Skull Whammy Bar

30-11-2015 – The Curse Of The Whammy Bar

My, that was a busy weekend!

Friday night, and it’s off to the rather lovely Barrington Arms near Swindon with daughter Lil for an acoustic evening; a fine plan, spoiled only by the cheery signs, twinkling in the rainswept night, announcing that the M4 is shut from the next junction but one onwards. As the noted wit Oscar Wilde would have remarked, “Oh, bugger!”

So it’s off at the next exit for a frantic explore of the B roads of Wiltshire, and we finally slither to a halt outside the pub a mere hour late. Fortunately Tracy, the nice lady in charge, is very understanding, and we still manage to fit in a full two sets before finishing time. She apologises that the pub’s not too full, but blames Black Friday, the weather, the roads, and, curiously, the government. Apparently, though, they normally have more people in the place, and they usually like something a bit noisier than what we’ve just played. Lil immediately informs her that we can easily do MUCH noisier, we just bring her brothers along – this suggestion is met with approval, and so the stage is set for a full-on Polar Bear Cheesy Pirate experience in the New Year. ?

Although there was one very appreciative chap there, lubricated almost to the point of incomprehensibility, who thought Lily was wonderful (even though he emphatically, and at some length, disapproved of our choice of set list running order), and was insistent that wanted to book her into a recording studio; “I’ve got some contacts”, he announces, “I know a bloke with a studio just down the road from here. I’ve got some contacts, you know. I mean, I’m not Simon Cowell…. Well, I’m sort of am, I suppose; I ‘m kind of the Simon Cowell of Swindon, really…”

At this point I stopped pretending to listen, and went to get myself a beer. He is still talking to Lily’s glazed expression when I return, just in time to hear her classic reply to a long rambling monologue;

“Well, that’s nice. I’m going for a wee now”.

To be fair to the guy, he did insist on helping carry in some of the kit, and he did also insist I swap phone numbers with him. So, I now have the phone number of The Simon Cowell Of Swindon.

And, he also has my number.

Well, some of the digits of my number, at any rate.

Saturday, and a damp Rosa rolls up to my house for a slap-up feed before we set off to Marlborough for a gig at the Green Dragon. As it was Stuart’s birthday last week, Dem has made him a lovely pink cake, covered in glitter, and adorned with a large Roman Candle. We present this to Stuart halfway through the second set, and challenge him to blow the firework out. His fifth attempt coincides with it expiring, and he is well pleased with his apparent success.

The end of the gig is interrupted by me breaking a D string (yes, I’m a clumsy bugger!), and the Curse Of The Whammy Bar means the guitar is now unplayably out of tune. I struggle on for a few bars, but it’s hopeless – so it’s out with the spare axe to finish the set and a couple of encores.

Hopefully it’s all mended now, and ready for…

Friday 4th – Queen Vic, Stroud
Can’t wait, ace gig, and they’re daft as anything in here. Expect silliness.

Saturday 5th – The Prince Of Orange, Yatton
Yatton is in Somerset. I don’t think they grow oranges there, and I doubt any royalty will be present. Frankly, it’s a bit of a mystery, this one…

…I wonder if Yatton has its very own Simon Cowell…?

Square on

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