Friday, 30 June 2017

The Freedom Fridge @ Kentish Town Rose and Crown

With a new song ready for airing, I headed to North London and a night at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town. After a lengthy walk wondering why I'd decided to hop off at Upper Holloway instead of Gospel Oak I found a collection of new and familiar faces in the pub's basement.

Since my last visit, this little underground bunker has acquired a huge lit up sign shaped to say "Me" but otherwise it's the same slightly spooky cellar. The usual host, Andy Onions, was off elsewhere previewing his Edinburgh show so it was left to Philip Alexander to take the reigns and guide us through a line-up busting 15 acts over the next two and a bit hours.

I wasn't alone in testing out material for an Edinburgh show. Every other act in the first half appeared to be heading up there. One four minute car crash of casual misogyny crescendoing in a rape-joke aside, the rest of the acts were pretty decent. As the interval approached I readied myself to open the second half.

Now when people say they suffer for their art I tend to think of it in terms of financial strain or physical exhaustion. In my case this evening, however, my suffering came in the form of an ill-judge clapping motion and an unfortunately placed lump of metal protruding from the wall on the left hand side. I spring forward, I felt a prang and I sprang back - the arm of my t-shirt finding itself firmly hooked to said object and the area just under my armpit grazed and bleeding.

But I'm not one to let a little stabbing interrupt my flow and I detached myself and carried on into my new track. Modern Man features foot stamping to represent hammering and without warning my body decided this meant I should pay homage to the Ministry of Silly Walks throughout. The crowd, reassuringly, got it and we were all stamping about within a few seconds. The Radiohead related joke in the middle was recognisable to enough of the audience to be worthy of topping off the breakdown and afterwards one of the acts called me "very talented" so I'd call that a pretty successful ten minutes. 

Modern Man

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