Thursday, April 11, 2013

What happened to the last 4 months?!?

Even by my lazy standards that's a long gap between posts, and it's not as if we haven't been doing anything... well, January was a quiet month (apart from going to see Caravan in Bath, which was a great wallow in nostalgia for me), but at the start of February we were holed up in the Session Rooms studio in Monkton Coombe, where we recorded 4 songs and were very happy with the results - some of the best recordings we've made, I reckon - head over to the band website if you'd like to hear them.
Plan is to go back to the same place maybe in April/May and put down some more, and hopefully get a full CD's worth out by the end of the year...

First gig of 2013 was at the good old George in Bradford on Avon, where landlord Darren's PA was once again pressed into service, and sounded so good that Chris threw caution to the wind and splashed out on a new one for us - very nice it is too, and we didn't have to wait long to try it out - the following weekend, we played probably the weirdest gig we've ever done (even weirder than that Pagan Wedding on Exmoor...) at a Point-to-point Race day in Didmarton...

Not having the first idea about horses, and being rather suspicious of the beasts on the whole, I spent much of the day hiding in the van with what was very probably the only copy of the Guardian onsite, while lots of horsey people rode past dressed in what was apparently an obligatory uniform of tweed jackets, flat caps and green wellies. The women all, without exception, wore those fluffy Alice Band thingys that were briefly popular in the eighties.
It was a fine sunny day, and Fortnum & Mason hampers and bottles of champagne were much in evidence as well... to say this was not our 'usual crowd' was an understatement, and I for one was feeling a bit of trepidation... what the hell were they going to make of us?
We were playing in the Beer Tent just after the last race of the day, and once drummer David, who lives and breathes horses, had stopped playing with them and taken his tweed jacket off, we were ready. Simon, who'd left it till the last moment to get there due to a combination of horrible flu that had laid him up for the last fortnight, and an unfortunate allergy to, er... horses, was medicated up to the eyeballs and ready for anything, and we were off!
It quickly became apparent that we needn't have worried about the reception, they loved us, and were dancing like wild things after the first song... it also became apparent that the whole tent-full of them were completely hammered to a man, woman & jockey, and quite a few of them appeared to have lost all control of their limbs as well. At one point, while I was distracted by a ruddy-faced farmer with a sheepdog on a lead that was enthusiastically attacking the Wellington boot attached to the leg of  a pie-eyed Country Gentleman trying to carry 4 pints away from the bar, another chap fell backwards over a monitor and knocked one of our nice new PA speakers onto the floor... once we'd sorted that lot out, he had the cheek to ask if he could have a lift home. No.
When we eventually finished to great acclaim & lots of encores, people gradually drifted off as we loaded the gear back in the van, and we noticed the now comatose drunk being dumped into a skip full of rubbish and dogshit by his 'mates'. He came round and clambered out again, but any chance he might have had of getting a lift home with anyone at all was now well and truly gone. He's probably still there, in fact.

Next gig was on the Ides of March at the Village Inn in Nailsworth, a new venue for us, and as it turned out rather a good one - me and Chris had both done our backs in the previous week, but luckily there were plenty of regulars to help load out, mostly dressed as leprechauns (well, it was nearly St Patricks day) or, more confusingly, members of the clergy. Turns out they were holding their very own Papal Election, timed to coincide with the real one, and judging from the campaign speeches they later delivered, this lot would make a refreshing change from whatever bigoted old fossil the College of Cardinals eventually came up with in Rome... much more relaxed attitudes to drinking and general licentiousness, for a start.
A great night, with lots of dancing, nothing broken, and FREE BEER, which swung it for me, let's be honest! We'll be back here again, I'll be bound...