To be fair, it’s been a quiet year music wise. A hand full of gigs, all outside of the borders of central Bristol, culminating in an excellent gig for a North Somerset bikers group in aid of Children’s Hospices South West this month.
Now you could be forgiven for stating that this isn’t exactly living the rock & roll dream. And my response would be “No, it’s not”. However; unlike many of our peers who entered the world of local performing at the same time as us over a decade ago, we are still playing (better than that we are still friends, which really does say something). Most have entered a grudging retirement with little more than a demo, a few gig photos, that promo pic and some fond memories of when they too were ‘in a band’.
To be honest we came very close to knocking it on the head ourselves a short while back. It has become next to impossible to pull the three strands of the band together for rehearsal due to work and family commitments and we found ourselves losing just once too often to the Sky sports ‘Big Screens’ and a plethora of well lagered youfs who still don’t understand why we can’t just ‘wing’ a couple of Kings of Leon numbers or that it is not going to happen when they request that we’ let their mate have a go on the drums’.
The ability to get gigs in the first place is becoming increasingly difficult and the demands on the jobbing musician are growing as publicans demand more music for less cash. It has become common place now for us to be booked into venues with the express purpose of trying to keep the punters in their bars as opposed to wander off to the nightclubs at midnight or beyond of an evening, which means performing to the small wee hours of the morning having arrived even earlier to set up. This is for a lesser remuneration than we would have expected over 10 years ago when we were a three piece acoustic set up with a tiny PA and no nights.
We are all also beginning to show the tell-tale signs of our rock & roll ways (and age) in terms of injuries. It has been commented that The Mudheads audience has long since suffered for our art, but now it is our turn. CJ has well and truly jiggered his knee and may well require an operation. Aaron, the baby of the band, has developed repetitive strain injury in his left hand and has been banned from playing the guitar for a good month and I have pulled so many muscles in my left foot and right shoulder I swear my body is in competition with itself as to who can inflict the most pain on me. Bottom line……I’m knackered.
That being said, faced with life changing decision to turn off the machine and to simply let the patient die we found, just like Mott The Hoople in the Ballad of Mott (good to know your musical references), “We just felt too much inside”. We just couldn’t flip the switch and say goodbye.
However; for the first time in forever we are closing the band down for the rest of the year. Firstly so that we can try and find what Virgin media has done with our drummer, secondly to completely re write the set (we’ve been playing many of our songs a VERY long time) and thirdly to find a way to rehearse. CJ moved house and in that we lost our much cherished practice room, great for CJ and his family, not so good for The Mudheads. That being said we have thoroughly enjoyed a decade of rent free rehearsal space for which Aaron & I are eternally indebted to CJ (and his long suffering family). Mind you, it might discourage us from being quite so lazy in practicing if we actually had to pay for rehearsal space.
There’s bound to be much hilarity whilst we do this and endeavour to move forwards and I am hoping that it will fuel my imagination, giving life to some more interesting blog entries for you oh faith and utterly patient reader.
So in the words of the Governator……….”I’ll be back”.