Monday, December 10, 2012

'The better it gets, the better it gets...'

It's six years last week since Wiz from The Mega City Four died, and by way of a tribute Louder than War have posted an interview that the band did with the much-missed 'Sounds' magazine from June 1989. I saw them play many times (and indeed The Price played quite a few shows supporting them) and at their best they were one of the most uplifting bands that I've ever seen. I can't pretend to have been Wiz's best mate or anything like that but I did know him quite well around that time, and I last saw him at an Ipanema gig many years later when he'd lost none of his enthusiasm for playing music. You can read the interview here; it's good to see him being remembered by tributes such as this - and we could really do with a band as passionate and exciting as The Mega City Four these days couldn't we?

And Patrick Moore and Huw Lloyd-Langton have both died - both travellers in outer space!

Two good gigs for your humble narrator last weekend :-

My name's on the poster! Yeah!
Friday saw the much-looked-forward-to (by me at least) show at The 12 Bar Club with T.V. Smith. Also on the bill were The Lost Cherrees, Root Awakening featuring Pascal Briggs, Louise Distras, The Crows and Texas Terri, and although I didn't manage to see any of the acts all the way through from what I did see everybody played really well. I saw Dermot from The Charred Hearts for the first time since The Rebellion Festival back in August (he was present when I somehow managed to knock a parasol over in the backstage catering area!) and also bumped into Attila The Stockbroker who was supporting The Men They Couldn't Hang over at The Borderline; by the time we went on at 10.45 pm the place was absolutely packed - it's only small but it's a great place to play, and with Pascal joining us for the last few numbers of our set (these three clips give you a good idea of how it all looked and sounded - that's Pascal in the middle) and us encoring with 'Runaway Train Driver' to an incredible reaction it has to be one of my favourite gigs of 2012. I'd loved to have stayed around afterwards to talk to some people but I had to leave to get the tube home; after I'd missed the last train because I had to go back to the club to get my bag which I'd forgotten due to rushing to get out I of course had time to talk all night... bugger! In the end I got home via two night buses which put a bit of a dampener on things, but let's face it, that's not the worst thing that will ever happen!
Saturday saw The Upper Cut visit The Armoury in Wandsworth for the first time. Sadly Roger was unable to make the show due to illness so Geoff 'Rockschool' Nicholls once again depped on drums, for a show that went well despite a rather low turnout - when we started there were only a handful of people in the building, although it did fill out a bit as the evening went on. Terry the bass introduced me to Pete from The Atlantic Soul Machine - I'm depping with them (Terry plays with them all the time) on Christmas Eve at The Bulls Head in Barnes so it was good to meet him. Geoff played well - actually we all played well - and Paul the landlord said that he'd like us back next year, so it was definitely a good night all round.

And it was definitely a good night all round at The Load Of Hay in Uxbridge on Sunday, when Steve Simpson (ably aided and abetted by his brother Bruce on mandolin and guitar and Bob Pearce on drums) played a superb show. I've not been involved in putting on gigs there for a while - to be honest I got a bit disillusioned with audience apathy - but this event reminded me why I did it in the first place. That said there could have been more people there (lots of folk said they'd come along, few actually did) but those who were there saw three superb musicians playing at the top of their game. A fine evening.

And I have just - just! - returned from rehearsing with The Flying Squad; we're supporting Dr. Feelgood at Tropic At Ruislip this coming Friday 14th December, which really should be a night to remember...

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