Jack The Rat - The Sloop, Poole:
A friend and local MHB, Tony Fox, rang a couple of weeks ago. He told me a mutual friend had got a new band together and they were playing The Sloop pub opposite the town's Municipal Buildings.
Tony and I had been on the agency circuit and met at a local electronics factory. Same thing with Ryan, but we were working nights in a different electronics factory. With another young chap named Shawn, Ryan started a band named Diablos. It got Shawn out of this self-harming thing he was into, so rock 'n' roll saved another day.
Diablos played a few gigs and we went to see them a couple of times at The Central at Ashley Cross in Parkstone. In my alcoholic days, I famously bought 6 shots of SoCo costing £12 there after a panic attack frightened me into thinking I wouldn't be the usual 'me' tomorrow if I didn't. They were a great band and leaned more towards hard-core punk, and Ryan wrote lyrics and sung.
Then I heard he emigrated to Australia.
And then I heard due to the recession Australia were throwing all the migrants who had gone over in the last 2 years back.
Perhaps he was one of them?
But somewhere along the line he formed Jack Rat.
So I drove to The Sloop, I hadn't set foot in the place since 1969, and inbetween times it had been called The Conjuror's Half-Crown and then reverted back to The Sloop - Poole and its nautical connections, perhaps? But back in '69 we could get burger and chips there for the same price as the college served it. The drawback was we also had a beer and had a job staying awake during the PM lectures.
The band had set up a very basic drum kit and small amps on the stage. No sign of Ryan. It wasn't that crowded and the bar people were serving. A crowd of 7 or 8 young lads bundled noisily inside and the bar people almost rushed to serve them. So I stood at the bar with my money in my hand. And I stood at the bar with my money in my hand. And I stood at the...
...and then I thought f*** this and drove home.
Maybe I'll catch Ryan and Jack The Rat somewhere else.