Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pieces of Eight

We'd had a Desperado Housewives rehearsal in the afternoon, practising a Cowgirl set for a gig in October. We ate grapes and thought about harmonies and sad songs that warranted handkerchiefs.
Then later, the gig at the 12 Bar was a bit like one of those Kellogg's Variety Packs of little boxes of cereal: a tasty gem here, a tasty gem there.

Jude Cowan was well on form, and so was LA Salami with his Sarstedt/Dylan tinged music and dark and surreal lyrics, and David Studdert, whose big doomy voice challenged Johnny Cash's legacy from time to time.. While I played, a man lay on the floor, twitching his feet in time to the songs. I was pleased to see from the regular twitchings that I kept good time throughout. I cocked up Loverman (or thought I did).
'Cockabilly', quipped a chap from the little balcony.
'I haven't got the right equipment for that', I quipped back in a rare moment of quick wit; this was a huge relief as I have been feeling senility creeping up on me recently.

The alternative-to-the-alternative scenesters were out en masse, either performing or attending: Kath Tait, Katy Carr, Val Phoenix, Paul Eccentric, Lucy Boccino, CT, and the joint was buzzing and even, occasionally, jumping.

I left with Katy and was delighted to see Gary (otherwise known as Smeg, lead singer with King Kurt) sitting at the bar. At times, he has almost seemed like a brother to me and I have not seen him for a long time. I have known him since he was sixteen and when I was poorly after The Chefs split up he spent some of his dole money on a packet of fish fingers and cooked them for me in his dark mouse-infested bedsit in Kilburn. We gave each other a big hug.
Katy and I stopped off on the way home at a Lebanese tea house. I had violet tea and she had a spicy Russian tea, both of us sitting on a long cushioned bench beside a brass table.

This morning, our rockabilly music arrived. Martin had sent it Special Delivery and I listened to it at once, and it made me feel bouncy. I bounced down to Docklands for a rehearsal with my nephew Alex, who I am gradually teaching the Helen and the Horns trumpet parts to. We are learning how to communicate with each other. Two short rehearsals a week will do it, with a lot of listening. We have been slightly held up buy the fact that someone has been stealing their post and the CD and sheet music I sent to him never got there. Three songs down and four more to go!

After that I drove the Offsprogs to Stansted to catch a flight to France; I have a few days to myself, to catch up on work and do a bit of relaxing.
The Poly Styrene interview I did (I was delighted that she agreed to talk to me) is marred by shrieking feedback that must have happened as I held the dictaphone to my mobile phone. I can hear what she says, which is a bloody good job, but listening to the piercing noise gives me a headache and I can only transcribe a bit at a time. And I'm re-reading the Slits book and I have Don Letts' The Punk Rock Movie to watch this weekend as well; but no real writing yet, as the book has to be scanned and sent over.

Now where did I put those chocolates?

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