Monday 28 September 2009

The Ginger Man Group

We have our very own Blue Man Group - more likely The Ginger Man Group. They come from Stirling and yesterday they travelled down to Newcastle to see us do an afternoon show in the upstairs room of a city centre pub. They're lead by a man called George who I suspect is extremely intelligent though he's always drunk when I meet him. The other Ginger Men are his brother (terrifyingly drunk) and a dark haired one who's not ginger at all and wears a contrasting black Wreckless Eric t shirt to go with his Scottish/Italian look.
George is a leader of men, he has charisma. His hapless followers will go wherever he leads them. George is fairly obsessed with me and that's why he leads them to our shows where they terrify bewildered audiences with strange tribal chanting and spastic stop/go dance floor manouvres.
They may be a bit of a pain in the arse for the rest of the audience, but in these increasingly po-faced times I sometimes look back with affection at the days when beer was served in real glasses and audiences spat at us and chucked bottles. That period didn't last for very long which is just as well because if it had someone would have died. I enjoyed the adrenalin rush though, and for a brief moment yesterday afternoon The Ginger Man Group bought it all back to me.
Here's a link to Lindsay Hutton's review of the show\-

Tuesday 22 September 2009

And no mention of my excruciating toothache - I've been off my head on painkillers for four days now but I don't think anyone's noticed.
Now I'm off my head on antibiotics, they always seem to put me into a weird headspace.

Did I really say weird headspace? I'm sorry about that, it's the result of a morning spent shuttling around Southsea High Street. We managed to avoid The Magick Cafe (full of witches who say reeeely nice and a-maaazing...) and stumbled instead into a Christian sect cafe - do you live locally...?
We had to get out of there pretty sharpish or we might have been sucked in. I saw a bible on the table - a bespectacled young misfit swiped it up, apologised and carried it off up the stairs to a Christian rock rehearsal space which I later discovered on my way to the toilet.

Monday 14 September 2009

andreas blogg

I was slightly concerned by a comment on the last entry - someone said that they clicked on the next blog thing and it took them to a blog about tying fishing flies. So now I'm wondering if there's a Central Blog Control that look at me, decides I'm hopelessly middle-aged, and chooses some appropriate follow-on blogs that it thinks might appeal to my similarly fuddy duddy blogster following.
I was cheered up when someone else posted a comment about the blog that they got when they clicked on next blog: Andreas lives in Sweden, he's thirty one years old, he lists his occupation as IT Technical Support and hobbies are BMW, billiards, music, Xbox. (I don't know what Xbox is but looking at Andreas I'm guessing that you can use it to access some good porn sites).
Andreas' blog cheered me up because it confirmed what I've thought for a long time - that some people reach middle age in the full flush of youth. And this makes me think I'm not doing so badly - I'm probably more crotchety than ever, my hair's turned grey, I've got the beginnings of a bald spot, there seems to be half as much of me again as there used to be, and the twenty seven inch waist of my younger days has gone forever. But at least I haven't got a blog that makes a big deal of the garage, the carwash and a hoover.
If you want to feel better about yourself here's the address to go to:
I'm a heartless cynical bastard but life's made me that way.

Anyone who follows Amy's diary will probably already know that she had a stall at a local vide grenier yesterday. (A vide grenier is much like a car boot sale by the way). She didn't do too badly though it wasn't the greatest success. She had to be there at seven in the morning. By the time I arrived in the mid-afternoon she'd packed up and left. It took me some time to find the stalls because some idiot had put the little A boards advertising the thing on the wrong side of the road so that the this way to the vide grenier arrows were all pointing away from the event.
Typically French you might say, but what was more typically French, contemporary French, is that they'd booked this horrible local duo to play - not us - this lot are called Vis-a-Vis and they single-handedly prove that the eighties marked the beginnings of the cultural trough that we now find ourselves wallowing in.
Vis-a-Vis were playing when I got there. Apparently they'd been playing all day with no let up. The site was a dusty car park. There was a bar and sandwich concession serving a few rapidly reddening English people who sat carousing on municipal plastic chairs under the hot sun. Scattered round about were a few stalls selling this and that junk - I was too depressed to look, and left as Vis-a-Vis launched into Me And Julio Down By The School Yard complete with chorus effect on the acoustic bass guitar.
It occured to me as I scurried away that if someone had handed me a gun at that moment I would have turned, shot them both in the head and laughed as blood and brains spattered the equipment and the jollity blundered to a halt. Later on Amy told me that they'd done a Who medley and I changed my mind about the shooting - I would have had them taken away and tortured. Which reminds me, we're doing a local Amnesty International benefit on November 7th.
The reason I feel so badly about Vis-a-Vis is they doubtless hold the status in France of Artist/Musician, Intermittant de Spectacle as it's called. We can't have that status here with all the benefits that go with it - health care and dole for the days we don't work, because in order to qualify you have to do forty three concert in a ten month period. Unfortunately the forty three concert have to be in France or they don't count. So none of our American, German or British tour dates count, none of our recordings, the international reputation that we've both spent years building, none of that counts for anything here. The fact that we earn money from touring and selling records in other countries, bring it back to France and pump it into the French economy, that counts for nothing. Amy's going for the official status of market trader and I'm looking at either music consultant or odd job man.
We're not artists or musicians, but Vis-a-Vis with there tawdry slaughterings of Knocking On Heaven's Door and No Woman No Cry, they are. And that's why I feel so badly about them.

I'm going to have another look at what Andreas has been up to:

Monday 7 September 2009

A Site That Currently Contains A Lot Of Spam

Myspace has a problem with the google blog thing, which I imagine is much like the brief war between Betamax and VHS back in the glory days of video cassettes. They refuse to be compatable, probably because young Tom Freckles at Myspace is feeling insecure.

The march of progress would seem to have taught the world precious little.

If they were car manufacturers rather than web hosts they probably wouldn't be able to decide which side of the car to put the steering wheel or which side of the road to drive on. On Myspace the link to the radio show leads to a box informing the intrepid but foolhardy clicker that they've been prevented from venturing further because they may have been about to enter A Site That Currently Contains A Lot Of Spam, and at the very least they could be prey to a phishing scam.

For phishing scam read head-on collision.

Click on this seemingly innocuous link (if you dare):

The Wreckless Eric Radio Show

I'm not a phishing scam or a piece of malicious software but Myspace won't let me put a link to the ungodly google or directly to the radio show. So I've been forced to provide an unlinked link if you see what I mean. I've suggested that those with copying and pasting skills the, ahem... tech savvy (pass the bucket) can copy and paste the unlinked link and leave the tightly controlled, tight-arsed world of myspace behind for a short while.

And I've promised that I won't crawl up the wire into anyone's computer and fuck about with their personal details.

Here's a preview of the latest radio show:

Hang on to your testicles (or someone else's) and prepare to freak out. Music from Silver Apples, Alan Vega, Bert Kempfeart & His Orchestra, Plummet Airlines, Jacques Dutronc, McGinty & White, Nick Lowe, The Honeycombs, Jimmy Reed and not forgetting Little Boy Blue & His Blue Boys.

And here's the link (it's all "in-house" here so we should be OK):

The Wreckless Eric Radio Show

And just for the sake of going link crazy here's a link to our tour dates:

Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby UK September dates

And a link to a list of hospital trust sites in the UK which I'm sure you'll find deeply disinteresting:

Thursday 3 September 2009

Eric Is Not Up To Much

I accidentally clicked on something in Hotmail and found myself in the midst of my Windows Live Messenger account, a lot of nonsense that could enable me to keep in touch with my entire universe 24/7, and, at the flicker of an eyelid, tell the waiting world what I'm up to. Well, in lieu of me telling the eagerly bated World At Large what I'm up to (is that baited as in a fish hook or is there a condition known as bated that applies to breathing?), Windows Messenger seems to have taken it upon itself to carry the news in big letters that Eric Is Not Up To Anything.
I felt that I was being chastised for not joining in - my first reaction was to change it, but that would involve joining in and my choice is not to. I choose not to because I'm not having peer pressure applied by some virtual big brother bully boy.

Eric is far from Idle (ha ha ha) - I'm busy with Alan Clayson's album. It's been taking a long time. I've created most of the backing tracks myself with guidance from demo cassettes recorded at The Clayson Laboratory of Lo-fi Intergalactica. A bit difficult because he uses two or three different cassette recorders, transferring stuff between them, and none of them run at the correct (or should we say accepted) speed. So it's fairly tricky trying to determine the key signature. And as for the timing, there's a time signature somewhere between 2/4 and 3/4 which is peculier only to Alan. It's quite a job but the results are fabulous. I've played most of the instruments myself with piano contributions from Amy and our friend Graham Beck, and a couple of appearances from Ian Button on the drums , and of course Alan on piano and harmonium ('I shall have legs like whipcord').
We're nearing completion now, I'm looking forward to another visit from Alan to finish the remaining vocal overdubs and then I'll be mixing it.
When we started, a couple of years ago, Alan said he'd like to make an album like Bungalow Hi. 'That might take some time' I said. And I was right - it has. I hope the finished album shows at least a few people what a great talent Alan Clayson really is.
That's what I've been up to for the past couple of days. And apart from that, if anyone can be bothered, just tell that nosey parker Messenger thing that the Trident desk is improving daily and looking forward to a complete new set of faders. Here's another photo: