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.