Monday, January 24, 2011

Sound Check Time

Through the grimy windows you can see people silhouetted against the yellow lights of the top decks of London buses as they swoosh by. It's  only 8 o'clock but the place is already buzzing and heaving and I've already spotted a famous middle-aged actress from some cop show or other.
This doesn't fit my plan of hesitant warbling to one man and his dog!  
Shall I run away? A fire engine hisses past, its siren moaning under  
a blue flashing light. 
Bloody January, and here, it seems sit almost all London's post-30  
songwriting talent, ambition leaking from our pores and thwarted  
dreams choking our voices .
We drink soft drinks through straws because we are driving. People  
with colds avoid kissing their friends after striding in purposefully, radiating a chill from outside, bag straps slung casually across their chests.
I am the only person here not surrounded by pals. This is probably  
strange but I have always enjoyed going out alone, watching as much as I want to and going home when I've had enough.

Actually, I didn't play that badly even though the entire Beefheart song left my head as soon as I hit the stage. I played 'Temptation' and 'Daisies' afterwards and really enjoyed that- the P.A. system is very good at the Boogaloo and the audience is a listening one, an absolute blessing to a solo artist. I enjoyed the other acts I saw, particularly the Goodbye Horses who were satisfyingly weird, inhabiting an alternative universe not that far from Maidstone. Nat the Hammer kicked off the proceedings with a jolly set, and Rose Hotel feature a star sax player who outshone even the shivery lap steel player.
I did leave before the end; I am frightened of tomorrow at work. I'm beginning to feel bullied: is this actually what is happening? Anyway just before I left a chap came up and bought a CD, which I raced out to the car for. I am not very commercially minded and I forget to take them with me, but I remembered there was one in the boot from ages ago. I hope he likes it.
I can thoroughly recommend Nat''s 'Under the Influence' nights. They happen monthly, featuring covers of a different artist each month, He chooses very left-field acts to play and cares a lot about the sound and the general vibe. The Boogaloo is a welcoming venue: shabby but not too sticky, rock'n'roll and cosy at the same time (odd, that!). Pics show a band sound-checking, and an upside down drum (they die if they are left on their backs too long, you know) making an interesting shadow poke out of Captain Beefheart's hat.

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

Sounds like it was a good night. I wanted to get along, but alas and alack.....

mystery word was 'sated'. Had I come along, I guess my ears would have been