Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Everybody's carrying a gun

Well I don't mind admitting that I've not felt great today - possibly as a result of 4 late nights in a row, possibly as a result of what I've been doing during those late nights, more likely due to combination of both. I knew Friday, Saturday and Sunday were going to take their toll but after a very busy day in the shop yesterday I went down to RnR Studios in Uxbridge to catch the end of a Department S rehearsal. With Phil from Bug now installed on guitar and new drummer Alex getting to grips with the material they are preparing for some upcoming shows which depending on founder member Mike Herbage's availability may or may not feature your humble narrator on guitar; with this in mind we repaired to The Dolphin to discuss tactics - after spending several hours in there and The Queen's Head I fear we were still no nearer to working out where and when I may appear with them. Or maybe we were - it's a little tricky to remember...

Friday night The Upper Cut found themselves in the somewhat incongruous surroundings of Buckinghamshire Golf Club. We played there almost exactly a year to the day ago (once again on the evening of their St. George's Day event) and I received a call this week asking if we'd like to make a return appearance. There is of course only one answer to a question like that, and it isn't 'no'... as with last year we arrived to the general confusion of the staff, although after asking around in the bar we soon found the right people to talk to. One of the chaps who was there the previous year was on top form, telling us that he'd instructed the person who was paying us to adopt a generous approach to the evening. Well what he actually said was 'I've told 'im, don't be a c@nt, pay the boys wot vere facking werf', but I think you know what I mean. By the time we started playing at half past nine it was clear that with a few participants having been there for getting on for 12 hours a noisy night was in prospect, and a suitably raucous show ensued. Could it all happen again next year? We shall see!

Yes, it does look like
 a gun doesn't it?
The next day Ruts D.C. journeyed up to Bedford for a show supporting The Neville Staple Band at The Corn Exchange. With much of the journey spent singing copies of our new 'Jah War' single (now there's something that I never thought that I'd ever type. It's true though!) the mood was good, and the air of jollity continued for the rest of the day which saw opening act New Groove Formation getting things off to a suitably lively start. Our show took a few songs to get going, although by the time we got to the afore-mentioned 'Jah War' things were definitely moving in the right direction. Time constraints meant that we couldn't play an encore but we all pronounced ourselves pleased with proceedings. The evening ended with The Neville Staple Band mixing Specials songs with ska classics and playing an excellent set in process. A successful night's work.

And last night Wilko Johnson continued his remarkable renaissance with a blistering performance at The Shepherds Bush Empire. Support came from the always-worth-seeing Eight Rounds Rapid, whose splendid 30 minute set found favour among the rapidly-arriving audience, many of whom seemed to be recent converts to the cause judging by the number of Who t-shirts on display. As Wilko took to the stage to a hero's welcome it was clear that we were in for an evening to remember, and as always the great man delivered a storming show which bought the proverbial house down. As I say it was clear that some songs were better known by the audience than others, with material from 'Going Back Home' getting a big reaction and other songs seeming to pass some people by, but none of that seemed to bother the band who all played brilliantly. A top evening all round, not least because those splendid chaps from 8RR managed to get me into the after show party. That's another drink I owe you boys...

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