Thursday, September 22, 2011

Double Trouble

A coupe of contrasting gigs for your humble narrator since the last posting :-

Saturday night it was time for The Uppercut to return to The Misty Moon in Bethnal Green. As Roger (drums) and myself pulled up outside we saw the two Terrys (vocals and bass) talking to a young man in a suit - Terry the bass greeted us with the words 'double booked' which are never good words to hear when you arrive at a venue. It turned out the young man was Ian March and it was indeed his name on the poster on the pillar which presumably holds the pub up; a quick conversation between Terry the voice and Gerry the guv'nor ended with the news that both acts could play 'on full money'. Oo-er! Oh well - this should be an interesting evening...
We set up in the alcove as we normally do then Ian set up his P.A. and MiniDisc player in front of our gear. The pub has a 1.30 a.m. licence so it was decided that Ian would do 45 minutes from 10 o'clock then we'd go on for the same length of time; he'd then do another set with us finishing the evening. As we got ourselves some drinks we noticed that there was a poster advertising future gigs - we're due back there on October 15th but, you've guessed it, it wasn't our name on the poster, it was Nataya... Terry came back from another conversation with Gerry saying 'he's not got his laptop with him, I've got to call him Monday'. Hmm... by now Ian had started - there are a few likely lads who look and indeed behave as though they've been drinking all day, dancing comically in front of Ian as he forces a weak smile in their general direction. His Buble - inspired act goes down well enough with the barflies although he looks as though he'd be happy to be virtually anywhere else in the World.
We start our first set with '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay' to general indifference - we sound good but somehow different to the other times that we've played there. I'm wondering if it's because I'm using my spare amp (a Fender Blues Deluxe) as Roger the amplifier repair man hasn't been able to look at my main amp yet, but it's the overall sound that's changed... eventually we realise why - there's a curtain around the alcove that wasn't there before (presumably to keep the sound in the building rather than it escaping and annoying the neighbours) and it's deadened the sound considerably, with Roger being particularly bemused by the 'new' drum sound. Still we're playing well although no one seems to be interested in our antics. Nights like this can be very hard work, although sometimes they improve for no apparent reason - sadly this wasn't to be one of those nights, and I reach the end of the show without breaking sweat. I don't like it when that happens, it feels like I've not tried as hard as I can and that's a bad feeling to have. Still, I guess you can't win 'em all.

Last night's show on the other hand couldn't have been more different, when the Chicago Blues Brothers visited The Queens Theatre in Hornchurch. A nearly-sold-out crowd saw a nearly-the-A-team band (Matt and Mike as Jake and Elwood, Squirrel and Marc on bass and drums, Tracy on vocals, Ian on keyboards and Dave on vocals with Ian depping on sax for Richard being the only interloper) deliver an energetic show which definitely made me sweat. That's more like it! And if that wasn't good enough I noticed when I walked along the High Street that the Hogshead pub was advertising ROCK 'N' ROLL BINGO - you can imagine the caller can't you? Well I can - U2, Alabama 3, Mega City 4... excellent!

No comments: