Sunday, September 16, 2007

"You can check out any time you like...."

It's hard to know what to say about a day like today. A reunion of sorts, as the original Star Club line up decamp to Spalding for another of our occasional forays back up the road at the behest of The Landlord Formerly Known As Big Paul for another of his farewell parties (we think we're on about the fourth by now....) A new venue for us - The Birds, which is owned by The Evil Empire (Greed King) and as such is a designated Hungry Horse pub - you know the type. I'm riding shotgun with Reado, and Wendell and Kilbey are in the advance train; this car doesn't know what we're going to play, and the other one does, and as such is far more nervous about the occasion. Still, Paul's looking well, we pay our respects to CJ's tree ("It's taller than she was!") and set up in front of the widescreen TVs showing the bike race. Paul is happy to accept a copy of the book (see sidebar for details) and isn't shy of pointing out a basic factual error within seconds. Okay, so the Pink Floyd poster is in The Red Lion, not The Bass House. Derrr. We are treated to dinner before we kick off with a few regular covers, after which we are to recreate our halcyon days of Beatle-cover-mania. There are nineteen songs on the set list, so that's a tidt thirty minutes in Beatle terms. Thing is, none of us have played most of these for, oh, three years or so? What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, autoplilot is a wonderful thing, and I find that as long as you don't concentrate too hard, it's a bit like riding a bike. A slightly rusty bike that doesn't seem to have been oiled for several years, but a bike nonetheless. Once you get onto it, it's a dream, although even with the rapidly down-tuned guitars, some of those high notes are just a gnat's smidgen away from being perfect. All that listening to Swing that Reado does in the car is blissfully apparent though , and it's a pleasure to be rooted to the back of the stage beside him once again. Once again, it's all over too soon. For the audience, that is - a whoopin' and a hollerin' and a chuckin' money into the bucket to fund our petrol fare home (The Evil Empire's largesse does not, unfortunately, extend to an actual financial contribution of their own) and so we chuck in a couple of repeats and splendid closing "It's The End of The World As We Know It" which seems somehow appropriate. We meet and greet some old friends, hug some new ones, compare hairstyles and attitudes, and pack up the PA for one last time in Spalding. We think....

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