Hair of the Dog

I got a call from David Sherwood as I was finishing dinner. I’d been out for a run, and (as I didn’t have any outside business) I’d changed straight into my pyjamas. I was planning an evening of possibly light television, very likely a glass of sherry or two.

Could I do a half hour set at about nine-thirty to ten?

Um. Yes.

Always say yes under these circumstances, it makes your life more interesting.

I did the washing up, got dressed (nothing especially rock and roll, unless rock and roll is stretching to Next tank-tops these days) and set off. After waiting at the wrong bus stop for a bus that understandably didn’t arrive, I went to the tube and eventually got to the Spice of Life. It would have been quicker to walk.

As I arrived, the act before me was about to go on. He was also a ringer. In fact, given that the first act of the evening now performed under a different name, none of the performers’ names on the poster were accurate.

I did such prep as I could, including trying to explain to a very drunk young man that I didn’t play Scarborough Fair. I think he might have been making fun.

It went rather well, considering that half the audience left as I was beginning and a largish group on the raised bit at the side sneaked out halfway through the set. people who are enjoying it still look to me pretty much like people who are not enjoying it. I don’t know why this is and it makes gauging a performance quite tricky. Still I told them about the pyjamas, which went well, I suggested that the point of the sound meter was to put it into the red as often as possible (though I didn’t really have the repertoire for it), and I played a bunch of songs and generally it went well. At the end of Aerodynamics there was infinite sustain feedback, which I’d have been able to do something interesting with if I were Jimi Hendrix, but at my advanced age, the fact that I’m not Jimi Hendrix comes as no surprise. The solo to River Rise was a train wreck, sadly, but I moved on as best I could.

In generally both very nice and completely unexpected. And I had a couple of glasses of sherry when I got home.