Two days post-autumnal equinox: an old hurricane drifting in the Atlantic has bequeathed torrential rain and gale force winds upon the United Kingdom, Beth Orton whispers across the radio wires and Richard Hawley answers back, the stray cat pads a melancholy and discordant tune in the dust on the piano. The house feels unsettled. I’m trawling eBay for bluebird hair combs, Shure microphones, magpies, old friends – anything to combat the gently persistent inertia and monochrome damp of the change of seasons.
Had I written this post a week ago, I would have no doubt been more cheerful and less contemplative. We had a great gig at the Donkey on the 15th – the best performance we’ve put on to date, in my opinion. Leah and Jenny, and Martha Bean plus strings, were the perfect hors d’oeuvres to an evening that implicitly celebrated women in music and that also saw (heard) the gig debut of Mark’s new amplifier. Thank you to Gaz and Waz, and to all who turned up on a beautiful late summer’s night and were so supportive. Sadly, we have no photos from the event – so if anyone reading took some, please get in touch.
The week before that, Styx and Jon and I had a great time hanging out with DJ Jonny Bance at Radio Fox in the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Jonny presented with verve and enthusiasm and was playing some top-notch music. We were honored to be a part of his breakfast show. He plugged our gig and put At Last We Understand Each Other, (Dawning of a) New Era, and Motorway out on the hospital and internet airways. We even got to share a couple of our Desert Island Discs: Jimmy Cliff, You Can Get it if You Really Want (Jon) and Raissa, Walk Right Through (Ming). Styx chose the Police, King of Pain, but mercifully we ran out of time so pre-empted the cries of “inappropriate” that would have been no doubt forwarded to the studio via the “grey button at your bedside table”. Unfortunately, Jonny opted for tickets to Mamma Mia over Bluebird Parade on the 15th (I know, can you believe it?), but he was suitably apologetic, so we forgive him, and hope to spend some quality airtime with him again in the future.
Speaking of looking forwards…it is with no small amount of disappointment that I have to announce the postponement of our October 11th Camden gig, sacrificed as it has been for the greater good of The Big One in Dorset (October 19th – 21st). We’ll arrange an alternative date at the Blues Kitchen at some point in 2013, when the weather has calmed itself and we’re all feeling a little less unsettled. In the meantime, a meandering two hours after I started this post, I’ll sign off to the power chords of Bob Mould. I remember watching him in awe and photographing him in the days before digital at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts, circa 1993. It’s good to hear him sounding so strong nearly 20 years on, and still welcoming in the rains.