Just a short one. I went to the BBC Club on Tuesday to watch a showcase by Manilla PR and was lucky enough to catch Circus Envy doing their thing.
Before their second set of three songs, Mick (playing - and sitting on - the box) thanked the PR company insincerely for putting Circus Envy on after Rodney Branigan, a young American now living in south London, who had made us all blink by starting his set with a number that involved playing two guitars simultaneously.
As the afternoon progressed it became clear that although the two guitars thing is impressive in a man-with-two-heads kind of a way, Branigan would be a bit of a star even without the geekery.
He's undeniably very talented - doing the best version of Come Together I've ever heard, including by The Beatles - but it was his humour I especially liked. And the fact that he, um, has no trouble clenching a guitar firmly between his knees for many minutes at a time (see slightly underexposed picture below). He mentioned at one point that he'd been in prison in Mexico and then, when there was a bit of tooth-sucking and muttering about how you shouldn't say that from the front row, he introduced his next song as being about spanking children.
Since it was a tune - albeit one played by using the guitar as a percussion instrument as much as a guitar - the chances of it originally having been about any such thing were pretty remote.
It turned out that the spell in prison was for alleged drug smuggling, but since it was only for three days he clearly wasn't guilty. I hope I haven't buggered up his immigration status by mentioning this as it would be great to see him play a whole set.
I see Show of Hands feels the same way.
Also check out the tunes on this website, including The Plagiarism Song, for which it helps if you have a passing familiarity with American children's entertainment.
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