Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sid Snot Calling

I haven’t had a crack at the old promotion, well not big time anyway, since the Gutter Brothers game to Bristol. That particular exercise put me off of ever doing it again. Man but that was hard work and it consumes your every working moment.

I mean I almost have to sell my soul to Santa in order to get 93 souls though the door on that night and that was considered a really good turn out.

So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that I am once again tasked with hitting the campaign trail and that I have under one week to promote the dickens out of The Mudheads latest venture.

The Louisiana is fantastic little venue right in the heart of Bristol and we have generally always enjoyed playing there. However; this is something that we have done sparingly as our ‘fan base’ (cough) have the opportunity to see the beloved band of their choice for free almost any Saturday night they care to. So why would they want to pay five quid for 45 minutes of us on a Sunday night.

To see how we handle the band that will be performing with us that’s why!!

Somebody somewhere was clearly not looking at content when they pulled this evening together.

The band we are playing with and that will be opening for us have turned out to be, and I quote, Hard Core Punk. Having listened to their music on Myspace, the term ‘Hardcore’ is perhaps a little bit of an understatement. These guys could strip the graffiti off of a brick wall at half a mile. Aaron assures me that for their genre they are extremely good. However; to be honest, they frightened the life out of me. This was not helped by their EP cover which has a picture of a guy vomitting his spleen up.

This could go either one of two ways. We could make a lot of new mates, OR, and judging my the picture of the insane puker it is more than likely going to be this, a blood bath.

I wonder once again why I do it to myself.

Ah well, at least this guarantees that you’ll all tune in next week to see what happens.

Until then, “Those who are about to die salute you”.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A Dream Realised

Regular readers of this blog will already know that one of my life long ambitions for becoming a successful rock & roll legend is that when I arrived at a venue all the equipment was set up in place and plugged in ready to go. And following the gig a band of committed roadies would crawl all over the gear like a nest of ants stripping the stage bare and returning their haul to the warmth and safety of the awaiting haulage trucks.

This would all of course give me ample time in my luxury hotel suite to prepare myself mentally, physically and spiritually to deliver my rock & roll best to an adoring audience. Following the show I would be able to quickly retire quickly to my inner sanctum in order to freshen and cleanse myself for the following day’s extravaganza.

This dream is of course all complete clap trap and I have spent the last 30 odd years lumping around a variety of musical back breakers with the rest of the band in the name of entertainment.

However; this weekend just past I did get a taster of what it could be like (without sadly the luxury accommodation to go with it)

To say that my week had been a nightmare would be somewhat of an understatement.

Having parents that are still physically active can in its own way be a challenging prospect, especially when my fit and sprightly 75 year old father decided to take off for a good stout walk between Bristol and Bath along the cycle track that ran alongside the steam railways line.

Great idea that is until you catch your boot toe at pace on a piece of frost risen tarmac and bite a piece out of the track.

One heavy tumble later and a broken hip our late Queen Mother would have been proud of dad found himself flat on his back and wondering how the heck he was going to get himself the two miles back to the car park and civilisation before he froze to death.

They do say that the Lord looks after his own and in this case the ‘looking after’ came in the form of a cyclist who was also a qualified First Aider.

The long and the short of it, having failed to get an ambulance down the track or an helicopter close enough to the scene, my father became the first man I’ve heard of to be rescued by Steam Train (we never do anything by halves in my family).

So that was crisis number one. The second was when my very own partner in crime, the delectable Mrs Rock God found herself collapsed in a state of sheer agony and unable to move. Thankfully my level headed student daughter was on hand as I threatened violence most horrid to the poor emergency services operative if she didn’t stop making excuses and get an ambulance to my home immediately. Daughter number one wrestled the phone from me and without threatening illegal and painful reprisals got us the ambulance we needed.

Crisis number three the following day came from my mother who was clearly in the mind set that she was missing out on all action and developed an infection in her recently operated upon eye. The result, yet another trip to a local eye hospital.

By the lunch time of the day of the gig I was looking down the wrong end of a very black hole of stress. The thought of a long evening lumping and assembling musical equipment, performing and then disassembling it all again did not fill me with enthusiasm.

Thankfully I play in a band with two diamond geezers and they both realised very quickly that I had hit the wall and getting me to stand in front of an audience and actually remember who I was let alone what I was supposed to be playing would be miracle enough and they ordered me to stay at home until a car came to collect me.

This was one weird experience as we now have a very set routine on gig nights that starts at approximately 7pm for me and this was going to take me well away from that routine.

Saturday night, 8:30pm and I was sat in front of the television with a glass of wine in my hand all ready togged out in my stage finest.

Actually that gives the impression that I was relaxed and awaiting my chauffeur. In reality I was pacing a bit and the driver was in fact my daughter-in-law (well she will be in just over two months time).

I also felt a HUGE sense of guilt. Whilst I rested, my comrades in musical arms were having to do all the hard work.

I needn’t have worried. Sue collected me bang on cue and delivered me to the venue with about 15 minutes to spare and it would seem that I was not missed at all. In fact, I got the distinct impression that they rather enjoyed not having me in the way for once and had set up more kit than usual in less time than they normally would.

I sound checked……..tuned my bass and we were off!!

Two hours later, I had time enough to throw my bass into its case before I was grabbed by my temporary minder by the scruff of my neck and bundled back into her car and delivered back home to the arms of my loving wife.

I would like to say that we finished off the evening in true rock & roll style with much partying and rock & roll. But bear in mind the weekend we had both had (especially Mrs RG), we actually finished the evening in a truly un-rock fashion sat watching Escape to the Country whilst sipping a large glass of vintage scotch.

And my band mates? Apparently they took half the time to pack up as we normally would and didn’t miss me one bit.

I bet they would if I suggested the same arrangement next week.