We got another run of shows under our belts starting with a return to The Music Palace in Crouch End alongside the greatest rock'n'roll tribute band in the world - aka the Rollin' Stoned. A brilliant night which began with Mehmet (the Palace's manager) worrying that he'd sold "too many" tickets for the show and that the bar would be "too crowded". This is not a complaint I've heard very often since starting this group. And this was a fairly big room. But sure enough, it quickly got so busy that there was no way we could get any of our gear out until after the Stoned had finished their set. From there, we travelled east to The Standard in Walthamstow to play with Ruthless Blues. No complaints about over-crowding at this one, but what a venue. Fantastic stage, great lighting, perfect sound - even a separate dressing room for the support band. We played as good as we've ever done, and got to hear the mighty Ruthless boys strut their blues-rock stuff once again. Then back to the 100 Club - our third time of calling - for a set that, once again, had that special 100 Club something. There is so much history in that room. And it's such a strange and special stage to work on - as long and thin as an aircraft landing strip. I remember seeing the reggae star Desmond Dekker play there not so long ago. A whippet thin guy, in his sixties I guess, he spent the whole gig running from one side of the stage to the other. I remember thinking how fit and lithe he looked. Unfortunately, a couple of months later, he died! So I wasn't taking too many chances - but you certainly have to keep on the move to cover the territory at that place. Great job on the sound by Raye behind the desk. Thanks, man.
The second album is now finished - ten new tracks recorded and mixed by Gareth Parton at Fortress Studio and mastered by Tony Dixon at Masterpiece. The album is called Threewheeling
and to begin with it is going to be released as a download, exclusively on a new label based in Venice, California called NovaTunes
. Release date is tbc, but it will be available before Christmas. This LA connection is really exciting stuff. We've been talking about it for quite a while, but now it is finally taking shape.
Meanwhile, I have persuaded Julie Bennett
to do an oil painting of the group for the cover of the album. She was identified as one of the art world's rising stars
by Charles Saatchi, the man who introduced the world to artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Rachel Whiteread. Julie is doing a triptych of paintings - one each of me, Drew and George - which will sit next to each other in three panels on the cover of Threewheeling
. Fine art and
fine rock'n'roll. It's coming your way!