Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Helen and the Horns

We had a really good rehearsal last night for Saturday's gig at Concorde 2 in Brighton. The guys are in full-on super horn blend mode and there was some very lovely playing, even though we were all the worse for wear for the heat- until we found the air conditioning unit. The girl, whose gender is famous for being crap at technology, noticed it and suggested that we use it.
Our sax player Paul Davey's other band, Daniel Takes a Train, are undergoing a revival at the moment and have just signed their back catalogue to a German record label. Dave Jago, the trombone player, has spent four weeks in India with The Bollywood Brass Band, and Steve Joy's band Stanley Dee, who do Steely Dan covers, is also doing very well; it gets more and more difficult to arrange gigs and rehearsals, which is why we play so rarely. It's much easier for me to be a solo artist and I do really enjoy the worry-free adventures that I have, but this makes it all the more fun when we do get together and play as Helen and the Horns. Everything just flows and it's a good feeling to be immersed in the sound of a band for a change.
Afterwards we went to the pub and Dave said that years ago when we used to MD shows with the Count of Three theatre group, our house band introduced Hamid Mantu (nee Hammy Lee) and Dubulah (Nick Page) , who then went on to form Transglobal Underground. Well I never.
We will be playing this one on Saturday. When you sing a song that you write ages ago, the lyrics become mechanical, just a part in the whole. I was singing it this morning and I remembered that this was actually the love song of a rock'n'roll widow. I had started going out with another musician who was constantly on tour, and I missed him. We ended up being together for 25 years, which isn't bad for two musicians because the music industry is a turbulent one that thrives on gossip and infidelity.
We broke up some years ago, but the song reminded me of how things felt at the time.

I also want to say that I was very sorry to hear about Ken. He was an ace songwriter and arranger and we all used to knock round together in our bands, full of hope, energy and ambition, playing on the same stages often to the same people. Rest in peace, Ken, X.

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