I tend to think that anything interesting achieved in January counts for double. The month started with a mildly-hungover bang as my band played ‘Park It In The Market’ in Greenwich Covered Market (above!). Fears that the cold would put everyone off proved unfounded, and a good crowd of locals and tourists gathered round while we knocked out some rockabilly amongst the classic cars; by halfway through the set my fingers had warmed through enough to play something like I meant to.
Next we played the biggest show we’ve done, to 600+ Elvis fans at the O2 Arena (ok, the Brooklyn Bowl in the O2 Arena). And then…nothing. Such is the glut and famine of gig bookings juggled with full time jobs.
I’ve been boring on about the joys of swimming at Charlton Lido for at least 3 years now, and I don’t intend to stop any time soon. This is the first winter that it’s stayed open since its refurbishment (and as a heated pool), and recently they’ve been opening late on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The experience of swimming outdoors in the dark on a frosty evening is incredible: the air chilly, the pool warm, and – if you’re lucky (and swimming backstroke) – the stars and moon visible above. The dash to the locker and the changing room when you’ve finished swimming isn’t pleasant, but the feeling of exhilaration afterwards is unbeatable. And, of course, the smug sense of otherness as you do something that seems on paper to be fairly ridiculous, while most people are indoors, can’t be denied.
I saw J Mascis do his acoustic show at the Scala; as brilliant and frustrating as you might expect. The songs off his last kind-of-acoustic album stood up really well, and he played some amazing guitar. But all we saw of him was the top of his baseball cap as he sat on a low stool at the front of the stage. I’d forgotten what an attractive venue the Scala is, in parts.
Any month with a new Alasdair Roberts album is a good one, and this new album is sounding very good on early listens: