Monday, October 11, 2010

Kirsty Karaoke

To Shepherd’s Bush Empire last night to see A Concert for Kirsty MacColl. Kirsty would have been 50 yesterday if only she hadn’t been killed by some rich twat in a boat off the coast of Mexico nearly 10 years ago.
The first and last time I ever saw Kirsty MacColl play live was in the same venue  about 10 years ago. She herself declared it to be about the best gig she’d ever done, largely due to her lack of nerves which had blighted her all through her career but on this tour she had her partner on stage with her and that seemed to do the trick.
She’s influenced so many people over the years that there were queues of artist wanting to sing at this benefit gig for Kirsty’s favourite charity, Music Fund for Cuba. We’d been promised Johnny Marr and David Gray, who failed to show up and inevitably Shane McGowan was lost in the bottom of a glass somewhere in Dublin when he should have been singing 'Fairytale of New York'.
But it didn’t matter as most of the stars who turned up for a night of Kirsty Karaoke did a brilliant job. I say ‘most’ as I don’t understand why a Corr was allowed on stage to murder ‘They Don’t Know’. Fortunately the organisers redeemed themselves by bringing on Kim Wilde later on to show her how it should be done. Great performances too from Alison Moyet, Billy Bragg (doing a cover version of one of his own songs), Jackie Clune (who knew she could sing), Eddi Reader, Boo Hewerdine, James Walsh, Catherine Tate and even Phill Jupitus.
It was left to a couple of members of Kirsty’s band to sum the night up. They’d clearly had a fantastic time and had enjoyed playing songs that they’d not done for a long time. Here’s hoping they get to play them again soon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Save The Wenlock

I found out tonight that one of my favourite pubs is threatened with closure. Steve & Will have run The Wenlock Arms since 1994 but have decided to call it a day and an offer has been received from a developer. The sale is far from complete but it would seem that should the place be sold to a developer then the chances of it remaining a pub will be slim to none. It's been a pub since 1835 so it would be a great shame if this were to end.

I've been drinking in the place on and off since it was reopened in 1994, having worked nearby for much of the time. What intially drew me there was the great selection of well kept beer but it's more than a place just for real ale fans it is a true locals pub at the very heart of the community. For a several years I was a member of a works darts team that used the pub as its home venue and we were always made very welcome by the locals who felt that we were representing the pub as well as our office. Away teams loved the pub too, generally turning up early and staying on long after the match had finished to enjoy the excellent beer and atmosphere of the place.

The fight is on to Save The Wenlock and we can but hope that it is successful.