Friday, January 29, 2010

It's all Greek to me

Last night myself and East met up to look at some recently rediscovered Price footage (2 Uxbridge gigs from 1991, neither of which either of us had seen before) and to consider yet more ideas for our upcoming reunion gigs. So successful were our deliberations that we decided to - you guessed it! - go down the pub to continue our discussions. Arriving at The Load Of Hay we couldn't help but notice the 20 or so young men and women sitting down the end of the pub where the live music takes place; there was a guitar gig bag visible and they were setting the pub P.A. up so clearly some form of live performance was on the horizon. One of them came up to the bar near where we were sitting to ask if there was a microphone that they could use - a baffled barmaid pointed them in my direction. I found a microphone and took it down to where they'd gathered, they were friendly and very grateful to me for fetching the microphone for them- it was all of a few yards and it wasn't exactly heavy but it was nice of them to say so. The chap with the guitar introduced himself as Archie and told me that they were 'about half' of The Brunel University Greek Society and that him and a couple of friends were going to play 'a few songs' and he hoped that it wasn't a problem. Well it certainly wasn't from my point of view... he noticed a poster for next week's Steve Simpson show, when I told him that I was involved in booking the Sunday night shows he asked if I'd watch them play and if I liked it would there be a chance of a gig? Yes of course there would be and actually I was going to watch anyway. He seemed amused- unless I spoke Greek then I wouldn't understand a word. I told him I was sure it would be excellent and he looked a bit embarrassed- suddenly I felt as though I was intruding on their world and said as much, he smiled and said that no one had ever been interested in what they were doing when they'd played anywhere else and he really hoped that I'd like what they did.

Incidentally I really did think that it would be excellent; you can just tell sometimes that someone knows what they're talking about can't you?- in the same way as you can tell when they don't...

Back at the bar I told East of the conversation that I'd just had with Archie; we both reflected on the ego-driven no-hopers that you so often cross paths with if you're involved in music at any level, and how often it's the ones with little if any ability that blather on and on about themselves and how brilliant they are and how fantastic their show is going to be, whereas the people who are good enough to do it just get on and do it with a minimum of fuss. We decided they were likely to be good even before we'd heard a note- and they were. And their audience were amazing, joining in and singing along at strategic points and contributing to a great atmosphere which, even though drinks were flowing very freely, never for one second felt as though it was going to turn nasty. (I've seen trouble start so many times when there's boys and girls together in these sort of situations!) And he was right- we didn't understand a word. But it didn't matter because I was right- they were excellent.

Sitting here typing this now I've just been thinking about some of the self-indulgent pompous drivel I've had to listen to from customers when I've worked in music shops (and indeed sometimes from people behind the counters in them) telling me how wonderful they are, and from big-fish-in-small-pond embittered pub singers telling me how they 'could have got somewhere' if it wasn't for some non-crisis or other; meanwhile there's Archie and his mates playing music for the sake of it and sounding all the better for it.

There's no big point to this posting other than to say that, actually, there's probably a really big point to it...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wipe the windscreen, wipe your nose...

As your humble narrator stumbled his world-weary way through the white double doors that led to the backstage area of Centre Stage at Butlins in Skegness while carrying 2 guitars and a case of leads (why do the bloody things always open outwards?) his bleary eyes focused on the above sign - some things just have to be reproduced in these hallowed pages and this, my friends, was definitely one of them...

A show at a brass band weekend might seem an unlikely first gig of 2010 for The Chicago Blues Brothers but it turned out to be a highly enjoyable start to this year's (and indeed this decade's) campaign. A 'mostly-A-Team' line-up (Squirrel on bass, Marc on drums, Richard on Saxophone and myself) was joined by Steve on trumpet (he books the entertainment at the camp) and Steve (hope this isn't getting too confusing!) on keyboards (he's the resident keyboardist) with Pete making yet another comeback to show business as Jake next to Mike as Elwood; sad to say I didn't see much of Boobs And Brass but they sounded very good to me (then again my knowledge of all-female brass bands is limited to say the least!) although they did have the obligatory 'big-bloke-dressed-as-a-woman' (you just KNEW that they would didn't you?!?) who terrified everyone backstage before terrifying everyone in the audience. 'Tits And Trumpets' are on next' said Mike as their show drew to a close. Sadly he was wrong!
With the curtains drawn and the stage clear it's our turn to set up- amplifiers were provided by the venue and for Squirrel and myself it was our first chance to hear how they sound. His Ashdown bass gear sounded excellent, my Marshall MG50 combo sounded a bit 'rock' for what we do but not too bad all the same. Marc had been befriended by Louis who'd been working backstage and was now playing tambourine and bongoes with us (strange but true!) and the stage crew worked hard to give us what we wanted in our monitors. After our first number there were already quite a few people on the dancefloor (I spotted one guy in a 'Sex Panther' t-shirt- hope he got it from Balcony Shirts!) and the stage invasion during 'Mustang Sally' was enough to send the security staff into a health-and-safety-powered frenzy. A good start to our year.

And it was a good night on Friday when myself and Price bassman Huggy went to The 100 Club to see Eddie And The Hot Rods supported by The Radio Stars. Huggy decided to drive us up there, a somewhat controversial plan (have you ever tried to park in the Oxford Street area?!?) which was almost immediately thwarted when the windscreen wipers on his van stopped working, preferring instead to make a worrying vibrating noise. 'This is a new one on me' said Huggy as he considered the situation; he carefully selected a spanner which he proceeded to hit the offending items with, an action which incredibly did nothing to solve the problem. Plan B was hatched almost immediately- get a tube train instead. An eventful drive to West Ruislip Station followed with your humble narrator having to get out ever couple of hundred yards or so to manually move the wipers across the windscreen. (I'm not making this up honest! I'm not sure that I could make this up!!)
We spent most of the (thankfully uneventful) train journey into town discussing ideas for upcoming '25 years of The Price' celebrations (official announcement coming shortly- watch this space!) before arriving at The 100 Club just as The Radio Stars took to the stage. They were good if a little loose in places- I don't think they were exactly over-rehearsed- but 'Nervous Wreck' sounded as good as I remember it sounding and they went down well with the rapidly arriving audience. Just as their last song ended I developed a nosebleed which was no reflection of their performance but was suitably punky if you think about it.
Opening with 'I Might Be Lying' (I remember buying the single when it came out- fantastic!) The Hot Rods delivered a blistering set which caused a near riot more-or-less from the word go. Highlights were many but I must mention a wondrous version of 'The Power And The Glory' alongside the inevitable 'Do Anything You Wanna Do', and the encores of 'Gloria' and 'Get Out Of Denver' sounded every bit as energetic as the recordings from the 'Live At The Marquee' EP (I bought that when it came out too!) A brilliant gig which sent myself and Huggy on our way back to the Central Line in such a state of euphoric inspiration that we all but forgot about the windscreen wiper problem that awaited us...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Square through a circle

The Square in Harlow is a great venue; no, make that a great venue. The Price first played there in, I think 1986 'though it might have been 1987; one thing that's for definite is that we supported local heroes Real By Reel that first night beginning an association with the venue that lasted right until our final days as a band first time around. We played many memorable shows there- headline gigs when we almost felt like a 'real' band (if you know what I mean!) as well as a charity night when we were joined on stage by Paul Fox along with supports to the likes of Mega City Four, Senseless Things and The (Newtown) Neurotics among others, all of which made it one of our very favourite venues. It went through some rough times in the last few years but now seems to be thriving again, a fine thing to see in these times of venues closing down due to dwindling audience numbers. I'm here for the latest of my occasional gigs with T.V. Smith and I've been looking forward to this one for quite some time...

Myself and the long-suffering Shirley arrived at The Square to find the place nearly deserted- just a few people in the downstairs bar with no one in the venue upstairs. It's dark, cold and smells a bit stale- but venues are always very different when they're empty. I left my guitar and bag at the side of the stage (acoustic gigs are great- there's hardly anything to carry in!) and headed downstairs to see what if we can get some coffee, as I get to the stairs I meet a young chap who introduces himself as Adam- he books the bands at the venue and we've been exchanging e-mails over the past few weeks. He makes us some coffee and tells me that he was at The Rebellion Festival in Blackpool last year (he plays bass in the 'new' version of The Neurotics) where he bought a copy of The Price's mini-album 'The Table Of Uncles', I tell him that it's our 25th anniversary this year ('our silver jubilee!') and he tells me that he's the same age...
Meanwhile T.V.'s arrived- he came up by train and has been walking around 'for over an hour' trying to find the venue- as has Richard who's doing the sound for the evening, he used to do the sound there back in the '80's and '90's, remembers our first gig there and is now co-owner of the venue. We set up for soundcheck in only a few minutes (as I say, acoustic gigs are GREAT!) and while T.V.'s guitar sounds excellent mine sounds terrible, very quiet and fuzzy, Richard suggests a new battery (the guitar I use has an internal pick-up that needs a battery, if it runs low it often causes distortion etc) but I'd changed it earlier in the day so he sets about looking for the fault. He changes the leads then the D.I. box but the problem's still there so I plug my guitar into the channel that T.V.'s using to see if it's my guitar- to my relief it sounds fine so Richard returns to the mixing desk to see if there's anything wrong there. After a few seconds he says 'AHA!' loudly and my guitar sounds good at last. I never did find out what was wrong... we had intended to rehearse earlier in the week as we hadn't played together since our last gig in October but the snow had meant that it had not been possible (I played along with the albums a lot instead!) so we played a few snippets of several songs before trying 'Expensive Being Poor' for the first time. T.V. points down at the stage in front of him- 'look' he says smiling, 'two monitors' then points to the stage in front of me, 'one monitor'. I know my place!
With us sounding good it's time to make way for the support act which was to have been the wonderfully named Jonny One Lung (oh yes!) who sadly couldn't make it (shame!) so at the last minute Popdad stepped in. They're a duo featuring Murray on guitar and vocals and Dave on drums; Murray was in Real By Reel all those years ago (talk about things coming full circle!) while Dave joins Adam in the 'new' Neurotics. They both play rather unusual instruments- Murray has replaced his guitar's lowest E string with a bass A string allowing him to play a bass note along with chords whereas Dave plays a stripped-down drumkit that has a modified bass drum pedal that lets him play the bottom of his floor tom-tom (I'm not making this up, it was held together with 'Fragile' tape!) alongside a snare drum, hi-hat and cymbal. They produce an extraordinary sound, very full and powerful, they soundcheck with 'Please Please Me' and sound terrific.
By now it's 8 o'clock and the audience is arriving- Shirley's behind the merchandise table and things are selling from the word go. With 'Rough Cut And Ready Dubbed' on the T.V. screens and a suitably punky selection playing over the P.A. system the atmosphere is good; T.V. points at my plastic cup, waves his glass in the air and points at the monitors smiling- I know my place once again! Popdad are on just after 9 o'clock, they play a splendid set of spiky pop songs which has everyone wanting more, they're currently recording an album which should be essential listening. Halfway through their set I see Steve from The Neurotics over by the bar, he waves at me so I go over to say hello but before I get to him somebody stops me to ask if we're playing the Price song 'Standing In Your Way' which both amuses and amazes me.
10 o'clock and it's T.V. time. He goes on solo for 5 or 6 songs before he calls me up for 'No Time To Be 21'. We play a 12 song selection which builds up nicely to 3 Adverts songs at the end before encoring with 'Good Times Are Back' and 'Runaway Train Driver' (no conga sadly!) to tumultuous applause, another shouted request for a Price song ('The Price You Pay') and rather surprisingly for an acoustic gig, quite a bit of dancing. Great stuff. Afterwards a merchandise frenzy occurs which Shirley copes manfully well with; T.V. signs CD after CD and I finally get chance to talk to Steve from The Neurotics. He talks of their new live album and apologises for not crediting me on it- we'd supported them at the gig and I recorded the gig on a cassette tape, I gave him the tape and said it was brilliant but he didn't believe me and didn't even listen to it for ages but now thinks it's probably the best live recording of the band that he's ever heard. While we're talking Richard comes over and suggests that it's time for The Neurotics and The Price to play together at The Square again- neither of us disagree.

I was hoping this would be a good gig but it was a cracking evening at one of the best and indeed best-loved venues that I've ever played at. We need more gig venues like this- but as previously observed they will only continue to stay open if we (that's you and me) keep attending the shows. Easier said than done perhaps, but we don't make the effort then we can't complain if we wake up one day and all the gigs have gone...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gibson Martin Fender - Mick Green

I've just heard that Mick Green died on Monday. He was 65 years old.

Mick is probably best known (and now to be remembered- how sad is that?) as the guitarist with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates back in the 1960's when he and the band influenced countless soon-to-be rock gods (The Who adopted a 4 piece line-up after seeing them perform) with their no nonsense approach to rock'n'roll. Green himself was particularly influential due to his ability to play rhythm and lead guitar simultaneously- a young Wilko Johnson was famously 'stopped in his tracks' when he first heard the solo on 'I'll Never Get Over You'. After leaving the band he played with artists as diverse as Engelbert Humperdink and Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas before forming Shanghai in the 1970's. Just prior to the advent of punk rock in the mid-70's The Pirates reformed as a trio (the classic line-up of Mick with Johnny Spence on bass and Frank Farley on drums) when their blitzkrieg rhythm and blues fitted in perfectly with the times, not least because of their well documented association with Dr. Feelgood. When they finished in 1983 he went on to play with Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney (notably on his excellent 'Run Devil Run' album) and Van Morrison among others as well as teaching guitar and occasionally reuniting with various Pirates line-ups.

For what my opinion is worth Mick Green is the greatest British rock'n'roll guitarist of them all. I first saw The Pirates on their 'Skull Wars' tour in 1978 and they were astonishing, as powerful and energetic as any band I'd seen before or indeed have seen since. And Green's guitar work was AMAZING, blisteringly loud yet incredibly precise and considered. I'd put him in my top 10 guitarists of all time for that gig alone but I was lucky enough to see him on many occasions after that, the last time a few years ago at The 100 Club when he'd clearly lost little if any of his fire and passion.

There's a live recording of The Pirates playing 'Don't Munchen It' at London's Hope and Anchor that includes one of the most outrageous solos I've ever heard- it sounds like about 3 people playing, I'm going to listen to it in a minute, it'll sound a bit different now but it's still one of the solos that I have in my mind ever time I start a solo and think 'now what do I play?' It never lets me down- it's one of my very favourite bits of electric guitar playing ever and as such means more to me than I'll ever be able to write down here.

Thanks for doing it all Mick- we will not see your like again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

First things first

It's the first week of the year and it's been snowing. This happened last year and previously rational people lost their minds. It's happened again this year and the same previously rational people have lost their minds again. What can this mean?

I've written a revue of the year for the last couple of years but haven't this year, not least because in thinking about what to write about I've found that the same names are turning up as in previous years. I guess this means that I've not found anything new or watch or listen to, or maybe it's not found me? Hmm... perhaps I should get out more? Mind you, look what (sometimes) happens when I do!

Anyway my first gig to go to this year is a real nostalgia-fest for someone like myself as it's The Rich Kids at The Islington Academy last Thursday. This is a benefit show for guitarist Steve New who is sadly suffering from cancer; this venue is a bit of a strange one for your humble narrator as the Paul Fox benefit and the Wiz memorial shows both took place here which might account for the fact that I find it a rather 'cold' place. It was a highly enjoyable if somewhat chaotic evening- I felt as though it needed a compere or D.J. to keep it moving as between-band changeovers as it lost the atmosphere that each act created once they'd finished. Myself and Big Andy arrived just in time (7 o'clock!) to catch the opening act of the show, the mighty T.V. Smith whose 3 (3!) song set went down excellently well with the rapidly arriving sold out audience. From there the evening wound it's way towards it's climax through a succession of good to great performances, the most controversial of which had to be Beaststellabeast who bewildered much of the audience that I suspect had been looking forward to seeing Steve New's latest band (they were pretty confrontational although I did smile when their singer threw her bottle of water over the first couple of rows of the audience and then complained that she was thirsty a song or two later- very rebellious dear...) whilst Carbon/Silicon turned in an excellent performance with Rusty Egan sitting in on drums (don't know where their regular man was?) and Mick Jones and Tony James both in great form- when Jones sang a few lines from 'Police On My Back' during 'Why Do Men Fight?' the audience intensity leapt so who knows what would have happened if they had played a Clash or Generation X track. There were obviously quite a few people in to see Midge Ure who played a solo acoustic set of hit singles before returning with The Rich Kids to roar through a splendid blast-from-the-past which, though slightly under rehearsed in places went down a storm. I'd always liked their stuff and as expected 'Rich Kids' and 'Ghosts Of Princes In Towers' both sounded brilliant 'though I'd forgotten what a good song 'Marching Men' is- time to get their album out again methinks. Oh and Gary Kemp joined them for a couple of songs and behaved like the punk rock'n'roll guitar hero that I'd guess he'd always wanted to be, which was something to behold I can tell you. An excellent evening.

And I saw some great gigs last year, from the likes of The New York Dolls, Kris Dollimore, Oasis and P.i.L. - and I'm already looking forward to Iggy And The Stooges in May...

My first gig with a guitar in my hand of 2010 was on Saturday with The F.B.I. Band at The Penta Hotel in Reading; it was a Christmas Party (yeah I know- but lots of companies are having them after Christmas these days) for Marc Antoni Hairdressers. Lots of musicians I've spoken to have had gigs cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions so I for one was grateful that this one went ahead, and very good it was too. When we arrived there was already some musical equipment on the stage- a Gibson SG, a Line6 combo and a Freshman acoustic guitar- we were told that there was to be a 'spoof X Factor' before our gig featuring some of the company's employees. Hmm... joining the omnipresent Tony (vocals) and Ian (sax) were regular band members Jon (bass) Richard (keyboards) and Jim (trumpet) with Steve depping on drums who I'd not met before but is the nephew of CBB trumpet supremo Dave Land. After a quick soundcheck of 'Soul Man' we gave way to the X Factor boys- the guitarist had an immediate problem as the jack socket on his amplifier came loose and fell inside, I lent him some pliers but they didn't help so we ended up using a plastic drinks stirrer to hook it out. He played lots of notes with lots of distortion, not a good approach in my not-so-humble opinion but he seemed happy enough. The other lads sang over backing tracks and sounded... well, like X Factor contestants to my old ears, or at least the ones that I've heard.
Out in the lobby bar the guests are arriving- young men who made Julian Clary look like Rambo mingled with very tall and very thin young ladies, all with immaculate hair and clothes, they were all hugging and kissing each other although if there had been a bitch-o-meter on the premises I think it would have melted. With the scene set for a good gig we went through to the dining room where initial attempts at finding some vegetarian food proved disappointing ('how about a prawn sandwich sir?') although when a goat's cheese pastry eventually arrived it was very nice indeed. By the time the X Factor boys are on things are hotting up with the girls (and indeed the boys) in the audience screaming louder than the music before speeches and awards kill the atmosphere totally. As we walk towards the stage to play Jon wonders to me if we're the right band for the occasion- judging by the reaction we received I'd say that we were although as often happens at these sort of events I remain convinced that they'd all forgotten we'd played before we'd left the stage.

And I played some good gigs last year too, especially with The Price in Cowley, The Chicago Blues Brothers in Fribourg and T.V. Smith in Kentish Town- and I'm playing with him again this Friday at The Square in Harlow...

Last night it was time for this year's first Acts Less Ordinary gig at the Load of Hay, featuring the wonderful John Hegley. By 8 p.m. I'd set the P.A. up and by 8.30 we had a good sized audience, but sadly we didn't have John- he eventually arrived just after 10 o'clock ('no trains on the Metropolitan Line') and after a quick introduction from Y.H.N. ('turn your mobile phones off and keep your glasses on- it's John Hegley!') he gave a breathlessly brilliant performance before asking around for a lift back to Ealing from where he could still get a last train home. He was in the building about an hour, and he left without being paid! Amazing!

And there's lots to look forward to at The L of H this year, starting with the splendid Steve Simpson on Sunday 7th February...

So that's how my year started- let's see where it takes us shall we?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Everybody had a hard year

First things first- happy new year! Happy new decade! Hurrah!

So- how was 2009 for you? Almost everyone I've spoken to on the subject uses words like 'awful', 'dreadful', 'terrible'... but it can't have been that bad- can it? And how about the last decade, the 'noughties' as they (whoever 'they' are) like to call it- any thoughts on that as a decade?

Here are a few thoughts on the decade's popular music- can it really have been this bad?!?

Well my decade ended with myself and the long-suffering Shirley watching a 'Tomb Raider' film and 'Jools Holland's Hootenanny' on T.V. (since you've asked I thought the film was good escapist fun whilst The Hootenanny was about as enjoyable as any show presented by the increasingly nauseating Mr. Holland can be...) which was something of a surprise to us both as I'd been expecting to be out gigging with Huggy's band as reported at the start of my last blog posting. So- why wasn't I?

Having helped arrange the gig for the band I'd been enlisted as guest guitarist several months ago; my friend Cliff is a member at the club and through him I'd got Huggy's band a gig there back in the summer which had gone well and resulted in them being offered the coveted New Year's Eve show. However since the last show at the club they had parted company with their guitarist/singer and had recently recruited a replacement who, being less than confident of his abilities to sustain an evening's entertainment without adequate rehearsal had asked a friend of his from another band to help out on the night. The 5 of us rehearsed on Tuesday evening and very good it sounded too; all agreed that with a bit of homework before the gig we should be able to deliver a good performance which, let's face it, is pretty important- not least because we were being well paid for the show.
So it was then that around 2 p.m. yesterday your humble narrator found himself in front of a computer with a guitar on his knee and (gulp!) Queen on the screen playing 'Now I'm Here' on YouTube. Having just about got the hang of it (and I guess I should admit here that despite my often-mentioned disinterest in the band's music this is a good song. There- I said it!) I was about to swallow what was left of my pride and attempt 'We Are The Champions' (which listened to now is every bit as boring as I remember it to be. Ah- that's better!) when my phone rang.
It was Huggy. He didn't sound too happy, and he got straight to the point. The drummer had decided that the money shouldn't be split equally between the 5 of us; rather that the 3 'real' band members should receive more, considerably more than the 2 guest players as they had 'done all the work' and therefore should be rewarded accordingly. I won't mention the actual figures involved but the maths of his idea meant that 80% of the money would be split between the 3 of them with the remaining 20% split between us 6-stringers.
Now- bearing in mind that we'd all be there for the same amount of time and all be on stage for the whole show, does that sound fair to you?
No, me neither. It didn't sound to good to Huggy but, well, that was what the drummer was saying. 'Let me think about it' said I, promising to call him back in a few minutes with some sort of vague plan... virtually as soon as I put the phone down on him Cliff rang to see how things were going; to say that he was disappointed with my reply is a strong contender for the understatement of the year or indeed the decade. He was LIVID. I don't remember the last time I heard someone sound so angry. In between the swearing he stated clearly- and I mean clearly!- that I was not to do the show under those terms which I must admit I'd already decided for myself. (Initially he was going to call the club to tell them to cancel the band altogether but I talked him out of that- maybe I should have let him!) In the meantime Shirley arrived home and heard some of our phone conversation; when I'd finished talking- maybe that should be listening!- to Cliff I explained the situation to her but before she could say much Cliff was back on the phone to say that he'd called the club and they'd put my 10% in an envelope with my name on it which I could collect anytime and to reiterate that under no circumstances was I to play the show. I told him I felt bad about taking money for a show that I wasn't playing- then again I'd turned down subsequent gig offers as I thought I was working so I guess it's a cancellation fee? His opinion was rather more forthright...
I spoke to Huggy again, and told him that I wasn't doing the show. He described himself as 'distraught'. He sounded it. I wonder how his drummer felt?

As I sat on the settee tinkering with my (unplugged) old Les Paul Deluxe Lara Croft's hair got burned- it had fallen into the black acid that Pandora's Box was floating in as she was suspended upside down above it. I'd never been paid for watching T.V. before- I looked at the clock and said something like 'they'll be playing now' to Shirley, 'I hope Huggy's alright'. Her reply of 'there's not much you can do about it now' summed the situation up- once I'd decided not to do the show it was all out of my hands- but I still hoped that Huggy was alright. We went through a lot together in The Price, and although the end of the band caused a rift that took many years to heal it couldn't detract from the fact that me and him always played well together and always play well together now. In an odd way it also seemed to sum 2009 up, a year which promised much but delivered surprisingly little when you think about it- I lost my work at Pro Music (remind me to tell you that story one day!) which coupled with a lack of gigging resulted in me nearly staring bankruptcy in the face (and with an income tax bill looming if I'd not been able to get some work at Balcony Shirts that might well have happened) which obviously impacted very seriously on the last few months in my little life- but that's nothing compared to some people's stories. Is it possible for a year to be 'bad'? A lot of people think that last year was!

I spoke to Huggy this morning. His verdict on the gig- 'we got away with it'. I thought he meant musically but I was wrong- he nearly rang me from the venue to try to persuade me to play after the other guest guitarist had threatened to walk out when he heard what had happened to me and what the drummer was proposing to pay him. He only stayed after Huggy and the singer agreed to chip in and give him some of their money- the drummer refused to give him any of his, but I bet you'd guessed that already. Nice guy huh?

Greed is funny stuff isn't? And people are really disappointing sometimes aren't they?

Happy new year y'all, let's hope it's a 'good' one...