Don't Look Back (Unless You're Stepping Back)
Long ago, I used to work as a researcher on Terry Wogan's BBC TV chat show. He's an absolute pro, hard as nails, nothing like the fluffy character you see on screen. His show used to go out as a pre-record on Saturday night. Then they decided to ramp it up into a live, weekday teatime show, a change which ushered in the era of "wall-to-wall Wogan" on British TV. The day he did the first one - absolutely live in front of an audience of millions - I remember wondering what was the worst that could happen. Well, Terry being the obliging fellow that he is, showed us. He walked on to the stage, slipped and promptly fell flat on his arse!
I was reminded of that moment on Friday at our gig at the Half Moon, when halfway through Was I Strong Enough?
(of all songs) I took a step backwards and tripped over Wilko Johnson's amp (which, in my defence, had not been there during the sound check). Next thing I know I'm lying flat on my back with my head underneath Drew's floor tom. Miraculously, we kept the song going. By the time I got back to the mic we'd missed half a chorus, but hey! And what a tremendous cheer at the end.
Now George always tells me not to give away too much about the mechanics of playing when you're on stage. Don't let on that we've never played such-and-such a song before, he says. Don't apologise, whatever happens. Just crack on and don't look back. No one knows where the hell George is looking behind those shades of course, but he's absolutely right. And I don't propose to dwell on my Wogan moment. But to have worked through such a calamity felt like a coming of age.
And the band is coming good in so many ways lately. Feedback
, our new video, has prompted some amazing, er, feedback. You can see it on YouTube
- but make sure you click on the "watch in high quality" option on the bottom right of the screen. It really makes a difference. We have played a string of cool gigs in the last few weeks, including Wilton's Music Hall
- a stunning venue, close to Spitalfields, which is the oldest surviving music hall in Britain - and before that a relaxed warm-up show across the road at Cape, next to St Katherine's Dock, with our friends Bruise
. And we are working up to another run in October starting with The Half Moon at Herne Hill on the 18th and Gramaphone, back in Spitalfields, on the 22nd.
See you there. Upright, I hope.