Sunday, July 01, 2012

Television's over

Another gig-less weekend means another chance to watch television - normally I'd be moaning (as usual!) by now but since this week saw the first screening of a new documentary on one of The Who's finest works 'Quadrophenia' I'm nowhere near as miserable as I might normally be. The show in question was 'Quadrophenia: Can You See The Real Me?' and I'm pleased to say that it more than lived up to expectations, with new interviews from Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey alongside archive contributions from John Entwistle and Keith Moon and some astonishing hitherto unseen footage (by me at least) of the band playing at The Belle Vue in Manchester in 1973 among the highlights of an absolutely excellent programme. It was particularly interesting to hear the multi-track recordings of the original album in isolation, with Entwistle's horns shadowing Townshend's guitar part on '5.15' and Daltery's end-of-the-World scream at the end of 'Love Reign O'er Me' both sounding even more incredible than ever. Around half of the album received a song-by-song analysis - one can only hope that there's a longer Director's Cut of the show that looks at the whole album in the same detailed way. Great stuff, as was the previous weekend's 'David Bowie and the Story Of Ziggy Stardust' which as it's name suggests took a look at Bowie's classic album. Once again contemporary interviews with some of the key contributors sat alongside some fine archive footage, with The Spiders From Mars (featuring the mighty Mick Ronson on lead guitar) sounding as great as ever. Maybe staying in watching television isn't so bad after all?

And maybe things are starting to improve a bit generally, as I managed to get out and about with a guitar in my hand this week - albeit for rehearsals rather than shows, but at least this means that there are some gigs on the horizon. Monday evening saw The Flying Squad get together for the first time this year (well, there's no need to rush into things now is there?) as we have a show coming up supporting The Clashed at Tropic At Ruislip at the end of August. As expected there were a few cobwebs to blow away but all things considered the band sounded good, running through songs from previous sets as well as a few new numbers. And on Wednesday I met up with T.V. Smith to discuss tactics for two festival shows that we're playing this summer (more about them in the not-too-distant future) and to look at possible additions to our repertoire. It was good to be working with both acts again, and it was good to get along to the afore-mentioned Ruislip venue on Friday evening to see Who tribute band Who's Who. Heavy hay fever meant that my eyes and ears weren't at their best (I often get earwax problems when I get a cold or hay fever, and this was one of those times; itchy eyes are of course a more general symptom of the condition) so maybe my thoughts that the band took a bit of time to get going sound-wise are due to me not hearing properly rather than their performance - either way the audience seemed somewhat subdued for the first part of their 2 hour show, although by the end things were suitably raucous all round. An enjoyable evening.

I've got a gig next weekend. Time to play the guitar rather than watching other people playing it on stage or on television. Good.

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