And we'd only popped to the pub for a mid-afternoon set by a barbershop quartet who never arrived. All true! Mrs M and myself had peddle-powered the fifteen minute cycle ride from home to Southend's most rock 'n' roll local The Railway, and parked ourselves with three generations of Piley to take in the afternoon's open mic spot.
You may remember I'd had some banter recently with Pal Wilko for a Vive Le Rock feature - so a pleasure then to spot him at the bar for a quick hello and a handshake, while he was enjoying a gin, with Southend legend French Henry. Midway through our natter, MC and pianist for the open mic (and recent Blow Up signing) Dave Woodcock asked Wilko would he fancy doing a spot. After some gentle nudging and shuffling with Wilko on a lent guitar (why he's not playing a regulation Tele), a borrowed bass for me and pub owner Dave Dulake installed on drums we were off and away within minutes.
This improv gig blasted off so smartly there was no time to text or alert mates who may have been out, about or nearby, including Feelgoods fan Piley who'd left only a few moments earlier. I can't give you a breakdown of 20/30 minute Jubilee Jam, but Wooly Bully, High Heeled Sneakers were in there. And how mind-bogglingly bizarre to have been watching Wilko on Friday's Punk Britannia the previous evening putting Southend on the musical timeline, and just a handful of hours later to be playing Feelgoods classic She Does It Right, looking left and there's the skitter-king working his Thames Delta voodoo.
(he band L to R: me (bass), Kate Johnston (guitar), Wilko, Unknown (percussion), Dave Woodcock (piano ) Dave Dulake (drums) not pictured
As it unfolded, this spontaneous set felt like a fuggy is-this-actually-happening blur - while it was actually happening. Almost a week later, it still seems like some surreal waking dream. Thankfully Mrs M had the good sense and presence to snap a few pics (full set here) and luckily I was chatting to a chap on Sunday who videoed the entire set. I'll be sure to keep you posted....
Speaking of all things Railway related - Marmite and myself will be back there, DJing this Sunday from 4 til' turnout time playing, funk, soul, jump blues, R 'n' B, funky covers in around the bands. With Southend's finest jazzers The Basey Brothers fronted by the spectacularly talented Jess Noah firing up from 8pm. If you can't make the gig, redirect your ears to Radio Novalujon. for a live broadcast.
One possible from my playlist and a track covered by the Feelgoods is Freddie King's romper-stomper of a shuffle..
Freddie King - I'm Tore Down