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GIGS 2014

Saturday 29th March 2014

The College Arms, Reading (RG6 1JL)


13D /

Well what to say? How good was that? Ten hours of good music, good company and just a "drop" of alcohol to mix it all together.

My set felt like it went well, as it always has done when Chalk Angels and their friends are in the audience. It is always appreciated how they stand right at the front showing support and indeed as we've got to know each other there's a bit of banter which, along with those "friends" that came specifically to see me, helps make that connection between performer and audience and inevitably improves the performance (or mine at least). And indeed I got some welcome compliments afterwards from both the landlord and other members of the audience which are always appreciated. (Thanks!) Oh and guess what? I got invited to join a band to play rhythm guitar! (Yes, you did read that right, you can stop laughing now.) Although I'm seriously considering the offer, unfortunately I just don't think I'm going to be able to do that project justice with my other commitments.

You might have guessed from the above that I thought it was a great day but there were several moments that really stood out for me:

  1. Late Arrivals, Dan Curtis's new band which includes Drunkfest organiser and Chalk Angels guitarist Lance Kirton (and a bassist whom I don't know). I'm not sure what I expected. Perhaps something a bit punkier, rockier? I don't know now but I was quite taken a back by the mellow sounds, particularly coming from Lance's guitar. I've still Dan's song, Jealousy, (which I've known from before) going round my head. It maybe had a bit of the Byrds about the sound. I certainly enjoyed it, as did the people sitting nearby me.
  2. I'd heard a bit about Ashley Miles and Occupy since getting know Chalk Angels and met them for the first time backstage (oh okay, in the beer garden) during the afternoon during one of the breaks. Both Ashley and Alex Mulner (bass player) were completely unassuming and I have to admit I was bit puzzled because they didn't strike me as the punkish, militant band that I thought Occupy were (I think their previous band was called Military Arcade?). In fact, they were just the opposite, a couple of quiet guys having a laugh with us all and without any posey "rock" coolness / grandeur. Later, as the band completely nailed it, I realised there was no mistake and these guys were from Occupy. However more to the point, Ashley just seemed to turn into "rockstar" (almost along the lines of "mild mannered Clark Kent...""). I don't watch X Factor but I understand the concept of some people having the X Factor and I think Ashley has it in spades. Saturday night was one of those nights when I saw myself in the future thinking "I was on the same bill as that guy at The College Arms in 2014." Seriously, I kid you not.
  3. Talking of kidding. Darryl Malloy, the drummer of Occupy, is a great drummer but "backstage" I thought he was really very very funny whilst at the same time making interesting points. I reckon he could be great at stand-up.

Back to me, I just need to finish by saying thanks to those that came specifically to see me: Kelly, Zain, Tim (and son), Cliff, Phil and Luke, thanks!

My Set