Monday, December 14, 2015

'Monday I have Friday on my mind...'

I've just bought myself the new Bruce Springsteen box set 'The Ties That Bind'. It's a whopping 4 CD / 3 DVD collection that tells the story (or at least as much of it as The Boss wants us to know) of the sessions for what became 'The River', and from what I can tell so far it's absolutely amazing. The live show from Tempe in 1980 is playing in the background at the moment and is making it very difficulty to concentrate on this blogging lark - I saw the band in this tour a few months after this show and can honestly say that it changed my life. It's still probably that greatest live show that I've ever seen, and I've been lucky, I've seen some very good live shows. I must find some time to watch and indeed listen to all all 'properly' one day...

'Twas a roaringly good night on Friday, when your humble narrator journeyed up to The Academy in Islington to see The U.K. Subs supported by The Ramonas. I met up with ex - Jim Jones Revue guitarslinger Rupert Orton before the show (he doesn't drink so was having a green tea in the local Pret a Manger!) for a catch up before getting to the venue in time to catch much of The Ramonas show. They were as energetic as ever and went down splendidly well with the rapidly-arriving audience. In the interval there was time to say hello to a Sub or two as well as Darren from Crucial Talent and several audience members, many of whom seemed to be getting involved in the current Ruts D.C. PledgeMusic campaign. Excellent! 

(Incidentally all the relevant campaign information is here if you fancy being part of it. Go on - you know you want to...) 

At 8.45 The U.K. Subs took to the stage to the proverbial hero's welcome and proceeded to blast their way through a set of classics to the general approval of all concerned, although talking to them afterwards I got the feeling that they themselves weren't too happy with it. It's strange - sometimes you can stand on stage and think that it's the worst show that you've ever played while everyone out front thinks that it's brilliant. Ah well - I guess it's better that it's that way around... talking of which on Saturday evening I played with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks for the first time in a while, at The Riverside Club in Staines. After a busy day in Balcony Shirts I don't mind admitting that I was feeling rather tired (nothing to do with drinking with various Subs and Ramonas, honest!) and I didn't feel as though I played well, although everyone assured me that it was all sounding good. Then again a chap came up to me afterwards with the words 'has my wife heard of you? She thinks that she might have heard of you, has she heard of you?' I thought that he meant the band as Al had introduced everyone at the end of the show as he often does but no, he meant me 'not the rest of them'. I didn't really know what to say so I just said something like 'I doubt that she has' and attempted a cheery smile. 'Oh' said the chap in a rather disgruntled manner, before walking off with the words 'So she hasn't heard of you then Oh well... anyway, you were too loud'. A strange evening, although the next day more than made up for it as I spent much of it going through songs for the afore-mentioned new Ruts D.C. album with producer James Knight. A very productive few hours saw us drink coffee, make notes and generally rant and rave about how great the album is going to be. I also got to play a 1913 Martin parlour guitar that used to belong to Peggy Seeger and Kirsty MacColl's Gibson Dove. How cool is that? But now the work really begins - we're rehearsing all day tomorrow and Friday, then recording on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. There's lots to do, but I'm really - make that really - no, REALLY looking forward to it...

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