A little Friday night excursion into Essex to see The Rockingbirds and Cusack provided a amiable prelude to this afternoon's Winterlude. The Ship, in Leigh-On-Sea is a proper pub with a comfortable and inviting function room upstairs, and it's always refreshing to see favourite bands away from the London maelstrom. And aside from anything else it was good to see Will, Matt and Dave from The Lucky Strikes, and Borderline Barry Everitt, master of the House of Mercy, currently down in Thorpe Bay seeing to family obligations.
A vignette of a set from Cusack. Lance Baldock sang a mixture of songs from the splendid new Mildsensations album, accompanied by Matthew Boulter on pedal steel, to moving and entertaining effect. Along with 'Never Get To Heaven' and 'Get Well Soon' there were memorable covers of Big Star's 'Thirteen' and Neil Young's 'On The Way Home'.
Having to get the last train we didn't see all of The Rockingbirds' set but cracking versions of 'Jonathan' 'Restless' Standing At The Doorstep Of Love' and 'Everybody Lives With Us' - "from our ill-fated second album" said Alan - suggest this afternoon's set might be a riot. We were making our way out into the cold as they were playing 'Till Something Better Comes Along'; that I don't propose to miss today. See you there.
Buy Mildsensations here