It's been a week of two Central London clubs with numbers in their names. Hopefully one of them will still be there this time next year...
The first Resolution Festival took place at The 100 Club last week - I say 'first' because it looks as though this one was such a success that there will be another one next year, which can only be good news if you think about it. I attended all 5 nights (I now have no money whatsoever!) and can indeed confirm that it really was a great event, with The Anti Nowhere League, 999, Ed Tudor-Pole, The Lurkers, Louise Distras, The U.K. Subs and Chris Spedding all delivering excellent sets and the Ruts D.C. night with The Duel being everything that we had hoped for and more. Audience numbers were good especially considering the time of year, and overall the event really was a wonderful thing to be part of.
Our gig on Thursday night began with a 5 o'clock soundcheck after which we all dispersed into the West End for food and to meet up with assorted friends and faces - I arrived at The Ship in Wardour Street to be confronted by Rat Scabies and various other luminaries, all of whom had clearly been there for quite some time (!) and who were unaware that we were playing just a few hundred yards down the road. Much jollity ensued when Dave and Segs arrived, and Rat made it along to our gig where I believe he was involved in a altercation which resulted in him being obliged to leave before the end. Oo-er!
I got back to The 100 Club to find The Duel sounding good and the place filling up nicely - by the time we went on at 9.30 it was pretty much full. Our set was notable for including the first electric performance of 'Secondhand Child', a new song that we played as part of our acoustic set at The Rebellion Festival last year and which will hopefully form part of an album that we're planning to record this year. Things began well and got better, and despite demands for a second encore being thwarted by an 11 o'clock live music curfew we all agreed that this was a great start to 2015. Onwards and upwards as the old saying goes.
Oddly enough I had another encounter with a rat on the way home, when I got off the train to be confronted by a particularly grim-looking rodent on the path out of the station. We eyed each other up (I'd like to think!) for what seemed like ages but was actually probably only a couple of seconds before my four-legged acquaintance skulked off into the nearby bushes. It was raining, and as I commenced my weary walk home I remember thinking something like 'I felt like a guitar hero two hours ago, now I'm stumbling home in the rain with only a rat for company - shouldn't I be in the back of a limousine snorting cocaine off a page 3 girl's arse with a £50 note?'
It's a funny old life sometimes isn't it?
Meanwhile Sunday saw an all-day event to mark the end of The 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street. After much speculation and despite a high profile petition corporate greed has won and the area is being redeveloped, which is likely to see an end to what has been a World-renowned focus for musical instrument shops, recording studios and the British music industry in general. As faceless Government goons - rats of another kind - line up to spout vacuous drivel about how they're 'ensuring the preservation of the rich tradition and heritage of the area' yet another piece of history is stolen from us in the name of 'progress'. Perhaps they'd like to explain how they intend to do that by pulling the bloody place down and turning it into a theme park?!? The bastards. Still this really was a day to remember, with people queueing around the block to get in and countless bands turning up for a chance to squeeze onto that strange little stage just one more time. Highlights were many and varied (The Fallen Leaves blistering set was probably the winner for me, but only just) and The London Sewage Company played 4 songs early in proceedings. I thought this would be my last appearance at the club, but I joined Sarah Pink there last night to finish her set with 'Teenage Kicks'. And with that I bade farewell to The 12 Bar Club - so hard to beat, as somebody once sang.