Tuesday, July 23, 2013

'The heat is rising, the past is calling...'

It's Tuesday teatime and we've had rain, thunder and lightning today, the after effects of which are usually a somewhat lighter atmosphere. Sadly not this time - if anything it's even more oppressive at the moment. This weather is so tiring isn't it? I sat down earlier today and woke up two hours later. Mind you that could be the hay fever, or maybe just be me being very old - after all, it is my birthday tomorrow...

It was my 'birthday gig' (if such a thing exists?) on Friday evening, when me and my buddies in The Upper Cut played two sweaty sets to the assembled throng at The Dolphin in Uxbridge. Our good friend Simon the DJ provided some great sixties sounds, and I was amazed that so many people showed up on such a hot night. It really was great to see everybody including my old mate Leeson O'Keeffe who I hadn't seen for absolutely ages. I played in his band Neck around a decade or so ago, and I have a hazy recollection of singing Irish songs with him into the early hours of Saturday morning. That used to happen a fair bit back then too.

All of this drunken tomfoolery meant that Saturday in Balcony Shirts was suitably bleary - then again, 'don't do the crime if you can't do the time' as the old saying goes... I got home and, you've guessed it, sat down and fell asleep. Hmmm... no time to worry about that now, as it's off to West Drayton for a Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks show. We thought the pub we were playing at was called The Rowan Arms, but when we got there we were told it had changed it's name back to it's original name of The Cat And Fiddle. All very confusing for someone in my (ahem!) fragile condition, as was the first set which I just couldn't get hold of if you know what I mean. However things thankfully improved for the second session (I even cut my hand by 'windmilling and being silly') with much dancing and merriment from the enthusiastic audience and a better performance from your (presumably now fully awake) humble narrator. Good!

I managed to get up in time for a Sunday afternoon Upper Cut show at Ye Olde George in Colnbrook. Our three-set show was supposed to finish at 8 o'clock but ran a bit over time, not least as they decided to hold a meat raffle just we were due to begin our second set. 'They like to get their money's worth here don't they?' said a rather rueful Roger in between sets two and three. He had a point... that said it was a thoroughly enjoyable show, with the band playing well and a lot of great comments from people afterwards. One chap told me that it had been one of the best shows that he'd ever seen - it'd be easy to do a 'you should get out more' gag at times such as that (no really, it would be!) but he'd had a great time, and I for one wasn't going to ruin it for him in any way. It's a simple life sometimes isn't it?

And yesterday it was back in to Balcony Shirts during the day then over to The Three Wishes in Edgware in the evening for their regular Monday jam night. Myself, Pete and Big Al joined Andy and Howard for 'Make Me Smile' and 'Baby Please Don't Go', and the whole thing was great fun from start to finish. Maybe it really is a simple life sometimes eh?

More from The Upper Cut this weekend - we're at Patrick's Bar in Crystal Palace on Friday and The General Eliott in Uxbridge on Saturday, with the latter being a new venue for us and a birthday bash for the afore-mentioned Simon who will also be DJing at the event. More hot nights in prospect then - let's hope I can stay awake in the meantime...

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