Friday, June 8, 2012

How in the name of Dr Feelgood did I end up playing bass with Wilko Johnson last Saturday?


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

10 comments:

davyh said...

This is just bonkers. You are one jammy git. Or possibly the Zelig of the *winces* 'blogosphere'...

Mondo said...

It's all of those things. Just plain bizarre - can you imagine! And what had just happened didn't hit me until was all over - there wasn't enough time to be nervous..

Wilks is a regular at The Railway and we've had a couple of natters previously. More small world news - he used to buy his shoes from Mrs M's parent's shop and rehearsed in the lock up out the back in the early Feelgoods days

Swiss Adam said...

I'm well jell. As the young folk say. Top stuff sir

Kolley Kibber said...

Love it. Just love it.

Mondo said...

In teen-speak: it was a bare/hench OMG mo' Adam.

Bless you KK. Wilko bought me a Newky Brown after and said, 'not a lot of people would have done that' - I can see why when the post jam jangles and nerves eventually kicked in.

John Medd said...

You did it right

Furtheron said...

Lucky you! So Jealous - although I doubt I'm in the right league to play with the likes of Wilko

tory burch said...

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Mondo said...

I know - F'Ron, it's been the talk of the pub for days. I'm no Norman Watt-Roy... just a jam. But what a ledge to jam with

Artog said...

Only just read this - Fucking Hell!