Friday, 29 October 2010

The Unlucky Fried Kitten Show (23/10/10)

Andy White/Unlucky Fried Kitten
23 October 2010
The Cherry Tree

The evening’s events were started off by Andy White.

Andy White played an excellent selection of songs from the vast encyclopaedic collection he has committed to memory. Andy always goes down very well wherever he plays (Hope I haven’t just jinxed you Andy!), always on form and always well received. A true pro. I happen to know that he was not too well on the day, but you would never have known it from his performance. An excellent set!


Awoken from the figurative slumber of his day job by the promise of adulation, bright lights and Heineken, in from the moody backstreets of suburban Maidstone crept the sleeping monster that is Mr Fraser (aka Export).

Tonight, “The Kitten” were, Sam Crassweller (12 string bass) and Andy Export/Fraser (Vox), sporting matching hair colour (and matching underwear, allegedly) with Nifty Nick Hughes, on guitar and extreme headwear.

Sam (from Australia), had only had a brief rehearsal for the gig, so there was a potential for disaster due to unfamiliarity with the songs. Rest assured, Sammy was the true pro and all round “Good Sort” ...sorry, I mean “Good Sport” ;o)

“Made in Russia” kicked off the evening with a steady and heavily distorted bass riff from Sam, accompanied by a very lively Mr Hughes on new Guitar and new amp. In fact for a moment, I thought he may have literally “gone live” due to being inadvertently hooked up to the mains, but it was probably just excess natural energy (Or flatulence maybe?).

Andy eyed the audience in front of him, while assorted cameras, (still and video), captured the evening's proceedings. Sam forever steady on bass and Nick, who was particularly animated, joined Andy on backing vocals while performing lead fills, busy rhythmic runs and swapping hats all at the same time!

“Loserville” followed. Andy reiterated his usual spiel re the online dating agency and how he obtained his “Wife”, which was particularly poignant as he has been married 23 times and this gig was on the 23rd...and the song went on for 23 minutes.

Next up “My Town” followed by “The Seventies”, during which several 1970’s centric cuddly toys were produced and some unscripted banter ensued. He “doesn’t want to go to bed” and nor do we.

“Underground Worker” an old Export/Fraser/Export (and Hughes?) composition still does it for me. One of my UFK favourites. Andy “has been doing it for 24 years” he said. With the additional verses, it may now be 25.

“To Whom It May Concern” and “Happy Xmas” followed. Sam was performing small Bass improvisation/solos in between songs, solid stage right swelling the usual delicate sound of “The Kitten” almost to metallic proportions, whilst a very animated Nick Hughes jostled Andy in an attempt to topple him, in between sitting on stage and standing watching the band from the audience, while playing and chatting!

The Kitten sound was very heavy tonight with the addition of some massive bass lines from Sam while Nick pulled out all the stops on the guitar front, desperately vying for his piece of sonic ear space. Andy, as usual, excellent on vocals, solid between Sam and the whirling dervish that is Mr Hughes. Mr Fraser had a Ghandi like influence on proceedings, but of course possessed slightly more hair than Ghandi himself and lacked a loin cloth. (Although I have it on good authority that they both possessed a George Formby, “Turned Out Nice Again” 1941 Tour Tee shirt)

The nemesis of UFK, “Christine Keeler” followed. Not, the actual exhumed corpse of the socialite/escort who nearly brought down the government of course, but a song about her. I have seen this song started on many occasions, but alas, never finished. Something to do with the.....timing I believe?

“People”, probably my favourite UFK song, ended the actual pre planed set.

By this time, the Heineken was flowing thick through Mr Fraser's veins and the proceedings finally dissolved into the entertaining chaos, towards which it had been steadily heading all evening.
Nick took over for a while and went solo, Sam left for a short while (Probably for a fag?) Andy White joined Nick and Sam on stage, several songs where attempted and only half finished before others were started, it all became very spontaneous and the evening continued this way until The Kitten had eaten all the metaphorical Whiskas it could consume and was finally forced to retire to the comfy basket in the corner.

An excellent and entertaining evening, with a particularly spirited performance by all of The Kitten. Thanks also to all the lovely folk at the Cherry tree.

So for the next 24 hours I continued to subconsciously make up new verses to “People” just as I always do after a UFK gig....Damn you Fraser!