The Polar Bear Cheese Pirates From Outer Space

28-07-2014 – The Kids Are All Right Edition

Well, as the song goes; Summer’s here, and the time is right, for drinking in the streets…

After a very Scorchio week away in touristy wallet-molesting London, we were back in time on Friday to take diva daughter Lil over to the Rolly in Swindon for a jolly evening’s acoustic fun, before slinking away off to bed, in order to get up early so I could go and set up for the next day’s wedding gig. And a mighty fine wedding gig it was as well; the groom and his chums actually played as a band (the wonderfully-named Astral Toasters, if I heard correctly); thus after our first set they hopped up and played a few numbers, which got the dance floor packed. After that it was easy for us, and we just kept the ball rolling, while the merry crowd danced, jumped, caroused, leaped, and in some cases just drunk, the night away. Alas, there were no small children doing the compulsory wedding “sliding along the dance floor on your knees” routine; but happily there were some drunken alleged adults, who filled in for them nicely.

Marvellous fun, and the sight of the groom, Martin, corralling his guests around with a megaphone made Ben and I realise how badly we need one (each) for future gigs. I wonder how the Toy Fund is doing at the moment?

Finally we finished playing, stole the last of the hog roast, packed up and went home, in order to get up early for Sunday’s gig in Warminster. (Except for Lou. She got up earlier, went to teach a gym class, and then went down to the gig. Because she’s insane).

A beautiful sunny afternoon, a whole bunch of bands playing, free food, a beer tent… all in the charitable name of trying to encourage youngsters to take up playing music. Has to be a good idea, I’d have happily gotten into it for the beer tent alone.

There were also some free Beginner’s Music Workshops going on, which several people encouraged Ben and I to go and check out. Sadly, our hectic unpacking, setting-up-gear-then-sitting-in-the-sunshine-drinking-beer-while-watching-other-bands schedule didn’t permit. But we did get to see the fantastic Chris Moreton, “bluegrass English champion player” – and he was, indeed champion. Anyone who can pull off both “Duelling Banjos” and “The Devil Came Down To Georgia” on an acoustic gets my vote. Superb player and a lovely guy too, he even helped us lump our amps up onto the stage.

In keeping with the theme of the day, and since we were in possession of several Young People of at least a vaguely musical disposition, we handed over the middle of our set to young Lily who did some of her solo acoustic song writing showing-off stuff, before wheeling up maniac siblings Joe and Jimi to rattle through some classic rawk stuff with me.

And, biased though I may be, I have to say they did a fantastic job; considering that Joe first touched a bass only three months ago, and Jimi’s been drumming for about six, I reckon they at least held their own with some of the other bands there (we now take it for granted that Lil will do a stunning job singing and don’t bother to mention it any more). Must admit I was rather proud of the little buggers.

Also it was the first time I’ve been allowed to play “Highway to Hell” in public (Jimi’s choice, actually), so that was nice ?.

Might have some photos or videos of that soon, we’ll keep you posted… In the meantime, I’ll hereby publicly thank my lovely band mates for the tolerance and forbearance in letting the Little People have a crack at it; and in particular Stuart for his outstanding patience on various occasions over the past few months whilst tutoring Jimi in the noble art of percussion.

[Editor’s note] We have some now so here’s one of em …

The Polar Bear Cheese Pirates From Outer Space

And I guess I really ought to apologise to my neighbours as well…

Meantime – no gigs this weekend, which is good because I need a rest and we need to stock up on lots of vital gig accessories as we’ve been getting through a lot of expendables lately (like guitar stands, cases – plus of course silly sunglasses, bubble machines, glowing finger rings, inflatable guitars – oh, and of course a couple of megaphones as well, now…)

Square on

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