I play guitar for the Deep Fried Wolfknuckles.
It was noon when the first messages started coming through from folk who couldn't make it to the gig, Holly washing her hair, Steff having drinks with Lisa Marie.
Kinda soul-crushing that the audience was dropping away before we hit the stage or even arrived at the venue.
Shortly before the show I was checking out a friend's photography exhibition, nice style and narative to the shots, but after saving her bacon and cooking her chicken countless times, she too has a prior engagement and is also shunning the show.
Luckily Stacy and Richard from Sounds of Sweden are here, I am not alone.
For years I remember this place being an old man's pub with the occasional pub rock bands, but its under new management and the band booker chap, Teamie, is a guy I worked with on the university newspaper years ago.
The Deep Fried Wolfknuckles play garage rock, or "ol' time rockabilly like yer pappy used to play" as we once decided. Not quite what you'd expect at a twee-lord indie-pop tribute night, but hey ho.
Drumkit resourcing isses meant that it was acoustic acts on first. JC on stage, acoustic guitar. Unshaven, he mis-starts, changes mics and fires off again, kind of warm, tentative but confident. I don't recognise the song.
Time passes, the next band up, I don't catch the name, but they kind of look familiar, the cute girl in a red dress, the cello player, the wee baldy bloke from countless other bands, he sings. Alan Wolfknuckles is livid cos they're doing 'Underwear', which we'd bagsied. For six people on stage, it was pretty stripped down, they too lacked drums. From where I'm sat down, it sounds a bit bass heavy. The girl vocals would sound great if I were sat elsewhere.
Lizzie Piper from uni is here.
Older and Faraway, sound nicer than the last mob and Mark's half-forgotten some of the lines adds a refreshing delicacy to the set. Actually the girls sure could holler, flawlessly too, compared with the lads. Marie on drums reminiscent of Dolly Parton's vocals.
So, of course the Deep Fried Wolfknuckles were great, hardly cocking up any of the chords. An emergency lyric change with 'Underwear', now in French, saved the day. Followed by a rather wholesom version of 'Punk Love', about three times the length of the original. We then duly punked up for a hi-speed 'Busby Berkley Dreams' and a slightly mellow 'Chicken with its head cut off'.
Our crowning moment was finishing on '100,000 Fireflies'. Power chord rocking out and Alan's hollering his heid off. Teamie had told us to stretch things out so Alan allowed me to indulge my guitar solo fantasies. Going through the Kinks's 'All Day and All Night' solo twice and extensive noodling. The change to the outro was a bit rough and during the chord cycles my zorro mask slipped and I missed a few 'B's adjusting it. So the rest of the band finished, one by one retiring to the bar and I kept on ploughing on. At some point I'd pinged the skin off my right index finger, blood was spraying from an small artery, but still I pounded on.
How much more could I rock on?
Some said "Rather excellent, actually surprising"
The mighty Dot to Dot followed, going under the alias of The Meritocracy as they played minus Wee Patrick and with 'Nick' doing vocals.
Compared to the Deep Fried Wolfknuckles, they were the second or third best band of the night. Nick's Morrissey-esque mincing kind of grated and the vocals sounded a little too much like "lads down the pub"
Aw man, I gotta do a runner, The Plimptons at Club NME across the Road.