We at the management sub-committee board of Stylus would like to thank absolutely everybody for the magnificent turnups last night at the Dad’s Army tv set, sorry Earl Haig Hall in Crouch End. It was truly a tremendous occasion, made deliriums tremens by attendance, contributions akimbo and on-stage dancings and singings, for which we have no other explanation than the contributors must have had something slipped into their drinks. It certainly got pretty tasty towards the end, I do know that much.
As I consult the contributors list in front of me, by way of an aide memoir (that’s French, yes FRENCH for autobiography) I am struck by the somewhat illegible handwriting on the entry forms. I mean did anyone go to school out there? Example: Camembert Electrique Gong, plus endearingly the wonderful Briony has attempted to spell the word ‘psychedelia’ with some degree of confusion it has to be said. Now, in order to avert any further public humiliation, it must be emphasised that the diphthong ae can be precariously deployed in a number of ways. Her attempts at precision should nevertheless be applauded. However, we are writing a thank you letter, not a lecture for Grammarians. I just wonder if the attempt to spell the word ‘psychedelia’ may have become unstuck as a consequence of the use of…well, I’m sure you can complete the sentence for yourselves.
Back to business then. I have mentioned Briony, and I shall mention Rick for his wonderful flamingo guitar comedic opening, Alasdair for the Wedding Present story, Clive for Power of Love, Chad for Everything but the Girl, Jan for Nick Drake, Stephen for Beale St Blues, Elizabeth for Delaney & Bonnie with yet another commanding delivery, accompanied by some surprising audience comments, skilfully swatted away, Barbara for Patrik Fitzgerald (both Dansette and me were there Barbara, true), Pete for Emerson Lake and Prog, Marie-Helene for which bloody arrondissement was it now, Bridget for My Old School (still sounds strong 42 years later…), Maggie for some C & W tunes from Brum in 1970, Alan for the Phil Everly homage, Geoff for his delightful insolence and anarchic refusal to comply with the chair (there aren’t actually any rules it’s ok), David P for the Bob Marley ska ting, Veronica for Eric B Paid in Full, not forgetting the dance, Tom for Age of Aquarius, and his amazing impromptu vocal song and, that lovely bloke wot slept on the floor for two weeks in New York. To name a few.
May we also offer a nano apology for the somewhat less than ideal public address system, and a pledge to rectify same by the time the whole thing re-emerges in 2 months time, because we have, yes we have, oh indeed we have been invited to return to the Earl Haig Hall to plunder your vague recollections and vinyl collections of dubious encounters with wrinkly rockers and loves that might have been but for…
And if anyone has any suggestions for alleged enhancements to the show, well you can try but it’s not going to get you anywhere. Let’s face it folks, it’s rough enough as it is.
In the meantime, may we thank you all again for your attendance, attentions, contributions and company. All are valued, whether vapid or vitriol. We look very forward and muchly desired towards Earl Haig Two, watch this three dimensional cuboid.
Victor Vinyl, Stylus Steve, Tommy Turntable, Dansette Dave, February 2014, Earth.