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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Guy Pratt spills some Floyd beans!
Guy Pratt spills some Floyd beans! Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 25 October 2005

A dark, wet and windy Monday evening in London this week saw the first West End appearance of Guy Pratt, in his one-man show, "My Bass And Other Animals".

The show looks at his long career in music, playing with such luminaries as Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Pink Floyd, and comes after a successful run of dates as part of the Edinburgh Festival. Whilst he was up in Scotland, we had the opportunity to interview Guy, who obviously has many interesting tales to tell - and this week's show gave a great taster of these...

The show was held at the Sound Theatre, part of the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square. A strange, dimly lit venue, with the seats in a semi-circle around the stage, and a massive pillar in the centre of the audience seating. With the show looking to be sold out, it made for an intimate setting - perfectly suited to Guy's conversational style.

With a stage empty apart from a bass guitar, electric guitar, two amps, and some cunningly suspended ladders, there was little to distract from the anecdotes which poured from Guy. Bristling with nervous energy, he doesn't seem to stop moving for the entire show; when not playing the bass (extremely well) he regailed us with impersonations (some reasonably kind, others a little less... respectful!) and physical recreations of certain situations.

Things start with an honest look at his childhood, from failed attempts to get an electric guitar from his parents, to attending a punk rock concert at London's Roxy Club. Here, he met up with a punk called Phlegm Ratbite ("what's your name?" "Guy Pratt." Pause. "That's brilliant!!!!").

His professional career kicked off properly when he got a job playing with Icehouse. His progression through different bands and styles of music is covered ably and self-deprecatingly throughout the show, as he gets jobs with bigger and bigger artists.

He obviously has a wealth of material to hand, and sometimes his summary of life with a particular performer is frustratingly brief. When we spoke to him in August, he mentioned that he was writing a book of his experiences, so we hope that this makes up for the whistlestop nature of his show.

Particular standout sequences include his work with Madonna (with her rallying cry of "TIME IS MONEY, AND THE MONEY IS MINE!!" bellowed at her minions), Michael Jackson (hiding in the recording studio), and David Coverdale ("These are dark days indeed for a cocksman!"). His tales of flying first class with Jimmy Page were particularly amusing, and as he said, a cautionary tale for the young people in the audience!

There seemed to be an air of expectation as he reached the Pink Floyd segment. Some cracking stories presented - talk of the ambiance coordinator ("who had two jobs; to obtain narcotics and look after your parents when they came on tour"), the contests held when the tour plane took off, the use of runway lights in the show, and Guy's approach to the start of One Of These Days, all gave vent to plenty of laughing, and his story of a morning return to the hotel in New York, beer in hand, and bumping into Nick and Nettie Mason, got one of the larger laughs of the night.

The show ran for around an hour and ten minutes. Enough time for a brief whizz through his career, but one was left with the feeling that there was so much more he could have related, had he the time. Perhaps with an interval, Guy would be able to give a fuller show. Perhaps, though, he is saving the majority of the stories for the book he is currently writing.

Guy brings to vivid life some of the absurdities of life on the road, and the absurd characters, too. An excellent way to spend an evening! I really enjoyed the wide spectrum of characters covered in the show, and wonder if a purely Floyd show would work as well. We can only hope that Guy announces more shows...

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