Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hell raiser!

Don't worry- I've calmed down a bit after the last posting's class war rant!

The first gig-less week for a while was hardly an idle one:-

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were busy in the shop, especially taking into account the weather (mostly bad, often awful) and the fact that many people are away in the school holidays. We're still waiting for Roland to set our account up with them- in addition to their excellent keyboards and recording equipment they also manufacture and distribute Boss guitar effect pedals which we're always getting asked for. For a company that produces such superb stuff they're notoriously bad at supplying their goods to shops, as we're currently finding out for ourselves... and we're waiting for the Takamine rep to get back to us too, 'though they're now distributed by Fender so hopefully that'll happen soon. They're probably best known for producing electro-acoustic guitars (they have a pick-up in them that allows them to still sound acoustic when amplified, rather than like an electric guitar) and again we've got customers waiting to see them- well, me and Simon are waiting to see them anyway!

Thursday the long-suffering Shirley and myself journeyed to darkest Essex to attend Ian and Nadia's wedding. Ian's the 'main' keyboard player in The Chicago Blues Brothers band 'though he also plays for Roger Chapman and Ian Hunter amongst others, and famously played for The Kinks for many years. We shared our taxi from the travelodge with Phil Mitchell and his wife Sandy (Phil's the bass player in Dr. Feelgood who Ian's also done a fair bit of playing with) and arrived at Leez Priory in plenty of time for the 3 o'clock service. Occasional C.B.B. dep-keyboard-player Dave Dulake played some background music as the guests arrived (including Paul McCartney's 'Maybe I'm Amazed'- good choice!) and everything went smoothly... I think... ok, so I'll admit that I may have had just a little bit too much to drink during the course of the next 9 hours or so (!) which makes recalling details increasing tricky; I did get into a conversation with Andy Scott of The Sweet which I don't think was too embarrassing- I did say rather a lot about seeing him on T.V. in the '70's 'though I think I redeemed myself by name-dropping mutual friend Pip Williams, then introducing him to our ex-drummer (and now with T.Rextasy) John Skelton and making good my escape. Oh and Shirley tells me that 10 minutes before our taxi was due I ordered a drink with the words 'I'm just warming up now.' Excellent.

Friday I didn't feel well. I'll spare you the gory details, but it wasn't good. Then again I did receive an e-mail from Mario apologising for his behaviour- I thought he'd been on very good form...

After a not-too-bad-considering-how-many-people-are-away-at-this-time-of-the-year Saturday in the shop it was off to see 'Rockin' On Heaven's Door' at, of all places, Hayes Working Men's Club. The show features our ex-keyboard player Gary Moberley- he was in the band when I started blogging- and it was great to see him again. (Rather than spend ages describing the show here have a look at for the full story.) He played brilliantly- string parts one minute, brass parts the next, and maybe most bizarrely of all, timpani during the Roy Orbison set. The evening marked the club's 90th birthday- although Shirl and myself had a highly enjoyable evening it'll be great to catch the show in a theatre sometime where it should come over really well. Oh, and the couple next to us were convinced that the 'young Elvis' was better than the 'old Elvis' even though they didn't recognise any of the songs- we kept pointing out that they were actually referring to Eddie Cochran, but to no avail.

Back to basics this week- a couple of days in the shop, up in the West End with Stuart on Thursday then gigging at the weekend at the Greenwich Jazz and Beer Festival. Now that sounds like one to remember...

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