Have you ever fallen in love with somebody the moment you first saw them? I was walking through a shopping centre once when I bumped into - literally bumped into - a young lady. She was an acquaintance of mine, I didn't know her well and I hadn't seen here for ages - but at that moment, as we stood awkwardly apologising to each other, I suddenly and abruptly thought she was the most beautiful woman, maybe the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen. It was like being hit by the proverbial ton of bricks. I'm not sure that I've ever recovered. She doesn't know anything about it of course - unless she felt it too, although if she did then she hid it well… I sound shallow don't I? Maybe I am.
I was reminded of this moment last Friday evening when I was getting my guitar and amp set up for a gig with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks at The Crock Of Gold in Ruislip. I'd been looking forward to the gig all day, as my old mate Johnny Squirrel was depping on bass and I hadn't seen him for ages. We hadn't played there before so we were working out how to position the various band members in the space allowed - I looked across to the bar where a woman was walking towards a table carrying two drinks. One was a pint of Guinness, the other a smaller glass of clear fizzy-looking liquid. She sat down at the table where her friend was waiting, they smiled cheerily and chatted - while doing so she picked up the pint of Guinness and drank a fair-sized gulp from it.
'Al, Al!' I said excitedly to the big man, 'Al, that girl over there, she's got a pint of Guinness'.
'Right' said Al half-interestedly.
'I think I'm in love' I said, hardly believing that I'd just said it.
Al laughed. I released how ridiculous it must have sounded.
I carried on setting my gear up.
The next night The Upper Cut played at Dave's 70th birthday party at The Queen's Arms in Colnbrook. I managed to get through the evening with most if not all of my emotions intact, although I couldn't get the Guinness Girl out of my mind. Strange but true. Shallow but true.
It seems to me that it's time I had a holiday - which is just as well as it's The Rebellion Festival in Blackpool this week. Ruts D.C. are playing an electric set on Saturday night and are closing the acoustic stage the next evening; I'll also be playing a few songs on Thursday with the great T.V. Smith and joining Department S for a tune or two as well as working behind the Cadiz Music merchandise stall and attempting to catch as many bands as I can in the meantime. I'm all too aware that several days of punk rock doesn't sound like most people's idea of a holiday, but it'll do me just fine. If you're going I'll see you there, maybe even for a pint of Guinness. All together now - 'Ever Fallen In Love With Someone...'