The writing's on the wall... 2017

August 14th 2017:
This is me, two days after my shoulder operation. The day after I had it done, my arm was still totally numb and I couldn't even hold a pick properly and I had no strumming co-ordination. That was due to an injection in my neck that cut the need for me to have any morphine-based pain relief. As soon as my arm started working again, I started to exercise it a bit and got on with picking up a guitar.

Before anyone lectures me  (too late, they have already), my surgeon said I was to do whatever I can to use the arm, including playing guitars. If I don't, I will end up having another operation for a frozen shoulder. I have a physio appointment on Tuesday.

Ian Edmundson

Picture and Thunderbird bass courtesy of Andy Worthington.

August 8th 2017:
I attended my pre-op appointment this morning to make sure I am ready for surgery to improve things with my painful right shoulder. Dear God, am I ready? Let's get it done.

Oh, here's some jam night Tomfoolery. Smoke on the water (Jam Night Tomfoolery version)

August 3rd 2017:
It looks like The Kerbcrawlers may possibly be doing a weekend of gigs next year. Three of us were in the same room the other night and I was asked if I fancied doing a one-off when Ian Hutchings is over from Spain at some point. It would make more sense to do two and it would have to be next year, as The Three are booked up this year. We are waiting for Ian in Spain to confirm any dates that he is available. November 2018 looks possible. We'll see.

The Kerbcrawlers

July 27th 2017:
Our Oscar came to us from Bianca Filip who tirelessly rescues stray dogs and dogs from kill shelters in Romania. Please check out this book that will send a donation directly to support Bianca's efforts and also the web pages listed. Her main page is here.

To buy the book, just go to the book page, register with Blurb and select the version you want - there's a hardback or softback copy. Each book is only printed when you order it, it won't be in the shops. The books are sent by courier and have to be signed for on delivery. Blurb do all of the work. Each book sends a donation to Bianca.

July 26th 2017:
Following my post about venue stupidity on July 5th, I am getting a bit astonished at how many music venues are run by utterly stupid people in this day and age. Last Friday's gig at the King's arms, in Ashton In Makerfield was cancelled because the landlady wants to go down the disco and karaoke road. We only found out we were cancelled the night before because someone else saw our post about the gig. She rang me and told me the tale. None of the bands booked at that venue had been told that their gigs are off. Shocking.

We were supposed to be doing a jam in Oldham next Sunday and handed our own regular jam night over to some friends, so we could do the other jam night for a change. Now we find that we have been double-booked by the venue in Oldham!

A pub in Horwich that have had us in the diary for a year decided they would have two diaries running and tried to cancel us. (at least I managed to sort that one out). I really do wonder at how thick these people are.

July 20th 2017:
When you realise that music is basically the ONLY thing you have in your life that you like....

July 17th 2017:
A nice busy weekend with four shows. The first was at The Hare And Hounds in Uppermill, near Oldham. A pretty good crowd.

The next show was a one hour slot at the LukeFest event at Kearsley Social Club in Kearsley. The day is dedicated to young Luke Whittaker who tragically passed away aged only 14, not long ago. The event raises funds for the music department of his school, as he was a keen and very gifted drummer. His parents are friends of ours and we were really pleased to be able to perform on the day.

We had to be careful with stops between songs at the end of the show, as when we stopped, the DJ kept trying to start playing music, even though we still had 15 minutes to go. DJ's tend to do that to bands - some of them live to tell the tale. We went down very well, among all of the bands who performed - many of whom were Luke's classmates.

The band that followed us were so keen to get onstage and start playing that they were coming on and setting up their gear while we were still dismantling ours. They are kids and have a lot to learn.

A good day.
More information at The Luke Whittaker memorial page.

Thanks to Lynda for the footage.

Following that, we drove over to The Lever Bridge in Darcy Lever, Bolton and did an enjoyable full show and got a return booking in December. We are now just about fully booked up for the year, so December was about as early as we could get.

Many thanks to Andy Worthington for the footage.

Sunday was the jam night that we do every week at Bar One Ten, Tyldesley. A nice evening, playing with lots of different people and also trying out a few new things for the band's shows.

July 12th 2017:
The band were filming in Leeds yesterday for a forthcoming TV show. We were put up the night before at the rather nice Holiday Inn, as we had to be on set at 7.15 am. I got a call from the hotel desk at 6.30am (15 minutes before I had set my alarm to go off). I grumpily staggered downstairs, not quite knowing who I was, due to only hitting the hay after midnight, as the hotel had rather a nice bar.

The filming took place at The Brudenell Social Club, a well-known Leeds music venue with a great stage and lighting. The cast and crew were excellent and from what we saw, people should be quite impressed with the show. There are a few recognisable big names in there. A lot of hanging around and repetitive tasks, due to everything being done with multiple takes. I think we will mainly be in the background in a couple of scenes. We did one song live and we nailed the recording of it in one take, even though it's not a regular feature in our set. Looking forward to seeing the show when it comes out. More details when we are allowed to give them out, later in the year. Ian and Graham are doing some further scenes next week, but I am not available for both of the days that they would need me for. Oh well.

In other news, my shoulder operation is on August 11th.

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

July 5th 2017:
Perhaps slightly more ridiculous (if possible) than the venue landlord who tried to haggle to get us cheaper than the venue he came to watch us at (in front of the landlady of that venue) is the landlady of a venue who booked us for a Saturday in July with no idea of how she was actually going to pay the band and then turned round and who cancelled us apologetically with two weeks notice.

Now, to give the new landlady her due credit, she had shown good taste and was very keen on booking us for her new pub in Leigh, after we had played at her mate's venue in Bolton. However, to leave it until two weeks before the gig to cancel us when she must have known for some time that she couldn't find our fee is pretty damned inexcusable. We did fill the date again the same day, but it could have been a night off.

Another new landlady / bar manager at another venue, in Atherton, managed to double book us once this year and once in 2018, because she has had TWO DIARIES OPEN.

FFS. Wouldn't it be nice if someone who is new in the licensed trade had the slightest bit of wits about them?

July 1st 2017:
This evening my band played a pretty good show at a nice town centre venue in Bolton. After the show, a landlord approached us and asked us if we could play at his venue for a cheaper fee than we had just played at the venue where we had rocked 'til they dropped. In front of the landlady, too... We said what we did this evening was our minimum fee and next year everywhere would be paying a fee that is ten pounds more than that as our minimum fee. The guy didn't seem to get it and just muttered about getting us cheaper.

I personally take about £1200 worth of bulky professional standard bass amplification on stage and usually two or three basses, amounting to about £3000 on stage, not to mention monitors, stands, effects etc. It all needs transporting. That's hard work. Our drummer carts a full PA system with two 1100w speakers, two bass bins and a mixing desk and a huge bag of connection cables, as well as his sizeable excellent quality Yamaha drum kit. Our guitarist has a cavalcade of guitars and a killer amp and a set of lights to transport - and he drives to our shows from St Helens. While I type this, he is still on his way home from the gig. We all invest and we all do an amount of work. While our work is certainly pleasurable, it is definitely WORK and it definitely has a value.

We go out for an hourly rate that pays us a sensible, but not greedy amount (we do like to work and so we do not charge over the odds) and which also pays for the basic upkeep and replacement of our equipment. And food.

We are quite a long way from being the most expensive band on the circuit.

Of course, he is quite certainly at liberty to get a cheaper band in, as I said, but if he wants us, there is a set fee which we are not going to go below. We aren't greedy and we're not silly. We are also not a charity, we do this to earn a living, as indeed I imagine he does with his pub. I doubt he would take that kindly to a reduced offer on a pint of lager. If you choose to pay peanuts, then you choose to get monkeys.

1970 was a distinct historical period and the rate bands were paid back then is also a piece of history. A piece of history which will not repeat itself.

Blog from earlier in 2017