Our last gig before the summer break was at Club Fabulous
@ Leonards, a funky little bar around the back of Exmouth Market in EC1. I was intrigued to see that the night before we got there, the club had put on the veteran London blues-rocker Gary Lammin
together with the even more veteran-ary music journalist Charles Shaar Murray
. In a previous life, I once auditioned for Lammin's group. I always liked his songs, particularly the ones which follow that kind-of-Rolling Stones/Faces, good-time, bar-band, rock'n'roll route. And I remember Murray when he was hacking around town under the nom de rock
of Blast Furnace and the Heatwaves. Small world. Small old
world, actually, when you think about it...
As I arrived for the sound check at Club Fabulous, the guy in charge was ID-ing a bunch of kids who were hanging around in the bar area. Turned out they were one of the other bands, Rosco McQueen
. "I haven't got any ID," I told the jobsworth as he glanced in my direction. They all had the good grace to laugh. We all rather liked Rosco McQueen, who played a lively set of quirky alt.indie-rock of no fixed style or time signature, after us. It was certainly different. So too was the ambience created in the bar by the band that preceded us, Kensifella
whose Unique Selling Point was their unusually in-your-face use of a smoke machine. Cranked up to maximum output, the contraption belched out industrial quantities of smoke throughout the band's performance, filling the entire venue from floor to ceiling with thick clouds of choking white fumes. Their drummer disappeared during the first number, never to be seen again, while the staff ran about opening windows and fire exits in a vain attempt to get rid of the fog.
The stage was one of the smallest we've played on, but the monitor sound was good and we played our usual set of instant classics to a select crowd many of whom were either friends of our photographer-by-appointment Marilyn, or had made friends with her by the end of the night. George and Drew were on fire, while I was dripping so much sweat by the end that it seemed momentarily to short out my FX pedal during the closing stretch of Your World Mystifies Me
We've now scattered for the summer. George has gone to Los Angeles - where there is some exciting stuff for the band in the pipeline - while Drew and I have both been in Scotland. Drew has since gone back home to Southend, while I am just about to set off on a trek in the opposite direction, to Wick in the far North which is where my family originally comes from, although I have never been there myself before.
We have more time booked to carry on working on the second album, in Fortress studios
coming up on August 20 & 21, and a welcome return to the Boom Boom Club
with our friends the Rollin' Stoned
beckons on Saturday September 1.
See you there. Or here. Or somewhere soon.