Fortified by miniature chocolate LPs (oh all right then- After Eight Mints- it's the sleeves that do it!) I headed on down to Camden, an easy journey for me. It was heaving with people, even at 6.30 p.m. but they were setting up in The Camden Eye and I took a pew to wait for the proceedings to start up.
I was soon joined by an extremely inebriated young man who demanded a hug, asked to borrow my spectacles, showed me his tattoo, asked me how old I was, told me how old he was, and was a thorough nuisance.
Luckily, my Champagne Friend turned up and I was able to escape; the inebriated young man turned his attention to the next lady in the row and I could hear him pestering her in the distance.
There was a selection of very interesting acts: I really enjoyed the Anti Poets and the Russian Spy, but was not so sure about the spoken word chap who entertained us with lurid physical sex-details: but who am I to complain, who wrote a song called 'Thrush' when I was a mere teenager?
The Bruvs Big and Little turned up with their partners (hi Sarah!), and so did Lester Square, and I hove to the stage to be joined by Paul Eccentric and his spangly band the Rrrants (the keyboard player was lost for a while, but we called 'BEEFY!!!' a few times and he appeared out of the crowd).
We played a jolly rendition of Loverman, a remarkable soulful rendition of Heaven Avenue (the trumpet player had written some lovely brass parts), a rackety On New Year's Eve (I forgot the chords but pretended that I didn't), a splendidly funereal Temptation (the trumpet player, when I looked round, was clutching a euphonium to his lips: I threatened to go downstairs and get my big guitar), and Footsteps at my Door, the fastest I have ever played it.
Do you know what? It was huge fun. They are really good players and it was a massive thing that they had learned all the songs so well and seemed to enjoy playing them so much. There was drums, double bass, keyboards, self on guitar, tenor sax, trumpet/euphonium and two other vocalists: a big band! What a laugh! I hope we do it again!
I've been recovering today and enjoying a feeling of total relaxation.
The horrible term is nearly over, the tension is leaving me, the Christmas tree is up, the Glasgow and Edinburgh gigs are next weekend, I've finished the therapeutic Baked Alaska story, and already made a New Year's Resolution: never again will I allow work to crush imagination and creativity out of my life!