Monday, September 29, 2008

Trimming The Bush - Sunday's Music

Some of my weekend was devoted to coming down after the last drum outing with Mimosa. The gig was fun, the band was tight and the drummer was fucking excellent, even if I say it myself. The presence of my successor in the audience made me feel a bit more on edge than usual but I'm a relaxed sort of chap so I was never going to be edgy and nervous like a bag of lemmings who have just joined Al Qaeda.

Also in the crowd were my parents and three of the four guys from my covers band. I was told by Chips, the singer, at the break, that watching me play was like watching his wife sleep with another man. I took this as a compliment but told him that it was the last time it would happen. The thing with his wife was a one off too and I hadn't realised she'd made a video.

Plans to relax and do next to nothing yesterday were slightly ambushed by the parents after I'd woken up. It's quite sweet really, I sense that they're glad to have me around and for me it's a bit like living with kids, just ones that happen to be in their seventies. I had barely woken, showered, done my hair product and all the other everyday shenanigans of an everyday metrosexual when they asked me if I'd help my Dad cut the bush, that one in the garden. As the good Sri Lankan son I couldn't object and set to work with all the enthusiasm and gusto of a Saturday teenager in an English shop when being interrupted by one of those things, you know, "customers" I think they're called.

Three of us were in the garden. It was one of those late summer early autumn English days. Blue sky, bright sun and warmth tinged with that touch of chill in the air. My Mum was moaning about my Dad and my Dad was ignoring her, I was floating around doing my best to ignore them and failing with spectacular success. All was quite normal. My Mum's specific reason for moaning was that my Dad wouldn't let her mow the lawn, not that a Sri Lankan Mother needs a reason of course.

My Dad, whose relationship with danger and risk taking is about as close as my sexual relationship with Britney Spears, had decreed that using the lawn mower would place her in severe danger of electrocution. And by "her" I mean my Mum, not Britney. Why? Because there was a slight dew on the ground, not rain, not swampy conditions worthy of a strange marsh in the Lake District in Winter. No, just a vague misty sheen on the top of the grass.

My Mum complained to me about this, saying that she'd asked Academic Bro about this a while ago and he had diplomatically said that my Dad was talking rubbish. I went with Academic, always a good move when the question is about lawnmowers, grass and a thin layer of dew. I said that I didn't think there was huge danger. I was ignored, as was Academic.

The bush trimming commenced. Dad trimmed and I bagged up. After about five minutes I felt the need for music and sloped off, hoping my absence wouldn't be noticed. I did some scrolling through the iPod menu but there was only one artist I seeked; Morcheeba. I don't know if you know the Morcheebans, well their earlier stuff, but it is, along with Moon Safari by Air, the perfect accompaniment to a chilled Sunday morning. The contrast couldn't be greater as I sit here typing this while listening to the calming tones of the Distillers.

After Morcheeba ran out I switched the music to Ojos De Brujo, a Spanish Flamenco outfit that I discovered some time ago while poking around the iTunes store in the same manner that an old slightly eccentric Uncle would look around second hand shops for old watches. Track one was a little bit too wild for the 'rents so I skipped ahead to track two as the old man and I carried on with our bush trimming.

Things were smooth and Latiney, organised and peaceful until I saw it. It was my Mum, in the garden and on the patio. She was heading towards me with that Sri Lankan Mother look. You know the look, like a female elephant just before it charges, I think they must have special classes at Bishop's College or something; Sri Lankan Matriarch classes.

The look was accompanied by my Mum doing some sort of dance. Now I say this as a man who can't really dance to save my life, something you may be surprised about what with my reputation as a fiercely grooving drummer and all, but it's true. Give me a drum kit and I'm happy to attempt to make you dance, moving limbs of all sorts in time with the music as I use them to hit an assortment of things. However, give me the sound of another fellow on the drums , or any other instrument, and those very same limbs move with the rhythm of a jelly using a pneumatic drill.

My Mum had decided that we were listening to Salsa and therefore felt a desire to dance and a need to get me involved. She said something like

"Ah Salsa, come and dance"

I didn't. This is England after all, it was Sunday morning and there's a Vicarage next door. At the next break I went inside and changed the music to the Dhol Foundation. The bush trimming continued to the sound of those Dhols and my Dad and I were quite happy. Salsa girl wasn't so happy but she was weeding or something and rapidly forgetting things.

After the gardening session was over I had an idea. I went online and bought three tickets to see Billy Cobham with Asere, his Cuban band. They're playing in Teddington of all places in couple of weeks time, in a venue in which I've played, probably the biggest achievement of my drumming career. So, in a fortnight I'll take the olds off to see Mr Cobham and some Cubans. I can't wait.

Now, as I finish this they've gone out to watch some Jazz and I'm home alone. My God. Being a child to parents who are music obsessed is tough at times. I'm glad I'm not like that!

Have a good week all!

1 comment:

Eppie said...

I think your parents are reallyyy cool!
and Chip is rude...& hillarious!