Monday, September 05, 2016

Once Upon A Time

On 5th September 1966 filming began on 'The Prisoner' in the village of Portmeirion in North Wales. Fifty years on it still divides opinion - McGoohan's surreal masterpiece or overwrought nonsense? A brilliantly observed allegory or a clumsy mess? For what my opinion is worth you either get it or you don't - if you get it you'll argue it's excellence in the face of some of the most fervent criticism that something as seemingly trivial as a mere television show will ever receive, if you don't then you literally won't give it houseroom. Me? I think that if there's a better TV series then I've yet to see it - which reminds me, I must watch it again sometime soon. Many happy returns Number 6 - be seeing you... 

Anyway your humble narrator was a bit, erm, fragile yesterday… actually I was asleep for most of the afternoon. And before you ask - yes, I've still got a bit of a headache… but 'twas a splendid Saturday night at The 100 Club, a very special evening to cerebrate all round good bloke and man-with-lots-of-punk-tattoos Simon 'Coppo' Copson's 50th birthday. I joined Department S for their last three songs and had a bloomin' great time. And why not?

The previous evening Big Al and The Blistering Buicks played at The Sir John Gibson in Stanwell. It was a new gig for the band, and with my fellow six-stringer Pete away elsewhere I was obliged to cover some of his parts as well as my own. We played three short sets instead of our customary two hour-long spots - matters got decidedly weird in the first interval when a cheery chappie came over and interrupted myself and Dave the bass player's chat with the words 'alright lads? Sorry to interrupt…' (he quite clearly wasn't sorry) and then asked for 'some Madness, not the obvious stuff like 'Our House' and all that, I want a b-side or an album track - yeah?' The politest response I could think of was 'prepare yourself for a disappointment…' - to which he replied with 'oh yeah, and it's my mate's birthday' (people like him always have a mate with a birthday - strange but true) 'so if you could play him a Madness b-side or two' (how did I know that he was going to say that?!?) 'he'd be well happy'. Yes, I bet that he would. We played 'One Step Beyond' in our second set - I very much doubt that he even noticed.

There are three more BA and The BBs gigs this week (in Sunningdale, Burnham and High Wycombe since you've asked) as well as more days in Balcony Shirts so there's plenty to do. And on Friday the new Ruts D.C. single 'Music Must Destroy' is released on Westworld / Sosumi Records. The promo video is finished and looks great - Henry Rollins is as fearsome as ever, and even though I say so myself, we look pretty good too. That day in the cement-filled warehouse in Peckham was worthwhile after all - but more about that next time.

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