Saturday, May 29, 2010

Music of Every Sort

I gazed through the glass at the station. Was that Bruce Forsyth advertising Walker's Crisps on a poster?
No, it was Gary Lineker! Oh do be careful with that cheesy grin Gary!

Where was I?
Reviewing the Perseverance gig, that's where.
Acton Bell, her friend Steve and myself sat around chatting; she had entered the Holloway Women's Songwriting Competition and we speculated about why she might not have won and came to the conclusion that there is actually a genre of music called 'singer/songwriter', played by melancholy long-haired 28-year-olds (both male and female) with acoustic guitars and sadness.
If you don't fit into that genre, you're out on a limb, and proud to be there if you're us.
She's thinking of dressing up smart and taking her guitar along to the final, where she'll stand and look cross. Sounds good!
Yes, there are a few bands out there with young men with greedy faces too; they are usually in about five bands so they can spread the likelihood of getting somewhere, and they will ruthlessly band-jump whenever a more likely offer comes along.

Where was I?
Oh yes... Nadya Ostroff and Katy Carr came along, dressed to the nines; Nadya was gypsy-sixties and Katy was thirties-forties with a stern feathered hat. They had been at a book launch and had a tipple or two.
Jude Cowan arrived next, in a very stylish lustre dress and tweed hat.
The gig began with Acton Bell's set of Searchers songs; halfway through Katy suddenly appeared from downstairs with a group of elderly gentlemen in tweed jackets and striped ties, refugees from the cricket at Lord's, whom she had lured upstairs with the promise of forties songs in exchange for paper money to pay the sound guy.
She took to the microphone (rather to Amy's surprise) and played The Sunny Side of the Street and some other wartime songs on her ukelele until they had sat down and begun to look settled, then Amy returned and played some more Searchers and Beatles songs which everyone sang along to.
Then Nadya did her urban rap song, with the mic pointed at her feet to pick up the tramping-on-pavements sound.
Oh dear- it was my turn next and I was playing my own songs (the evening was supposed to partly showcase the Ramble My Rose songwriters group and our new songs).
I played the ones I knew best as I could not bear to mess things up with the tweedy set looking on, and Jude played next, with songs like Doodlebug Alley making a subversive contrast to the Vera Lynn set that Katy played earlier.
We took a break and the tweedy set disappeared; the evening finished with Jude, Katy, Nadya and me sitting in a row and playing two songs each, taking turns.
I completely cocked up All Systems Go! which I'd played perfectly in the soundcheck, so I'm going to put it on Myspace to save face and show that I can really play it (Steve said that he realised why I called myself the posh lady Chuck Berry when he heard it). Jude sang a lovely Indonesian song that lasted nanoseconds, about getting the husks off the rice. She told us she used to sing it with an Indonesian folk band in Indonesia.
You learn a lot of interesting things about people doing this out on a limb stuff!

I spent last night watching Martin play an outstanding set at DeBees in Winsford, Cheshire. I sat with Mike and June and we watched Rob's support band (very good- I'll find out their name) and got up to join Martin for Hamilton Square. Afterwards, a guy camee up to me and told me his brother worked for Mojo and said they should do an article on Martin. Bloody right they should- he is a fantastic songwriter and one of the best guitarists I have ever heard. Not many people know this but he can play a mean rockabilly riff and rock as hard as the real Chuck Berry when the mood takes him!

Anyway- the mini poppadums are a-cracklin' and it's time to make a bucket of tea: it's EUROVISION TIME!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Uncut magazine printed a letter a few months ago from someone asking for a feature on Martin; so they print the letter and don't do the feature. Cuh!

Rich C
PS I'd write it for them for free!

Helen McCookerybook said...

Why don't you do it Richard?

Anonymous said...

Helen contacting them lot is a nightmare (well getting them to respond is). Been banging away at getting the biog reviewed for nearly a year with no joy. Heard from an ex-journo I know that if you don't have a mobile phone no. for them then you have no chance of getting through. Fools!