Monday we were in a great little venue in Ashford, Kent called Oranges run by the great Stuart Barton, a wonderful man who resists the steady and unrelenting megamall-ification of his little town by keeping his pub open to everyone and making a keen effort to bring in good live music every week. The pub now lies in the shadow of gargantuan cranes and slabs of concrete that will morph into a huge shopping center, transforming Ashford into a chain store hub resembling everything we resent about the US. An old friend of the Seznec family, Judy Stewart, stopped in from Hastings to see us play. It was great to see her, and was certainly an interesting juxtaposition of worlds, a collision of my past in the Middle East with my present as a member of the GBB performing in venues around the UK. Very surreal to say the least.
Tuesday we went down to funky Brighton, a seaside city about an hour from London to do a radio spot on 107.2 Juice FM (local radio) to promote the two shows we're doing there next week. We played a couple tunes and talked on air about the Orwellian nature of the ubiquitous cameras that abut every major edifice in this city and that flash you if you go too fast on every possible road. We'll probably devote a whole post to these as they have been the subject of much discussion.
Last night we played in one of the coolest venues we've done yet, a little pub called the Man of Kent Ale House in Rochester, Kent run by a great husband and wife team named Rob and Heather. They have a fantastic selection of local and non-local microbrews on tap, a great intergenerational clientele, and a really warm, intimate room that makes everyone feel comfortable.
We played our hearts out. It was a real treat.
The photos are of Ashford (cranes et al) and Rochester (castle and dog). The castle is on the water in Rochester and dates to the late Norman period (12th century), the walls being built on the old Roman ones, and the dog, "Dude" is Rob and Heather's awesome little border terrier.