Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Grin and bear it

Malcolm Owen died 35 years ago today. I'm listening to 'The Crack' by The Ruts even as we speak - maybe you are too? It sounds amazing. It is amazing. There's a nice tribute piece on the band's Facebook page that you can see if you click here - shine on Malcolm, shine on...

In the meantime I had my first nosebleed of this year's hay fever season yesterday - actually to be pedantic I had two of the damn things, one in Balcony Shirts (much to the horror of Erin who had started work experience there that morning - she must have wondered what she'd let herself in for!) and one early evening in The Queen's Head when Al and Pete from The Blistering Buicks did their best to keep the conversation going despite the (ahem!) gallons of blood pouring from my face. It left me feeling pretty rough, to such an extent that (a) I couldn't concentrate on the Who DVD 'Live At Shea Stadium 1982' which I attempted to watch when I got home and (b) I got up after 9.30 this morning which is very late for me. I don't mind admitting that I don't feel too good now either. Summer eh?

Last Thursday Ruts D.C. visited Rough Trade East in Brick Lane to promote the recently-issued 'Love In Vain - The Story Of The Ruts and Ruts D.C.' book by Roland Link. The date had been changed several times over the last few months, so it was rather ironic that it fell on the same day as the biggest train strike for many years. How dare these loony lefties still mad enough to be part of a trade union exercise their right to withdraw their labour on a day of such cultural importance? I mean, they're only being asked to work all day and night for practically no reward - they'll be wanting lunch breaks next...

On a more serious note, good luck to the train TUs - after all, who wants to work for nothing eh?

Anyway all this militant action meant that audience numbers were lower - make that much lower - than expected, but those who were there saw not only an acoustic performance but also took part in a Q&A with Dave, Segs and myself. We sold a good few books, chatted to all those who attended and generally had a great time. Well I certainly did, although my unsuccessful attempt to buy the new album by The Sonics - it was sold out - somehow summed up the day, if you know what I mean.

Friday night saw The Upper Cut return to The Admiral Nelson in Twickenham for the first time in quite a while - a hot and sticky night included several 'new' songs alongside the old favourites (they're new to us, we didn't write any of 'em!) and the obligatory Very Drunk Bloke being, well, very drunk while dancing (ok to be more accurate he was stumbling around waving his arms about, but you get the picture) just a bit too close to the band for comfort and attempting to high five everybody in the building. He failed.

A very hot Saturday in the shop gave way to a Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks gig at The Three Wishes in Eastcote. Again several 'new' songs found their way into the set while a gang of birthday - celebrating young ladies livened up the dancefloor no end and another V. D. B. attempted to attract their collective attention. He also failed.

And on Sunday I rehearsed with Noel and Rob from Menace in preparation for our acoustic set at The Rebellion Festival in August before going to The 12 Bar Club to see the legend that is T.V. Smith - except that I only saw four songs from the great man (in case you were wondering - 'Only One Flavour', 'First One To Sign Up', 'No Time To Be 21' and 'Coming In To Land') before I had to leave to get the last tube train home. If only they ran all night eh? Oh hang on...

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