I had a really good day on Wednesday.
I spent much of it with Ruts D.C. at The Music Complex in Deptford rehearsing for our upcoming appearance on Saturday at The Last Jubilee Festival at Bath Racecourse. We put together a one hour set that included some early Ruts material alongside new songs and ranging from punk classics to dub workouts, and even though I say so myself, we sounded great. Great. We were all looking forward to Saturday with an almost manic enthusiasm. That's a wonderful feeling to have at the end of a rehearsal. That's a wonderful feeling to have full stop.
The next few days were looking good - Cool Britannia gigs at Leamington Spa and Stevenage on Thursday and Friday followed by the Ruts D.C. show on Saturday. If you're going to have a job then that's not a bad job to have. As I left the studio I was tired (we'd also been in there Monday and Tuesday and it's a long way to Deptford!) but also elated - I'm playing in the band that I used to watch all those years ago, playing those wonderful Paul Fox guitar parts alongside new music that I'm contributing to. Who'd have predicted that?
And the day wasn't over yet. Wilko Johnson was playing a free show at Rough Trade East to launch his new book 'Looking Back At Me'; on the phone to the long-suffering Shirley I debated whether or not I should go along. Money is tight and it's been a long few days. Her view was simple - it'll be a great gig so go along, get yourself the book, stop worrying. Ok Shirl, I will... she was right as usual, it was a great gig, preceded by an introduction by co-author Zoe Howe (her husband Dylan drums in Wilko's band, alongside the inimitable Norman Watt-Roy on bass) and a very funny talk from the man himself. The band played a short set before they signed books, posed for photographs and generally made a lot of people very happy. It was a fine thing to see - after many years of slogging around Wilko seems to finally be getting through to a larger audience. There were many more people there than at the 'Oil City Confidential' launch show the year before last, and judging by the number of people that I saw singing along there's been a lot of catching up going on. As I left the shop I felt hungry, tired and for want of a better word, elated. I'd spent the day playing with Ruts D.C. and the evening watching Wilko Johnson. How much better does a day in my little world get? Excellent.
I had a really bad day on Thursday.
In the morning I received an email telling me that most of the Cool Britannia shows had been cancelled, including the two due to happen this week. Later in the day I was told that The Last Jubilee Festival wasn't happening either. Bugger.