Monday, October 16, 2006

1992 and all that.....

Of course, while I'm out folking about, the business of Picturehouse continues. Here, The Singer explains what goes on behind my back....


While our Picturehouse Big Band colleagues Skirky and Gibbon are plying their trade (their particular trade being better described as a “folky-country-bluegrassy mix of original songs”) at an acoustic evening in Colchester, Kilbey and Wendell, watched by drummer Frisky Pat, are preparing to play as an acoustic duo for the first time in about two years. The venue is a country pub on the high street in Bramford, just outside Ipswich, run by good friend Noisy Jane, and attended by locals with a smattering of various band wives and friends.We’re feeling a little nervous. Having not played this set of songs for a while, and being used to having a wall of noise behind which to hide any hesitant chords or backing vocals, this gig seems to present more than the usual set of worries. But on the plus side, neither of us are driving home, and the traditional nerve sweeteners of Guinness and JD / coke are available in abundance.We start off with a couple of our old faves and before we know it we’re half way through the first set and each song has been greeted with a fair amount of appreciation. Before playing the next song I decide to tell the attentive audience about the time that I, along with Skirky and Gibbon in one of Skirky’s bands called Gods Kitchen (with no apostrophe), supported an up and coming band by the name of Dodgy, whose song ‘Staying Out For the Summer’ we are about to play. The crux of the story is that despite a fair amount of publicity, only 5 people turned up to see the show, which left us playing to these 5 plus the main band and them playing to the 5 plus us. As I’m recounting the story, I mention that, I think, this all happened in 1991. “No, it was 1992.” Shouts one of the audience. After I’d asked how he could be so sure, he said “I was one of the five.”What are the chances? At the break I go and find this guy to check if he was actually just having a bit of a joke. Charlie, as his name turns out to be, is indeed telling the truth, and we chat for most of the break about other gigs we’d both been to in our home town and he requests that we do a Smiths song in the second set. As we don’t know any, he has to make do with a Starsailor song (no, really!) and seems happy with this.At the end of the show one of the locals approaches us and asks if one of the guys sitting with the band friends is really the keyboard player for Fish – him out of Marilion. We explain that not only is he the keyboard player, but also co-writer on a lot of Mr Fish’s last couple of long players. “I’d hoped so,” replies the pleased local, “I bought him a drink and got him to sign this bit of paper. Should get something for it on E-Bay.”As we pack up the gear, Frisky Pat is telling us that we need some percussion (“You won’t even know that I’m there” he explains), and we drain our drinks before being driven home by the very sober Mrs Wendell, who tells me that I should choose any of the other backing vocal lines for one of the songs. Any that is, other than the one I actually sang. Harshest critics and all that… ---------------------------------------------------------http://www.wendellgee.com
http://www.wendellio.blogspot.com
http://www.picturehousebigband.com

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