Friday, 17 February 2012


it's colin's birthday bash at the prince of wales
i meet up with j and a in the post office vaults
running on spanish time
no moments to linger
we climb the steep flight of steps up to the street
and hurry through victoria and chamberlain squares
past the council house
and statues and fountains all lit up
to the small L-shaped public house by the canal
we bag a small table and some stools by the door
and huddle over our ales
a fair few players are here tonight
and mic time will be precious
maybe just three songs
alert to my tuning problems the last time he was hosting
and mindful of the long bill
aidan asks me if i'm happy to use his takamine
rather than plugging in my own six-string
naturally i defer
(he's getting a great sound out of it after all)
i get my call and strap on aidan's tak
i wish colin many happy returns
and then launch straight into 'relationship'
immediately i am 100% in the zone
i spit out the words
while my hands and fingers move on auto-pilot
it is as if aidan's guitar is playing itself
the last chord sounds and brings me suddenly back to reality
i dedicate mikel erentxun's 'a un minuto de ti'
to our delightful spanish guest of the night
finishing with a decent version of 'claustrophia' dedicated to j
as i return to my seat
i receive plaudits for 'relationship'
('who wrote that song?' / ', well, actually...')
it's only after i sit down
that i notice that the fingers of my right-hand are bleeding!

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