Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Well begun is half done'

This guitar-lark is a very strange job sometimes. Thursday night I'm with Ruts DC, Sunday afternoon I'm at the Village Hall in Lockerley, Hampshire with The Briefcase Blues Brothers. The event was a 'combined 100th birthday party', a concept that I hadn't previously encountered although it's apparently becoming quite popular. Well, the BBB band had played one before... anyway the idea is that the couple in question (Sue and James) are aged 51 and 49 - a total of 100. Clever huh? Well I though it was! We were to be a surprise to all apart from the couple's 4 daughters and so were secreted in The Reading Room until it was time for us to go on - judging by the looks that I saw as the curtains opened at 2.15 pm and we swung into 'I Can't Turn You Loose' (probably best described as ranging from bemusement to horror) I think we'd certainly remained a secret... our first set actually went down very well all things considered, with a bit of dancing and not too many people leaving the room with their fingers in their ears. We returned to The Reading Room for the interval to be met by the daughters telling us that we were 'really brilliant' but everyone was going home now as they weren't expecting the event to go on past 3 o'clock so we might as well not do our second set. We'd had plenty to eat, been looked after really well, they'd all been really nice people - oh well, off home then! In the meantime Adam the drummer told me that I should try crunchy nut cornflakes with banana for breakfast ('with a cup of coffee it's like banoffee pie!' I tried it - he's right!) and everyone realised that several hours in an area where there's no mobile phone signal for anyone happens very rarely these days.

I was expecting to have to rush home and then on to the Load of Hay for the Steve Simpson gig, but sadly Steve had to cancel the show due to illness. Let's hope he's ok and we can get him to play in the new year. In the meantime it's Pimp My Jazz this coming Sunday (27th) evening, which I'll be late for as I'm making my second appearance on Music Scene Investigation. Full details can be found on the MSI website, and it all starts at 9 pm; they're currently having a poll to find the 'best guest of 2011' in the MSI awards - if you feel like voting for me (or indeed anyone else) then you can do so here Excellent!

Last night myself and the long-suffering Shirley attending the 2011 Prince's Trust Rock Gala at The Royal Albert Hall - not the type of event that your humble narrator would normally attend (you'll see why in a minute!) but the lure of a solo performance from Pete Townshend proved too much for me to resist. The man himself was on good form, playing a 5 song set (since you've asked - 'I'm One', 'The Acid Queen', 'Corrina Corrina', 'Drowned' and 'Won't Get Fooled Again') and sounding great to my admittedly rather biased ears. He seemed to be in a good mood too (for once!) explaining the meanings behind the songs more than he normally does, and previewing his version of 'Corrina Corrina' which is due to be released next year on an Amnesty International benefit CD collection of Bob Dylan songs. The rest of the evening was a (mostly) enjoyable mixture of stuff from a suitably eclectic mixture of performers - I must admit I'm normally not really a fan of this type of thing as there's far too much fawning to the Royal Family for me, but that was minimal here. And Shirley had a good time, and I liked a lot more than I thought I would... I think I'd better stop now before I start slagging off some of the other acts... there, I've stopped. Trust me, it's for the best. No really, it is.

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