Seems like I’ve had nothing to write about the last month or so. Actually I had decided to be polite for a while, but I realise now that that was a temporary aberration. It must have been a mineral deficiency, or would it be a mental deficiency? You decide for yourselves. So, back to the empty page!
Going down to the the Oval gig in East Croydon last month necessitated the usual annoying stop for guitarist Bernie Pallo’s quick fix of coffee.The gig was as enjoyable as ever and the band was well received, which is so much better than being politely received. It was also another good social evening as well, thanks to Landlord Graeme’s largesse. Back in London for another Bernie stop (which, this time, I had no objection to) for a lamb shawama in Edgware Road.
On the Tuesday after the Oval, I went down to Reigate for a dental check-up and then lunch with friends. There I discovered that one of the barmen at the Oval Tavern is actually the son of one of my friends. These friends are all ex-Art School friends of Ange, my late partner, who taught me the value of true friendship. They get together every Tuesday to lunch in various hostelries around Surrey, Kent and Sussex. I don’t go there as often as I used to, but it’s always a fun get-together. In the evening I mysteriously ended up at the Metropolitan “Open Mike” night, but declined the offer of a free pint for sitting in, by which the more astute among you will deduce that I didn’t sit in. Well done you budding Sherlocks.
On Thursday the 19th We did a gig at a new venue, the Kings Head pub in Tooting. It is an old Victorian style pub which has been refurbished. Unfortunately there is loads of glass partitioning so the acoustics weren’t great. We had to wait for the football to end and I did my best to stop the band cheering when the trailing side scored, as it might have gone into extra time. As it happened, it did not do so and we were able to start sooner rather than later. Big Joe Louis and Little George Suereff both turned up and I invited them to sit in. This was not a sly ploy by me to get to the bar, but if it had been, it would have worked. I hadn’t seen either of the guys for ages so it was good to hear them again.
On Saturday Gordon Smith phoned to say that we’d been invited to a birthday party at the Station Tavern, formerly the home of “Bob’s Goodtime Blues”. The Birthday Girl was Karen who used to work there in the good old days. Unfortunately I was not up to it, due to the previous day’s carousing. I hadn’t mentioned that and it is perhaps better left unmentioned. Apparently it turned out to be pretty wild.
Monday night we were at the King’s Head in Islington and it was hot and humid enough to have the acoustics of a Louisiana swamp bar. It was the sort of gig that we should have recorded. There was some great interplay between the musicians’ helped along by a free drink for the band from one of the bar staff who was leaving.
Last Tuesday I again ended up at the Metropolitan and did in fact sit in on the final number of the evening, with guitarist Neil who runs the local music shop in All Saint’s Road. We’d never worked together before and to be honest, it wasn’t work. Just to confuse you all, I didn’t even demand a free drink. Am I reaching maturity or senility? It’s now time to walk the dog as this afternoon I’m off to Soho to meet Chris, Mel and Bernie, the “Waydown” crew. I expect I’ll have a drink or three. Cheers!