Monday, January 21, 2008

'Clowns to the left of me...'

Ok- first I quote Sham 69, now it's Stealers Wheel. I can't decide whether things are getting better or worse...

Monday morning, in the shop. I must admit I thought it might have got a bit quieter here now as we're in the post-Christmas vortex but it's still, for want of a better term, 'sporadically busy'. Saturday was particularly chaotic with perspective-new-staff-member Adam joining myself and Saturday-boy Ian to face the masses. An excellently surreal moment occurred when a young lady in full clown make-up and regalia came in (presumably on her way to or from work, 'though I didn't like to ask) to enquire about a battery powered vocal amplifier- such was the level of madness that no one batted an eyelid; in fact she seemed to fit in rather well as the next customer was a gentleman named Graham who announced that he'd made 'a one-string fiddle, you know, like they used to use in music hall' and did I know what type of string (singular!) he should use on it..?

Thursday's at the theatre are back to 'normal' too with myself and Stuart the guitar repairman breathing new life into the 'We Will Rock You' guitar collection. I'm there on my own next week as Stu's away so we changed pretty much every string that there was to be changed (hopefully that'll mean less for me to do this week) before walking across to Denmark Street where we were due to meet Stu's friend Miles in the excellent Wunjo's Guitars. There's a lot of guitar shops in the area but Wunjo's is my favourite, not least because it's different from the rest- less corporate, more friendly, seeming as though the people who work there are actually interested in music rather than the music business. Miles was interested a 1964 Gibson J45 acoustic allegedly once owned by '60's troubadour Donovan- when we got there he was upstairs in the workshop trying to decide which pick-up to use with it (for those of you who don't know, this is a device which allows you to amplify the guitar whilst retaining it's acoustic sound). It was between a Fishman Rare Earth and a LR Baggs M1 active- the latter ran away with it; it's amazing just how different 2 versions of the 'same' thing can sound. He bought the guitar and they gave him the pick-up- I told you it was a good shop.

This Friday sees the first Chicago Blues Brothers gig of 2008, at the Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge- it'll be good to see the lads again- then on Saturday Henry Rollins is at The Hammersmith Apollo. Sounds to me like a good weekend in prospect don't you think?

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