Monday, November 28, 2011

The director's cut

I was saddened by the news that Ken Russell has died, aged 84. Always a controversial figure, he turned the already reasonably bonkers story of 'Tommy' into one of the maddest films any of us are ever likely to see; mind you most of his films managed to annoy people in one way or another, but it always seemed to me that said people either wanted to be annoyed, or indeed deserved to be annoyed by them. In these days of mediocrity we are sadly unlikely to see his like again, which is a great shame.

On a lighter note I had an absolutely splendid time on Music Scene Investigation last night - Tom, Ian and Rich were all on good form and I managed to ramble on about all sorts of things for what seemed like ages. If you'd like to see the show then click here but be warned - I've got those big headphones on again, and I still can't hear the bass... I could definitely hear the bass at The Load Of Hay where I managed to catch the last few numbers from Pimp My Jazz who feature Terry from The Uppercut on said instrument - you can always hear him! From what I saw an heard the band sounded tighter and more together than their first show there back in June (which was their debut gig) and it'll be interesting to see where they go from here. It's The Undersound this Sunday 4th, then The Uppercut on December 18th - come on down, as someone once said...

Time for another Ruts D.C. gig supporting The Alabama 3, this one on Saturday at The Academy in Bristol. The Static Jacks started the evening, and from what I saw of them they started it very well indeed; they certainly got the energy level up and got a lot of attention in the rapidly-filling venue. We walked out onto the stage to a fair amount of applause (and at least one shout for 'Babylon's Burning' - we finished the show with it) and played a tighter set than in Manchester, with audience reaction building up to the extent that we probably could have done an encore. It's good when that happens! Both Dave and Segs seemed to be pleased by the way things went for us, which bodes well for this week's shows in Bournemouth and London. And I managed to see most of the Alabama 3's set, and very good it was too.

It was my first Uppercut gig for what feels like ages on Friday, at The Half Moon in Harrow. The gig was originally supposed to feature Awaken who have since broken up in the interim period between booking the gig and now leaving guitarist Pete (who deps for me in The Uppercut when I'm elsewhere) with a gig but no band. Rather splendidly he suggested that we could do the show, which I'm pleased to say that our new friend Hetty (who books the gigs at the venue - she's Ginger Baker's daughter! Really!) thought was a good idea. To repay Pete's generosity in putting us up for the gig we invited him to come along to play a few songs with us, and with this in mind he and I got together on Thursday evening to see what songs would sound good with two guitars rather than one. In no time at all we'd written ten or so songs on a piece of paper - at which point we decided that we'd done enough work and went down the pub. It could all have gone tragically wrong at this point, but it actually went very right indeed (I wouldn't have been writing about it here if it had been terrible!) with Pete ending up playing with us for most of the evening, dep drummer Geoff excelling himself and Hetty offering us three gigs in the new year. As I said earlier, it's good when that happens!

More gigs this week, then it all get worryingly quiet...

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