As January 15th entered civil twilight, Casa del Hewson was in the midst of a sonic invasion. A cold night and a crisply cut moon were just around the corner and Arlet had descended in force in order to hone some new material in preparation for the nights gig. Two tunes in the bag, we step aboard the arletmobiles and made for Planet Thanet, via Renshaw mansions to collect our tamed percussionist and an emergency cheese sandwich.
The Carlton is Westgate-on-Sea’s finest family run cinema. Not merely by default- it being the only on – but by virtue of the friendly faces, extremely reasonable pricing and the finest pop-corn that side of the Stour. The Smugglers event takes places in a room above the cinema, which it seems is where ‘the family’ live. I discovered this whilst holding open the door, waiting for Rosie to return with more equipment. Seeing people approach with shopping, and in scurrilous mood I quickly shut the door, their own front door, on them. But they were smiles and light. And Rosie returned safely with the gear just in time to help me try and fleece arriving guests. Luckily my conscience speaks in a loud and intimidating cockney accent so that plan was quickly aborted. Amid some confusion we ran up the stairs to rejoin the others…
Once we’d eaten it was time for the tour boggle championship to commence. Rosie and Thom, head on. We all watched on irreverently. Thom was swept aside. Does Rosie’s dominance know no end?!
Anywho, hunger sated, boggling complete, instruments tuned and merch stand ready, we were in the offing.
Nothing was left for us to take to the fabulously lit stage area. Backdropped by oil paintings.
Mr Hewson was at his acerbic best, bantering left right and center. Soon we’ll have to start taking flouride tablets before he strips all the calcium from our bones. Big thanks to another fabulous audience who’s kind attention was much appreciated and to Will for his luscious guitar amp.
The rest of the night was a ball. Malcom Head had us in stiches. Next, debutant Steve Slade abundantly sprinkled some magic dust, despite his admission of first-time-nerves. Then followed Scotland’s answer to Tom Waits with a captivating spoken word performance accompanied by Kent’s premier hurdy-gurdy artist Phil Martin .
All topped off by the highly polished Arcelia. A grand night capped by our first ever CD signing, two free half-bottles of wine and a drive home with Jimmy Cliffe.
Early rise tomorrow for video shoot deep in the Kentish countryside. More news to follow…