Sunday, September 15, 2013

Clash city rockers

'Wild punk rockers smash up theatre'
- now that's a headline!
Now here's a sight that's absolutely guaranteed to have sad men like me blubbing like a girly in seconds - yes it's three electric guitars, but not any old three electric guitars. Oh no. On the left a 1959 Les Paul Junior owned by Mick Jones, in the middle Joe Strummer's iconic 'Ignore Alien Orders' Telecaster (click here for the story of the instrument) and on the right Paul Simonon's Fender bass, all of which are currently to be found in The Clash pop-up shop at 75 Berwick Street. The exhibition marks the release on the 'Sound System' box set which contains pretty much everything that the band released during it's lifetime as well as outtakes, unreleased songs and video material; also on display are record covers, handwritten setlists, the famous 'London Calling' smashed bass (I would have taken a picture but I couldn't get near it!) and lots more besides. It's only there until next Sunday and it's well worth a visit. Mind you, I would say that wouldn't I? And I wonder what happened to Topper Headon's drumkit? 

Well it's Sunday evening and I'm already home from gigging - this has been happening a fair bit lately but I'm still not used to it! But it was a cracking gig this, er, afternoon at The Horns in Watford where I was depping in The Good Old Boys. With Hud away elsewhere Chris Hunt stepped in on drums - I played a few shows with him many years ago with Dave Finnegan's Commitments, and although I've send him play occasionally since then I'd all but forgotten what an incredibly powerful drummer he is. Teaming him with bass hero Nick Simper made for an absolutely extraordinary rhythm section, and with band stalwarts Alan Barratt on vocals and Pete Parks on guitar on top form throughout it was a thoroughly enjoyable show to be part of. It's good when that happens - and it was a good show on Saturday night too when Big Al Reed and the Blistering Buicks made a return visit to The Admiral Nelson in Twickenham. My good friend Pete has been depping for the band while I've been away with Ruts D.C. - he joined us for a few numbers at this show and sounded as though he'd really got hold of the material, as indeed did the rest of the band which is going from strength to strength. There are plenty of gigs coming in too - I wonder how many I'll play and how many I'll be asking Pete to do?
The answer to that question depends largely on what happens next with Ruts D.C. - and on the evidence of Friday's show at Sub89 in Reading that could well turn out to be a fascinating question. First things first though - what an absolutely superb venue Sub 89 is, with a good sized stage, great sound system and very helpful staff. Everything ran smoothly from the word go, the band played a hour-and-a-bit long set to an increasingly appreciative audience, and talking to people afterwards everyone seemed to think that we'd given a great show. And without wishing to sound too big headed - we had! You know when you play a good one, and this was definitely a good one  - our driver Marc hadn't seen us for a few months and told me that he was amazed at how the band had progressed in the interim period. We're off to Germany for 4 shows this week then up to Scotland next weekend before we start looking forward to the Damned tour in November and December, and with things already being planned for next year the future for the band is looking very interesting indeed. Well, let's hope so anyway.

In the meantime I'm off to bed - it's bloomin' tiring this gigging lark you know, even when you are home early...

Stop press! On Monday the always-worth-a-read Retro Man blog published a review of our Reading show which you can find here - and as I say, the rest of the blog is well worth checking out too.

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