Wordy one, this time...
Today I feel like it's Christmas already, because: my whole family is home for my birthday this weekend, we had a full on inch and a bit of snow at the end of last week, the heating is on in the house and we're doing a trial run christmas dinner on sunday to prototype the stuffing and chipolatas and bacon asparagus and cranberry bread sauce and the whole house smells delicious already!
But it's not christmas yet - in fact last night was Hallowe'en. Smokey Bastard didn't play a gig unfortunately, since our internal communications broke down a bit when we were offered two seperate gigs for that night and nothing happened - but I made a little pumpkin with candles in and tried to learn how to play blues on the piano with my girlfriend instead, how punk is that?
As it happens, the last time Smokey B got together it was more like easter than Christmas or Hallowe'en, with glorious sunshine and probably our last chance to rehearse outside in Tony's Christmas...veranda? (Some of you may recognise the Christmas room (of not-yet-surfaced live video "fame") with a couple of walls missing - this is Tony Ness's ingeniousness in action, and a good place for acoustic practice).
This reheasal was for a short notice gig mid october at the Eldon Arms where SOPHIE reappeared from France unexpectedly early which was super. We had a lovely time and are gaining quite a soft spot for the Eldon crowd and crew - actually I wonder if it might be a good spot for some occasional sessions? I've been meaning to set someting like that up for ages in Reading, any thoughts anybody?
Unfortunately we didn't manage to pull an appearance from a rather important man from a rather important festival, but we'll keep talking to him and see what we can do in the future...
Back to the present day, Mike and I (and team of about ten other folks) were in Camden on the 30th for Bellowhead's gig at Koko which was absolutely brilliant fun, the brass section visibly plastered and the whole lot of them indulging in a lot of unpretentious japery - by the end of the gig they were all playing kazoos, the sax player had his jacket on inside out to dance like elvis and the bouzouki player was shredding through a wah pedal - so much to see and hear, awesome! We decided their first album doesn't do them justice - my LP of the new album arrives on Sunday for my birthday, here's hoping it's more successful.
Has anyone seen a folk crowdsurf before? The Bellowhead sax player might well have won the prize for the first one ever...
AND FINALLY, in Smokey Bastard Album news:
(Still not quite finished the last of Sophie's fiddle lines from before she went to Fr, and no rough mix from Aled yet cos he's a jolly busy fourth year, but we're waiting with baited breath for an unmixed mixdown any day now!)
p.s. I know I said 'finally' before, but this guy supported Bellowhead and he's rather good, though admittedly morose. Have a listen, and see if you agree that he should play a banjo sometimes: Sam John Carter