Well this is going to be another one of those 'there isn't much time for blogging as I'm so bloody busy' postings. I guess the main reason for this is that I've been working full time in Balcony Shirts as it's very busy in there at the moment - as a self-employed person I'm rarely if ever in a position to turn work down and so am very grateful for this opportunity to earn some money, as well as being able to help out. This of course means that I've only had the evenings to do anything for myself - how on earth do people with 'real' jobs ever manage to have a life outside of work?!? Or maybe I'm so used to doing everything at what would be seen as a leisurely pace by 'real' people..?
Anyway here's what's been happening in Leigh's Mad World Of Guitars over the last week-and-a-bit -
- I saw The Damned at The Royal Albert Hall.
What a night - and what a great band The Damned are. I somehow managed to miss most of their first set through being (ahem!) caught in the bar with Segs and Steve Beatty of Plastic Head Distribution - they've just put out 'Psychic Attack' which was released on the day of the gig and so was the cause of much merriment and indeed celebration. This combined with the effects of continued merriment and celebration at the aftershow party (I got home sometime after 5 am having run the gauntlet of the night bus. Scary!) meant that the following day in the shirts shop was a long and complex one…
- I saw The U.K. Subs at The 100 Club.
…after which I somehow made it along to my third Subs gig in four weeks. With the venue packed to capacity Charlie and co. could do no wrong and a suitably blazing show ensued. Great stuff - although I did have to spend most of the next day asleep.
- I guested with Department S at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston with Ed Tudor-Pole.
Well they asked me to do it again and it would have been rude not too - the same 3 songs as last time ('Wonderful Day', 'Is Vic There?' and 'I Want' since you've asked) with the addition of 'Swords Of A Thousand Men' with Ed Tudor-Pole on vocals. The astonishingly-named Fighting Cocks turned out to be a great venue and opening act The Marksmen are well worth catching should you ever see their name on a poster. Another excellent night.
- I saw Iggy Pop at The Royal Albert Hall.
Aided and abetted by Josh Homme and co. and playing a set of songs mostly from 'Post Pop Depression', 'The Idiot' and 'Lust For Life' the mighty Mr. Pop reminded us all why he has attained legendary status with a blistering performance that all but left the venue and indeed the audience in ruins. One of the best gigs I've seen in a very - make that VERY - long time.
- I played two gigs with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks.
And as so often happens the two shows were very different from each other. The Manor Club in Shepperton was a new venue for the band, and while it was by no means the worst place we've has ever found ourselves in it was hampered by a neighbour who apparently complains every time there is a band or event on at the club. This resulted in us (a) being told after a few songs that we were too loud (we weren't, or at least I didn't think that we were) and (b) being told in the interval that we would have to finish at 11.15 and so could only play a short second set. This was a shame as we were playing well - still, Bank Holiday Monday's 4 pm appearance at The Horns in Watford more than made up for any in-band disappointment about Saturday's show as we were on top form from the word go. Rather ironically I thought that we might have been a bit loud (no, really, I did!) although I'm told that it was fine out front. A great gig, although to be honest the previous one wasn't bad, just a bit weird - not least because Strawbs guitarist Brian Willoughby told me that he liked my guitar playing and sound. He then said he needed to go home as he'd been 'drinking all day' which rather ruined an otherwise triumphant moment.
- And probably some other things as well.
As I say, it's hard to remember sometimes...
This week, more of the same - hopefully!