Sunday, February 19, 2006

An Acoustic Diversion.
An extraordinarily succesful gig by Me and The Missus last night. Having not tread the boards as part of an acoustic duo for a good eighteen months we were a bit concerned about how we'd manage, especially given that we'd been asked to bulk the set up to a sturdy two hours and as a result had spent a couple of anxious evenings running through some new (to us) songs and resurrecting a couple of half-remembered hits of yesteryear. Oh, and being too hungover on thursday to run through them all and see how long they lasted. The venue was a local village's local's pub, and one thing regulars in such an establishment expressly do not want to do on a saturday night is sit transfixed in silence while you pursue your heartfelt reading of an obscure Boo Hewerdine album track, and so the hubbub of conversation is at a constant throughout. Bolstered by the presence of a good few friends, neighbours, supporters and a close-to-the-stage table of youths who, although lippy aren't about to do anything to jeopardize their chances of getting served in the pub next weekend, we strike up a rapport with most of the audience, inviting responses on questions of the day such as why The Clash are responsible for global warming and whether Cliff Richard really does have a living doll at home with real hair (and which is quite possibly wired for sound). While the chat in the room is raging around us, that doesn't mean that they aren't listening, as their enthusiastic reactions to (of all things) a belligerent version of Richard Thompson's 'Shoot Out The Lights' and a whooping singalong to Squeeze's 'Up The Junction' betray. By the end of side two of the performance a combination of our getting the measure of the crowd and their galloping consumption of Adnam's Ale lead to a triumphant closing trinity of 'London Calling', 'Istanbul (not Constantinople') and KT Tunstall's 'Black Horse and The Cherry Tree', during which H's throwing herself into the spirit of the occasion leads her to inadvertantly rename 'Big Black Bush and The Cherry Tree' during some of the latter choruses. We are invited to encore and a combination of the crowd getting the measure of us and my galloping Adnam's consumption leads to a lengthy 'These Boots Are Made for Walking' (H is indeed wearing some shiny knee boots and a pencil skirt, which may have gone no little way to pacifying the upstarts at the front for a good deal of the set...) interspersed with running requests including 'Fit But You Know It', 'Parklife', 'Ring of Fire' and 'Not Fade Away' between (and occasionally instead of) verses. We thank them for a lovely evening, some of them make a point of thanking us and the experiment in introducing live music into the pub by the management is deemed a success.

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