It was a great night last night! The venue is a medium-sized warehouse type place which reminds me of the old Utrophia warehouse in Greenwich; at soundcheck time it was full of musicians, Japanese sushi makers, performers in half-costume and various sound-people. Rebecca Bogue, whose brainchild it is, moved swiftly and silently amongst everyone making sure that it was all running smoothly.
Actually, it ran so smoothly that I got two sound-checks but I'm not complaining. This was the first outing for the Green Goddess since she's been overhauled and she did me proud. The sound-man clearly fell in love with her and we had a Gretsch conversation while he was setting things up.
I was the first musician to play: big stage, big speakers but great sound. I couldn't see a thing because there was a big lighting rig too but I could see shapes dancing and feel a nice vibe, and I think I had a good night. Someone said 'awesome', and I could not have asked for a better compliment. I know I probably played the best version of Heaven Avenue that I have ever played: the guitar just plays beautifully, it's as silky as a breeze and I felt it was helping me instead of getting in the way like it used to.
It was so friendly- I spent the the evening talking to people who just spontaneously chatted: sculptors, a film-maker. We talked about Ben Wilson, the chewing-gum painter (what has happened to you, Ben?) and the philistines of Barnet Council who took legal action against him and ripped up all the paving stones he painted. I hope he becomes really famous and then they will realise that they ripped up millions of pounds worth of beautiful miniature paintings (that's millions of pounds of honesty).
There were clowns, performance artists, an electronica duo called Night & Fog who reminded me of a cross between Phoenix and The Young Marble Giants. We ate sushi ( in aid of the Red Cross Japan Earthquake Appeal) and watched the final live act, Widescreen, a sort of Mexican/Cajun/Flamenco band who got everyone up dancing with abandon: their musicianship was beyond compare.
After that I left for the darkened wastes of Barnet, but a new crowd were arriving for the DJ set that followed. It was the friendliest London night I have been to for ages, really relaxing and fun. Big Up to Rebecca for transferring what used to be an intimate house concert type thing across London from Harlesden to Hackney without losing an ounce of its variety and charm.
Want to donate to the Red Cross? Do it here: www.redcross.org.uk/JapanTsunami
P.S. I never review the crappy places I play (just in case you think I only ever write nice things!) (unless they're really so bloody awful that it's fun to write mean things about them).