“But February made me shiver, with every awesome, barn storming gig we delivered!”
Admittedly there weren’t as many as we would have liked. For some reason people don’t feel the need to launch into the rockmosphere at this time of the year. From the faces I see on da street I think the contrary is probably the truth. But where we were invited, stars were born , legendary residencies created and a little bit of wedding dust sprinkled.
The stunningly wonderful Tooting Tram and Social hosted us for a loosely Valentine themed shindig and as a little band meeting decided afterwards we think this was probably our favourite gig there of the past 3 years. Because it’s such a big beautiful barn of a venue it can take a while to get the whole place shaking. However this Valetine’s spectacular saw revellers bouncing on chairs at the back and hanging from the mezzanine from the first song and then it just got better and better. There were a few contenders for winner of the soon to be invented “I am Rockaoke and Roll” performance of the night T-shirt. These included a 30th birthday rendition of Teenage Dirtbag (complete with rose between the teeth when rubbing up to MC Mataoke’s leg), a guy on his first night in London leading everyone in a rendition of Tootingwall and another pulsating Standing in the Way of Control to finish the night off.
Next stop was a new Friday night residency at AAA@Archangel bar on Kensington High Street. We went for this gig based on a meeting with Mark, the lovely ( and a little bit crazy) owner of the bar whose enthusiasm and excitement for bringing Rockaoke madness to his stage was infectious and he DID NOT disappoint. From the very first lick, pluck and snare smash he was front, side and centre of the party, jumping around, singing and giving away free “Rocktails” to everyone who performed. In contrast to the vastness of Tooting this is a cosy ( not cramped) downstairs venue which filled up quickly and after about 4/5 songs we found ourselves slap bang in the middle of a bouncing rock and roll gig. One of the main reasons this was and will be such a bloody good crack of a residency is that the sound is AWESOME. AAA is very serious about becoming one of West London’s best live music venues and as such have laden themselves with an awesome sound system and some of the best technicians in the business. Phil was God of Sound for our first gig and he was genuinely enthralled by the task of making EACH and EVERY singer sound as good as they possibly could. It’s not often we find that detail on the road and subsequently we have provisionally bagged him for our world tour . This maybe be tough as he was out in Europe last week with Deep Purple and is making Marillion sound good for the rest of the month.
Last but not in anyway least was the wonder of last Thursday at The Alchemist in the city. Technically this was not in February but it deserves a mention as it was the scene of not only a Rockaoke first but simultaneously one of most mega Rockaoke moments of all time. . Manus ( our new biggest fan) had e-mailed a few weeks earlier to ask if we could accommodate a little favour during the evening. So at the beginning of the second half, after the previous singer had whipped the crowd into a frenzy with Sex on Fire , Manus took to the stage. Eyes closed and understandably a little nervous he slipped into Chasing Cars and within moments the lighters were out, arms were swaying and everyone was in love. During the second verse he signalled to his girlfriend Lauren to come and sing with him and she foolishly obliged. As the crescendo of the last chorus eased, our main man dropped to one knee and slightly adapted the outro to suit his requirements. “If i just kneel, If I just kneel here, will you kneel with me and we’ll forget the world”. He then popped the question and Lauren said yes. She burst into tears ( which is rare for an Aussie girl) and so did the band and the rest of the Alchemist. In fact I’m a little wet around the edges writing this now.
And so we march into March with guitars held high and amps turned up very loud, looking forward to making more dreams come true along the way. It’s a tough gig but we’ll play it.
We’re going to start at Punk this Friday and then a large dose of Rednose Rockaoke next Thursday at The Rose in Vauxhall. Let’s lay some down and raise money for those who have fewer chances to Rock than ourselves. Take a sneaky peek at the link below for more details
Rock long and prosper