Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish

It was straight back to basics after the euphoria of Thursday night, with a short notice Upper Cut gig at Buckinghamshire Golf Club on Friday evening. We played at Grant's 40th birthday party last March - I received a call a few days ago from him asking if we'd be interested in playing on Friday at a party at the club, and with none of us gigging elsewhere the only possible answer was 'yes'... it turned out to be a most enjoyable evening, as did the next night when Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks played at The King's Arms in Harefield. It's usually a lively night there, and this was no exception with the band playing well and Al on fine form as ever.

The Move have for me always been a criminally underrated band. I can just about remember them from back in the day although I was very young, but in the early '70s Wizzard and The Electric Light Orchestra made regular appearances on 'Top Of The Pops' and both big favourites of mine at the time. When I found that that Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne had both been in The Move I backtracked and (re)discovered such wonderful records as 'Fire Brigade' and 'Blackberry Way' alongside less well-known tracks like 'Kilroy Was Here' and 'Cherry Blossom Clinic'. Great stuff in my not-so-humble opinion, which was why the chance to see them play at Tropic At Ruislip on Sunday evening was definitely one  not to be missed. Support came from Mods And Sods, whose 40-odd minute set of '60s covers warmed the crowd up for the main event; opening with 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' The Move played a fine set that included 'Brontosaurus', 'Flowers In the Rain' and 'California Man' and reminded everyone present how many classic songs they recorded and released and just what a great band they were and indeed are. Original members Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton told some excellent stories and it was a great evening all round, which was only soured a bit for me by a rather odd moment that happened to me during Mods And Sods's set; their guitarist was tuning up (and having a bit of trouble doing so) when a 'friend' of mine (I use the term loosely - it's someone I've encountered here and there over the years and who finds himself at this particular venue on a regular basis) came over and said 'he's got the same approach to tuning as you - non-existent'. Because it was hard to hear him (well there was somebody tuning a guitar in the background!) I asked him to repeat it - when he said it again I realised that I basically had three choices :- 

(a) wallop him
(b) say something suitably rude and / or unpleasant and then wallop him
(c) ignore him and hope that he'd go away

As I decided that I had no real want to be banned from the venue for causing a punch up (after all, he might have hit me back! And on a more serious note, I also didn't want to risk injuring my hands...) I, for better or worse. went for (c) although typing this now at least part of me wishes that I'd gone for (a) or indeed (b). Ah well - there's always next time... but I've had a few odd comments lately, mostly sneaky putdowns (this isn't the first reference to me not being able to tune my guitar, for example) from people who really should know better. They wouldn't be jealous of little old me now would they? After all next Friday while my 'friend' will no doubt be all but suffocating in his own cynicism in Ruislip I'll be gigging in front of several thousand people with Ruts D.C. in Serbia... and as I came off stage at The 12 Bar Club last night after joining Segs to play 'Babylon's Burning' with The Duel at the last of the FFRUK Reggae Punk Monday nights and went back to talking to the very nice young lady that I'd just met at the bar I wondered how much better things might have gone for me if I'd learned how to tune up... 

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