Another busy few days for your humble narrator - ah well, it's better than sitting around doing nothing isn't it?
Two Upper Cut gigs in two days is always a good thing to be able to report on - Saturday saw the band return to The Kings Arms in Harefield for the first time in quite a while, and we made our first ever appearance at The Horns in Watford on Sunday afternoon. We got together on Thursday evening to run through a few new songs (well they're new to our act, we didn't write any of 'em!) and to brush up on a few oldies - in the event we concentrated more on the new than the old which I for one think is no bad thing. I tend to think that if you're in a cover band then there's no point in not learning new songs - after all we've all seen bands that have had basically the same act for years haven't we? Anyway the Saturday show was a raucous affair, with the very drunk man who wanted to play harmonica with us (we eventually let him join in on 'Rock Me Baby' which I must admit he played very well, especially considering his advanced state of alcoholic disrepair - mind we couldn't get him to stop after that!) and the larger lady (she really shouldn't have worn that outfit!) who sat on the P.A. amplifier being among the many 'characters' present; indeed after a while I realised that quite a few people were watching the other audience members antics almost as much as they were watching the band... the Sunday gig was one that I'd been looking forward to for quite some time, and I'm pleased to say that it more than lived up to expectations. The Horns is an absolutely splendid venue, and with Paul the soundman getting everything balanced we played two highly well-received sets to the assembled multitude. Here's one of the new-to-us songs 'I Wish It Would Rain' from the show - see what you think. Hopefully we'll be back there soon.
Having missed the previous Reggae Punk Monday night at The 12 Bar Club due to, er, not feeling too well (it had been a l-o-n-g few days!) I was keen to get along this week, not least because the evening was simply too good to miss. I arrived just in time to catch The Featherz, whose shouty power pop impressed many a Bowie fan (visually at least!) present. Next up were The Duel who rarely fail to impress and certainly didn't here - Chris looks to be settling in well in his new role as guitarist (he was previously on bass) and Tara somehow kept her Clash hat on for the whole set despite the temperature in the room rising all the time. And Alabama 3 frontman Larry Love managed to cram an impressive number of people onto the tiny stage to deliver a brilliant set of 'music littered with last chances, seaside lovers and dreams which have melted like ice cream on the promenade'. Well that's how they describe it on their website, and oddly enough that's pretty much how it sounded! A fine evening - and next Monday features the excellent Bug who supported Ruts D.C. in Preston last year. See you at the bar... and talking of Ruts D.C. we're playing at the 'Fat Tuesday' charity event in Hastings next (you've guessed it!) Tuesday 4th March. Three shows in three different venues in one evening - should be fun! And The Flying Squad play a Gypie Mayo tribute evening alongside The Band Of Sceptics (featuring Pete Sargeant) at Tropic At Ruislip this Sunday - the same line-up will also be playing at The Surrey Blues Club next Friday 7th March. Time I dusted off my Dr. Feelgood riffs then!
There were more than a few Dr. Feelgood riffs on display at The Shepherds Bush Empire last night, when Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey (why on Earth didn't they call the band Dr. Who?!?) played a one-off show together in anticipation of their 'Going Back Home' album due out next month. After playing for around 40 minutes (and it must be said, playing very well!) Wilko sounded almost incredulous as he said the words 'ladies and gentlemen, Roger Daltery' before leading the band into album's title track. What followed was an at times loose but thoroughly enjoyable performance, with Wilko spending much of the gig smiling broadly (that doesn't look right somehow!) and Daltrey joking about having to read the lyrics from crib sheets - he even waved them in the air at one point to prove it! A brilliant evening, not least because I managed to meet the man himself afterwards. Oh yes!