Monday, November 24, 2014

Donkey Derby

Another three memorable gigs this weekend, but with nowhere near enough time to write up a detailed account this is about the best that I can do at the moment...

If you had happened to find yourself in The Costa Coffee Shop next to the Kings Cross Premier Inn at around one o'clock on Thursday afternoon then you would have seen the various members of the Ruts D.C. touring party amassing in anticipation of three shows in the Midlands. Before very long we were wending our way to The Donkey in Leicester, a splendid establishment which we first encountered after we'd played a show with The Damned at the nearby Academy almost a year ago. Warren and Zoe run a great venue, and I for one was very pleased when we were booked to play there. Electric River were due to support but sadly they were unable to make it leaving us as the only band on the bill. After soundchecking I met up with my old mate Mac, who I first met the best part of 30 years ago when he used to book The Price at The Square in Harlow and who now plays bass with Roddy Radiation and The Skabilly Rebels. After having a drink in the pub next door (I can't remember the name but they serve really good Indian food!) we returned to the venue which by then was filling up nicely - by showtime the place was packed and we gave a suitably raucous performance to the general approval of all concerned. A great gig.

Talking of The Damned we also played The Assembly in Leamington Spa with them on last year's tour, and we returned there on Friday evening. I don't mind admitting that I was concerned that the venue was too big for us but in the event there was more than enough people there to make the evening work. When we arrived there was a Wishbone Ash setlist on the drum riser, an item which would play an unexpected part in the evening's proceedings, as Segs used it to perform a paper tearing version of 'Human Punk'. Strange but true - and if you don't believe me here is visual evidence... in the meantime band biographer Roland Link came to the show as did Captain Sensible's guitar tech and Abatis Studios supremo Jon Priestly, and we all took photos in Tammy Wynette's old touring caravan which is one of the many unlikely items in the backstage area. A highly enjoyable evening.

And on Saturday night we headlined the 'Skahumbug!' festival at The Hairy Dog in Derby. When we got there Random Hand were about to begin - they played an agreeably noisy and energetic set to the near-full room before we set about setting up; often all-day events in pubs aren't particularly great, especially if you're on near the end as the audience can be somewhat jaded by then - but not in this case, and we went on to play a storming set to the very enthusiastic audience and to bring our three-shows-in-the-Midlands to an excellent end.

I'd hoped to be back in time to play at The Horns in Watford with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks on Sunday afternoon but sadly travel chaos (why oh why does the whole bloody country fall apart when it rains?!?) meant that this wasn't possible - however I did make it along to Tropic At Ruislip in the evening to see Willie Nile. I'd missed him on several previous occasions due to having gigs elsewhere but I'm glad I got along this time as I really enjoyed the show. And with Christmas coming things are getting busy at Balcony Shirts so I'll be in there this week before heading to Manchester and Buckley at the weekend for two more Ruts D.C. shows. More is more...

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