Saturday, November 28, 2009

Library Internet Catchup at High Speed!!!!

Through a fog of tiredness, I hopped on the tube to The Perseverance, that warm and friendly pub. Acton Bell was there already. and so was Steve, the guitar virtuoso, and a motley collection of open and friendly musicians. Steve started the evening off with a short but sweet psychedelic instrumental guitar adventure, and I played next as Martin had offered to give me a lift home (after his 10 hour drive from Inverness in his unheated car, bless him) to keep an eye on Old Lady Cat. SOmething has suddenly clicked with my live perfromances- I have got back to the ease that I had with Helen and the Horns where I am no longer fearful of forgetting words; my head and body have joined together and I'm at one with the Gretsch, so it's a joy to play and sing, as natural as breathing. The audience was smiley and friendly and they seemed to like the Daisies song a lot. I saw a bit of Portia Winters' set as she sound checked but not much else this time around unfortunately but I'll try to catch more next time on the 15th December at Acton Bell's next night.

Rick, who was Joby and the Hooligans' drummer, was there and it was great to see him again.

Later, I got a wonderful text from Kienda Hoji, head of the music course at the University of the West. Our entrant to the Peter Whittingham Songwriting Competition, Sherika Sherard, had won first prize and I am absolutely delighted for her. She's brilliant, a natural of urban folk. Check out her myspace at

Next morning, Old Lady Cat came to the vets with me. Overcome with sadness, I could not help blubbing which was really embarrassing. They have kept her there to feed her steroids and fluids, and all my Christmas present budget has now vanished into the vets' coffers. I can't believe she has become so ill so quickly and we are all missing her at home, even Whippersnapper, who is normally so selfish.

Feeling as though I was wearing a heavy coat whose pockets were stuffed with unpleasantly sharp objects, I scraped up the M1 to Milton Keynes, where I met Martin and we went on to the gig in the barn.

What a beautiful venue! The Cruck Barn is painted white inside, with exposed wooden beams. Someone had arrived in a fantastic 2-tone pastel vintage Chevrolet with wraparound screen, and after soundchecking we sat and chatted to one of the founder members of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, a guy called Ray who used to play tuba and drums. He told us a very funny story about being asked to drive a van from Tunbridge Wells to Newcastle upon Tyne and realising he hadn't got enough petrol and he had no money. So he picked up a series of hitchhikers, asking them to buy petrol. Poor things thought they had a free ride and discovered that they had to finance him instead!

The promoters had done a really good job- there were projected backdrops made from our images that they had downloaded and the sound was crystal clear. The audience was quite well-to-do, but they were open minded listeners and gave both of us a reallty good reception, and we were invited to join them at their tables for dinner. I think that the gig will appear on Youtube and I'll write the details down when it does.

Hi to Wilkie from St Albans- I hope you enjoyed it!


Anonymous said...

I hope Old Lady Cat gets better soon!!

Wilky of St Albans said...

Enjoyed it? Very much so, and very glad I stayed. I guess in the intervening years I'd forgotten just how, errr, 'clean and pure' your voice is. Well, I know what I mean - not easy to explain without a lot of hand gestures. A good thing nonetheless. Glad too that I stayed for Martins set. Enjoyed it.

Remember - a question to be asked ***taps nose***

Hope cat gets better

W of StA

Helen McCookerybook said...

Thank you Ann. She's been at the vets for 3 days and is having an op this morning.
Wilkiy- can you send your address to