Sunday, June 08, 2014

Blood on the tracks

I got on a tube train the other day - nothing too unusual about that - and as I sat down I smiled cheerily at the two young ladies who were sitting opposite me. They looked somewhat awkwardly back at me, probably because blood had just started pouring from my nose. Sadly there is nothing too unusual about that either (the nosebleed, not ladies looking awkwardly at me... actually thinking about it... hmmm, maybe it's best that I don't think about that too much!) at this time of year as the hay fever season is once again upon us. Every year I think that I might be lucky and it won't effect me, and every year it does... bah!

In the meantime I have spent much of last week at Jamm in Brixton with house engineer Greg a.k.a Wizard working on, among other things, the upcoming Ruts D.C. live album. We've been reviewing recordings from several shows recorded over the last year or so with a view to compiling the best ones for release - as you might well imagine this is quite a lengthy and time consuming process, not least because the album is being mixed by Lee Groves (an old friend of Dave and Segs) who lives and works in New York. To this end we email a track over to him, he sends us a mix back, we listen and send him comments, he changes the mix accordingly then sends it back, we listen and send him comments... well, you get the idea. However from what I've heard this week it's all going to be worth it, as the tracks are sounding excellent. We're playing at The Concorde 2 in Brighton this coming Friday followed by a show the next night at The BWM Rally at Santa Pod Raceway, and there are more dates coming in all the time - good news all round!

After a day in the studio I travelled across town to The Half Moon in Putney on Friday evening to catch a night promoted by Retro Man blog writer Steve Worrall. I arrived just in time to catch a couple of songs by The Galileo 7, who feature ex - Prisoners bassist Allan Crockford on guitar and vocals. They sounded good enough for me to resolve to catch them again as soon as possible. Next up were The Len Price 3 who delivered a blistering set to the enthusiastic approval of everyone in the by-now sold out room. It was then left to headliners Graham Day and The Forefathers to close a brilliant evening, which they did in fine style. I've been a massive fan of Day's work since I first heard The Prisoners back in the day, and he remains a criminally under-rated singer and songwriter. As I say, a brilliant evening.

I've also played two shows with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks over the weekend, the first of which was at The Paddington Packet Boat in Cowley. With Pete away for the day I was on solo guitar duties, and with Dave gigging elsewhere Bob Pearce depped on drums for a show that suffered audience-wise at the hands of the England v Honduras game but was nevertheless an enjoyable affair. And I have just - just! - got in from a splendid afternoon show at The Horns in Watford. Dave returned on drums, Pete and myself were both on guitars and everybody in the band gave a fine performance. Great stuff - and there's plenty to look forward to this week, not least the Ruts D.C. gigs at the weekend. Hmmm... I've only played at The Concorde 2 once before, and on that occasion I managed to break to headstock off my Les Paul. Oooo! I intend to be using said instrument for these shows (it has been repaired in the meantime!) and hopefully nothing too untoward will happen this time. Mind you, we are playing on Friday 13th... 

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