Part of the fun of being on the road is meeting up with old friends - here's my old compadre Graeme who took some of the live shots in earlier blog.(*points down*). It was grand to meet up with him and my other London-based friends, especially as I don't get down to London so much since I changed job. My t-shirt caused a few comments on the night - it's the NME from May 77, when The Ramones came to the UK and showed us all how to do it.
We had a great time - onstage sound wasn't great but we gave it Maximum Jock & Roll. I caught up with Rhod Burnett, our original drummer, and told him about the French tour and especially about the fans who had been so touched by our music over the years. He was delighted to hear about the guy in Rennes who had "waited his whole life to see this band" - good to know that even if it felt like banging your head against a wall you did reach some people.
Thanks to all who came along, thanks to Mike Harrison & Graeme Armstrong for the photos. Hope to see you all again soon
B2 is a really good rehearsal setup - nice drumkit, good PA, good guitar amps, reasonably clean. We've been rehearsing in places run by Steve (from the original Berkeley St which was a similar high-end setup) since the very first Primevals rehearsal in 1983. They've now got a pretty good coffee machine too.
Tonight went well - ran through the set from Tuts, then went over a couple of them again to settle and clarify some things. When we played Spiritual at Tuts, the slide part was rather spacy - the chords I was meant to be playing had slipped my mind, so there was a kind of pedal steel feel to some of it.
All went well tonight, and we added "Walk In My Footsteps" which was on the band's first single after I left (for the first time, in 1985.) I was always touched by the dedication to me which I only found out about when I saw the single - it says "Eternal Thanks - Hotfire". (That was my nickname)
So we're off to London by bus, by train , and by car. We will be remembering the daftness of previous London trips - "Collar up, big man - you're in London!" and so on.
Current plan is that we'll be onstage at the Water Rats at 11. Whole thing over by 12:15. That could change. If you're coming to the gig, I'm looking forward to meeting up with some of my London-based friends. I'll update on twitter if things change (@twrafferty)
Now, some Berberana and some Mature Cheddar, and a chance to listen to the final mixes of the recent recordings at Green Door. I couldn't make the time to go to the mix too.That was unusual - wouldn't have happened in my own band, The Beat Poets. I write and arrange most of the material and make the logistic arrangements too - from organising rehearsals to making sure the soundcheck goes OK to remembering the horn arrangements. It is easier just "being the guitarist". But I do need the Beat Poets too - we are our own thing, kings of our daft world, a way for us all to make music that sounds just like us.
I'm blessed to have the chance to do this, still - the support of my family, the rocking vibe of my great friends in the band. A chance to wear new hats - my sister-in-law works in the same area as Michael, the singer. She bumped into him today. We had a family dinner tonight, and when I appeared she said "I saw Michael earlier - wearing exactly the same hat and with the same scarf!" We are independently styled - but we're stylin'!