Thursday, April 12, 2018

Vintage vantage

So - no blog post for over a month. Lazy?

Well, no. I don't think so anyway. Much has happened since last we spoke...

The Stiff Little Fingers / Ruts D.C. 'Down To the Bone' U.K. tour went well. Very well. Inevitably some nights were better than others but pretty much everything went according to plan, with the Glasgow show at The Barrowland Ballroom being every bit as memorable as I for one was hoping it would be, and the last night of the tour at The Forum in Kentish Town turning out to one of the most enjoyable gigs that I've played in a very long time - it also exorcised the ghost of our last show there at Captain Sensible's 60th Birthday Party (you can read about it here if you like - suffice to say that all three of us were happy to have something better to remember about a show at the venue) which can't be a bad thing. We were hoping that there would be a few people in when we went on but were amazing to find the building all but full when we walked out onto the stage. Excellent! But as I say, everything about the tour was great - our crew Olie and Max were fabulous, and we travelled over 2,000 miles through England, Scotland and Wales. Not bad eh?

Since then we've played headlining shows at The Hat Factory in Luton and The Victory Hall in Balcombe, both of which both went well. It was great to play a longer set (we were playing a strict 45 minute show on the SLF tour) and to get to a couple of places that we'd not been to before. The Luton show was the last at the venue before it closes for refurbishment, and despite Dave feeling under the weather - he'd been unwell for the last three shows on the tour although he played as well as ever - we gave a energetic performance before a boisterous crowd. It was Segs's turn to feel unwell at the Balcombe show - he was asleep in the bus until around a half an hour before we were due to go on stage - but once again we pulled everything together on stage. And what an amazing venue - if you see a gig happening there that you fancy seeing then make the effort. You won't be disappointed!

In addition to appearing on stage we've also found ourselves on television - we recorded a session for Vintage TV in February (we weren't allowed to mention it anywhere - you might have thought that they'd have liked a bit of publicity?) which was first broadcast while we were away on tour (again they didn't tell us, we found out from friends and fans) and has been shown a couple of times since. It also featured The Skids among others, and it's on their website (episode 402 - here's a trailer for it) if you'd like to see it. The day was a bit of a strange one - we weren't too happy with our performance, but watching it now it actually looks pretty good. Dave and Segs are appearing on the channel again this coming Sunday 15th April at 5 pm on the 'Our Vintage' show, choosing some videos and talking about some of their favourite music - here's a preview. It looks good doesn't it? And your humble narrator made an appearance on The Fiery Bird show on Radio Woking, playing some favourite music and talking about, well, anything that Elaine the presenter wanted to talk about. A highly enjoyable two hours - thanks to Elaine and Joe for inviting me onto the show.

Things go a little quieter for the band now (this may not be a bad thing, it's been a hectic couple of months!) until the end of this month when we return to Glasgow to play the Scotland Calling festival. But there's work to do - the words 'new album' have been bandied about at Ruts DC HQ rather a lot lately... 

In the meantime it's been back to basics with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks. I don't mind admitting that finding yourself playing in front of a few dozen semi-interested people at The Misty Moon in Northwood more-or-less exactly 24 hours after we'd played The Forum was a bit of an odd thing to find yourself doing; it wasn't an unenjoyable show, but as I say it was a little odd... the next afternoon saw an excellent gig at The Horns in Watford, and we've been out and about here and there ever since. We're out and about this weekend too... as I say, back to basics - and why not?