Venue: The Labour Club (Website)
Location: 95-97 Charles St Northampton England NN1 3BG
So would I care to put in half an hour as a solo acoustic pensioner? Sure, beats watching facile Saturday night TV. I can tape Match of the Day. No problem.
Then a few days before the gig, Joe comes to me and asks about my bass playing. After his recent excesses with Jon Mattock, Joe is after rocking himself up. We spend a boozy evening learning a Warren Zevon tune. Towards the end of the evening Joe tells me that he wants to play the Perfect Disaster's B-52! It crosses my mind that Jonny used to play B-52 with the Perfect Disaster. Bloody hell, you might say.
Disconcerted, enraged with a vital surge of pure rock fury, but without any time to go on a programming spree, I decide that my approach to my set should be of the old school. I style it "sit down mental". No amp, no fancy playing or singing, just heads-down, wig-out acoustic idiot music...and if anybody doesn't like it, they can meet my piggie Sam. My only intention is to keep the guitar in tune. After that, it's all up for grabs.
So this is what I play:
Quality People - The Ugliest Song In The World - Big Jake (by Curtis) - Ghosts - Hysteria - Sister Death.
For the last song I am joined by Joe, who burns vital gases out of the atmosphere with his electric guitar. It's about 9:45 and the Labour Club is wringing with hideous scrabbling guitar noise. Yes. Welcome to acoustic night.
Joe takes the stage and plays a few numbers on his own. Then Jon Mattock joins him for a few tunes. The small crowd is growing larger and rowdier. Joe is giving his all. Jonny is watching him like a hawk and drumming like a medium. Then they call me back up and I have to strap on the big bass. We play:
Carmelita (by Warren Zevon) - B52 (by the Perfect Disaster) - Magic Bus (by The Who)
During B52 I look up and see Kevin Haskins walking into the Labour Club. He's over in town for the weekend and apparently someone has told him that I was playing an acoustic set. Well, them's the breaks. Acoustic night just turned into mental, churning acid rock frenzy night.
An encore was attempted but Joe had seized the bass and I couldn't get any noise out of the guitar (I expect he broke it), so I fled the stage, leaving Joe and Jon to pass a contented ten minutes or so re-inventing progressive rock somewhere along the Can/Pink Floyd axis of evil. Off to the Charles Bradlaugh to catch up with Kevin on this most unlikely of Saturday nights at the Labour.