Saturday, November 29, 2008

"It's just The Matrix rebooting...."

One of the most pressing concerns in a musician's life is not so much "What are we going to play?" or "What shall I wear?" (nice shoes Hel!) as "How am I going to get to the gig?" The prime concern here being not just the importance of being on time and fully relaxed and prepared so much as "How am I going to be able to drink an inordinate amout of the finest wines known to humanity and still get home in one piece?" If you are extraordinarily lucky, someone like Tony 'TT' Turrell will utter those most wonderful three little words that you can hope to hear in a musicianly, or any relationship - "Yes, I'll drive". Hence I am able to board the Songs from The Blue House tour bus (or more accurately Tony's Renault) tonight safe in the knowledge that whatever the outcome of our gig in far-off Norfolk, at least I'll have the comforting hand of ale to help guide me through the night's festivities. TT of course, as a proper musician, is used to someone else entirely driving the bus, but has manfully adapted down to his newly adopted circumstance like a true gentleman. As a passenger, of course, one has duties and responsibilities of one's own - to partake in polite conversation, not monopolise the CD player, and to at least stay awake for two thirds of the return journey which I, a far less succesful social animal, manage to accomplish only partly, immediately demanding that we listen to Radio Four for part of the journey there, and slipping into the sort of half delirium on the way back, which produces a succession of non-sequiturs that sudden wakefulness demands an explanation of. That I half dreamt the text message "S.OK?" and giggled at its absurdity demanded an explanation which I'm not entirely sure I was able to satisfy. that and a succession of phrases which, although containing actual words, never seemed to have them in an entirely coherent order at first, and which even I, as their progenitor, was never entirely certain that I could rearrange into even vaguely well known phrases or sayings.
In between the there and back, of course, there was also the 'there'. The Fox and ounds in Heacham was our destination and we played to a 'locals' pub. The locals themselves were generous to a fault, once they'd tested our mettle with a few good natured barbs along the lines that bass player Gibbon was a spit for Alan Davies (to be fair we're pretty much of the same opinion) and that La Mulley, a flute player in tights, was bound to be called Jethro (as in 'Tull'). We managed to mollify them partly through the power of our deeply moving and spiritually uplifting music, partly through the cheap tactic of handing out a party-sized bag of jelly babies mid gig, and partly through the unfortunate interface of Gib's shoes and some dog shit from the car park, which we noticed about three songs into the second set and which everyone except he found inordinately amusing, with the possible exception of Tony Winn, who was standing next to him. We suspect the provider to have been a slow, sad-muzzled old hound who seemed to be doing circuits of the pub, in that every third number or so she would waddle slowly past again, always left to right. It seemed unlikely that there should be several identical dogs about the place and so we ascertained that someone was letting her out one door and back in another, although we never worked out who. Deja pooch.
Post-show we chatted to some lovely folks, checcked out the forthcoming attractions - "Dickensian Fayre - bouncy castle" one read, and they're apparently thinking of reintroducing the white tailed eagle to the area according to another flyer. Thankfully Mrs Skirky wasn't at the show to comment. She can't stand The Eagles.

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