20-04-2015 – The Slightly Weird Weekend

Wassup homeys [editor’s note: Al clearly thinks this is trendy and current but I think it’s just verbal dad dancing, I would rather go for “Dear esteemed reader” or something … class!]

This rawk’n’roll thing keeps getting weirder.

Friday night, Ben & I rock up to our allotted venue, namely “Auberge” in Abergavenny. We stroll inside, it looks a bit too designer for our liking; still, the staff are friendly enough, and direct us to go round the back to haul our kit in. We lug the first armful in through the back gate, and ask where they want us to set up. “Over by there”, they point.

But – “over by there” is outside, in the garden.

“Out here in the garden?”

“That’s right, just by there”.

“But… what if it rains?”

“Oh, that’s no problem – we’ve got an umbrella, see…”.

We eye the clouds suspiciously. They do seem to be clearing, meaning that it probably won’t rain, but it will get BLOODY COLD.

It does.

Lou bravely steals my jacket. There are only two punters daft enough to brave the freezing conditions outside for the whole night. Thank you, Matthew and Alan! We end up abandoning our carefully crafted set list, and playing requests for them for the entire evening instead. Actually, it was one of those nights that was so silly that we all rather enjoyed it.

Once finished, it’s back home, and Ben and I try and warm ourselves up with the only food (Maccy D’s) and drink (a rather nice bottle of Bordeaux, as it happens) we can lay our hands on at that time of night.

Surprisingly, they do go together very well. And it was made all the more satisfying knowing that when I recommend the combination to some of my French colleagues at work on Monday, they will probably spend the next forty minutes sobbing in the toilets.

Saturday night, and the Old Bank in Keynsham turns out to be quite cosy, but not as tiny as we’d feared. Once the rubbish footie was finished, we hauled in, and set up. Lou has a large sponge cake with her. “It’s my mum’s birthday” she explains. “She’s coming in later, so we can do cake and candles for her between sets and get the whole pub to sing Happy Birthday to her”.

So, that’s what we do. Some of the local regular imbibers also force her to swallow a number of Jagerbombs – which, after some initial reluctance, she seems to take to rather well. By the end of the night there’s a fair bit of jigging around going on, although after we finish this soon deteriorates into some good-natured swearing and fighting between the locals. (I feel I must point out that Lou’s mum was in no way involved in this part of the proceedings).

Stuart kindly volunteers to drive the birthday party home, while Ben and I load up the kit, carefully avoiding the morbidly obese vomit-covered Arsenal shirt-wearing figure slumped in the alleyway next to the van. Well, I did warn him that he probably didn’t need that second slice of birthday cake…

So, that was that, now, this is this…

Saturday 25th – Lily B at the Mail Coach, Swindon
A late start for the acoustic duo with talented daughter, at “Swindon’s Premier Gay Bar”. Bound to be good fun; I reckon it’ll probably start getting a bit raucous somewhere about the Tina Turner part of the set…

Sunday 26th – Duke Of Edinburgh, Gorse Hill, Swindon – 3pm
A Sunday afternoon in Gorse Hill – and why the devil not? I wonder if they’ll still be serving food…

Finally, a spot of culture – shamelessly stolen off the telly, here is perhaps my favouritest ever example of the beautiful Japanese traditional poetry form: –

Take me down to the
Haiku city, where the grass
is green, and…dammit!

Right, that’s it for this week, I’m off to try and learn a couple of songs before bedtime…

Square on

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