Saturday, 24 November 2007

Duke Spirit, 229, London 21/11/07

Last time me and Bossman saw the Duke Spirit was in December last year, so this was another great chance to catch them in a London venue. 229 has good acoustics, good stage height and is of a small enough size to keep it intimate. It must be new, as I'd never heard of it before.
This photo shouldn't be seen in public, it's too Addams Family... but hey-ho, who cares, we're going to the Texas Chainsaw Travelling Horror Picture Show next week, so we need to get the look sorted. This is a good start.

First up was Creepy Morons, playing sinister guitar / drum rock. Will see them live again I'm sure.

And then after a short break, the main event, The Duke Spirit. The gig the night before was cancelled due to Leila's vocals needing a rest, but thankfully the London audience was treated to a great gig. It was pissing down outside, and once a few JD's warmed the bones (JD and Duke Spirit - the perfect match) we were ready. They played some new stuff, some old classics (good to see Dan's machine gun guitar solo back in action on Red Weather) and Leila's voice was pure blues honey, smooth and sultry, from another era. Timeless. Fantastic gig. Tight musianship, lyrically moving, pulls at your heart, and great JD.

Got a new camera, so wasn't best pleased with the results, think I over-exposed some shots and realised I stupidly had a low shutter speed which blurred some images too. Shame I'm thick otherwise, these shots would have been much better, but the grainy quality gives them a certain seedy appeal. Got some great shots of Dan though, the backlight worked wonders for my rubbish photo-technique. A happy accident which compensated for my technical inadequacy.

Got lucky when the light glared out from behind the band, gives a lovely bright image.

This next one is particularly nice (in my opinion!). Again, out of focus and grainy, but I love the dark/bright contrast, Toby's sillouette and Leila poised for a strut.

Finally I had to get a photo of the photographers stripey pants. I want some. And so does Bossman.

Monday, 19 November 2007

He played for West Ham, honest!

When I was around seven years old, this bloke moved in next door to us. He looked over the fence at me and my friend kicking a ball around in the garden.
"I used to play for West Ham you know" he remarked casually before continuing to rake his lawn.
I didn't give a crap, but my friend asked what his name was. I can't remember exactly what his name was, probably something football formulaic like Jimmy Hardacre, Alf Rodgerstone or Billy Bignuts. In retrospect I have to admit he did carry himself as a failed 1970's footballer. Mullett, lambchop sideburns, medallion, vein ridden pickled red nose, but you don't notice those details when you're seven.
So we went inside and asked my dad whether he'd heard of Alf Rodgerstone (or whatever his name was), he said no, never heard of him.
So we went back outside and proceeded to crush this mans dignity as only seven year olds can do.
Me : "My dads never heard of you."
Alf : "But I have played for West Ham"
Me : "If you played for West Ham, why don't you live in a mansion then? Why are you living near Manor House?"
Alf : "I got injured"
At this point Alf was almost in tears, his rake had dropped to the floor and his eyes welled up. I saw his wifes sad face despairingly sway from side to side as she dried the cups from the inside of his kitchen window.
My friend, who wasn't as articulate as me, then delivered the classic line. His statement was a sock filled with snooker balls compared to my rapier like precision questions.
"If you did play for West Ham, you must have been shit."
Alf Rodgerstone moved out of the area shortly afterwards.