Somehow I found myself in the Portobello Gold a couple of Sundays ago. I think the plan had been to start there, then go for a quick one in Finch’s and end up at the Inn On The Green. Like all the best laid plans it never quite worked out like that. There was solo guitarist/singer performing at the Gold and someone suggested we should request he played a blues. I didn’t think that was necessarily a good idea, so the request was never made. Someone also suggested another request, that he take a break, but I dissuaded them from making that request also. Performing solo is hard enough without comedians in the audience adding to the work load.
There were a lot of acquaintances of mine. (Please read acquaintances as meaning people who are always in the same pubs as me, not necessarily drunk, nor necessarily friends,,, just acquaintances, Right?) For reasons beyond me, I stayed there until closing time, though the fact that after the live performance, one of the bartenders tried to impress me by putting on Paul Butterfield’s first album, which I hadn’t heard for years. This did induce me to stay for a while. I didn’t stay because the barman had impressed me, but because it’s one of those records that remain with you if you heard it early enough. Paul was a great harp player and of course had Mike Bloomfield on guitar at that time.
The following Wednesday I again attended the Inn on the Green blues jam. There I was pleased to meet once more with the lass from Leeds, Terri Shamiel who again sang well, getting plenty of applause for her soul feel. Afterwards I agreed to sit in with her at a gig she had the next night, but I had to blow it out at the last minute as my tax return was just about overdue, and by the time I’d found the relevant papers to complete it all, it was well past time to get to the gig. Next year I’ll file on the internet, though I read later that that system had to be shut down temporarily because some clown had lost pertinent data in a pub car park. I’m not one to dissuade people from going to pubs, but leave your work in the office while you’ve still got a job or you’ll soon be joining all those unemployed bankers in the dole queue.
A few days later I got a call from Tony who runs the blues jam suggesting we go over to Rotherhithe on Halloween where some of his mates from Eastbourne were gigging. I agreed to meet him there and duly set off to Whitechapel where I found that the East London Line was closed, and had been for some time. There was a bus replacement service operating but it was on the other side of the river, necessitating a journey to Monument, a change to the Northern line to London Bridge, the jubilee line to Bermondsey, then a bus to Rotherhithe. I did eventually arrive in time to enjoy the festivities. There were the usual people in Skeletal costume. I thought they were ageing too fast for their own good but they seemed happy enough. Afterwards it was night buses and home. Oh and a Kentucky Fried chicken! It took me halfway through the next day to remeber how I got home, but the remains of the chicken brought it all back.
I read yesterday, that binge drinking may cause dementia and it’s associated problems, later on in life. Does this mean I have to give up drinking in my usual fashion, or drink sensibly and so stick around a bit longer being a pain in the butt? Apropos of which, next Sunday’s gig at the Inn will be almost a “Waydown “ re-union as drummer Mel Wright, who was on the Greek Street album, will be depping for Dino Coccia. Funnily enough, we were going to arrange a meet in Soho this month. This saves us the bother. All I’ve got to do now is discover the difference between binge drinking and sensible drinking. Perhaps I’ll be able to remember getting home in future.