Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Eton Rifles

It was the 75th anniversary of the Battle Of Cable Street on Tuesday - given some of their more dubious links there's a peculiar irony about it taking place during the Conservative Party conference don't you think? I somehow doubt that there were any commemorative events being held at the conference... still I did see an item on the London News about it, and The Mirror had quite a big article on it so at least it wasn't completely bypassed by the media. Back in the late 1980s The Price did a few gigs for Cable Street Beat (perhaps best thought of as the musical arm of Anti-Fascist Action) at a time when it seemed that extreme right wing politics were everywhere; at a show at The Electric Ballroom in Camden Town (we weren't playing - I think it was The Men They Couldn't Hang among others?) I met Solly Kaye whose memories of the day itself really were extraordinary and whose speech from the stage redefined the word 'inspirational'. In the meantime the ever-excellent Daily Mash summed up the Tory gathering better than I ever will - many a true word spoken in jest, as they say...

In the meantime 2 great - make that great - guitarists have recently left the building -

I only saw Bert Jansch play once (at a blues festival in Oxford since you ask) but I'll never forget it. I'd heard his name a million times but had not really heard him play - as he hunched over his acoustic guitar playing finger-busting chords whilst singing with a chilling other-worldy voice I realised why the likes of Jimmy Page always name-checked him as one of the all time greats. Along with Davy Graham he defined acoustic guitar playing for many, and he'll be very sadly missed.

I never got to see Marv Tarplin play but I've certainly heard him. And so have you although you might not realise it - his work with Smokey Robinson And The Miracles mark him out as one of the great players and indeed songwriters of what for many was Motown's golden era. That's him on 'Tracks Of My Tears' and 'Going To A Go-Go' for instance, and if that's not proof of his brilliance then I for one don't know what is. Another sad loss.

And away from music Steve Jobs has died, although I'm sure that you're aware of that as it's been in the news rather more than the above two stories. As I sit here typing on my MacBook I feel that even I owe him something, although I'm not really sure what. I'll have a think about that and let you know if I come up with an answer!

The Chicago Blues Brothers returned to The Theatre Royal in Windsor this weekend for 3-shows-in-2-days - previous visits have been for longer which I guess is indicative of how quiet things are for the band these days compared to the last few years. Still they were 3 good shows with Friday evening probably just edging Saturday evening in the 'best of the bunch' stakes; the Saturday matinee (hey, that rhymes!) was a bit odd to say the least, with only a hundred or so people in the audience and although we still gave a good show it was difficult to 'get going', if you know what I mean. Ben was depping for Dave on trumpet on Saturday (it was the A-Team all round apart from that) and he did a wonderful job, particularly on 'Minnie The Moocher'. Around halfway through the second Saturday show Squirrel and myself both realised that the black dots that were appearing on the stage were sweat that was dripping from Matt - that man's energy never ceases to amaze. After Friday's show Mike, Matt and myself decided to go for a drink - sometime after 2 a.m. we left The Old Ticket Hall in a rather more confused state than the one we had arrived in. Maybe that's why we decided to walk though Eton to the Slough Travelodge where we were staying rather than get a cab? Maybe that's why the matinee show was a little odd? Maybe that's why the last section of this posting is somewhat disjointed?

Well, maybe.

1 comment:

Snaggletooth said...

Worryingly, you could transplant the economic policy from the Socialist Web article to today and no one would notice the difference!