Plus ca change…

White Lion 14 september 2013

The White Lion Inn: West Kirby’s answer to LA’s Troubadour?

Another month, another gig or two. I’ve been doing pretty well for gigs this year (touch wood/formica), considering I don’t go out and actively seek any. And it’s nice to have a monthly residency at my local, the White Lion: it makes me feel like a proper singer/songwriter. Like James Taylor at the Troubadour. But without the drug addiction. And the dodgy ‘tache.

The first time I was offered such a residency was with my band the legendary Big Car Girls, at another local venue, the Black Horse. This was actually a pretty big thing, as the Black Horse was a well-known music venue at the time, with live music seven nights a week. Unfortunately, through no fault of my own, this residency last for precisely zero performances. Allow me to explain…

We played our debut gig and drew a larger than average crowd for a Monday night (we were young and had lots of friends who liked to party); the pub’s manager, clearly delighted at this boost in his revenues, asked us if we could play every week; and our drummer Dave, with the terrific sense of timing that only some drummers have, told us that he and the keyboard player were quitting that very night to form a new band. Generously, he offered to play next week’s newly secured residency with his new band. Completely speechless, I presume we must have nodded our consent rather than shoved his drumsticks where the sun don’t shine.

Dave’s new band’s residency at the Black Horse lasted for the grand total of one gig.

Coincidentally, a week ago I played a gig at the old Black Horse (now rebranded the Hilltop, even though it is positioned only halfway up Black Horse Hill) and I stood at practically the same spot as I had all those years ago (too many for me to care to mention, so I shan’t). At the end of the gig, I was speaking to the manager. He told me he’d enjoyed my performance and would love to have me play regularly… if it wasn’t for the fact that he was leaving the job in a few weeks hence not taking any more bookings.

This close to getting another residency at the Black Horse! But this time, it was the fickle finger of fate – not the devious digit of a drummer – that stopped me…

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6 thoughts on “Plus ca change…

  1. Oh…so there’s a non-starter residency in the offing is there? Doesn’t matter, I should go down there, as a drummer and offer to take this non-starter residency from you, just to balance the books so to speak.

    What was Dave’s new band? Don’t think it was Frequency was it? They were earlier on I think.

    Oh yes; despite any amount of renamings, it’ll always, ALWAYS be The Black Horse!

  2. If I remember rightly, Dave was in Frequency when I first met him, then eventually gave up playing with Frequency to play with us, then left us for this short-lived supergroup, then came back to us, then left us for a group called Table For Seven, then maybe came back to us for a little while… I can see a pattern emerging there.

    I must write a few blog entries just on my experience with drummers, and why such experiences led to the Japanese creating the first drum machine. A bass machine or a keyboard machine would have been a lot easier to build, but they could see a MASSIVE market in replacing the drummer!

    • Drummers are whores who will go for the highest bidder, probably because they can’t write songs most of the time and have no creative stake in the band. Songs are like babies and if the drummer can’t have any babies of his own, he’s not really abandoning anything attached to him personally.

      I remember Table For Seven being a band Chas Hudson joined at some point. Maybe he poached Dave? But having said that, this could all be ’85-ish and I think Chas had gone to Birmingham Poly or wherever he went. Oh my memory is so sketchy for this period of time after we moved out of Chas’ attic and into the New Brighton hovel.

  3. Excellent analogy, Doctor! I think Amy studied Attachment Theory during her Psychology degree.

    I really should get in touch with Mr Taylor – we were communicating a few years ago, I even got him to perform on one of my songs, but the contact fizzled out. Wonder if he’d remember the sequence of bands he played in? Big ask, coz it’s a BIG sequence!

    • Maybe I should lecture in Attachment Theory regarding bands?

      I think if you poke Dave with a thin stick for long enough, he’ll be coaxed into remembering all those bands.

      I woke up this morning still wanting to play Bass guitar by the way. It’s looking at me now as if to say, “c’mon sucker, play ‘What’s Going On?’, I dare ya….boy!”

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