Basingstoke

You might have noticed from my previous posting here that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a one off gig way down south on a Sunday night and I suppose I wasn’t really, I cant quite put my finger on the reason. The one consolation in my head was seeing some old friends who live just outside Winchester and catching up on gossip and stories. As it happened I had one of the best gigs I’ve had in awhile, which is pretty much the law of the sod personified.

I arrived late afternoon feeling well chuffed by Villa’s win against the Albion and effortlessly found my way to The Anvil Arts Centre which pleased me no end [I dont have a very good sense of direction, I am still without a sat nav and slightly befuddled as to why but still]. I then went to WH Smiths and bought a book for my Dads birthday by the BBC war Correspondent and former BREAKFAST Sofa man Jeremy Bowen. I was thinking ahead to Mondays return journey and dropping in to see the parents so, so far so organised. I was met at the venue by some very helpful men in blue uniforms who carried my gear for me. I did a sound check, drank some tea and ate some sandwiches. At six pm I was done and sat in the dressing room reading an old copy of MOJO. I met up with Mark Morris mid way into his sound check and we chatted in that small talkish way about Rickenbackers, tribute shows, new babies and driving tests.

The gig was short but kind of sweet. The theatre was small but the crowd were engaged and I enjoyed the show. My banter-balance was I thought pretty good in the main [I was trying not waffle!] and I did a couple of new songs, one of which, UNIFORM, seemed to work despite the two chord thrash acoustic guitar anxiety I had about doing it. I also used a distortion pedal for some noisy deviations which I haven’t done in awhile and the sound man rode the levels just like he said he would. This impressed me no end and daft though it seems inspired me to play better, or harder or whatever.

I only played for about thirty five minutes. Reactions seemed favourable. I did the CD sale thing. I met up with Joanne, Dan and Mason in the interval and we returned to see Mark’s set which was really a pleasure. his songs were stong and his self deprecating story telling tales of fame, fortune, failings and flashes in pans that pass you by too fast were enthralling … it was brilliant. When he covered ‘Old Man’ by Neil Young I was very tempted to get up a join him. Afterwards Dan and Mason navigated me through the darkest Hampshire countryside to my bed for the night and that was that, a top night indeed, and it’s not often I can say that without blushing, VP

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