Monday, May 22, 2006
Fame In Tennessee
Today is the anniversary of the greatest day of my life (apart from my wedding day - obviously - of course - naturally). It is the day that saw the culmination of all my dreams, with enough cherries on top to feed a small aviary. And it all happened on one of the most glorious summer days I have ever had the joy to behold.
The location: Camden Town, London, NW1
The venue: The Dublin Castle pub
The occasion: Madness' secret gig to mark 25 years in the biz
At the time, I wrote a full write-up of this day and put up a load of photo's and videos on my now defunct Magnificent 7 website. For this week though, I have re-uploaded this content for your viewing pleasure.
Click here to experience Madness at the Dublin Castle (videos and images included).
To summarise, (because the tale is 7.5k long), I flew to London with a pal on a whim and we made our way to Camden. We met the band, drank with them, met some old pals, and drank with them too. We met Clive Langer and some of Crunch! And we got so jolly on the drink it was merciless. Madness played their first gig in the Dublin Castle for 25 years, much like the Beatles did at the Cavern, which is why it is the Holy Mecca for Madness fans. It is a pilgrimage to go there and taste the atmosphere. So seeing the band playing in the back room in front of 100 lucky punters was the dream of all dreams.
I feel like crying just thinking about it.
I worked on chapters 24 through to 29 of Hunting Jack; the central section and what I term as the u-turn chapters of Jackie's life in the book. In this section he reaches the ultimate depths to where a human can go; homeless, hungry, shabby and of ill-health. All soul-searching has finished and he has accepted that he is at rock bottom. The only way him is up and perhaps that's the good thing. Perhaps he needed to reach rock bottom before he actually did something for himself for a change.
After dinner played with the rabbits for half an hour. Pippin found herself in the bad books after she was kissing me on the chin and bit into my lip. The wee blighter drew blood and she knew by the way I pulled back I was not happy. She immediately calmed down and sat on my belly looking at me, occasionally licking my hand as if to apologise. How could I stay mad at those dark wee eyes?
I received an email from my friend Paul over in Tennessee. He went to Scottish Games in Gatlinburg with his wife at the weekend, and while there watched a band play, to whom there is a poem about in my chapbook, Fringe Fantastic. They appear on page 24 (National Portrait) and again at the end in the images section. Apparently they are called Albannach and can be found at www.albannachonline.com
Well Paul happened to have my book on him at the time and he approached one of the band members after the gig and showed it to him. He then took the book back stage where my poem was read to the rest of the assembled band by the drummer (Jamesie) who appears in the pictures. I'm delighted to say they loved the pictures and the poem went down a treat - they all loved it. I look forward to hopefully seeing them again at the Festival this year and I will introduce myself.