Sunday, February 08, 2015

'Oooh look, it's that DJ bloke...'

I have just - just! - returned from rehearsing with Department S. Having depped with them back in December at The 229 Club supporting The Members I'm pleased to say that I've been asked to play a show with them this coming Saturday at Electrowerkz in Islington. We're supporting Spizzenergi with Jonestown on first - I first met them around 30 years ago! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun eh?

The mighty Mighty Mustang
Talking of time flying, my mum died 14 years ago yesterday. I don't mind saying that it seems like only yesterday. I wasn't playing many live shows at the time as I was involved in looking after her, but I went on to work with quite a few people in the next few year, including Dave Finnegan's Commitments. Dave played Mickah Wallace in the film 'The Commitments', and I don't mind saying that the shows that I did with him were some of the most enjoyable that I've ever been part of. Last Tuesday I saw Dave at Ain't Nothin' But... with his new band Mighty Mustang - they also feature John Sorrell aka Johnny Squirrel on bass who I first met while we were both playing in Dave's band. I'd not been to the venue before, and it was great to see somewhere that successfully puts on live music ever night of the week. And it was great to see Dave and John on a stage together again too - it was the band's first gig and although there was the odd rough edge here and there if this show is anything to go by the future looks good for Mighty Mustang.

And the future looks good for Ruts D.C. too - we met up on Wednesday to work on some perspective new material, and by the end of our time together we'd roughed out five new song ideas. We've got at least as many again to look at this week, and gigs are starting to come in for the summer and beyond which has got to be good news if you think about it.

Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks have been out on the boards again too - Thursday evening saw our first show at The Riverside Club in Staines while on Saturday we returned to The Wishing Well in Hayes for the first time in quite a while. Well it's the first time I've been there in a while - I think the band have been there with Pete on guitar in my absence a couple of times since my last visit. Ironically Pete didn't make this show as he wasn't feeling too well - it was a good gig although I felt that we played a bit better a couple of days earlier. This week we're in Rickmansworth and Watford, and the band has over 40 shows booked already this year - the Buicks roadshow rolls on!

Spot the ex-Top Of The Pops presenter!
Friday night I returned to The 100 Club (I really have spent a lot of time there this year haven't I?!?) for another Human Punk night. I missed the first band Skurvi (I saw a bit of their performance at last year's Rebellion, they're very good so I must catch them again sometime) but arrived in time to catch a few songs by The Angry Agenda - again I've seen them before, and judging by what I saw they're still angry and they still have an agenda... but with no disrespect to these bands (or the excellent Control who closed the evening) for me the night was all about The Newtown Neurotics. Been-there-for-a-while bassist Adam Smith and returning-for-the-first-time-in-ages drummer Simon Lomond joined ever-present guitarist / vocalist / songwriter Steve Drewett to give a show that although a little under-rehearsed in places bought the proverbial house down. I saw the band many times back in the 1980s when their openly left-wing stance was such a necessary part of the times - as they swung into 'Kick Out The Tories' it was impossible not to think that (a) things sadly haven't changed, and (b) we need bands like them more than ever these days. After the show I spoke to Steve Lamacq for the first time in ages - we were both regulars at the band's gigs back in the day, and there we were again nearly three decades later. The more things change, the more they stay the same...

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