Park Royal

Have decided to go and annoy the Dan Smith Band who are playing tonight at the Grand Junction Arms in Acton Lane. Jon T-Bone Taylor and Jim Mercer are in the band so it’s alright to get personal. The gig is a jazz gig on Sundays but they are trying blues on Thusday nights. We’re there next week and I did show up there for a while last week, where I bumped into one of my guitarists, Al Vincent, also checking the place out. It seems that some people had  understood it to be a jam, but that was not so. I believe a couple of harp players did sit in with the band,  which also included T-Bone, who is booking the bands there.

Last Sunday’s Gig at the Inn On The Green was one where I had to do all the singing, with my ailing voice. It’s always the way that when you need other singers, they’re not there. As it turned out, I had no real problems. The gig started off quietly but picked up with the arrival of drummer Brian Neville’s in-laws who were over from Dublin. Much dancing and  imbibing were the order of the night. Naturally I didn’t dance, but did have a sip or two. Well, it helped the voice.

We’ve been there once a month for about two years so I suppose it’s time I tried to get it listed as a monthly residency. Mind, that might encourage the hoi-polloi. On the other hand, some blues fans regard the area as dangerous, apparently.  I didn’t realise blues was that precious. I thought it came from rough areas in the first place. Mind these were country or folk blues fans, so I guess city blues fans are different.

Actually I started out in the country. My first job was on a farm and one of the tasks was to bring the cows up from the meadows for milking. They always seemed to be at least two meadows away, so, rather than walk all the way down to them, I’d just call them with some weird non-word that they seemed to understand and they’d start ambling up to the farmyard. I guess I could claim that I genuinely used field hollers and therefore I’m an authentic folk bluesman. I won’t make that claim, though. Nor will I claim to have sold my soul to the devil, even though I was barred from Sunday School at the age of six. But that’s another story and you don’t want to know!