Pleased, proud and privileged to be able to drop into The Steamboat this weekend for a short set in charitable support of Krissy and Friends with a bare-bones Neighbourhood Dogs line-up, of which I was the sole canine on this occasion. "You're on after the rain gutter regatta" announced Krissy. I quietly pondered a name change, or at least the possibility of that being the title of our first album.
It was here, on this very stage, that The Present Mrs. Kirk and I opened proceedings just over fifteen years ago at our marriage after-party with a sterling rendition of The Beautiful South's Don't Marry Her... (album version), the bride radiant and resplendent in the previous day's big white dress. The party ended some eight or so hours of continuous music later with our friend Zippy having assembled three drummers to back him on a version of Route 66 which involved them dividing the single kit up into easily transferable sections, taking a solo each and then shuffling around one place so that the guy who had formerly been on bass drum and snare now had responsibility for the ride cymbal and floor tom, and so on, while we danced deliriously in front of them.
Today the audience comprised friends, family, bystanders & onlookers and, in the centre of the dance floor, four-year-old Lucy, who had already expressed a fierce determination in respect of her future ambition. "That's going to be me one day" she announced firmly. "Standing on that stage, singing my own songs". Next to her, my boy Lord Barchester, all of five years old and swinging his friend around with all the enthusiasm a couple of small souls lost in the moment could garner. Pictures of the dance later sparked a flash of recognition back at Kirk Towers. Mrs. K dug through her files and folders and pulled out a snap of us in exactly the same place, the same expressions of joy in the moment on our faces.
"Daddy, Daddy! Look at what I'm doing!" yelled my little gig newbie toward the stage, all red faced and rapturous. "That's not how it works, son" I laughed. "You're supposed to look at what I'm doing..!"