|The Highlander - A tremendous place for a Sunday roast and amongst their fine wines may I recommend the bitter shandy.|
The late arrival also however made me late for my next appointment, namely - a 4pm trip to see a new band called Dirty Parle (There is an acute over the "e" but I can't figure out how to type it on my laptop), who are the brainchild of a former comedy student of mine called Jade. They were playing at Balstock. Balstock happens every year. I've never been before. It is a weekend-long music festival in which pretty much every pub in the town has bands on all day. It is one of the biggest free music festivals in England. Rhythms Of The World in Hitchin used to be THE biggest, but then they made it a fiver. I only could be there because my own gig in Biggleswade had been cancelled (And is, as a result, no more). Robbie had opted to sleep all day so I was resolutely alone but only for seconds. As I got out of the cab I was immediately joined by Jade herself and then Sulu, Tim and Daryl who had gone to The White Horse to see a band themselves. The problem for them was that we were at The White Lion, but they stayed for a bit anyway. Dirty Parle were terrific - considering it was only their fifth gig they really woke the place up. They're kind of an 80s Goth'n'Roll band I suppose - catchy as hell, musically excellent and I'm looking forward to playing them on my podcast, Punky! Radio very soon.
Dirty Parle - featuring not only lead singer Jade smoking an imaginary cigarette but also the drummer playing from within the pub - within a sticks length of the bar itself. Great forward planning from the man at the back.
I had a pint of real ale and then Jade and I hit the JD & diet cokes. She had no other plans than to go and see some other bands, neither did I. We left the pub and picked the only significant downpour of the day to walk to "The Hen And Chickens" in. there we planned to see a punk covers band. Instead, on arrival, it was so packed that we went out into the beer garden where we saw a dogfight instead. I will never understand why people buy aggressive muscular dogs but these two evenly matched sinewy death machines did sufficient to scare most of the kids out of there so it wasn't all bad. Next stop was "The Engine" where the legendary Kunt & The Gang was playing at 9pm. I say "was" rather than "were" because there is only in fact one of him. We had another couple of drinks in another pub first (Whose name escapes me) before reaching our destination, where I immediately bumped into Kunt himself. I've met him a couple of times before, notably in Edinburgh where this year his exploits became the stuff of legend. By the time he began we had rejoined the rest of her band and I'd bumped into Matt from The Bleach Boys, Soapy my occasional helper at the comedy club in Letchworth and a few of the local punks (including the lovely Elaine) who were all becoming a bit blurry. I introduced Jade to Kunt as my girlfriend. He didn't bat an eyelid. I was secretly quite impressed but didn't let on. During his fantastic show he dedicated "Men with beards (What are they hiding)" to us and it suddenly all looked a bit creepier.
Kunt And The Gang in action. Quite wonderful.
Never mind. Everything wrapped up around ten and the band very kindly gave me a lift home. By the time I made it back Robbie had actually got up. I suggested we watch Doctor Who. His viewing was impaired slightly by me constantly saying "This is rubbish". When it finished I made myself egg and chips, thus completing a four day run of booze, fast food, takeaway food and convenience food, music, comedy and about as much fun as a guy can have while still technically working. I went to bed, again, at some point and woke up on Monday exactly when I wanted to - late.
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Music, loss, laughter and some conversation dégoûtant (part three)
I didn't have to be up particularly early on Sunday morning, thankfully, but I'd still arranged to go to lunch with a friend that became a wild dash to The Highlander in Hitchin when we realised they stopped doing roast dinners at 2pm. We did the fifteen minute drive in ten and got there in the nick of time for a fantastic roast beef dinner washed down with a pint of bitter shandy, that proved to be absolutely the correct choice.