Saturday, May 30, 2020

'Most peculiar mama...'

I've worn glasses for almost as long as I can remember. I've worn them in public for a little bit less time than that - I've never considered myself to be particularly vain person, but as a terminally shy adolescent who already feared that the chances of any young lady being even vaguely interested in talking to him were, to coin a phrase, less than zero I rather foolishly decided that the addition of a piece of scaffolding to my acne-ridden features was unlikely to improve matters. Ironically when I started going to watch bands (or maybe specifically to watch the guitarists in bands) I realised that wearing a pair of specs would greatly enhance my enjoyment of the performance. I also realised that it stopped me squinting and/or gawping aimlessly every time I tried to look at anything that was more than a couple of feet away from me, which, oddly enough, meant that I became a little more attractive to young ladies. Good news all round then - although it must be said that the words 'a little' are quite significant in that last sentence.
So - why am I telling you this? Well every so often I realise that my eyes have changed - you tend to assume that they've got worse, but I believe that this isn't always the case, especially as you get older - and when this happens I generally make an appointment to have my eyes tested by an optician. This usually results in them relieving me of several hundred pounds, followed by me spending a couple of years wondering if my new glasses really are better than my old ones. Then the whole process is repeated. Simple eh? 
But what I don't do is test my eyes by jumping in the car and driving 30 miles. And then driving back again. You'd have to be a complete clown to even consider doing that now wouldn't you? Especially if you'd previously driven over 250 miles anyway?
I've never met Dominic Cummings, and, at the risk of stating the obvious, I can't imagine that I ever will. I'm sure suits us both just fine. Have you heard the term 'don't judge a book by it's cover'? Of course you have. Well, just for a laugh, have a look at a picture or even better some film of Mr. Cummings - how do you think he looks? Interesting isn't it? As I'm in what passes for a good mood in my little life I'll be polite and say that he looks to me to be an odious little creep, which you might argue makes him ideally suited to be the Chief Advisor to Boris Johnson. You remember Boris Johnson don't you? You don't see much of him these days, but he's that lying toff who, bafflingly, is currently The Prime Minister of Great Britain. Now, leaving aside the fact that anywhere that has someone who would struggle to get a job on a television game show in charge of it shouldn't really use the word 'Great' in it's name, the most obvious course of action here would be for the Prime Minister to get a new Chief Advisor - after all, in these times of Coronavirus lockdown it's probably a good idea to have someone who can be trusted to stay on the right side of the law of the land giving you a helping hand. But no - apparently a much better idea is to make a rare appearance to defend said advisor's action, and then let said advisor sit in your back garden defending himself and his aforementioned actions. That's much better isn't it?
Hmm... is it me or have I missed something here? Rather like Mr. C appears to have missed the bit in The Highway Code where it says that you shouldn't drive a motor car if you haven't got good enough eyesight - after all, as he himself put it, 'I believe that in all the circumstances I behaved reasonably and legally'? Or maybe he just wanted to contribute to his infamous 'herd immunity' directive by driving up and down the county spreading the virus far and wide - after all, it's at best unlikely that he didn't at least have to stop for petrol on the way... meanwhile as the vast majority us play by the rules domestic abuse and mental health problems rise as countless people have lost work and in many cases watched their businesses go to the brink of collapse, while others can't go to funerals for family members and loved ones. And this pillock thinks that what he's done here is justifiable? 

Enough of such nonsense - let's get back to the music. Ruts D.C. contributed a song - 'Kill The Pain' in case you were wondering - to the 'Vive Le Rockdown' online festival last weekend. Organised by Vive Le Rock magazine and raising funds for The Music Venues Trust it was a rip-roaring two-and-a-half hour roller coaster ride (I should write this stuff for a living shouldn't I?!?) with a splendid rendition of the Tom Petty classic 'Learning To Fly' by The Cockney Rejects probably the best track for me. You can watch the whole thing on the VLR Facebook page here if you like - we're 10 minutes from the end...
The '40 Years Of The Crack' album cover.
Pretty cool huh?

Ruts TV has gone from strength to strength since last we spoke - the show now goes out on the band's Facebook page (here!) every other Friday at 8 pm (although it's available to watch after that if you can't make it then) and it's featured all manner of interesting items over the last few weeks. Well I think that it has, and judging by the amount of positive comments I'm pleased to say that many people seem to agree with me. Mind you, it didn't exactly go according to plan last night, when Episode 6 was blocked by Facebook as Universal Music objected to the promotional video for 'Something That I Said' by The Ruts being featured. Bah! 
Our live album from last year's '40 Years Of The Crack' tour is out next month - if only we could play some shows to promote it - and there's also a new band t-shirt which makes a contribution to both The Music Venues Trust and The NHS available to order here if you fancy treating yourself.

Of course we've also all received the very sad news that Dave Greenfield of The Stranglers has died. We've toured with the band several times over the last few years, and while I can't pretend to have known Dave well I've always found him to be friendly and cheerful whenever we've spoken. He leaves behind a enormous body of work - it's very difficult to be a distinctive-sounding keyboard player, but Dave certainly was that and a whole lot more. He'll be greatly missed by the band's millions of fans worldwide, and by everyone who knew him personally and could call him a friend.

And sadly The Rebellion Festival has joined the 'postponed-until-next-year' list - I don't mind admitting that I had thought that it might have happened as scheduled in August but have to agree that they've made the correct decision. And we should have been on tour in America this week - that's been rescheduled for next May. Hopefully.

In these increasingly crazy days it's perhaps tempting to look back to simpler times... in the Eighties and Nineties I played in a band called The Price. Don't worry if you haven't heard if them, you're not alone.... our fifth member/roadie/referee Eastberg (it would take to long to explain the name!) is currently attempting to compile a gig list (if you came to a show and you know the date, or even better have a ticket or poster advertising it then all contributions are most welcome!) and is also running a band Facebook page, which has recently featured photos from our East German tour in May 1990 among other delights. If you'd like to see these pictures and much more besides then click here - and was it really 30 years ago? Yes, incredibly, it was. Three decades! Amazing.

Time is funny stuff isn't it? Well, it certainly is at the moment...