Saturday 27 August 2011

King Tut's

Tut's is a really good venue, they look after bands well, with good food, cold beer and soft drinks, coffee - exactly how it should be.

We had a great time : good crowd, two good support bands - The Brutes and The Reverse Cowgirls - and two encores.

It was extremely hot onstage, the guitars were all drifting a bit in terms of tuning, but we all played well and the crowd had a great time too.

This was the setlist :

and we had a fan who had been at a gig we played in Ayr in 86, which was my last of that era with the band. That night we walked off about 4 songs in when it all turned nasty : there was some inter-gang rivalry that was brewing up to a rammy, glasses were flying around. One hit the wall behind me. Then one smashed on the monitor and I thought "They're getting the range - I'm outta here". He was gutted because he had been looking forward to the gig for ages. But he finally got to see us again 25 years on. We all signed his t-shirt. 

A really good night, great to play a hometown gig like that again. Next up, some recording

Wednesday 24 August 2011


Tonight's rehearsal didn't start loud, but like boiling a frog it passed the point of din to become discomfort without me spotting it. So I'm home now with a nice glass of Montepulciano d'Abbruzzo (it's the family wine, after my brother moved to Abbruzzo) and no music. Just a slight hissing.

We blasted through some new tunes, found a raga to add to Spiritual, and skelped merrily through the tunes for Tut's on Friday. One of them is Blues At My Door, which I wrote the music for before the Primevals existed - early 1982 I think. There will be people at the gig who are younger than that song - which is entirely how it should be. We've got a pile of songs ready, we'll have a blast on Friday.

Monday 22 August 2011

sic transit gloria mundi

My elder daughter is 13. A few days ago, two of her friends came to visit. After chattering away in her room, they emerged, giggling. One of them asked me "Are you famous, in a band?". I pled guilty to the second charge, and so we had a wee chat about me going back on tour with The Primevals, touring France in a van, which they found pleasantly amusing.

We also had a chat about The Beat Poets, about how we had been going for 25 years and had recently played at Glasgow Jazz Festival.

Naturally, my daughter was mortified at all of this, even more so when her friends insisted on going on youtube to find footage both of The Beat Poets :

and of The Primevals

In music class today, one of her friends asked the music teacher "Sir, have you ever heard of The Primevals?". The teacher looked at the girl who had asked the question then stared at my girl and said "You're Tom Rafferty's daughter! ". He was very complimentary about the band, and told the class that if he had been able to organise the trip, he and his wife would have gone to France to see the Primevals earlier this year.

It's a small world, isn't it?

One of her friends then said "He's in The Beatles, too".

I'm not, but I found that quite amusing.

Friday 19 August 2011


We might be doing some new songs at Tuts. It depends on how they go in rehearsal, but there are 5 candidates. I've managed to make an hour most nights this week to play a bit and get my head around them, try to find different ways to play them and work them round. Some people call this "practising". I have always thought of it as "playing". Its fun!

Practising makes me think of dull piano lessons, mechanical scales, enforcing muscle memory with no joy, no swing, no life. I've had a great time tinkering with the chords, the voicings of the chords, playing a lot, hardly playing at all, so that when we play them as a band I've got a bunch of ideas depending on what else the rest of the band are doing.

Rehearsal on Wednesday night - parking will be a nightmare as George Sq and area is given over to Brad Pitt's filming. Then King Tut's, which is always a good gig. Looks like a fair turnout for the gig, too, including quite a few friends I've not seen for too long. Which made me think of this - Tribal Gathering.