Sunday, January 15, 2012

His-tory repeating

I was stumbling around first thing on Thursday morning attempting to wake up when an item on Breakfast TV caught my (half open) eye. It seems that some local ladies had led a protest outside a cinema in Chesterfield that was showing 'The Iron Lady' - they were angry at the film's portrayal of Margaret Thatcher as some sort of feminist icon rather than as the inhuman monster that she so obviously is. They had one of the protesters in the studio, along with a film critic - the protester admitted that she hadn't seen the film which unfortunately weakened her argument somewhat, but the item raised some interesting points about the re-writing of history that seems to be happening around the dark days of the '80s. I must say that I haven't seen the film either (mostly because the clips that I have seen show Meryl Streep's performance to be such an uncannily accurate recreation of the harridan herself that I wouldn't be able to watch it without breaking something) but in my not-so-humble opinion the Conservative government of the time all but destroyed this country, and any attempt at recasting the leader of that government as a hero has to be spoken out against. Chesterfield was very badly effected (and indeed continues to be effected) by the closure of the coal mines in the mid-'80s, hence the protest there - it'll be interesting to see if there are any other protests along similar lines anywhere else.

Time for the first Uppercut gig of 2012, and it's at a new venue for us, The Admiral Nelson in Twickenham. It's one of those pubs that seems to reveal a new part of it every time you turn a corner (if you know what I mean) and from our point of view the show was very definitely a game of two halves. We began uneventfully enough with '(Sittin' On) Dock Of The Bay' (we find that it's often a good idea to start with a relatively laid back song, especially at somewhere that we've not played at before) but during 'Under My Thumb' some very strange noises started coming from the P.A. system. And no, I don't mean my backing vocals - more like a high pitched foghorn which we assumed was feedback and which had at least one audience member putting his fingers in his ears. It got so bad that we had to abandon our third song 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' to try to find out what was causing it - by a process of elimination (plugging and unplugging things!) it revealed itself to be coming from my microphone. Bah! We unplugged it, re-started the song and played the rest of our first set without incident to the increasing approval of those present. Good.
In the interval I decided to put some music over the P.A. for a bit of atmosphere - when I plugged my phone into the same channel that my microphone had been in the high-pitched foghorn noise re-appeared. So it wasn't feedback... time for a visit to the repairman then!
The second set went better than the first, helped by the boisterous presence of a bunch of lads who sang along lustily at every opportunity (often into Terry's microphone) and a fair bit of dancing from the locals. We even played a request of 'Johnny B. Goode' as a second encore which we don't normally play but managed to get through without too many problems. A good gig - in the end.

And it was definitely a good gig last night, when The Good Old Boys returned to The General Elliot in Uxbridge for the second time in less than a month. The show before Christmas was enjoyable but this one really was excellent - Nick Simper returned on bass meaning that 'Hush' was back in the set, and the whole band were on top form throughout the show. Alan, Pete and myself have a couple of upcoming gigs for our acoustic trio The Rikardo Brothers which I'm really looking forward to; various rehearsal dates and perspective new songs were discussed before myself and East joined Hud at the bar for a few drinks and a discussion that went on well past my bedtime - details are sketchy but East's declaration of intent to form a band called Ned's Acoustic Dustbin to play a song called 'Kill Your Tunnel Vision' shows that the producers of 'The Iron Lady' may not be alone in rewriting the history of the 1980s...

1 comment:

Snaggletooth said...

I think it was Churchill, responding to a political attack, who said "history will show that I was right - I know this because I will write the history" The Thatcher era shows the devastation that politics is capable of when dogma drives policy rather tan what is right - I'm getting deja vu!