Bob Holness has died - shame. Let's face it, we all loved 'Blockbusters' didn't we? And I was particularly fond of his sax solo on 'Baker Street' by Gerry Rafferty - well, I'm particularly fond of the story anyway...
Three excellent birthdays today - Elvis Presley, David Bowie and Stephen Hawking. Not a bad day to be born on then? And talking of Mr. Bowie the 1977 Top Of The Pops stuff on BBC4 was most enjoyable, capturing the flavour of the times well. I remember my mum used to say 'those girls are too thin' whenever Legs & Co. appeared on screen - looking at them now (ahem!) I can (almost!) see what she was getting at!
My first gig of 2012 took place yesterday evening, with The Chicago Blues Brothers at The Pizza Express in Maidstone. We've played here many times before - it always seems an unlikely venue for us, and it always goes better than I for one think that it's going to. I'd been working in Balcony Shirts all day and so didn't arrive until about 6.30, by which time everyone else was set up and ready to rock. It's A-Team band - Marc on drums, Squirrel on bass, Ian on keyboards, Richard on saxophone and Dave on trumpet, with the only dep being Pete in place of Matt as Jake, with Mike as Elwood as always. I set my gear up as quickly as I could and we soundchecked without too many problems - it's always hard to get the volume right, and this time we tried to play as quietly as we could which meant that neither Squirrel or myself were miked up. I'm never sure that this is a good idea as when the place fills up with people the sound changes dramatically but this time it all seemed to work well.
With everything sounding good it's time for pizza (obviously!) and to catch up on what everyone has been doing since we last all saw each other. It's been quiet. Very quiet. No one seems to have been working very much at all. Bah! Still the pizza is good as is the mood - Richard triumphantly brings out a birthday cake for Dave, who thanks him then says that it's not his birthday until March. Richard says that he knew that, but he doesn't know when he'll next see him, and he didn't want to forget it then. Hmmm...!
The show is nearly sold out, and considering that we haven't played together for ages the band play well. Pete forgets a few words and takes a few wrong turns here and there (I can't remember the last time he fronted the band) which lead to a rather peculiar performance from him, but the audience love our efforts, and after the show there are enquiries for booking the band from several people. This is good news, as we have no other gigs booked for this year. None. Not good frankly. First gig of the year, only gig of the year - surely not?