Just what is it about bass players and pantomimes? Like proverbial moths, fluttering over to a naked candle they are all drawn by the lure of regular Christmas work. ’tis the season, and all that we suppose. This is all very nice for the bassist, oh yes, nice sit down in the pit, plundering bass lines soundtracking cries of ‘He’s behind you’ and ‘oh no he isn’t’, not to mention all that mularkey with the turns. Spare a thought for your regular gigging band though. We don’t stop during Christmas, oh no. Whilst winter weddings are more of a rarity than their summer counterparts, there are still plenty of Christmas parties to be danced at.
So onto our problem, regular bass player Chris, who is the MD and guitarist at the Marlowe, he’s off the list. Next dep, Andee Price – well, she’s playing bass at the Marlowe too. Steve ‘Bass Ace’ Hall, he’s up in Liverpool, Nathan – nope, doing panto in Hull this year. Gah, boo to them we say. Where’s your commitment, eh? Fortunately we have more bass players up our sleeves than you can poke a big pointy stick at. Enter our hero of the day, cute and cuddly Cambridge maestro, Ben Ashby.
This weekend has been a monster with two corporate functions and a wedding. Ben, who also depped with us in November at the Merchant Taylors Supper Dance in Northwood is to quote dear old Ashford & Simpson ‘Solid as a Rock’. No messing, straight down to business, did the homework, knew the forms and was a pleasure to have on board. Solid. Sorted. So on behalf of the band we would like to give Ben our Love Junkies ‘thumbs up’. Not only that, but he helped with packing up all the equipment and didn’t naff off at the earliest available opportunity (those speakers are damn heavy you know).
What have we been up to this last few days, what’s caught our eye? Friday’s gig at RAF Odiham was a smashing Christmas Party. Of particular interest was the fact that a Triumph Bike around £6k was first prize in the raffle – we didn’t ask how much the tickets were but Dave was sorely tempted.
Saturday’s wedding of Tammy and Seb was at The Grove in Watford. Lovely hotel, very smart and a tad on the flush side if you know what I mean. Apart from a strange spot of the wedding party storming the stage, taking our instruments and doing that mock rock star stuff (see other blog – ere my mate can play, let ‘im have a go‘. Nice to see the Bride go straight for the Bass guitar though – interesting, and I for one wasn’t going to er, convince her to put it down. High point was getting the groom onto the stage to do a Bongo solo in ‘Play that Funky Music’. We don’t normally go in for this ritualistic humiliation stuff but he was most insistent – and in the end, he wasn’t a bad player – although meanly we did extend the song to about 8mins. LOL.
Finally, yesterday’s gig was at Le Meridian, Picadilly through our agents Prelude. The event was great and the co-ordinators really looked after us. However, minus points go to the staff who weren’t greatly helpful. A warning to fellow bands, this place has a very long get in involving 2 lifts, numerous stair cases and 3 different (all long routes). You can’t go through the front by the way, you have to access from the back, so allow at least an extra hour set-up time. I spent a while yesterday trying to find out if there were any special loading instuctions of which the reply was no, come round the back. Pah!
On behalf of the band we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.