There's this idea that you can usually link any two seemingly unrelated facts through six "connections" (a concept known as "Six Degrees of Separation") and as I prepared for the gig this evening it occurred to me that actually there were perhaps less tenuous links from all of the bands playing tonight to one of my favourite bands, Roxy Music.
First, we've got Occupy, an energetic, charismatic power house punk band who kicked off their set tonight with a storming Hound Dog / Heartbreak Hotel (punk isn't really my thing but I do enjoy watching these guys). There are quite a few connections between Punk and Roxy and here are some: producer Chris Thomas, often thought of as a fifth member of Roxy in the early days, was the Sex Pistols' first producer; long time Bryan Ferry (lead singer with Roxy Music) and Roxy Music guitarist Chris Spedding produced and played on the first Sex Pistols' demos which he then passed onto Chris Thomas; Siouxsie & The Banshees got together at a Roxy gig and and if you want a laugh, watch this clip to see what Sid Vicious said about Roxy.
Is there a Funk Off and Roxy connection? Well apparently one of the founders of funk / disco Nile Rogers was inspired by a Roxy gig to form Chic and later he would play on a number of Bryan Ferry albums.
And last but not least (why on earth didn't I use that line to introduce them?!) Late Arrivals sweet but dark mellow sound wouldn't have been out of place on Bryan Ferry's Bride Stripped Bare album.
So, with the above in mind it seemed appropriate that I'd include a Roxy cover in my set. In Every Dream Home a Heartache was inspired by one of Britain's leading pop artists Richard Hamilton's collages: What is It About Today's Homes That Makes Them So Different, So Appealing? (Whilst we're on the subject, the aforementioned The Bride Stripped Bare was titled after another Richard Hamilton creation and Hamilton also used to live just up the road on the outskirts of Henley - you see it's all connected!)
I think perhaps the last time I played In Every Dream Home A Heartache was the last time I played at The Sun a couple of years ago when Reading DJ Joanne Kelly gave me a great review. Coincidently Joanne was in the audience again tonight and sent out a lovely tweet: "great set by @shearermusic at The Sun Inn" - thanks Joanne! (:-) It's always hard to tell how things go really or how you're sounding but it's always encouraging when you get comments like that. Encouraging too when you see drinkers down the far end of the pub joining in with songs like Ashes to Ashes.
Tonight too was also the first time I've had my stage invaded. As it turns out it was one of the singers from Funk Off who couldn't wait to get behind the mic but I didn't know that at the time. All sorts of "witty responses" went through my head, Terminator-like but I couldn't decide which one to use. In hindsight I probably did the right thing and let the incident run it's course. (Yeah, I know, not like me.)
Big thanks to everyone who came along to see me: Joanne, Damien, Christine, John, Kate, Rosa.
Big BIG thanks too to Tonia Bennett and Chris Lewis for the way they looked after the artists and the organisation. It was a great night.
Just to finish off then, some imminent dates for you:
Oh and there's a retrospective of Richard Hamilton currently on at The Tate Modern.