Wednesday, 7 March 2018

And Introducing Bryce McCafferty...

I should be strutting about in a fur hat, large mirrored shades and possibly a cloak - a pop svengali, top producer and engineer with a sound coveted by many and achieved by none - because I'm the man who produced and engineered the new Amy Rigby album, a rough, tough psychedelic garage record, her first solo album in twelve years, and her best yet.

But I couldn't really carry it off - my head would itch in the fur hat, the mirrored shades would be covered in fingerprints, and even though I might quite like it I'd feel ridiculous wearing a cloak. So instead I've cast myself in dual roles as Bryce McCafferty, the dependable but tempermental bass playing sideman, and as Amy's erstwhile road manager who I imagine as a sort of Jon Voight character - buckskin jacket, silk scarf, cowboy boots, and a good foot or so taller than myself.

I set the stage, switch on the amps, tune up the twelve string, put the capo on the second fret and report back to Ms Rigby that all is ready. Then I walk back on as Bryce McCafferty and pick up the bass guitar.

Bryce doesn't give a fuck. He's the king of crass. He watches as another more willing band member backs the truck into a bollard or a low brick wall: 'Oooh! I saw that coming - bang goes the deposit!'

A guitar goes missing: '...yeah, I saw that in the dressing room as we were leaving last night and sort of wondered about it.'

'I'm not setting foot on that stage until I get my per diem - I'll do the soundcheck but there's no way I'm going on for the show until I get paid.'

The band leaves the stage with the applause still ringing. Band members metaphorically patting themselves and each other on the back, saying the dumb things that euphoric band members are apt to say. But not Bryce - Bryce is too cool for that - 'Here, did you get your per diem yet? I still didn't get mine...'

Bryce on the right wondering where his per diem went. With Ms Rigby and the gainfully employed Jeremy Grites
Bryce... at turns scruffy, unshaven, abstracted or satorially elegent. Reprehensible but quietly dependable, even when he's drunk. A Thursday gig might see him in grubby jeans, Saturday nights find him fully suited and booted.

Bryce turns and looks at the drummer: 'Who is it this week then? Have we worked together before?'

On this tour Ms Rigby is going through more drummers than Spinal Tap - there's nothing dark or lurid about it, it's just that unlike Bryce they all have day jobs.

'Ground rules, there have to be ground rules...'

I love Bryce McCafferty! I only invented him because promoters were announcing me as a featured musician on Amy's shows, and although I find that very flattering I was worried that it might take the heat off when I come back and do my own shows next month. Because next month I'll have a new album out and I'll be back to boring old me.

I'm going to miss Brycey.

pre-order the new Wreckless Eric album from Amazon

Catch Bryce McCafferty and a gainfully employed drummer on tour with the incomparable Amy Rigby:

08 NEWHAVEN CT Cafe Nine
10 NORTHAMPTON MA The Parlor Room
15 VIENNA VA Jammin Java
18 CHARLESTON WV Culture Center Theater
25 HULL UK O'Riley's
26 MANCHESTER UK BBC 6 Music Marc Riley Show
27 BRIGHTON UK Prince Albert
28 LEICESTER UK Musician
29 BRISTOL UK Thunderbolt
30 LONDON UK Betsey Trotwood