Monday, September 28, 2009


The “punk rock” awayday could catch on. It might take some work but to my mind it would do the body and soul good if it did. I use the p.r. term as an example here and it should not be construed as the definitive description of what was witnessed. It’s true that a measure was displayed but in essence this is a broad canvas. When it became evident that Amy and Eric’s show would take place in the afternoon, it was that most over-used of descriptions – “a no-brainer”. The train ticket doon Tyneside was duly booked and it was a pleasant choogle down.

Left Polmont at 9.30 am and was in the “toon” just nudging noon. The trundle of overnight cases was a solid rumble toward the station as I was emerging into the bright blue day. Some of the luggage draggers were looking decidedly worse for wear so I assumed it had been a good night. After I found the venue, I took a stroll down to the river where there was a market and the good weather had definitely brought the people out. There was a Greggs the bakers open down there too. I’m not sure that happens further north. Certainly my local one doesn’t. Anyway, it was doing a roaring trade. Came across a record stall that was pretty good and I managed to ward off an urge to buy a copy of “Tooth, Fang and Claw” and made my way back in the general direction of The Bridge Hotel. A very nice old hostelry indeed and one time home to the Jumpin’ Hot Club. Those shows were in the basement. In this case, the venue was upstairs in a cracking old function room with loads of photos of old r&b artists and 78s adorning the walls. It’s a great spot and if there was any justice there would be a place like this in every major town and city and it would form a circuit for us all to catch some good music of a weekend afternoon. It would phase out the ritual of night gigs and leave those to youngsters with the stamina to put up with the bullshit that often comes with that territory. Such as the 3 and 4 act bill. That’s a debate for another time though.

Cutting straight to the chase, no support – the dynamite, dynamic duo took to the stage around 4 and finished just shy of 6. The show was pretty much and exercise in presenting what can only be considered as total entertainment. Which begs the question as to why the fuck the place wasn’t crammed? To be taken for granted is one thing but I’m constantly amazed by just how retarded the public are. You simply don’t see an act of this width and depth every day of the week. Any opportunity to do so should be grasped and appreciated because I’ll tell you something, you’ll miss it when they decide to call it a day. You’ll hear stories about this great little combo about how funny, how moving and just how outright fun these two are but you won’t move your arse and go out to see them. Conversely some will go to an enormadome and gush over The rhymes with white Stripes and their recycled Zep via valve amps, one dimensional racket. What the fuck is wrong with people?

It was all getting a wee bit twilight outside and Eric was looking a bit like Dennis Hopper as they went into a version of “The Ballad of Easy Rider”. “Bobble-Headed Doll” is to be the flip of “Teflon Wok”, a single that will come out in time for them touring some of Europe with Yo La Tengo in a few weeks. Not the UK or Scandanavia though. Amy said that it needed a bit of work but it sounded pretty damn good from where I was standing. The sound in the room was great and at one point I truly wished that this was my local and that this could be a regular experience.

Eric and Amy are often augmented in the north by an “installation” that involves two diehard fans –“Wreckless George” and “Wreckless John”. Yesterday they were augmented by a third member of the troupe. Their ability to make it look like they’re very pished is countered with some subtle, impromptu moves that could only be attempted by seasoned veterans. Could they be “The Blue Man Group” sans emulsion? The whereabouts of “Wreckless Paul” and “Wreckless Ringo” are unknown at this juncture.

Another great show in the bag by a treasured act that deserves to be shown considerably more love by the gig-attending public than they are, what are they doing wrong? Why aren’t the gigs packed out. Why aren’t people being turned away?? Because they’re basically stupid is the most obvious reason. Whatever it is, it’s time there was a cure for this particular condition.

Great to see local rockin’ cognoscenti Brian Coyoteman and Dave “Ratty” Campbell there and also to meet original Addis and The Flip Tops drummist, Steve Marshall. It was also a gas to hook up with Rob, who pointed out that I had made it into the Tom Morton Diary in The Sunday Herald along with Katie Price (no ta) and Gina McKee (yes, thanks). Blimey. Thanks also to Mark of noredindian who put the show on in the first place

I was back in the bunker by 11pm, a little shell-shocked and wondering if it had all actually happened. A sure sign of a grand craic.

So far, this limiting of computer usage is working. Heck, this morning, I didn’t even switch it on before I headed for work. My use of “Twitter” is erratic. Check that spelling. Facebook I find useful for some things but the gilt has kinda worn off the gingerbread, although I do have it “synched” with this so I’m not sure if it’s responsible for the hike in visitor numbers. MySpace I hardly use at all anymore, except to listen to stuff that people put up there. I don’t really try to load it much anymore and as a result, the computer seems to work better. Or that could just be a perception. Either way, if any messages are coming via that route, then there is almost certainly going to be a delay in me getting them. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day and what’s more I’m coming to appreciate what remains of my eyesight.

So now I have to figure a fair and reasonable way to foster out these magazines I was on about to new homes following some positive responses. I’d like everybody who got back to me to get something and I have to investigate the carriage ramifications.