Thursday, 14 May 2009


I have to put down my knitting, my fingers are hurting. itunes has been on random all day and it just came up with The Plimptons - Impulse Records (1979 - 2000) (extended version).

Its been years since I last heard that song, it's from a fuzzy period of my life. 2005, Glasgow. Maybe earlier.

The Plimptons had a monthly residency at the Tchai Ovna Teahouse, its a small pokey wee place, you could fit twenty people in, maybe forty with folk standing, they'd usually get in the former crowd.

Every month they'd invite friendly bands to play with them, mates bands, side projects, folk who'd begged for a chance.

There was no stage at the Tchai, just two broken amps and a couple of microphone stands, but for that size of crowd it was barely worth it. This one time MJ Hibbett played, he'd come up from Leicester with his guitar, he was the second act of the evening, after seeing the first act struggle to get the mics to work, he came up with a better solution. I was sat just at the side, next to the fire place, I remember his words "Instead of using a microphone I'm going to step a little closer to you, and sing a little bit louder, and it'll be great."

Back in those days, The Plimptons were a three piece, Adam, Martin and Soares. Soares played keyboards, the others took turns on guitar and vocals.

One particular night they were running late, the Tchai's manager stood at the back tapping his watch theatrically. The regular last song of the set at this time was Impulse Records, it was a great sprawling epic of a song when they were still figuring out how it should soung before they'd recorded it, still pretty fresh from Adam's pen.

Hmm, my memory's going fuzzy, am I thinking of a gig at the Tchai or was it a gig at Stereo? I'm not so sure any more.

The song sounds a little like mid-nineties Pulp, a pastiche even, there's a verse about hanging out with a girl called Deborah, anyhoo, its got this Pulp-like four-four keyboard all the way through. I remember Martin shouting out "We haven't got enough time, what are we going to do?"

From the side of the stage, my usual position as manager / roadie, I called out "Play it double time, doing two verses at the same time."

They barely missed a beat, the keyboard player, who I think at this time was either Soares, Paul from The Martial Arts or Craig Pulsar, starts playing double time. Adam and Martin both clutching the same microphone and start doing it, two different verses at the same time, double time.

The crowd, about 50% friends, 50% fans of the other bands, stand open-mouthed.

It was a shambles but it was stunning.

Those were the days.Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

  1. on a positive note, we're not all going to drown: