'Another new year and too much beer and a puke into the sea' - so begins 'Airstrip One' by Attila The Stockbroker, a less-than-cheery (i.e. realistic) look at the way Britain became little more than an American aircraft carrier in the 1980s and in doing so proved George Orwell to have been correct nearly 40 years earlier. It's a song that always seems to come into my mind on New Year's Day - and yet as I sit here typing this nearly 12 hours into 2015 the only part of the line that applies to me are the first three words. Maybe that's not a bad thing?
Last night's Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks gig at The Kings Arms in Harefield was certainly no bad thing either, although it took a while to get going - we played three sets beginning at half past nine and ending just over three hours later, and while our first one was all but ignored by the few people present things had certainly hotted up by the second stage of proceedings, and the third set saw plenty of dancing, singing along and general jollity, which as I say is no bad thing. New Year's Eve tends to be an odd event from a band point of view - it's traditionally seen by many as a night where a musician can earn a bit more than usual and play a suitably raucous show in front of a sea of adoring fans, where as the reality is often closer to it being something that's often almost dreaded as much as anticipated. Me? I like it. No really I do. Why shouldn't I? It's always good to play guitar, and it was definitely good last night.
And it was good to play guitar on Monday night with The London Sewage Company at The 12 Bar Club. With closure looming time is running out for one of the best venues of them all, and even though I say so myself The LSC made the most of what was likely to be their last appearance on the 12 Bar stage with a spirited performance that was enjoyed by all concerned. Despite reoccurring Manflu (I've more-or-less shook it off now - hopefully! - although it appears to have been replaced by toothache. Bugger!) I decided to stay for a drink after the show, and was struck by the number of people taking photos of the bar, the entrance, the stage - I have a feeling that I'm not the only person who will miss The 12 Bar Club when it closes.
So - what's next? Well my first gig of this year is with The Upper Cut at Ye Olde George in Colnbrook this Sunday, after which it's time to set the controls for The 100 Club where Ruts D.C. will be playing a week today as part of The Resolution Festival. Billed as 'A 5 Date Celebration Of Punk In It's Spiritual Home' it certainly looks like it should be an event to remember, and I'm hoping to catch as many of the shows as I can. And talking of punk rock tonight on BBC4 they're showing 'The Clash : New Year's Day '77' which promises some previously unseen footage of The Clash. Not a bad start to 2015...