May the sauce be with you

liquorice allstars mk ii

Liquorice Allstars mk II: (from left to right) Nick “Drum Doctor” Lauro, Gary “Stewart” Smith and Joe “Duke” Ellerington rock the Hilbre Court.

Well, those weeks since my last post have positively raced by. The entire month of May has almost been and gone without a single update – I’m sure you’ve missed me… So I must have lots of mildly interesting things to tell you about. Surely?

Well, the first Saturday of the month is White Lion Inn residency night, as you would know if you’d been paying attention. This month, I was joined by my good friend, talented musician and all round good egg Joe “Duke” Ellerington. Joe’s a big fan of all the 80s/90s pop music that I grew up on, so we ended up playing a lot of the old shizzle – Crowded House, Del Amitri and the like. We took turns to sing lead or to harmonize and noodle on the guitar. What a pleasant change it made – it’s nice to noodle every now and then.

The following Friday was the charity night I told you about in my last post, where Joe joined me again, on bass this time, as one third of Liquorice Allstars mk II. Accompanying us on drums was Nick “Drum Doctor” Lauro, who stayed glued to his drumstool while Joe sat down and Gaz “Funkmeister” Hill and Andy “Kitch” Kitchinson got up for the annual reunion of Liquorice Allstars mk I. Considering the mk I band had only four hours of rehearsals, and the mk II band a big fat zero hours of rehearsals, I thought we did pretty well. See you next year, same time, same place, same set.

The weekend after that, I was back to being a solo artist and on a tour of contrasting venues for contrasting celebrations. Friday, I played at my friend’s mum’s funeral: it was a Humanist service, the family had asked me to do a rendition of My Way. I kinda did my own version, rather than the boastful, overblown Sinatra version, which I didn’t feel was appropriate to the occasion. By all accounts it was well received, though due to prior engagements, I had to miss the wake because…

From the crematorium, I drove straight to Manchester with the lovely Mrs Smith to catch Prince play at Manchester Arena – talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous… More about Prince some other time though, let me tell you about me!

Saturday and another solo gig, this time for a 40th birthday party. I’d planned to do two sets, the first my usual laid back/chilled/deadly dull (delete as applicable) acoustic set, the second a more uptempo Brown Eyed Girl kind of party set. Didn’t really work out quite as planned, I ended up more as an iPod DJ. Best laid plans etc.

Sunday, I took my guitar along to my wife’s Gran’s 80th, intending to do a few quiet Simon and Garfunkel numbers to go with the egg mayonnaise sandwiches. Must admit I was feeling a bit jaded by this stage – perhaps the touring life is not for me after all.

This past week, I’ve been trying to get back to doing some recording – it’s been a fair few weeks since I last hit that big red record button. I’m working on recording the alternative England World Cup 2014 anthem that I wrote way back at the end of March. Time is of the essence, as the tournament kicks off in just 17 days time. Should have started sooner, I know – can I get it recorded, mixed, mastered and on to iTunes in time for England’s first match?

The heat is on…

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