Monday, January 27, 2014

'We're off to see the wizard...'

There's not been much blogging time over the last few days, and I'm tired so I'm going to bed soon. Poor little me... anyway, apologies if this all seems a bit garbled :-

Last Tuesday and Wednesday I joined Dave Ruffy and Segs at Jamm in Brixton for a couple of days of studio sessions - no playing or recording this time as we were going through some old material as well as listening to a show recorded in Bremen last year. I'm pleased to say that the live stuff sounded great, so much so that we're hoping to put it out as a live album later this year. And the old material was just fantastic - we've had lots of requests for a re-issue of 'Rhythm Collision Volume 1' which has been unavailable on CD for many years, and this seems like a good time for it re-appear. We also went through some BBC recordings made by The Ruts and Ruts D.C. in the late '70s and early '80s - I remember recording some of the sessions on cassette from The John Peel Show back in the day, and it really was fantastic to hear them again. There were also a fair few things that I'd not heard before, including a Ruts Kid Jensen session and a Ruts D.C. session for The Richard Skinner Show. Great stuff! The older material was all being remastered while the live recording from last year was being mixed - and at this point I must say that Greg the studio engineer was absolutely incredible; they call him 'Wizard', and it's not difficult to see why... and it was good to see Rob and Jake from The Alabama 3 who were there working in the other studio and who I'd not seen for quite a while. A very good couple of days work.

Talking of work (or what I rather euphemistically call work anyway! Mind you I've been in the shop in between all this music lark so no wonder I'm tired...) I had three gigs in three days over the weekend. With my good mate Pete depping for me with Big Al Reed and the Blistering Buicks somewhere in Harrow I found myself at Nettlebed Village Hall for a gig with The Repertoire Dogs. Their usual guitarist is Mick Ralphs (yes, that Mick Ralphs!) who wasn't playing the show but who I was told might be along to collect the money on the door. Sadly he didn't make it to the gig, a shame as I'd like to have met him if only to discover why I was playing instead of him... I played the same venue with the band back in July last year - that was a good night, but this one was even better with a bigger crowd and plenty of dancing and merriment. After the show a chap came up to me and asked if I still saw Richard Cole - he was somewhat disappointed when I explained who I was...

Saturday saw BAR and The BBs (ooh that's much easier to type!) return to The Chippenham in Maida Hill (where it was Christine's 50th birthday party) while on Sunday we made a 5pm appearance in Colnbrook at Ye Olde George Inn (didn't I play there last weekend?!?) Two great and very enjoyable shows - if ever there was a band that's getting better and better it's this one, and Al's already got 40-something gigs booked for this year with more coming in all the time. Excellent!

Right - time for some Ruts D.C. rehearsals. Acoustic tomorrow, electric on Thursday, the shop in between, busy busy busy...

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