Monday, 3 May 2010

SAY MAN, BACK AGAIN


I managed to find myself a new musical profession this weekend. I had borrowed my friend Ross's drum-kit for the Davie Ritchie benefit gig (The Spooks at McChuill's) on Friday. All went well and we had help from, The Gift, Jim Creighton (formerly Shakin' Pyramids), Sandy (The Vagabonds) - and great sounds from Neil Bryson
The next day, with a slight hangover and in need of a haircut, I piled drums and stands into the back of my car and took it along to the the rehearsal studio where Ross was going to be. I could hear a rehearsal of some sort was in full swing. When I pushed open the door with a bass drum in my arms, I could see and hear my friends Mark (bass) and Ross (drums)
playing some good ol' blues with a pencil-mustachioed character (guitar and harp and vox) who I didn't recognise. He introduced himself as "Victor" and said: "Ok Can you play marracas?" I told him I thought I probably could manage (actually, I have never played one marracas for more than 5 mins) He said "do you have a jacket? With pants?" I assured him I had pants and jacket. "Ok you're in the band! We're on tonight" I thought I should agree just for the novelty of joining a band like they do in the movies: you know those biopics like "Backbeat" or "24 Hour Party People" where they have these totally unrealistic scenes where "the band" first meet and you're sitting there thinking "yeah, right - like it happened like that, sure". Well, it was just like that - within 5 minutes I was in a band and we were performing that night...
Little Victor had come over to Glasgow from abroad to play at the 2nd Glasgow Rhythm and Blues Festival and a couple of my musician chums from The Bottleneckers were backing him for one night only. Throughout our brief rehearsal i'm wondering if I'm getting the marracas vibe. Victor keeps saying "Beautiful!" so I guess its going ok. But then he says "can you do something with your hair? And you need to get 2 sets of marracas - like Jerome y'know?" Being a Bo Diddley afficionado, I knew what the hell he was talking about. Jerome Green was Bo Diddley's right hand man and marracas player ( as opposed to his right-hand woman and guitarist who was "The Duchess") Bo even allowed him to sing some songs. Here's my favourite Jerome + Bo song "Bring It To Jerome" recorded by myself and Davie Ritchie a few years ago which features some great harmonica playing by Davie.



Little Victor was really good on the night and seemed to be pleased enough with my shakin'. The highlight for me was "Let's Get High" at the end of his set.

Gaz Mayall, the flamboyant DJ and man about town was DJ in residence

Check out his club Gaz's Rockin Blues if you're ever in London town on a Thursday night - its possibly the best Blues and Ska club in existence. I've been about 20 times and its always good. Don't be alarmed by the abundance of very young posh ex-public school types (male and female) that congregate there (you'd be forgiven for thinking you had walked into a Ch4 Skins wrap party) - I reckon they go to Gaz's a few times until the novelty wears off or until daddy threatens them that they won't get nana's cottage if they don't pull their socks up and get off to university. Don't be put off though - they only account for a portion of the crowd and the music's good and loud! The ska and rock n roll on well-worn vinyl and given a bit of welly on the old PA speakers sounds amazing!

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