"It's like going to the pub with your mates" - that was our combined USP, mantra and mission statement. When I regularly ventured out with The Picturehouse Big Band (so named to disinguish it from Mr Wendell and Kilbey's acoustic duo, Picturehouse and partially in tribute to Thompy's live outfit around the time of Hand of Kindness) it really was the best play date ever. I got to hang out with some of my best friends, threw a few shapes, hit a few power chords and occasionally mugged shamelessly to a live audience while shaking a tambourine, playing my guitar behind my head or just doing my best impersonation of Toddler, erstwhile frontman of the first band I covered a great many of the songs in our set with. He had the moves like Jagger long before Maroon 5 ever came up with the concept. It certainly beat hanging out at home with a tennis racquet and a mirror and besides, with the headphones on you were always likely to be surprised by someone bringing up a cup of tea.
Everyone got to sing - even Gibbon, who switched between bass and keyboards, occasionally handing over the Precision copy to me when Kilbey wanted to play guitar and I wanted to do that Derek Smalls thing with one hand playing the root notes while the other punched the air (and on one occasion, accidentally, a waitress who'd got too close while I wasn't looking but still managed to impart the information that the buffet was ready).
I was out with Mr Wendell this week in a social capacity and we got to a-jawin' about what songs we could remember and whether, if someone dropped a hat, we could reasonably be expected to perform them. These days I have trouble remembering whether I've left the bath running, let alone how many bars there are in that rundown in Born to Run.
Some of you, very kindly, have bought the book - Do You Do Any Wings? - which I self published regarding these halcyon days but it occurred to me that very many of the folk enjoying ribald tales of Kiss t-shirts and mains power-cancelling noise monitors may not have had the opportunity to experience the PHBB, um, experience first hand. With the advent of Spotify however, we can go some way to bringing you up to speed. Simply scatter a small amount of wood glue on your carpet, let a nice pint of lager warm gently for a few hours before pouring it over your shoes, get a friend or neighbour to blow cigarette smoke in your ear for a while, click on the link, sit back, and enjoy the meat n' potatoes pub rock grandstanding that comprised the set list of the Picturehouse Big Band.
Don't look for us, we're not there any more.
Do You Do Any Wings?