Blues In A Pub
We go to a pub just after Chrimbo and settle in , everyone’s chatting away , Guinnes? Yeah, alright- double G and T- cheeky Mare, just water? Tight bastard! And alla that – big smelly dog just kinda sitting there – huge , size of a small water bed – just lying there doing zilch. Behind the dog –A band set up ; It’s gonna be Matt and Al today – Matt is a mod style dirty blonde streak-o-piss ting –Low Down Dirty Mofo of a blues guitarist of not a little skill and Al is a marathon runnin’, killer blues harp (Harmonica) player. This promises to be a good night.
So they begin with Little Walter , throw in some Elmore James –add some Taj Mahal and some John Lee Hooker –then a little Louis Jordan – some Robert Johnson and pretty soon I’m doing the pee pee dance , I don’t know what to do with my self.
At the Interval , Matt sharks up and asks me if I want to do a couple of numbers – ‘I saw you doin’ the pee pee dance , I thought you might like to have a go’
So I go and do a pee pee ,just in case I burst forth during a song (wouldn’t be good) and I prepare myself for the onslaught. First of all I download the lyrics of Hootchie Cootchie man , I’m Ready and Mannish Boy by Muddy waters ; then I make a document with I’m ready first in line.
Then I wait.
The band begin the second half of the show having had a pint and a bag of scratchings, wormed the dog and so on.
They begin with a little Howlin’ Wolf , then a bit of Buddy Guy , a bit more Little Walter – stick in a bit of Robert Johnson again ….and I’m waiting for the nod, the intro , the indication , the merest gesture that it might be MY turn.
Oh God , I’m a stage school child! I’m this bloke ,’Well ,enough about me, what do YOU think about me?’ I’m this guy in the Nativity play ‘MUMMY! MUMMY! MUUUUMMMMYYYYYY!’ playin’ a sheep or some shit.
So after they’ve done at least eleventy billion songs , Matt gives me a sly wink , and Al introduces me -‘Well , we’ve got Len in today and he’s gonna get up and sing a couple for us’
Hang on – What the hell kind of introduction is that? What happened to ‘ LAY-DEE’S n Gennulmen! There ARRRRE SEHVEN wonders of the world , YOOOO ARE ABOUT TO WITNESS THE EIGHTH! ‘
But in the end, I backed down cos I thought , ‘I haven’t got my sparkly cape.’ I’m in a jumper it’s not like I’m gonna be doing my ‘Three collapses to the floor in tears’ encore …So I just get up and –Al moves off is little chair and I sit down ! Yeah , this is the sitting down blues..no rock heroics , no R & B sex faces – just sitting down , all calm like and singing about your baby leaving you.
So I do I’m ready first – I kinda know it , but I’ve got the lyrics on the phone – it’s all working well , get the first verse done , chorus , there’s a mini harp solo which Al does with aplomb (mighty groovy) and I look at the phone and there’s a screensaver of my holidays. Where’s the lyrics????
I click open , then have to enter my password , then the lyrics appear again.
Sing the second verse and chorus , then go into settings and change them so that the phone doesn’t black out in the middle of the next song.
Which is Mannish Boy- I sort of know it ,but periodically checked the phone , just in case there was a pic of me on a pedalo , or me swimming with dolphins or something.
Mannish Boy goes down super well and I get off, knowing where my bread is buttered and all that.
Matt n Al carry on and they get the whole room chugging in that blues fug you sometimes get when it lurches over into the heartfelt and lowdown funky – nobody’s hurtin’ nobody, but the blues is so down and deep and nasty , somebody could get cut cos it’s sharp like a steppin’ razor. They bring the show to an end with an admirable flourish and thank the landlord for his hospitality and money , and Al thanks his mum for making bread pudding (I kid thee not – can you imagine BB King doing that during a show ‘Just wanna say thanks a lot to my people , especially my mama , cos she done made a Sticky Toffee Puddin’ done blown my mahhhnd !’ ) and then they went – but the audience went nuts and started asking for me to do one more song….
So then we do Hootchie Cootchie man ,which I’ve never sung before . It’s really good; Hootchie cootchie , I think, refers to using supernatural aids to enhance one’s sex life , I think. I’m from Dudley – A can of Coke and five Park Drive was all you needed in my neck of the woods – throw in a family pack of Revels and your were aces. It all comes rollin’ and tumblin’ to a close – the crowd go nuts – I big up Matt n Al (Cos they really are the Dogs ) and get off. A good session was had by all – and as I left the dog turned to me , grunted something and then rolled over again, lost to the world.
I think he grunted ‘Learn the words you lazy bastard’
But it might have been ‘Ruf’
Who can tell with dogs?
Hey- Hope you had a ‘Oh God, I can’t eat ANY more’ type Christmas and are looking forward to a ‘WINNING!’ 2013
Love each other mightily….