Cluny x 2
Mission: support to Daintees 80 and The Daintees at the Cluny, and to do a bit more recording with Martin, Joe Guillan and John Cavener.
All accomplished, with photos to follow tomorrow perhaps.
The first Cluny night was pretty packed with a listening audience, and the band, augmented with John Steel on lead guitar (two leaders, both being very gracious and taking turns, most of the time) and Kate Stephenson on drums, played a fantastic set, with Martin in really good voice and a really wide selection of songs.
Fin McCardle provided perfect percussion and the Dunn brothers completed the line-up, with a guest appearance from Gypsy Dave, who played the Skifflecat Dobro guitar that got made by accident.
The support act was Daintees 80, with Chris Mordey bouncing out those bass lines like nobody's business, and Anth Dunn on guitar.
The support to the support was me. Chris, Martin, Fin and Kate had joined in at the end of my set for Loverman, 24 Hours (by The Chefs, of course) and Freight Train (by Helen and the Horns, double-of course).
I think I've finally got the knack of singing 24 Hours without playing it. As any guitarist or bassist who sings will tell you, it feels very naked standing there without a guitar between you and the audience, so I simply wore mine like a heavy pistachio green necklace and felt fine.
The crowd bobbed along, and all was good, especially when a bloke came up afterwards and told me that he had assumed up till then that I had a bass track playing along with me, then realised that I was actually playing the bass parts too. It's hard to work out what the songs sound like when you are the person that plays them, so this was a very interesting thing to hear.
The second night, the Cluny was full to bursting and it was a party crowd.
I resorted to asking them all to introduce themselves one by one to quieten things down, and they didn't of course (introduce themselves or quieten down). It was fun, though, and the two lots of Daintees absolutely starred again, with Martin's daughter Phoebe taking to the stage for Crocodile Cryer playing a red Skifflecat, that of course she designed the little cat logo for.
She was blown away by seeing her design on a real guitar and she's going to photograph it cos she's got interviews for art college coming up. While she was playing I showed her boyfriend the faces of the audience, and told him how they had all grown up and done their romancing to the Daintees, and how much the band and their songs meant to them: I don't think he'd thought of it like that before. But you can see the individual members of the audience being taken back to all sorts of places in their memories, and it's rather touching.
At one point, there were two bass players, three guitarists, a percussionist and a drummer on stage: the audience absolutely loved it and sang along in blissful Christmasness.
And of course in the afternoon we'd hopped on to the Metro and recorded in Wallsend, in a blonde-floorboarded flat with a TEAC 8-track and lots of vintage amps. The floor was coverd in decommissioned boxes to keep the melted ice and salt off the wood, and there were scribbled lyrics in places amongst the tangle of leads.
Joe engineered it, and we finished off Rockin'Girl and Can't Fool Love. Our rockin' band is myself, Martin, John Cavener and Joe Guillan and we think we should be on Jools Holland because we sound so authentic.
John and Joe wear perfect 50s gear and we get the sound to go with it. We'll do more at the end of January, because we have an albumsworth of rockabilly songs that are fun to play and full of energy.
well, that's it for today: I'm off to sing carols and eat yet another wedge of Chocolate Orange.
Merry Christmas all, I hope your stockings are stuffed with delightful things (legs, perhaps?) and you have a calm and slothful Christmas Day!