It's my birthday on Friday, and starting then I've got 3 gigs in 3 days with 3 different bands. I realise that for most people that would not constitute a reasonable way to celebrate such an event, but you won't be surprised to hear that it fits the bill just fine for me... The Upper Cut play The Dolphin in Uxbridge on the day itself, the next night Big Al and the Blistering Buicks are back at The Brushwood Inn in Hillingdon and on Sunday Neck play The Ambition Festival in Croydon. Excellent!
And it's been 3 gigs with 3 different bands since last we spoke, starting with The London Sewage Company at The 12 Bar Club in Holloway on Friday. It was singer Barnet Mark's birthday, and with The Fallen Leaves and Chris Pope among the other acts on the bill a splendid time was guaranteed for all. I'd spent the day with Noel and Rob (incidentally that's Rob on bass in this legendary clip. Oh yes!) from Menace rehearsing for our upcoming acoustic show at The Rebellion Festival - when I got to the venue The Love Me Tenders were roaring through their set and sounding good to me. Next up Chris Pope who played with customary commitment and energy, with new songs and Chords classics sitting together well. By the time we went on around half past nine the place had filled up nicely and our set saw much merriment on the dance floor. It also saw various items of underwear thrown at Mark who then got covered in silly string followed by an inordinate amount of flour amid scenes that wouldn't have been out of place at a King Kurt gig. He took it well, but I suppose he had to if you think about it. The Fallen Leaves then gave a wonderful performance - I hadn't seen them for a while and had all but forgotten how much I like them. After that it was time to leave for the train home, but not before bidding Mark goodnight - he was wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt and an increasingly confused expression. And why not?
On Sunday afternoon The Upper Cut made their latest appearance at Ye Olde George in Colnbrook. It being a very hot afternoon I for one was half-expecting a low audience turnout but I'm pleased to say that there were plenty of people present, including Blistering Buicks Big Al and Pete both fresh from The Uxbridge Auto Show. Despite the heat we gave an energetic show that wasn't without incident - I was interrupted mid-solo by a young lady who I think was trying to tell me that I was playing too loud (I couldn't hear what she was saying as I was playing too loud) while later a table collapsed for no apparent reason (at least none that I could see) and a young couple kept telling us that they'd tried to book us for their wedding a year or so ago (we hadn't been available, although no one could quite work out why). All in an afternoon's work.
And last night Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks played The Ox And Gate in Dollis Hill. A Tuesday night gig is rare enough, but a seven o'clock start at a Hungarian food night qualifies as 'previously uncharted territory' on more than one level. Howard once again made a great job of depping on drums, I met Aussie Rob who used to play in Swervedriver and Curve and who knows the lads out of Menace and everyone else enjoyed the free food, especially Al who at one point had possibly the biggest sausage that I've ever seen (oo-er missus etc) on his plate.
Me? I bought myself a veggie burger. Of course I did. 'If they give you lined paper, write the other way', as someone once wrote...