Kev’s eyes lit up as he arrived with me at SAS this Tuesday. At a stroke the usual gender inbalance and the age demographic had been addressed by our “audience”. An old rocker, Kev thought “groupies?” and then struggled to remember what they were for. For the record there were also two young blokes in the room before we started to play, but even without Smiley’s, or is it Lazarus’s, rendition of “Bugger off” they did, and quite early on. Some people have no taste. Not so the groupies, they were out for the night and they had an AGENDA.
Not a huge turnout, JD was ill and his long suffering wife “Poor Janet” had taken his pulse and sadly there was one so no good news on that front
Brian looking 10 years younger post op, opened with a Rememberance Day tribute “John Condon” a tale of the youngest soldier to fall in the Great Wall. Sadly there was some stiff completion from the floor as the groupies conversed loudly throughout. Some even suspected they might not be there for the music. Anyway Kath joined Brian ,a rare treat, and with mandolin guitar and vocals gave us “Galway Girl”. Versatile is Kath, on Saturday she was singing with a full on rock band!
Can’t proceed without mentioning the door and the wet paint. The place smelt of bleach, beer and fresh paint though thankfully the colours remained the same. Nobody at SAS appreciates change anymore. We also patented a new door jamb, a folded beer mat, which fell from its moorings every time the door opened causing some consternation as an ill wind blew in from outside. Omens of winter.
Blogger up next, with an attempt at a Johnny Cash version of “God’s gonna cut you down”, followed by “If I were a carpenter”. My favourite version of this is by the Small Faces though my rendition didn’t sound anything like theirs. With some relief I returned to blogging duty. Then I noticed the two young men had left. I don’t think it was to file copy with NME.
Rob and Caroline in close harmony next with a Troy Chamberlaine number “I might be lonesome but I’m fine” Quality stuff this, the bar was being raised. Next we had a John Hyatt number “Train to Birmingham”. Yes we had all the usual comments, New Sreet?, Alabama?; that is SAS. Good stuff though.
Graham Morrell brought his big one out to much admiration from Kev, a relative newcomer, who hadn’t seen it before. That Martin is a beautiful thing and Graham gave us a great rendition of Mike and the Mechanic’s “In the living years” followed by Jeffery Foukat’s “Ghost Repeater”. As always very clever stuff.
The groupies had by now sheaves of paper, minutes and notes all over the table and it began to dawn on some of us they had no interest in the music. In fact they were oblivious. This caused great distress to Kev who had by now remembered what groupies were for and had steeled himself to play in the second half in the hope he could re-live those old times in a garret in Addingham. The chatter from their table was such that Brian proposed singing “Bugger off” as an opener, but , as a gentleman, he desisted and gave us “tequila sunrise” then a song he wrote with Kath , I believe, called “Flag to follow”. It was in the middle of this number the groupies left with much scraping of chairs and air kissing.
Next Kev Dixon had the floor. He had arrived with no intention of playing but gave us a raspy blues version of the Stone’s “Sweet Virginia” on a borrowed guitar. Come armed next time Kev.
Blogger back on safer ground with two Stone’s numbers from Beggars Banquet “Dear Doctor” and the anthem “Salt of the Earth”
More harmonies from Rob and Caroline and, apologies, the notes are illegible and the memory worse, one song was “Sonny” Mary Black Version and the next Steve Earle “Goodbye”. As always with that smooth cool way that Rob handles his axe.
Graham up with no music stand and no words so it had to be his alter ego Michael Chapman. It was! Graham gave us “After all this time” then “Scholarly man”. This last has very complicated guitar work and had a sitar like feel . Very impressive!
James arrived after his late shift and using Rob’s guitar sang a Hank Williams number “You win again” and then we all joined in with a singalong version of the Beatles “Mr Moonlight.
To finish Rob and Kath sang “In a town this size”, can’t think why Kath doesn’t take the floor more often, lovely.
Finally brave Brian, now the groupies had gone, gave us a full throated “Bugger off” a Dubliners set finisher we were told. Much laughter.
And that was that.