Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Beggars Fair 2008

I wasn’t filled with optimism when I first entered The William IV.

There was a 5-piece covers band in full swing, well a kind of swing, playing in a neutral oblong room with an audience of about 15.

Do I have anything against cover bands,  I do as it goes.

Not cover bands per say. Some would argue that the London Philharmonic play covers. It’s the “pop” or what was once pop/rock/country/fridaynightdownthepubhighhosilverlining type cover bands.

I’ve played in them. It’s a soulless occupation and you go home with your £50 hating yourself. Well ….. I did.

It wasn’t my past shaming me, well perhaps a bit, but the fact that I was on straight after.

If one has been enjoying the regurgitation of old Cliff tunes or tapping ones foot to singsong Beatles classics, then this git with the guitar with too many strings, singing you his stories of old loves lost, sexually predators ect is just going to irritate you.

But, I could not have been more wrong!

The scary guy who owned the PA (think the replacement drummer in The Commitments) was very helpful. He sorted me out sound wise, well I plugged everything in and twiddled a few knobs optimistically until Debs gave me an “OK” nod , but he was friendly non the less.


Now for this gig I had moved away from the usual set list idea. I had listed all the songs I was happy playing live, but I had used illustrator to cunningly put them haphazardly on the page. This way I could just chose whatever song I felt at the time would work. It was a great idea and one that I’m going to continue using.


I stayed away from some of the slower songs and kept it bluesesqe.

I went down pretty well with a few folk poking their heads round the door from the garden/smoking area from time to time. I even played my new cover “little sister” which went down a treat.


On to The British Legion, yes I shit you not! As already mentioned, in my tawdry past I have played the odd ‘Legion/Conservative club (ha!) etc so even with the memories gently emerging, I kept optimistic and decided I was going to , as our ‘Merican friends call it “Kick Ass”.

The British legion in Romsey is a little like what I imaging a cruise liner to be, big bar, plush carpets, nice toilets and full of old people.

A lot of old people, wall to wall. Suits and ties and flowery dresses.

There were a few younger types but they stayed mostly in the patio/garden area.

And then THEN there was my audience. Loverly they were. Sitting close and tapping tables and clapping at the right places. I had only just played the ‘William” so I was good to go. I had considered dropping a few of the more risqué songs: One Night Stand, Pale Moonlight (“turn me over ‘cos I like it like that!) but then as most of the oldies couldn’t hear anyway, I played them.

I could see a couple sitting straight in front of me where very into me. they looked oddly familiar but I let that pass. After my set, (I must say I was pretty good) the lady, well I would say girl as she looked about 19 but the guy she was with looked about 30 but who am I etc…..WELL she came up and asked if I had a cd for sale?

“Me? A cd? Of course I have a cd, I have one just here along with about 10 others that I’ve never sold ever before at a gig, yes NEVER SOLD A CD AT A GIG BEFORE!

I did feel a little pang as I handed over one of the cds that had, over the last few months, has become a friend and a comfort to me in times of stress.

“ A special festival price of £5” I spluttered.


So, my chest bursting with pride and a spring in my step, we ventured forth to see the wonderful Louche Manouche down at The Melting pot stage. 

Some of you more eagle eyed readers may have read my Beggars Fair blog from last year ( I think it's further down the page). This year daughter was left at home with the internet baby sitting her and mrs Nick was asked to ignore me, let me get to the gigs in my own time and my own way and not to "whoop" whilst I, the great maestro, is performing. This she did admirably and looked damn sexy all day!

All in all a good day. 

I don't mind this gigging lark, I'm going to do a few more.


Apropos nothing, the phrase


“God made Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve” appears to indicate that if you can make a bullshit rhyme, then that gives it some kind of truth.


“God made Adam and Eve not Julian and Sandy”