Monday, May 07, 2012

Norwegian would (sorry!)

Oh dear - Boris Johnson has been re-elected as Mayor of London. Not good frankly. I was always a fan of Ken Livingstone for better or for worse, and it's a shame to hear that he won't be standing for office again. I won't do the 'how can any working class person vote Tory?' rant again as it's getting a bit obvious these days, but I fear for the next few years... and if that's not bad enough Chelsea beat Liverpool in the F.A. Cup Final. Bah! Things can only get better... hopefully...

In the meantime I received an email this week from Denis Kamphaug. 'Who he?' I hear you cry. (Actually I don't, but you know what I mean I think.) Well back in the early days of The Price (the mid-1980s in case you were wondering) I played on some recordings for Denis, who became better known in Norway as Denis Decay, singer and songwriter for The Siren Clouds. In the course of his correspondence he sent a link to his band's Norwegian Wikipedia page, which incredibly features my name. Obviously I've got to put a link to it here - what was that I was saying a few posts ago about wallowing in egotism and self-publicity?

Two gigs for The Uppercut this weekend, both of them short notice events. The first was on Saturday at The Kings Arms in Hanwell - The Bolaji Blues Band were due to be playing but couldn't make it, and so Pete (who deps for me when I can't make Uppercut gigs and also plays with The BBB on occasions) suggested our band. Excellent! Judging by our evening there it could turn out to be a good venue for us and indeed bands generally, with John the guv'nor being a very helpful and enthusiastic chap. There's a small stage across a corner of the back room which would have been a bit of a squeeze with all of us on it so myself and the two Terrys stood on the floor in front of it while mine and Terry's amplifiers joined Roger and his drums on the stage. After a couple of songs we got the 'can you turn it down a bit lads?' treatment, but as more people arrived that was soon forgotten. By the end of our second set there was a fair bit of dancing and we were called back for several encores, which almost enough to take my mind off Liverpool losing earlier in the day - although the word 'almost' is very important in this sentence.
After the show a chap came over asking which one of the band played in The Ruts; well even though I didn't, he obviously meant me... he introduced himself as Ian, and when we got chatting we realised that we knew each other from many years ago - he was the bass player in Snatch And The Dead (great name!) who played a few shows with The Price in our early years. It was good to see him again; there have been quite a few reminders of those dim and distant days lately, and none of them have been bad - not from my point of view at least.

I was minding my own business on Monday evening when my phone rang - it was Simon of What's On In Uxbridge and Ace! club fame, he was due to be DJ-ing at the Ska, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll All-Dayer' at The Crown And Treaty in Uxbridge on the coming Sunday and he wondered if The Uppercut would be interested in playing. Of course we would! 
When we arrived Reverend Blow were just starting their second set, they sounded good if a little ramshackle in places although I believe that they're quite a new band so I guess a few more gigs should tighten them up a bit. Their setlist meant that we were obliged to leave a few songs out of our show, although that was the least of our worries as Terry's vocal microphone stopped working during our second song. He changed the batteries (it's a cordless radio mic) but to no avail - fortunately we were able to borrow a replacement (thanks Hughie!) for the remainder of our first set before Terry managed to get his working again in the interval. Things really took off in our second set, and by the time we encored with 'Get Ready' even Dave the guv'nor was dancing. This hopefully bodes well for a return booking! After we'd packed our gear away The Undersound took to the stage - the afore-mentioned Hughie broke a string during 'Long Train Running' but overall it was probably the best that I've seen them play. And it was good to see plenty of people in the pub, which in these days of under-attended gigs was a welcome sight. All in all a very enjoyable couple of evenings.

Right - it's the first Cool Britannia show next weekend, which means it's our last rehearsal this week. I'm looking forward to it, albeit with some trepidation - have we done enough work? We'll all know soon enough...

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