We’d like to dispel a few rumours that have been circulating the twitscape recently, namely that yours truly has been sacked from the band regarding some dodgy expense claims. Pure nonsense. A complete fabrication and a perfect reason why should never rely on the Daily Telegraph for ska related gossip. It’s true, I have been reimbursed for a moat around my house, from band funds, but as I said at the time to Mike, the band treasurer, I can explain that easily in one word. Vikings. How the fuck do you expect to defend me from Vikings? I live on the east coast; I’m a sitting duck.
We played with legendary Toots and the Maytals again, at the O2 Academy, formerly the Carling Academy. He was incredibly honoured, as you would be, to be sharing the stage with us again. The last time was a belter. This time we had a real hassle getting to the venue as the pub next door had burned to the ground and all the roads to the venue were closed except for a road from the south. After a huge detour around Glasgow in rush hour, we arrived for our sound check with a minute to spare.
First up were Esperanza. They were awesome. They came on at about 180 miles per hour through their first few songs but settled in about fifteen minutes in, and played a blinder. Cheers to them for sharing their drum kit once again.
When we went on, we did exactly the same thing. Our first two songs were so fast, we could hardly play them, but after two songs we settled down. Let me be the first to say that WE were awesome, naturally. We only had thirty five minutes, about three quarters of the length of an episode of The Professionals, but twice as action packed, ten times as exciting, fewer Ford Escorts. We had Vini Van Bonar on the ‘drumset’ as Sam had tickets for ‘Never Forget’, the musical, and they were thirty quid a pop, so it was a no brainer really.
After our set, Toots was openly weeping in his dressing room. “How can I possibly follow that?” he moaned.
“Never mind old bean. Why not do that tune about being in prison? You know the one? When I’m 64. That’s a real crowd pleaser”
“You mean, ’54-46’”.
“Sure. Sure. Or how about ‘Too Much Pressure’? “
“You mean, ‘Pressure Drop’.”
Eventually he did go on, and played a blinder. He may look like Michael Jackson in the video for ‘Thriller’, but he can still sing his arse into a tree. Not too sure about his dancing though. He played all the hits, ‘Reggae got soul’, ‘Funky Kingston’, ‘Sweet and Dandy’, and encored with his famous seventy five minute long version of 54 46 was my number. Nice.
Thanks again to the mighty Esperanza, a big thank you and Happy Birthday to our old friend Douglas Robertson for the pics (more to come) cheers to Craig and everyone at the O2 Academy, and thanks to all of you who came down and bought our album. Next stop, London.