Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You upset me baby

It's been something of a 'bits-and-pieces-week' since last we spoke...

The last time Ruts D.C. visited The Music Complex in Deptford was to rehearse for last month's show at The Underworld in Camden; rather than busy ourselves with serious work as our 'big London gig' was on the immediate horizon we chose to attempt most if not all of our set in a rockabilly style before going to the pub opposite. Last Tuesday's gathering was a bit different, as with no gigs for a while we decided to get together to look at some other songs from the band's back catalogue as well as trying out some ideas for new numbers. Well that was the plan - what actually happened was that decided to play a few songs from our set in the style of The Upsetters (well, we'd jammed a few chords that we thought sounded a bit like them and then found ourselves playing 'West One (Shine On Me)' in a similar way. Strange but true. Incidentally if you follow this link you'll see the afore-mentioned song from our Southampton show a few weeks ago - watch the chap in front of me during the guitar solo and you'll see him making a well-known gesture at me throughout. I didn't think it was that bad!) before... no, not going to the pub (we did that after the session!) but actually getting down to what we were there for. Many an-idea was tried, arrangements were altered, and we all felt that progress was made. Another similar session is planned for the not-too-distant future - more news as and when I have it, as they say.

Well so far so good - except that by the time I got home I wasn't feeling too well. We'd only had a couple of drinks (honest!) so that wasn't the cause; however after an early night I woke up the next day feeling as though I hadn't been to sleep, all heavy limbs and heavier head. I managed to stumble through a day at Balcony Shirts before going home and falling asleep for an hour-and-a-bit. Rock'n'roll eh? Still I felt a bit better so made it back into Uxbridge to meet Scott from the shop at Harris + Hoole where he was due to play a short acoustic set with your humble narrator joining him for a couple of songs. When I got there a chap who's name escapes me (Sorry! But I'd not been well!) was playing some difficult sounding jazz piano (I'm not entirely sure that there's any easy sounding jazz piano, but that's another story. Mind you, what do I know?!?) which sounded very appropriate in the context of the venue and indeed the evening. Next up was John Napier who I first met back in the 1980s when his band Hector's House played a few shows with The Price. I always thought that he wrote good songs back then and if his set here was anything to go by he still does. Scott then played a couple of songs before asking me to join him for 'Ain't No Pleasing You' and 'Taarabt's Too Good For You', both of which went well not least considering that the extent of our rehearsal was to decide on keys and talk through the songs when I arrived at the coffee shop. It could all have gone horribly wrong but thankfully it didn't. Last on was R.W. Hedges, a good friend of Scott's who did very well in the Mojo magazine 'New Voice' competition a couple of years ago. He'd put the evening together and finished proceedings very well. All in all a highly enjoyable evening in an excellent venue - let's hope they put more musical events on there in the future.

Fridy evening saw The Upper Cut return to The Admiral Nelson in Twickenham for the first time in quite a while. I took the opportunity to try out my newly-acquired Marshall combo as mentioned in these hallowed pages last week - I didn't get as much time as I would have liked to get to grips with it during the week (I've not been well you know!) but overall I think I've made a good purchase as it certainly sounded good where I was standing. It's definitely a 'rockier' sounding amplifier than my Fender (as you would expect) and to be honest it might be a bit much for The Upper Cut but I might give it another go this weekend (we're at Patrick's Bar in Crystal Palace this coming Friday) and see how it sounds. The show was a good one too, with everyone playing well and ending with Sue the landlady offering us money to play for longer. This happened in Colnbrook last month too - maybe we should just charge more and then play for longer?

After a Saturday in the shop (not too busy but busy enough) I had what felt like my first Saturday night off in ages - at last a chance to catch up with things that need doing and maybe even have an early night given that I'd not been feeling well earlier in the week... obviously I didn't do anything of the sort as I went to The Crown And Treaty to see punk covers band No Lip. They feature my old mate Pete Bradshaw on guitar (back in the day he was known to many as 'Suts' after attempting to adopt the stage name Peter Sutcliffe - they were odd times...) and did a pretty good job of summoning up the spirit of '77. And Pete and myself did a pretty good job of drinking far too many drinks after the show. Well - Saturday night out and all that...

And last night it was back to The Three Wishes in Edgware for the the Monday night jam session. An enjoyable evening all round, and it's a regular event that's well worth a visit - you can find their Facebook page here if you're interested. I'm still a bit surprised that I like it as much as I do...

And if you're in the Hayes area this Saturday evening Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks have a short notice gig at The Wishing Well (it's on the Uxbridge Road opposite the police station - you can do your own 'that'll be handy for when the fight breaks out'-type punchlines if you like...) which should be an interesting evening, not least because they've only just started putting bands on there. Let's hope there's an audience!

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