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Dr Feelgood at the Half Moon Putney

December 16, 2012

So in an unusual diary oversight, we had nothing on for Saturday evening. As chance would have it a text came from someone asking us if we fancied going to see Dr Feelgood that very same night. Unable to conjure up one song of theirs that I could remember, I still felt the instinct to go out rather than stay in and watch TV was a good one. HUsband started singing a couple of their tunes (Back in the night….Back in the night…..) and reminding me of the distinctive vocals and guitar sound to their Seventies rhythm and blues.
So we started off in the lovely Fulham Wine Rooms for a couple of swift bottles and to be honest I could easily have spent the evening in there. Great feel, extensive wine list and what looked like good food. But soon we headed off to the pub where the band were playing. I hadn’t been there for over twenty years, but remembered it as a fabulous venue – so small and informal. Just seeing a band in a pub.
Now I have to tell you about our fellow giggers. Husband’s ex workmate and his wife. She is a petite blond and looks like butter wouldn’t melt.
She is first to the entrance of the pub where a towering young black guy guards the door wearing his black crombie. Bizarrely, as this is simply a pub, he blocks our friend’s path and seems reluctant to move away from the door. I thought he was going to ask for our tickets, but you don’t need a ticket to get in to the pub. Our friend says soemthing like ‘We’re going in’ and he does move. But he’s not happy in his work. No matter, the pub is spruced up with chalkboards everywhere, staff all in black and efficient.
We get the drinks in and notice the party of about 15 women all in serious Santa outfits. Fantastic. But one has gone the extra mile and come as a present. In a huge box her arms stick out and it doesn’t look like she can sit down or even drink without help. But they are having a great time.
During the course of the pre-ambling drinks it transpires that the lead singer of the band has died and the guitarist fallen out with everyone else so I am at a loss to who we are really seeing, but nonetheless we are out and I’m enjoying it.
In to the tiny back room we get our wrists stamped and move a bit further in so that the two female short arses (us) can see. Our tall husbands stay at the back being able to see over everyones’ heads. Because most of the audience are short fat men in their late fifties.
The band are on the stage about thirty feet in front. The guitarist, drummer and bassist look like they are section managers in Sainsburys during the day and yet here they are playing this banging stuff. But of course there is the vocalist. Wired to the hilt, gaunt and tripping he was literally buzzing. I was expecting him to expire at any moment. It was great. He was driven with a frantic energy. Fast and sweaty. Hardcore. He was physically all over the place, staring at the audience and daring them to disagree. Springing up and down in a mini pogo-ing. He was still living the dream. And playing the harmonica whilst obviously off his face is pretty impressive. Good man.
Half way through a youngish man about six foot tall came in and plonked himself in front of my friend. She was having none of it. No English reserve for her. It was a swift punch in his kidneys and he was told to move on in no uncertain terms. Which he did. She wasn’t in the mood to be messed with. Love it.
They did a Chuck Berry Christmas song – Run Rudolf Run – which is now up there as one of my favourtite Christmas songs having never even heard it before. That’s how good they were.
Then back in to the pub and the beers flowed. And the crowd started getting a bit lairy. Two women were having a fight on the other side of our table. I thought it was a joke at first but then realised it wasn’t. It was a classic “You slag” “You bitch” ding dong which left the ‘slag’ in tears. A man came to comfort her. “I don’t know what’s up with her. My sister can be a real cunt at times. Don’t worry about it babe”. Whereupon his sister reappeared and went beserk. The bouncers stepped in and took pride in their work ejecting them from the premises.
Meanwhile on planet Clarke our mates had bought champagne and we were just cracking it open when the lights went up and we were asked to leave. My mate didn’t like that and told the bouncers so in no uncertain terms. And then she brought up how aggressive he’d been when we walked in.
It was all getting very messy and my husband had started to leave assuming we’d follow, but realised we hadn’t so turned round. “You can’t come back in” “I don’t want to come in” he said, “I want to talk to my wife.” “You can’t” That was red rag to a bull of course “Of course I can talk to my fucking wife if I want to.”
Meanwhile his wife (me) is telling the original bouncer that his very height is physically imposing so thats why we felt threatened even if he didn’t feel he was threatening us. “You saying my height is a problem?” And he sucked his teeth in the way kids used to do at school when I was chairing discipline committees and was asking them questions about why they had punched a teacher or whatever. Things weren’t going our way and I heed the call of my husband to just come out.
And what is our other gigger doing whilst all this is going on? Buying us four tickets to see Hank Wangford who is on there tonight. I don’t think they’ll even let us in if we turn up.

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7 Responses to “Dr Feelgood at the Half Moon Putney”

  1. janetditch Says:

    Or perhaps the guitarist is Wilco Johnson? I don’t think I have many brain cells left actually

  2. janetditch Says:

    Dear me, Sarah! That sort of thing wouldn’t happen at the Royal Opera House (..more’s the pity…).
    Back in the night and Roxette were two of the top tracks played at the Ranch Bar in MCR that I used to frequent in the mid 70’s (the coolest place around, very Bowie/ Roxy/ Velvet Underground/ Rocky Horror etc, just before punk burst onto the scene). Wilco Johnson was the singer who died..can’t remember the name of the guitarist but he was exactly the same all those years ago..surprised he has any brain cells left!!


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