:28 June 2001
It has been an eventful fortnight.
A couple of Tuesday evenings ago the Rear (Gunner Drummer) of the Year, Mon Capitan and the bass holder went to a pub in Streatham (please note; pronounced "STRET-TEM" not "STRETH-UM" or even worse, "SAINT REATHAM") there was a jam!! It is run by a bloke called Dave and it has a more acoustic flavour than the general Krick-hated Stratocaster fests. The pub used to be the Post Office and some old people still bewilderedly queue up at the bar ready to collect their pensions or buy postal orders for their grandchildren in Telford's birthdays.
There were no electric guitars (hooray!) but there was a tin sandwich strummer (boo!) and a soprano sax strangler (erm?). Crush did an unplugged Pay Attention with Bongo Boy actually on bongos (Daylight come and I want to go home) and they also performed the magnificent Crush classic cover "My Old Man's A Dustman". The bass person did jam later with the skiffle people (a bit of a Lonnie Donegan evening as it happens!!) and at the end there was a "Sweet Home Alabama" free for all. That's the song where Lynyrd Gnidrolog berates that nice Canadian songwriter Mr.Young for writing a condemnation of the culture of slavery in the south and they say how it is their business and he ought to butt out..how right on of them!!
KEN, KING'S COLLEGE & COLDHARBOUR LANE
Ken, an acquaintance of the guitarist and bassist recently dropped his Kawasaki 2000 and damaged his body. He is in King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill. The Capt. and the bass holder went to visit him. They got the train to Loughborough Junction. They had a few minutes, so they visited the Green Man on Coldharbour Lane for a swifter. Ah! The sound of Perry Como, the smell of fried fish and rice'n'peas, the herbal aroma, the slamming down of the dominoes.
They saw Ken. It was a typical hospital visit i.e. one party quietly hoping they can go soon, the other party secretly wishing they would! They look forward to see him propping up a bar again soon.
On the way back the visitors popped in the Angel and its fab jukebox.
THE CAPTAIN'S LOG.
One evening last week the Capt. was (on purpose) exposing his barely pigmented Caucasian epidermis to all manner of unfiltered solar electro-magnetic radiation in the park and suddenly, "BONK!!" He thought he'd been hit by a meteorite or a bovver boot in the side of the head. It was in fact a portion of tree. I never saw it but the Capt. reported it was about five feet long and ten or twelve inches in diameter. It landed right on his right cheekbone. It left a graze and an amount of bruising and swelling. We all had a good laugh. It might have made him a better man. He's lucky it didn't just brain him there and then. We all had a good laugh. He's almost completely recovered now but we did have a good laugh.
DUDLEY WELLER (!?).
Last Saturday week the last thing the band was expecting was a sudden gig. But not a normal sudden gig: a duo gig! An agent that deals with duos called up in a panic on the Friday because he had a cancellation and needed a duo quick. The drummer was otherwise occupied and so Dudley and Weller did it. They spent a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon deciding how to approach it. There were a lot of options. The Capt. would obviously play guitar and sing, but what of Dudley? Just bass without drums is a bit thin, two guitars worked for Weller and the man with the vascular neck, but takes time to arrange and sort out. He could have played keyboards (in fact the Capt. borrowed one from Jill in case) but that needs some preparation. In the end they took the bass and the Telecaster.
The gig was at Palmer's Green. That's about as far as you can go north and still be in London. On the way they was a map misunderstanding and they had to go via Greenford and Kenton. The pub was busy, full of "young people". The manager said to start quietly and then liven it up. They first tune was "Breakfast at Tiffany's", quite a strident little number. At the end of this first tune the manager appeared and said, "OK, you can liven it up now!" Mr.Weller said that this is as "lively" as it gets. Since it turned out to be a loud dancy gig (as opposed to a sitting down listening to the groovy guitars and tunes type gig) they decided to play to the gallery and did the whole shebang with guitar and bass, as if the drummer was there.
The gig was bloody hard work, they missed the drummer terribly, not just because of the drumming but also the high harmonies he always supplies. There were times though when it was thought that one could hear the drums and singing hidden in the mix! Spooky!
HANK MARVIN, THE BEVERLEY & NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE
On Monday the Capt. and Dudley went round to Ricky's house to run through "Apache". It's the latest tune that they do with the esteemed local dustman. He (Ricky) plays it very well. They just did a couple of renditions and then retired to the Beverley public house for a well-earned beverage or two.
FRIDAY: HERE WE GO! HERE WE GO! HERE WE GO!
Last Friday the bass operative got up at about nine thirty am. That's late for him. He creatively mowed the lawn (see his mowing the lawn creatively web page as soon as it's finished). He went out bought the Guardian and caught a tube to Tooting Broadway. He read the paper accompanied by a pint or two (of Guinness) in Jack Beard's. He then had a lunch of Masala Dossai in Jaffna House. He purchased a selection of Tamil snacks to take away. He took a cab home and waited for the drummer to arrive. There was a film on TV in which Jimmy Stewart was a submarine captain. The Rear Admiral duly arrived at the pre-arranged time (something of a first!) and they set off to the West Country. The weather was hot and sunny and due to become more so over the next few days. This is the bassist's most hated weather, hot, sweaty and uncomfortable!!!
They convened after three hours driving at Jubilee Grove. Sara had prepared a welcoming portion of pizza for them. The band sorted things out and prepared to leave for the gig. It was about a twenty-minute drive. The venue was a charming olde worlde pub on the quayside at Exeter. The playing area was the darts ochee!! Loads of space. After re-arranging the pub's furniture, they set up.
They played well. The sound was good and phat. Low ceilings certainly help with the sound!! The fans from as far away as Clevedon witnessed them doing their usual mix of pop classics and originals. And it was nice to see the lovely Bernie again!!!
Afterwards there was a small house party at Jubilee Grove. The Tamil snacks bought earlier that day in South London were scoffed by all. The drummer asked Robin about a trip on his boat. Robin said, "Yes", but to catch the tide they would have to up at seven am. The bass bloke said that he would like to join them.
YO HO HO! WHOSE TURN IS IT IN THE BARREL?
Mssrs. Dudley, Corser and Bell got up at seven, after about three and a half hours kip. They loaded the oars and rollocks into Robin's white car and drove the five minutes to the harbour. Robin and Sara's boat is a twenty footer, which they have re-built onto an existing hull over the last couple of years. I'm not very technical in the boat area but there is a mast a main sail and a jib. An engine, a cabin with bunks and a small galley. The boat is very pretty. It was moored about a hundred yards out. Robin launched his rowing boat and rowed me out to it. We got onboard and he motored it to the harbour wall in order to pick up the drummer. The sky was clear blue; there was bright sunshine but the temperature not too hot yet. The sea (or estuary to be pedantic) was flat. The water looked a strident dark blue. We motored up the estuary (towards the Turf). Then at some point Robin cut the engine and we helped him unfurl the sails.
The Rear Admiral (or on this occasion more like a Midshipman) took up his familiar rôle at the back but this time handling the tiller and the main sail, the bassist looked after the jib sheets and Robin was, of course, the skipper. All went quite well, apart from nearly sailing straight into the sea wall north of Starcross. The drummer proved he's a better drummer than a tillerman and the bassist pathetically complained about the pain in his right elbow caused by all that ukulele-ing. After an hour or so we moored the boat and Mr.Bell rowed the bass player back to the harbour. He sat on the dock of the bay watching ships come and go as the drummer rowed back to fetch the skipper.
In the afternoon various people (Lady Di, Blind Dog Walker, Madwoman Rachel, Sara, Robin, Knobbie et al) were having an open air barbie party (not the doll called Barbie nor the Nazi war criminal Barbie but a barbecue barbie). It was down on the dune-y part of the front called the Mare. The council has supplied municipal barbecue places. The weather was overwhelmingly hot and sunny- dreadful. The bass player escaped into town to "get some shopping". The others ate grilled food, drank alcohol and flung about a plastic disc toy called a "Frizby".
Saturday's gig was in a pub in Exmouth (Please note. The locals say "EX-MOUTH" not "EX-MTH", a distinct "MOUTH", just like the Northumberland locals in Alnmouth, that's "ALN-MOUTH" not "ALN-MTH", although Alnwick -the seat of the Duke of Northumberland- is pronounced "ANN-ICK"). The band arrived at about eight, went through the setting up routine and played the gig. It was rocking!! Afterwards everyone went to Lady Di's for a jolly up. And a fine time was had by all.
SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY.
The weather was getting hotter! The bass player traced the mysterious Lympstone newspaper trail, this time ending in Londis. Strolled to the Redwing, arriving two minutes after opening time. He read his Sunday Times and chatted briefly to the not-to-be-there-much-longer Landlord Dave. Dave Redwing called for a cab and the bass player went to the Strand in Exmouth. He took lunch in the Powder Monkey-horrible. It was "surf'n'turf". That means a steak with a cash and carry portion of bread-crumbed scampi bunged on the plate. The pub is like a McDonalds or a Harvester. This is down market indeed!!
The band met up at the pub for the gig. There was a lot of space. They played very well that PM.
Later they all went to Pauline's karaoke night at the Pilot in Exmouth. Sara did a tune or two. The only one of the band to get up was the bass player he performed, "The Weatherman Says" (his composition) to the backing track of "Uptown Top Ranking". Everyone had a beer or two!!
A NICE SPOT BY THE CANAL.
Now it was Monday. The gig was for Headway. They are an organisation that looks out for people with head injuries et cetera. The band was playing at noon!! This is very early for performers, especially musicians. The venue was fab. An old pub on the canal next to the lock keepers cottage. The weather was still terrible-hot & sunny. The band was to set up outside next to the barbecue area under a huge awning, which they did. Since it was a Monday lunchtime I was surprised how many people were there- and ones the band knew as well.
The bassist was quietly tuning up and some bloke with shades and a hat on came over spouting the usual rubbish punters say. It was along the lines of, "Were you on that Popstars TV thing?" The bassist said, "Oh yeah, we did all that." Then this punter said, "Are you professional?" the bassist said, "Yes", but meant, "Go away!" The punter then said, "You don't who I am do you?" The bassist said, uninterested, "No." It turned out to be Ivor Abiks an old friend from a long time ago. They had a long chat. The band played and everyone had a good time except the Capt. and the Rear Gunner who by now had developed sore throats and were losing their voices!!
The entourage had lunch at the pub (a bit disappointing), went back to Lympstone, picked up their luggage and drove back to London. The bassist and drummer had a quick trip back, stopping for the pint at the Bell in just before Stonehenge on the A303.
Post a Followup