two very good ways to celebrate...

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