You Never Can Tell

Having attended the Muddy Waters tribute night and missed the Cyril Davies memorial night I wonder how many more musos are going to organise memorial or tribute nights. I seem to remember doing a Junior Wells one, for a start. I’m reminded of this because I recently received some promotional flyers for the Chicago Blues Festival from June 11th to 13th, which this year celebrates the centenary of Howlin’ Wolf, whose birthday was apparently on June 10th. Also mentioned in the flyer are Little Walter’s birthday, on May 1st and Robert Johnson’s birthday or what would have been his 99th birthday on May 8th. I’ve no doubt we shall be seeing more celebrations of these dates over here next year. Personally, I’ve given up celebrating my birthday, you‘ll all be pleased to know.

The gig at the Inn on the Green earlier this month went well with the regular line-up of Chris Youlden, Bernie Pallo, Jim Mercer, Dino Coccia and myself re-united once more. Carmen Carr sat in on a couple of numbers and a “jolly good time” was had by all. Hmm…that doesn’t sound very bluesy. I’ll re-phrase it…we were “way down in the alley“. How does that sound? Of course nobody got shot but you can’t have everything. As a matter of fact someone got shot the other day at the local late-night Fried Chicken shop. I usually end up there when I’m very drunk but have managed to avoid it for some time now. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been very drunk lately…we all have to do our bit for the troubled pub scene.

I did my bit the other day when I met with Dino and Jim at The White Horse in Parson’s Green, where we discussed the possibility of getting an American tour together. Dino later tried a few US contacts but the feedback wasn’t too optimistic, so we’ll concentrate perhaps on Ireland or Europe. Continuing my efforts to bolster the ailing (No that wasn’t a pun) pub trade, I also went to the Wenlock Arms last Sunday, to hear Dino Cocia’s jazz trio. I managed the usual quaffing and quipping without annoying too many people.

I met up again with Dino at the Cooper’s arms in Flood Street in Chelsea, which is another of our occasional meeting joints. They do Jazz once a month now. The reason for the meet was to discuss the Widespace Cd “Got Blues If You Wannit“, which features various guests sitting in with my band. Chris Youlden does four numbers, one of which is an alternate take of one of Dino‘s songs. Dino gave me a few copies of the cd which will be released soon, I am assured. At the moment he’s in Ireland but when he returns he’ll get the Cd out officially on his label.

The next Gig is at the Oval onThursday 3rd June, which is probably someone’s birthday but this is not a memorial or tribute night. The line-up has changed yet again because of people being away or unavailable and is as follows: Chris Youlden, guitar and vocals, Allen Vincent, guitar, Brian Diprose, bass, Mel wright, my original drummer from the sixties and myself pretending to be in charge. Of course Graeme the Oval’s manager is off gallivanting with Sam Kelly in Paris or some such foreign place, doing a Dj stint on Sam’s gig. It’s alright for some! The good news about his absence is that I should get home early from East Croydon for a change. Cest la vie, say the old folks, which goes to show you never can tell.