Thursday, April 30, 2020

'Strange days indeed...'

So then.
‘We never bothered to scream,
when your mask went on...’

Self isolation
Social distancing

How is it all going for you?

I was on the phone to a musician mate of mine the other day who during the course of our conversation said something that has come back to me more than a few times lately - 'the thing is Leigh, people like you and me are probably a bit more used to self isolation than most people are'.

He's not wrong.

I think that a lot of people are finding out some, shall we say, 'interesting' things about themselves at the moment - from the vacuous airhead whining of useless 'celebrities' stranded in their mansions with only a swimming pool or two to amuse them, to the pub bore (remember pubs?!?) who doesn't complain quite so loudly about the lady that lives opposite who 'shouldn't even be in this country' as he's realised that nurses do a little bit more than just leave for work at irregular hours, the times they are a-changing. Indeed, the times they have a-changed. Will they ever change back again? Who knows - apparently a significant percentage of the country actually prefer the current lifestyle to what up until this point in proceedings has been considered to be 'normal'. As I say, times have changed.

Obviously these are not good times to be a musician that relies primarily on live performance for income. Ruts D.C. 'should' be out on our first acoustic tour as I type this - it's been rescheduled for August as discussed in the last blog post, which I have a horrible feeling may be proved to be a rather optimistic piece of planning. Attempts to move this year's Punk Rock Bowling Festival to the Autumn have sadly proved impossible so it'll be happening next May, as will our projected visit to the USA. We're touring Britain with The Stranglers in October and November before a series of European shows, and there are other gigs coming in - well, that's the plan anyway. Will any of it happen? No one knows.  

But we've not been idle. Our live album '40 Years Of The Crack' is due for release in June, and to this end a promotional film aired on the band's Facebook page a couple of Fridays ago. It was followed by a live Q and A session with Segs, all of which constituted the (ahem!) 'launch' of Ruts TV - the plan is for this to feature band footage (much of it previously unseen) alongside items recorded by us during lockdown. An ambitious idea in many ways - and if ever there was a time where plans change then this is it - but to this end I've been attempting to get to grips with Garageband (I've messed around with it in the past but didn't learn it 'properly, if you know what I mean) with a view to recording items for broadcast, and also to send new song ideas over to Dave and Segs and indeed to receive ideas from them. In the meantime episode 2 of Ruts TV featured previously unseen interview and live footage from The Fleece in Bristol a few years ago, while tomorrow night's show will feature The Ruts on the Belgian television show 'Follies' in 1980. Excellent!

And Alvin Gibbs and The Disobedient Servants have some new music due for release - the 'History' EP (actually 2 x 7" singles - how cool is that?!?) was recorded last year and features four new songs including one written and sung by your humble narrator. Yes, that's right - sung. I'm not sure how this happened either... if I could re-record every note of it then I would but, hey, that's just me being self-critical. Hopefully. Available from Time and Matter Records now!

Right - time to get on with... er, something or other... well, you know what it's like at the moment...

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