Another Saturday night, and yet another successful gig at the White Lion… this is becoming a habit.
In stark contrast to last time round, plenty of my friends came to watch me play, the only noticeable absence being the missus, out on a hen night in Liverpool. Joining me “on stage” were my two good friends and fellow Liquorice Allstars Andy “Mr Banjo Jangles” Kitchinson and Gareth “the Amazing Mandola Man” Hill. Gareth brought along his mandola, and Andy, in a surprise move, brought along his banjo. Even more of a surprise was the presence of ex-Kings of Inertia drummer Si “the Cajon King” Blades, who had brought along… a friend. I quickly nipped home and brought back a cajon for him to play – initially, he tried beating out a rhythm on his friend, but couldn’t get a decent snare sound.
With all these talented musicians (and me) and all these friends gathered together, it couldn’t fail to be a great night. One of those nights that people talk about for literally days to come. Years from now, folks will say to their grandchildren “I was there… well, I think I was there… I think… I think I may have wet myself.”
One of the highlights of the evening for me (and at least one merry audience member – I love it when people actually recognise what I’m playing) was when we did three songs from The Waterboys‘ Fisherman’s Blues album: Fisherman’s Blues, And a Bang on the Ear and Strange Boat. I like to think I do a pretty good Mike Scott homage, and if only we’d had a fiddle player, we coulda been The Waterboys. I was wishing I knew a few more songs in that vein – I’ll have to make sure I have them in my “locker” for next time.
Another achievement was getting all the way through REM‘s It’s The End Of The World As We Know It without making a complete plums of it, or blacking out due to lack of oxygen. Anyone who knows REM will know that even Michael Stipe has trouble with this tongue-twisting “list song”: when they performed it back in ’91 on MTV Unplugged, he had to get the lyrics from “a computer, and I’m not sure they’re right”. Ah, those dark days before any of us had the internet at our fingertips… though I’m not sure whether the lyrics you’ll find there are correct even now. Mind you, I ended up singing it so fast that no-one would know.
I didn’t do as many of my own songs as I intended, though Assholes went down particularly well. “Sorry, what!?? ‘Assholes’!?” Yes, an intriguing title, isn’t it? If you weren’t there, you missed out. Oh, okay, I guess I could record it for you… soon.