Wednesday, 10 October 2012

boats trains and rain

I have recently returned from the north where I have been staying with my great friends John and Val near Wigan. John is my tour manager and fellow conspirator. Recently we discussed what seems to be the ever-growing tendency for people to chat through gigs. John has a theory that because folk have become accustomed to chatting on their phones about any thing, any where the habit has extended to conversation generally with out let or hindrance.
Of course this isn’t quite as significantly detrimental to a full blown electrical performance as it might be to an acoustic performance. I have been lucky or diverting enough to prevent people from chatting most of the time though there has been a couple of exceptions.
The last was at Burton where my good friend Peter Greening was promoting an event for the charity CRY. I should have known what was to come when Peter tried to get people to listen to his pre-amble about why we were there and what CRY means to him and his people. Twice he began and then there was a hush of sorts. How ever, as soon as Peter spoke many people carried on speaking at a volume that would prevent them having to listen. I began my set after the local rock band 5 days of November, which was an interesting dynamic. I battled on against a backdrop of babbling voices, which annoyed me, but it was even worse for genuine fans of good music (oh yes!) that had travelled some distance to support the cause and myself.

I had planned to play for at least an hour and a half but after an hour and ten and in the middle of a song I gave in to the noise and left the stage. I think some people including Peter and co were a bit disappointed that I finished early but not nearly as much as I was. I need the satisfaction of getting through the set and the simple courtesy that any performer might expect. They didn’t need me they needed some one who would provide the usual cheery nonsense that you might find at any small time corporate event. I know just the DJ.
For any one who thinks, or thought at the time, that I was being moody, I say this. Imagine you are having the best sex of your life and suddenly a voice in your ear is talking to you about the gap in your mortgage re-payments or that you might have left the gas on or ……. That is what it feels like when I can no longer concentrate on my job through the mindless babble. So there! I feel better now.

The Hi Fi Club at Leeds was better and I was better and every one loved me …. Ha ha! Swoon and I caught a cold. My special thanks to all of the staff and to Martin Dixon for a great sound and for the recording. Driving back to Wigan through the torrential rain that seemed to be a regular feature of the recent weeks, the satisfaction factor was back in abundance. I am always pleasantly surprised by the younger people who seem to connect with what I am doing as well as the women who seem to like what I do with an acoustic guitar more than what I did with the EBB. I know some of you guys prefer the full on electric stuff. I like it too but I am enjoying singing songs of the now that folk can relate to. Some times I only manage to do a couple of old songs and no one complains. It is very pleasing for me to have been able to construct and perform a new set of songs in less than a couple of years. This will feed into the full electric show planned for the end of 2013.

So I am staying one and a half miles from a canal and a river but the water is very coloured from the excessive rainfall and many parts are flooded. Even though I have assembled a very small travel set of lure fishing gear it would have been a waste of time so John and I go exploring local music shops. At Dawsons in Warrington I try the new Roland synth guitar stuff. The pick up for the system is mounted on the tattiest excuse for a guitar I have ever seen but I progress through the pedal presets and just when I am getting some where the manager of the shop decides to play some music from the counter where he is languishing. The assistant was quite helpful but I decided to leave it and go elsewhere. Usually people turn music off so you can try gear. If several people are trying stuff then there will be an unavoidable clash of sounds but I never had a member of staff play some recorded music before. I reckon he didn’t like my virtuoso cello impersonations. Seriously though – Poor show Dawson’s. By contrast the experience when shopping at a small music shop in Wigan was a delight. Watch out big boys the little guys might well overtake you in the midst of the new reality. The evidence of shops left for dead is scattered through the northwest as it is in so many places I have been to recently.

The day after the Leeds show John and I left Wigan headed back in the direction of the Potteries. We set off on a dry sunny afternoon and wondered how long it might last. Our destination was The Black Lion pub deep in the heart of the Churnet valley and this was to be the venue for Kevin Hart’s 60th birthday bash. John and I had done a little research around this venue and we liked what we saw. The place has a steam railway, one of John’s big interests, and a canal and a river for me. All this within yards of the Black Lion. The scenery is spectacular and wild and surprising. The only access is by a small road that reminded me of my recent travels in west Wales. We were told that the only way out of the valley on some winter days is via a four wheel drive vehicle.
The gig was a delight. We finally met Katie who had put it all together for her dad. Katie was married a day before so this was a very special weekend for the family. We started off in a tent attached to the pub but after dining at nine we decided to move indoors as the temperature dropped to near freezing. Once ensconced I began a second part of the show. The acoustics were much better inside and I quickly warmed to the task. I really enjoyed meeting the family and their friends. They are lovely people and made us very welcome. The pub staff came into see the last part of the show and it was great to play for some younger people who had no idea who I was or what has gone before. It was very interesting to get their very positive feedback.

It was fascinating to listen to gig stories from Kevin and his brothers and mates who had followed my path down the years. This gig was special for me from all aspects.

Next day after an early breakfast ( for me) we set off back down in the valley with the sun shining. John checked a couple of old diesel engines but no steam trains were running. I caught a little perch on a lure under the canal bridge to the pub. I later cast the lure into a bush where unfortunately it stayed. A weak knot let me down. Ah well! It’s only stuff.

It was time to head back to London and then back to Wigan for John. We’d had a very interesting time. It is all part of a learning curve and the steepness of the curve lessens as time passes. There are so many possibilities I want to play with. This year is almost over from a gigging perspective though I might be going off to play in Athens in December if the guys there can arrange it. I want to see what is going on there for myself. Meanwhile it is time to continue band rehearsals with Bob Poole and Rick Medlock. 

I have lots of enquiries re A Fair Days Pay For A Fair Days Work 2013 shows so if you want one book now for the best summer dates. I'm off to Norfolk for the weekend to play a FDPFAFDW on friday so see you then Jim.

I have just received copies of the EBB live at THE FABRIK Hamburg 1973. This features Vic Unitt on guitar. It is an historical piece that I am sure will be of interest to many of you. Thanks to Tom and all at Sireena records for digging it out and putting it all together. The cd will be released in Germany on Oct. 26, in UK on 12th November.

I have just taken delivery of the ZOOM A 2.1 acoustic guitar effects pedal so that should provide some fun when I can find the time to play around with it. I'm still teased with the possibility of acquiring the Roland synth guitar system and I should be getting my new Apple Mac music station this month. I have waited for the new model on Luke's advice. He is becoming quite expert with his Mac.

Last but not least on the 20th of October there is going to be a huge march against the cuts in London. Be there if you possibly can. Over the weekend and next week I will be setting out some of my thoughts on this and trying to make arrangements to meet up with some of you. We can see what damage the posh boys are inflicting. The recent proposals to further impoverish legitimate welfare claimants during the Tory Conference are unnecessary and despicable. 

PS > Should the title of Lance Armstrong's book IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE be changed to It's not about the bike it was about the performance enhancing drugs?



Jarle said...

People chatting through (accoustic) gigs and when someone's trying to tell something from the stage...annoying, embarrasing and no good at all.....lack of common sense/behaviour...f*'em

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog enjoyed all of it , in a way im glad i did,ent manage the Burton gig as i was to knackered from work would have been grumpy and told the talkers to button it!
I would like a copy of the Hamburg cd are you selling it of the back of a spaceship shop or do we need to get it from amazon / play .com
also need to get to one of your gigs soon as got withdrawal symptoms

Mike from Albuquerque said...

Keep up the good work and enjoying yourself of course.

Anonymous said...

Hi Edgar, I'm a woman who recently attended one of your gigs and would much prefer to hear you play electric as opposed to acoustic, as would my good friend who attended with me! Maybe sometime soon, eh? Loved the gig anyhow, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Have heard you play an acoustic set a couple of times and have been really moved and thoroughly enjoy the new approach. It really gives the opportunity to hear your voice, an amazing instrument.

Whilst I have loved the music for many years I love the fact that you have moved on and the "love songs" are beautiful and have "stuck" in my head.

So, for me, whilst relishing the idea of a new band and hearing you play electric again I would not have missed hearing the acoustic set for anything.


Anonymous said...

today i was listening to the meat cd and sing brother sing, and i was really concentrating on your voice ( for some reason )and do you know what your voice has'ent changed with age in fact its got more powerful, I have loved the solo gigs i love the quietness and clarity .. but now im ready to hear how some of your new songs sound with a band and band arrangements one song i would like to hear again is aerial i think thats what its called, but what ever you play will be fine with me, when you debut the band i will be there without doubt!

Anonymous said...

Well said Tony, see you there.


Anonymous said...

Bye the way did i see Lance Armstrong take the chequred flag just before Vettle in this mornings F1 Korean GP !

Anonymous said...

I was at the Leeds gig stunning clever and very touching. I am a man who likes every thing you do. You are a true represetative of my generation acoustic or electric long may it continue.
Roger Cooke

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
edgar broughton said...

Hi Every one

Thank you for your kind comments.

I have removed the above comment.

Sometimes I am shocked by the values of some people who claim to be EBB fans or who have an interest in what I write.

The writer of the above deleted comment wrote a joke about his 14 year old grand daughter and a Jimmy Saville T-Shirt.

There is nothing funny about this sad situation and to make light of it in any way demeans the victims and is entirely inappropriate.

What kind of man would joke about this? Several names come to mind including Garry Glitter and Jonathon King.

If you wrote the comment I don't want you at my gigs. I don't want to be any where near you.

You do not want to meet me.

Mike from Albuquerque said...

I agree entirely,people are fickle and foul.They probably believe in the death sentence too,enough said.