It’s very old and wont take batteries – you have to plug it into the wall but it has a valve in it
The trick is to let it warm up for a good while and then it starts talking
We arrived at the old stomping ground at six – I hadn’t been there since we supported the Fall last year and Sam, who had done our sound that night, set us up with a good soundcheck once again. Bodega has a great PA – it’s thick and rich with real gravitas and excellent monitors. You can feel the sound through your feet on that stage and hear everything – don’t remember ever burning out my voice trying to hear myself there.
After that we went up to Hannah’s place with takeaways to her garden – the first day of summer. It was really fine and it felt like a new kind of Spines weather. This version of the band is like a working family. We each have certain areas of responsibility and they are all pivotal and all directed towards the same goal – we just want everybody to love the Spines and play better and better.
When we got back to the bar it was all quiet and nice. Simon was there ready to spin tunes and I had the pleasure of introducing him to my flatmate Sarah who was doing the
door for us and had been part of the original Bar Bodega. The new barman there was Jack and he looked after us. The Bodge had been a haven for me in many ways over its twenty five years – the rebirth of the Spines in the 90s and my downward spiral and redemption in the 2000s. The air was thick with ghosts.
My friends started arriving one by one and in groups. Janey, Neil, Steve, Kahu, Elise, Susie, Leah…Part of my role in the band is to worry about stuff and greeting everybody took my mind off my nerves and what could possibly go wrong.
Then Terror of the Deep did a very cool set of well-arranged songs. The atmosphere was like Bodega in its heyday and when we hit the stage that’s exactly what it was – a celebration of something unique and magic.
It was great to have that last outing at the iconic venue and put paid to a pretty intense year with a strong set from the band in top form. The Bodega may be nearly finished but the Spines and the people who love us aren’t going away any time soon.
By the time I got out the Gretsch my Dr. Overlord pedal had been warming up for five hours and was spitting low fire
There is no other sound like it or feeling – having a runaway train at your hip that almost plays itself
To read other Ghost stories about ‘The Bodge’ click here and here
The Ghost of Electricity – War Stories by Jon McLeary is a new initiative at Off The Tracks, a series of stories and reflections from painter, writer and musician Jon McLeary