About 10 days ago I suddenly became very excited. I'd just started using the dreaded Facebook, having sworn on my ancestors' remains I would never commit such a digraceful act.
But on realising Myspace was being deserted by droves of former compadres I decided not to be the last rat on that sinking ship and deserted, and in one fell swoop went over to the other side....
When I got there, I immediately started renewing former friendships and acquaintances - one of whom was the illustrious Amy Barton, front(wo)man of the magnificent Amy's Ghost, of whom I have waxed [and probably waned] lyrically more than once in the past - including quite recently.
The news that made me so excited was that the aforementioned female apparition was due to appear down at one of my local pubs, The Hydrant aka The Hare & Hounds, the very next evening. The rumour was that this particular haunting was to take place around 9pm rather than the customary midnight.
I duly ventured out next night armed only with The Holy Book, a clove of garlic and a sharpened stake [ I wish it had been a peppered steak].
Safety in numbers dictated that I drag along my friend DJ Paul Wilson de Ears Wide Open from Radio Reverb 97.2fm [www.radioreverb.com] and his drinking buddy Phil Le Phluter.
As I had suspected on the strength of my vast experience of such primaeval gatherings, the haunting was delayed somewhat by the tedium of fussy engineers and musicians being overparticular about ritual preliminaries known in the jargon as soundchecks - they're the only ones who really care if a C# sounds like a Db or not.
Anyway I took the chance to admire the guitar prowess of a certain Nelson Day
They turned out to be a band of some notoriety having recently featured in a crime so dastardly that it made the Headlines of no lesser a periodical than The [Evening - as was] Argus! Their spookily tiny piano had been stolen and miraculously returned and to the joy of all was given pride of place on this evening's stage. The Beautiful Word are a surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable pop band in the modern idiom [whatever that means and might be] and entertained us all rather well, I have to say. Unfortunately, their style is not quite the correct setting in which to see the young Nelson strut his stuff to full effect so I had to be content with a few choice licks during their warm-up [or soundcheck as the pros insist on having it].
Anyway, on to the dirty business we had come to witness - a performance by the flimsy shadowy presence that is Amy's Ghost. The recent departure of their long serving [or should I say suffering? - ha-ha - sorry - my little jest] drummer led the band to announce they would be playing an acoustic set. No-one actually told them this meant they didn't need to plug anything in. Anyone witnessing their electric performance, please beware - you'll need to cower in a bunker about five miles from the band's locus operandi if you are to stand any chance of survival.
Initially, the band really had to struggle against a sound system which insisted on giving out frightening whiplash cracks every time Ms Barton approached the mike stand and grumbled angrily each time the bassist tried to pluck a note or two. But consummately professional, and doggedly determined not to be beaten, they cranked up their acoustic efforts and blasted the hell out of the poor suffering sound man until he was floored and trodden underfoot. In other words Amy's Ghost walked, nay, trampled triumphant over the ears of everyone present this fateful fitful night.
They wuz fab.
As a footnote I publish a couple of piccies which should stand as a warning to you all not to mess with the aforementioned DJ Paul Wilson...
The man is an out-and-out villain. He needs taking down a peg or three and to know this is a totally unacceptable way in which to treat a young lady!
To round the evening off in fine style Amy handed me a copy of the latest hot wax pressing of the band's record album entitled 'Dance of Defeat'
It's a fine record of the band's work but I won't review it here in detail as several of the tracks have been dealt with by myself elsewhere. All that is necessary to be said is if you haven't yet jumped onto the large wooden-wheeled bandwaggon that is Amy's Ghost train, this is a great place to start. The album will be your ticket to frighteningly fine entertainment and will stir in you such enthusiasm that you will need to follow up by acquiring further material to feed your ever increasing appetite for the wonderful and addictive experience that is Amy's Ghost.