It’s going to be a special night

….. Said Carl Marah shortly after Logan’s Close finally began their set at the Running Horse in Nottingham last Saturday night. Oh, it was a special night alright, for all the wrong reasons but I had a great time. I had a great day, first time in two years I’ve been anywhere other than Edinburgh or back home.

After much umming and ahhing I had decided I would go down to see the lads play Nottingham as a prelude to the Voodoo Rooms gig. On hearing my decision, a recent convert to the fineness of the Close asked to trot along with me, goodo, two in a twin room are cheaper than one, and of course soaring fuel prices could be shared, nice. We made the most of the day visiting a number of real ale pubs, lining our stomachs for the evening ahead in a Barburrito, before drinking our way towards the Running Horse.

Okay, so we got there fairly early, but only four including the bar staff?! It had been a gorgeous warm, sunny day, many were out drinking in the sunshine all afternoon; also remember it was Super Saturday (last three matches of Six Nations Rugby) with England not playing until 8pm; and it was just two days after St Patrick’s Day too, personally I don’t get why folk go so OTT about it but they do. The aforementioned may have been factors in lack of bodies at the gig later, who knows. We were happy sitting chatting at the bar with the rather quaffable Duck Berry Pale Ale from the Dancing Duck Brewery. As a few more folk came in we moved away from the bar, must say it’s a nice place, and having a large flat screen to watch the band on in the bar area is a masterful touch.

Rob, the man in charge, had told us the band were running late, fair enough, we were happy. So was Mr Rough when the band rolled up, he came over to say hello rather exurberantly, happy? – he was steaming. The official line seemed to be that his voice was done in from being too enthusiastic the previous two night, maybe there was some truth in that; he’d also gotten drunk after the gig in Bristol and in the morning decided to keep topping up, all day. Thank god for Carl being his usual laidback, quietly assured self keeping the show on the road, minding Scotty, and chatting to folk about the band.

Finally the band started up, my friend and I moved through to watch them (still only a few in, I did feel for the lads), yay, they kicked off with Eleonara, sweet. Next up was Girl, a song that Scott has said he’d be happy never to sing again and he didn’t tonight, Carl did all the lead vocals tonight. My friend was disappointed not to hear Scott sing or the lads’ usual amazing harmonies, that was a big shame for her, yeah. The new bassist did do the backing vocals for Babe Station I noticed (he did good) but I’m not sure if he sang on any other songs. Sadly no harmonies at the start of Lost In You later in the evening, a particular pleasure of mine.

A new song Merry-Go-Round from the upcoming album was next, oh I approve, looking forward to hearing a studio version of it! Oo, just thought, I wonder who’ll be singing it on the album? (I’ve often wondered how the lads settle who’s taking lead vocals on each song, must ask some time) It was great hearing the Marah touch on all the songs as Scott usually does the majority of the lead vocals, Saturday he was too rough to even sing backing (at times he looked too rough to stay upright!), Scott was totally in the zone for what he wanted to hear from the band though, nearly falling off his seat a number of times trying to conduct the others’ performances, even hammered the lad has it!

The sets included quite a few covers – was this the same at the Swansea and Bristol gigs, or just to get the band through the gig using more old standards in place of new songs in the circumstances? Again, I was fine with it, That’s Alright, Mama, What’d I Say, Hound Dog, what’s not to love? Oh yeah, I’d Rather Go Blind was excellent, a song I heard Scott singing some months ago in Stramash, I’m not gonna call it between them.

This was the first time I’ve seen the new line-up, one of the reasons for going down. This mini-tour was a fine bonding session for them before hitting the recording studio. If they can survive sharing a small bunk-bedded dorm room with Scott on Saturday night they can survive anything! Stuart on bass and Gavin on drums are from the same previous band; Stuart had already played with the Close when they started looking for a drummer to commit to them, enter Gavin (very smiley and very young, I like him); fine acquirements for the Close . Sean Keys was kinda tucked away on the far side off the porch, excellent on keyboards as usual.

There was a wee sideshow going on of a couple who’d just met earlier in the bar, obviously from an online dating app; she was obviously rather drunk and kept flouncing off, only to return shortly afterwards to make up, then argue again, all of us who picked up on it were very entertained. I must mention watching Scott trying to pick his plectrum back up off the floor, that was hilarious. Sure moaners would have found plenty to moan about on Saturday night, they’d have probably grumped too when Carl completely fucked up the words to Roll Over Beethoven, bless, I think he was finally begining to crack from the strains of the day. Mind, before the encore he was still on form enough to quip “Here’s one we wrote for the album” before launching into Blue Suede Shoes, haha.

Heading back to the BnB time flew by as we recapped the gig. As two old timers we concurred Scott was completely forgiven by us, it may be a bunch of hazy memories now but hey, we were twenty seven once. If I told you some of things from my twenty seventh year, I’d have to kill you afterwards!!

Just a few visuals from the evening to finish……..

Scott’s pished face, very like his bored face
from the left Sean, Stuart, Carl, Scott, Scott’s scarf and Gavin
just playin’ some tunes on Rob’s back porch
Carlos, did you just mess up that line? That’s my boy!
dear god, Carl, what’ve you been eating, man?
I know it’s only rock’n’roll but I love it ❤

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