Saturday, April 07, 2007

"Do you do any Wings....?"

For some time now, Frisky Pat has been confused that The Singer and I have been taking photographs at gigs. Not of ourselves, or audiences, but of mic stands, leads, effects pedals, and he is concerned that perhaps our interests are a little, shall we say, niche. The Singer explains. We are self-publishing last year's accounts of life on the road, and these are for frontispieces to each chapter. "Am I in it?" he asks. Yes, The New Drummer, you are. HAving pretty much run the gamut of experiences there seems little more to say about the pub band experience, and yet it goes on, and here we are setting up again in one of our favourite venues, ready to debut a couple of new songs and in my case suffering from the after effects of an evening out at an eighties night. The eighties, it seems, are back and judging by the legwarmers, footless tights and off the shoulder jumpers on display, not just at themed evenings. Which is nice, for the eighties are where we learned our trade. The Singer points out that he spent most of them listening to The Waterboys and so with a new DVD of theirs to watch he had in fact had had his own theme night, only with slighty less obviously deleterious resuts. This is clear during London Calling, where the strident tones of the Joe Strummer original are replaced with my less than forceful honkings, still, one woman claimed it was her highlight of the gig, so what do I know? One new song is Stacey's Mom, which we got together and rehearsed earlier in the week and which presents me with a splendid opportunity to shine during the simple but effective guitar solo. Darn that tricky key change though - after completing the song through the stifled guffawing of the rest of the group I insist that we go back and play the solo section again, just to prove that I did really know it, honestly! "You're about a minute and a half late with that" reflects The Drummer. Quite. A brief conversation ensues regarding the possibility of re-enacting the video on stage with one of our actual mothers taking the Rachel Hunter role. Since mine will be seventy this year I suggest that it may not have the same effect and the plan is put on the back burner for the moment. Our second revisiting of new material is The Teardrop Explodes' Reward, which bounces along splendidly and receives a huge cheer. The eighties, it seems, are the new noughties. a request goes up for some Tenacious D so we do the 'one note, bent' skit - well, it's only fair to try and give the people what they want. Fortunately no-one shouts for Mustang Sally which, given that I am wearing my Commitments T-shirt (a gift from a grateful record industry in 1991) would be a justifiable shout, however the intro to Sweet Home Alabama does get an airing after a muted shout from the crowd. It's all going terribly well, everyone's locked in, loud and playing a storm and by the end of the show even I'm feeling perkier. It's a bit late now though - like my retreaded solo. As an encore we respond to another request from the bouncing crowd, who have been demonstrating some impromptu and impressively co-ordinated line dancing during the last number for some reason. The cry goes up in a Russell Crowesque manner - "At my signal, unleash Wings!". We are a band on a particularly good run. Tomorrow, no sleep till Needham Market!

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