Monday, May 27, 2013


I got up early on Wednesday morning. Well, I was up before 6.30, which I think is early although I suppose for some people it's not that early at all. I'd decided to go to the 'David Bowie Is' exhibition at The Victoria And Albert Museum in London - research had revealed that although all the advance tickets had been sold it was possible to buy a ticket on the day if you got there at 10am and queued up. I picked Wednesday as I was working in the shop on all the other days last week and I wanted to go before it got to the school summer holidays. Anyway as I stumbled around half awake (or half asleep, depending on your point of view) I turned my computer on the check how the tube trains were running and was greeted with the very sad news that ex-Spiders From Mars bassist Trevor Bolder had died. He played on what for many are some of Bowie's greatest ever recordings - I'd go so far as to say that they're some of the finest rock records of all time. A few hours later at the exhibition I saw that amazing live-on-'Top Of The Pops' version of 'The Jean Jenie' that was rediscovered a couple of years ago - Bowie, Bolder, Mick Ronson and Woody Woodmansey frozen in time wearing clothes that still look futuristic now and playing music that literally changed a generation. Fantastic stuff, as is the rest of the exhibition which I for one cannot recommend highly enough. Rare footage, handwritten lyrics, extraordinary costumes, photographs, memorabilia and more - it was so good I'm considering going again. If you're wondering about attending then make the effort - it really is worth it!

This weekend's two Upper Cut shows both got off to bad starts, but both ended up being good shows. I guess this is better than them starting well but ending badly? Saturday saw our first visit to The Kings Arms in Harefield this year - this is generally a good gig for us and as I say this turned out to be the case this time although it wasn't without it's problems. If you were to look down upon the pub it's probably best described as 'U-shaped' - the stage is along one side of the U (if you see what I mean) and is set back into the wall. It's also not very big - there only room for Roger's drums (and indeed Roger himself) and mine and Terry's amplifiers, with me and the two Terrys down on the floor in front of the drums along with the P.A. system. This means that (a) it's all but impossible for Roger to hear the vocals, (b) it's hard for me and Terry to get to our amplifiers if they need adjusting, (c) because the room is long and thin if people dance then you stand a fair chance of getting a microphone in the face and (d) there probably is a (d) but it's time that I stopped moaning. Our first set sounded rough with more than a few mistakes from the band - Roger described it as feeling as though he was playing in a cupboard and that he hadn't heard a single word that Terry had sung - but the second sounded better (probably because people had moved around to watch the band and so had soaked up some of the sound) and our performance improved immeasurably with much merriment and encores a-plenty. And yesterday's show in Colnbrook at Ye Olde George Inn also got off to a shaky start as the power went off a few seconds into our first number 'How Come'. The barman came over with an extension cable and the words 'we've had a few problems with those sockets' - with the power restored we carried on more-or-less where we'd left off the night before and played well from then on in. As we were doing three sets we were able to include a few songs that don't get aired too often which resulted in the odd mad moment here and there but generally sounded good, and it was nice to be able to try a few different things. At the end a chap came over and asked how much money we'd want to play for another hour - now that's something that doesn't happen too often! We didn't do it of course - 'leave them wanting more' as someone once said...

There's just time to mention that Louder Then War have reviewed Ruts D.C.'s new album and our London and Bearded Theory shows - all good stuff (I wouldn't be mentioning them here if they weren't!) although I must admit that it's still a bit weird to read my name in connection with the band - I wonder if I'll ever get used to it? And I'm making another appearance in the big headphones on Music Scene Investigation this coming Sunday, which always a good thing to do. Excellent!

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