..... you've got to be joking.
During my pre-match chat with SuperSam, our long suffering Club Steward, we decided that the November Club Night would probably be quiet in the run up to Christmas.
I got to the club at about 7:05pm to find about twenty people already there - mainly performers. By 8 o'clock we had hastily rearranged the stage (about 500 times) to accomodate everyone, the room was by now full, and we were ready to roll.
By some strange coincidence, I had drawn the short straw again and was on first but only after having to announce that, sadly, the club night this month would be short of a "legend".
Kenny Potts was admitted to hospital last Friday with a suspected recurrence of an old heart problem. Despite his insistence that he be released to attend the club night the medical authorities refused so, much to Kenny's annoyance, we would have to manage without him.
What made matters worse was that he was especially looking forward to this one, which was to feature Kenny with his old band mates, Keith Aston, Billy Baker and Barry Waller, together on stage for the first time in many years. Barry had even travelled up from London, where he now lives, especially for the evening. Barry paid tribute to Kenny saying that, when he first learnt to play guitar, his driving ambition was to be able to play like Kenny.
This was a fitting tribute, and linked nicely to the comment Dave Hodges made earlier in the evening. Dave. who has demonstrated his virtuousity on the axe many times at VSL, confessed that his early aspirations were to be able to play like Barry.
(Alan Leightell has said many times that his ambition was always to play like me - but he couldn't 'cos HE kept on improving.)
Eventually, we got the show under way amidst an assembled mass of equipment, the like of which has not been seen since the last Status Quo tour.
There was the usual mix of old friends and new faces and it was obvious from the start that
we were in for another great night. Apart from Barry Waller and Keith Aston, other VSL "virgins" were Andrew and Tony on Keyboards, Catherine on vocals, and zany entertainer Carlos who maintained the international tradition of the club nights by coming all the way from Austria to perform for us.
Our main problem was whether we would be able to fit everyone in and with every number, except two, of the three and a half hour non-stop programme requiring live backing, it meant that our backing musicians were in for a hard night. Fortunately, we had TWO keyboard players this month to supplement the usual conscripts - posh eh?
It would be unfair to choose. As usual there were so many. The standard of musicianship was at times awesome. The programme encompassed everything from the highly technical instrumentals like Sylvia, Nutcracker, Pipeline, El Cumbancheros and Red River Rock to Paula and Catherine's unbelievable "Andrews Sisters" treatment of Johnny B Goode, We had old favourites such as Halfway to Paradise, Wonder of You, Unchained Mammaries,Move It, Stand by Me,I can't stop loving you, Downtown. We had Pete and Jim's country and western selection. We had daft songs like like Theses boots were made for walkin', I'm feeling Gladys all Over and Running Bear. We even had songs which weren't recorded in the Sixties at all Let's get Together, Living next door to Alice - naughty :>). We had audience participation with Big Jim and we had blues rock with Barry, Keith and BillyB, and of course our Angie and the StrayDogs Band.
All in the same evening? - you better believe it - see you next month December 13th
"B there or B Square"
See this months pics here