Page 15 of the Soft Boys scrapbook

Page 15 of The Soft Boys Scrapbook

The antidote to page 14, where the main feature was a plug for Raw Records’ recording and pressing service (something new in 1978, and described as akin to the long familiar ‘vanity publishing’ for aspiring authors). A long list of protests from Raw’s customers, and bands on the label, including the SBs, that they’d never been paid. The sales figures are curious- the band are told a high figure, say 10 000- everybody’s happy- which then goes down to say 3 000 when the band asks for the cash to be coughed up. In the music world, it helps if you can carry contradictory facts in your head, while keeping a smile on your face and sleeping at night (or day). The Rock Garden- in this grim dive, while we were on stage, my girlfriend Sarah entered the ‘dressing room’ and stumbled on two petty criminals going thru our coat pockets. With great presence of mind, she defused the situation by asking the main thug to dance. A bad review from the Nashville- we are compared unfavourably to a puddle of sick. We are booked by the Cambridge Folk Club at their home venue, the Portland Arms. This is announced as ‘the Soft Boys go folk’. The gig was recorded as ‘Live at the Portland Arms’ (needless to say it’s available on Youtube). The Folk Club was an outlet for Robyn’s songs in the mid seventies, and by now they’d taken him to their hearts. There are some entertaining Doo Wop covers, via Maureen and the Meatpackers, Mungo Carstairs on saxophone, me doing ‘Deck of Cards’ which seems disrespectful now. Songs like ‘Give Me A Spanner’, which you couldn’t do at the Nashville- it has quiet moments which would only give the audience the opportunity to yell ‘f**k off’. The forthcoming album is finally announced as A Can Of Bees.