It has happened again.
Someone has expressed surprise, if not incredulity, that I used to play drums in a band. I can't think what it is about my online image that makes this seem so implausible.
So here is my drumming history, for the record.
I first played with a band that practised but never actually played any gigs (we're talking 6th form here, and we were all just learning).
Our set list (if one can name it so, given we never played a set) featured such songs as Wild Thing (the Troggs) which about tells you the standard.
Off to University, and I joined a rather intense band playing its own material: we did one gig and then gave up.
Then I formed another band with a friend, who was probably a better drummer than I was, but who wanted to pose with a guitar. We played fast dance music, largely with an RnB feel. Our set ranged from Johnnie be Good, In the Midnight Hour and Shakin' All Over, via Slow Down, I'm a Believer, Neighbours and Route 66 to Dancing the Night Away, Hangin' Around, Teenage Kicks and Mystery Dance - as well as a few numbers of our own.
As a college band, we were lucky enough to play a number of college balls, supporting people as diverse as Chris Barber, Bad Manners and George Melly. The Student paper reviewed us favourably, though noting that 'the only jewel of the band was [my friend's name] who strutted the stage as if he could really play that guitar.' He thought that a great (and fair) review.
I've played in a few bands since, but never really reached the same giddy heights.
My most recent public gig was several years ago when Ant was in Junior School and they did a production of the Jungle Book. That was great music to play: Bear Necessities and all that.
Since then, the most I've done is scratch bands for fun: one time Anna and the kids were away, I invited a bundle of friends up for the weekend and we treated the village to 48 hours of Rock and Roll practice. Some locals still talk to me...
A while back, we put a band together for a friend's 50th. He'd always wanted to sing and front a band, so we worked hard to put a set together for his 50th party - which went very well. As a present we bought him a day in a recording studio and cut a CD with four or five of his favourite songs on it. When I tell you they were things like Bryan Ferry's Oh Yeah, you will see how the mighty have fallen.
So next time I mention my drumming past in passing, keep your incredulity to yourself...
A Chartres Surplice - a school and God's own county - The first of the final two coats of arms is that of Chavagnes International College, of whose Scouts I am privileged to be chaplain. Fine and brave Scout...
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