Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fear and loathing in Walton-on-the-Naze

The events of the last three weeks seem to have thrown Picturehouse much more together, in both a fraternal and a musical fashion. After the debacle of a farrago of the Walton show, where regular viewers will recall we played to an audience best described as widely spaced, and less than hysterical in their response, we have enjoyed the good times provided by subsequent more enthusiastic audiences exponentially more, and we are on the verge of cancelling a couple of shows at some of our more low-key residencies as a result. Admittedly we have genuine excuses for the diary clashes, but there is a definite feeling that if we’re not going to have fun while we’re out then we may as well stay at home and have fun instead, which seems a sensible enough approach to adopt, especially when we consider the roll call of past members who have quit the band in the past simply because they’d rather see their wives, girlfriends and/or children at the weekend than get home at one in the morning having spent a unfulfilling Friday night with some people whose opinion of the merits of our set list seem diametrically opposed to our own. It’s not exactly going up the river after Colonel Kurtz, but there are some weird experiences to be had out there, believe you me (not least that time we encountered the team who play darts, at Harkness). There are only so many times you can enjoy the mantra of what you didn’t play being intoned at you before the thrill palls, frankly, but it’s so much easier when you’ve had a good gig to begin with, hence the clear out. We have some new and interesting places to be going over the next couple of months, so we’ll see what these box- fresh delights have in store for us – as in any relationship, we have to keep moving forward, other wise we’re just going to end up with a dead shark on our hands.
Speaking of new and exciting things, we look forward this weekend to the live debut of our good friend and one time radio show producer (hence the name), Producer Simon. Some friends of ours in Her Majesty’s Press, charged with discovering if there was any truth in the proposition that someone could be taught to play guitar, from scratch, in a month, to a standard at which they would be able to play with a band happened to mention this to me. Of course, being in the pub at the time as we were, the obvious idea came that there was only one way to find out – ffiiiigggghhhtt! In the absence of that, all we had to do was find a suitable victim / volunteer and put it to them that the idea of potential humiliation and shame at the hands of a baying pub audience was exactly the sort of thing that would start off their weekend in a sprightly fashion. Producer Simon, being not only literate enough to record his experiences in written form for the paper but also a frustrated would-be guitarist of long standing seemed ideal for the job and after assuaging his doubts through the power of Kronenburg he signed up for the task. He was coming along nicely when he asked if he could have a sneaky advance run-through with us last week, although his combined bar counting, lip chewing and furrowed brow NLP learning technique did receive a bit of a set back when Kilbey quite rightly identified one small factor which may have affected his nascent guitar-flinging career in that he’d learned the single version of the song and we were doing the album version. There’s more to it than just sticking your fingers in the right place, splaying your legs and waiting for the adoration of the public you know (as the lap dancer said to the Bishop). More news, and hopefully Si’s update from the other side of the fear fence, as we have it.

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