Friday evening saw our first show at The Pizza Express on The King's Road. We'd been told that we could get into the basement venue at 4pm but there was a meeting there until 5 o'clock so I dropped my stuff off and walked back to The Saatchi Gallery. Many years ago I went through a period of visiting art galleries on a fairly regular basis (I think I thought it would do me good!?!) and I enjoyed my time here, although just under an hour was long enough for me, if you know what I mean. (Yes, I know, I sound like a complete heathen. Maybe I am!)
Back at the venue the troops were amassing - Matt and Mike as Jake and Elwood, Squirrel on bass, Chris depping for Ian on keyboards, Steve depping for Marc on drums, Richard on tenor saxophone with Ian joining on baritone saxophone, Steve depping for Dave on trumpet and Tracy on vocals. Considering how little we've been together lately (these shows doubled the number for 2012!) it all went very well; we've played at The Pizza Express in Maidstone on quite a few occasions (that's where this year's other shows have been) which is normally good fun, and this one certainly was too although I for one was interested to see that the often-held theory about London audiences being reserved compared to other parts of the country being for want of a better word, 'proven'. Whereas the Maidstone audience is often up on their feet dancing Friday's crowd sat and watched throughout - they joined in here and there and certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, but you felt as though you were more 'on show' than at the other venue. Well, I certainly did anyway. Still I hopefully don't sound too cynical (ooh imagine that!) when I say that it was a good warm-up for the next day's show.
|It's official - I'm an artist. At last!|
When I arrived around 12.30pm it was already getting very hot. It's often strange to see venues with no people in them, and Hyde Park (or to be more accurate, the part of the park where the shows are held) was no exception. As I walked towards the stage I became aware of the size of the area that we were going to be playing to - it was big. Very big. I've seen The Who here among others. Some bands play places like this all the time. The lucky buggers.
|Our gear set up stage right.|
|The view from the stage|
at the start of our set.
I thought about it for a minute. If I got myself into gear I could be there in an hour or so on the train, or I could stay and watch the rest of the evening's entertainment. So - what do you think I did?
Well it's obvious really isn't it? Three hours after playing to 40,000 people in Hyde Park I was playing to around 1/1000th of that number at a birthday party in a garden in Buckinghamshire with Al and Bob. Strange but true. Oh well - hopefully I'll see Kylie another time.