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Blog: Death In Essex

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Myself and The Engine Of My Train headed off to distant (not that distant) ESSEX the other night. The evening started well with us managing to meet on the platform at Leytonstone, and continued in that vein when we got to Loughton and hopped straight into a TAXI. The gig was at The Gardener's Arms, which is HIGH UP on top of a great big HILL. I don't enjoy GRADIENTS at the best of times, let alone when it's tipping with RAIN.

We arrived to find Mr Charlie Flowers and Mr George Death arriving simultaneously. George was booked to play at the Stand And Deliver acoustic night, and we all went in to find a large room ready to ROCK. Well, I say ready to rock - those of us who are VETERANS of running this sort of event DID spend some time saying "oh no, I wouldn't arrange the tables quite like THAT" but before we could get too far into PLANNING the host came over and said "anyone know how to work a PA?" We'd been in the building less than a MINUTE before Charlie was working the PA - a new record! I was surprised NOT to find myself immediately doing the DOOR!

The evening was a good old do, very similar to ALL acoustical "singers night" gigs i.e. some people did their own material Quite Well, but it was those who did cover version in ANY format that did best. One chap did a couple of Simon & Garfunkel numbers, not particularly expertly, but it was ACE to have a bit of an old singalong. The only trouble was that I spent the whole evening REALLY NERVOUS - I've been to so many of these sort of things I'm always convinced that I'm going on next!

The first half ended with The Act We Were There For, George Death himself, who we'd not seen in AGES. He was ACE - I've usually seen him play at MY nights, where the audience is a bit LEFTY, so seeing him in deepest ESSEX, where it's usually safe to assume people aren't QUITE as lefty, was interesting, hearing the jokes work in slightly different places. He went down GRATE though - I think some people down the front were A Bit Serious, but at our end of the room there were GUFFAWS aplenty, especially for "PC Girlfriend", which is GRATE.

We retired to the BAR, where George ended up talking to someone who performed operatic versions of popular songs, changing the words to make them a) comedic b) about the political situation in Israel. I think that's the most NICHE act I've ever encountered! We also covered further DIVERSE SUBJECTS, not least ARTHRITIS as a) Charlie has it b) it looks like I might too. Our conversation was liberally interupted by going "EH? WHAT'S THAT DEAR?" and LEANING IN to hear properly. OLD AGE FUN!

Charlie and George went back in for part two, but we decided we'd earnt enough ACOUSTIC CREDITS to be able to be excused, and set off home. I asked at the bar for a taxi number, but they just rang FOR me, so within minutes we were heading downhill again for the TOOB. It all felt faintly decadent, I must admit, but at MY AGE it's probably for the best!

posted 20/5/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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