Ice Skating

Took the family ice skating in Coventry today. It’s the first time we’ve all been ice skating together and the first time Emma and I have been in about twelve years.

I was quite impressed by Coventry’s (relatively new) ice rink, although compared to Bradford’s rink, it’s very dark due to the fact that there is no natual light. Still, I suppose that is the norm in most of these venues, based on what I’ve seen of olympic footage. I also thought the music was a bit too loud (cripes! I must be old!), because it was very difficult to hold a conversation.

We picked up our hire skates and then took to the ice. Murron got straight on, and, although she had a few tumbles, she wasn’t put off. She just picked herself up and set off again. Looks like her roller blades have been good for her.

Emma and I tried to take Philippa round between us, but she started to get upset about a quarter of the way round, so I lifted her up. No sooner had I done so, that one of the attendants (a bloke on skates) came straight over and told me I wasn’t allowed to carry her. As soon as he approached, his wisdom was borne out, as Philippa’s weight made me top heavy and I fell flat on my arse. Doh! Gave him the great opportunity to say ‘told you so’, but to be fair he resisted the temptation.

He then asked me to remove my baseball cap, because you’re not allowed to wear them on the ice rink. Apparently, you can ‘have someone’s eye out’ with one! So, the metal blade things attached to your feet aren’t any danger then?!

Emma went round a couple of times and then she and Philippa went to sit down for the rest of the session whilst Murron and I carried on, occasionally skating around together and occasionally on our own. Murron was really good by the end of the session and didn’t fall over during the last few minutes.

Towards the end of the session, I was getting back into it and was trying to do the technique on bends where you cross your right foot over your left foot in quick steps to maintain your speed, but couldn’t quite get it right. The same attendant bloke skated up alongside me again and I was waiting to be berated for having dangerous socks or some such thing, but instead he actually said that I was skating well and could see that I was struggling a bit to try to do the step-overs on bends (sorry, don’t know the technical term). He said I should buy some skates like his and pointed out that the blade was shorter on his skates and therefore made it much easier to do those steps, because you don’t have a long blade to get in the way. For a short time, I did actually think about it, but given that I last went over ten years ago, I couldn’t really justify buying ice skates.

Having said that, if Murron enjoyed it as much as she said she did, she and Daddy may be making a few more trips in future, so maybe…

I’ll have to take her skiing next. At least I’ll be on familiar turf then; or should I say Dendex?

Kill Clouseau and muses on covers and originals gigs

Kill Clouseau played our second gig last night at Molly’s Bar in Northampton. Set list was as follows:

Set 1
1. All Day And All Of The Night – The Kinks
2. 2468 Motorway – The Tom Robinson Band
3. Are ‘Friends’ Electric – Gary Numan
4. Beautiful Day – U2
5. Common People – Pulp
6. Don’t You (Forget About me) – Simple Minds
7. Down Under – Men At Work
8. Invisible Touch – Genesis
9. She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult
10. Yellow – Coldplay

Set 2
1. One Vision – Queen
2. Ordinary World – Duran Duran
3. Owner Of A Lonely Heart – Yes
4. Pop Muzik – M
5. Sit Down – James
6. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
7. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
8. Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
9. American Idiot – Green Day
10. The Only One I Know – The Charlatans
11. American Pie – Don Mclean

We turned up nice and early, as requested, only to find that there was nobody at the venue. Eventually, at around 19:00, the deputy manager turned up and let us in. We got the gear in and set it all up, being careful to move our cars out of the way once we had finished, lest we offend the Hell’s Angels, who have a meeting place next to Molly’s.

Once we’d set up, we had a nice rest until we hit the stage at 22:45. By that time, you already have a reasonably good audience and there are people who come to Molly’s for the live music, so that is no bad thing. They even pipe a video link of the band round to other parts of the bar so that everyone can see you if they want to kind of watch whilst chatting or waiting at the bar.

The first set went down very well and we then had a short, ten minute break before getting back on stage for the second set. By the second set the crowd was really into it and the audience reaction was great. It’s great to see people enjoying what you’re doing and appreciating it. You can see how some people react when you play one of their favourite songs.

A great evening all round, despite getting back home and into bed at 04:00 this morning.

It’s a sad but true fact that we just don’t experience that kind of feedback from an audience in BAiT, because we don’t do enough gigs, and tied in with that, people just don’t know our stuff. Sure, the reception at the GPS support gig a couple of weeks ago was warm and friendly enough, but it feels great to get off stage knowing that you’ve helped make someone’s evening, got some cash in your pocket for your efforts, and had an alround good time out with your mates doing something you love doing – i.e. play music.

BAiT brings something different to the fold for me. For me, BAiT satisfies a creative desire to actually write music as a band, be it on a rhythmic, melodic, or lyrical basis and also the satisfaction of developing, arranging, and then recording this material and having a permanent record (i.e. a CD) at the end of the process; but BAiT’s live gigs which are few and far between rarely leave me with a buzz anywhere near approaching that of the covers gigs. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them: I do; but because the audience never reacts in the same way as the like of the audience at Molly’s last night, it can be quite frustrating. I know the BAiT material is good. I know that we play it pretty well live, but the sad reality is that those few who come to see original music nowadays don’t know that.