Monday, 26 July 2010

419 BABY RAY, Supporting Trocadero, The Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA USA, Thursday 12 August 1999

After spending my final day hanging out with Gary Waleik, former guitarist with my all-time favourite band The Big Dipper, then at gig 1 of the night (Jules Verdone at The Museum of Fine Arts), this gig rounds off the night - and the trip - to a "T". Ed and I arrive at the Lizard Lounge directly from the MOFA, meeting up with Pete, Lucky, Ed’s girlfriend Carrie, and Kate, before I pop downstairs to see Baby Ray. I arrive at 10.30, literally a minute before they start. They put on a great show and I’m immediately jigging along to their splendid mutant blend of edgy guitar, weird chord/ tempo changes and generally challenging and intelligent guitar pop. “Sugar Mine”, as orthodox as Baby Ray get, is an early highlight, but newer, unfamiliar numbers impress as well, despite sailing close to the easy tag of XTC impersonations.

Meet up with their manager Judy Collins after the show before she leaves. She introduces me to Mikey Dee, a Boston DJ and editor of the local fanzine “The Noise”, who I recognise from his clip in Kaylyn Thornal's film earlier this evening. I chat with him and Shayne Phillips; Mikey had apparently heard a lot about my trip and wanted to hear more about it - so I tell him!

Hang out with the Pit boys during the innocuous set by headliners Trocadero (or at least I think that’s what they were called; I wasn’t really paying attention). Finish the evening by greeting the Baby Ray boys (Ken Lafler’s ears prick up in particular when I tell him I’m from Swindon. Hmm.) and saying fond farewells to Lucky and Pete.

Ed drops me off and leaves for Carrie’s, but not before loading me with t-shirts, CDs and farewell greetings. He’s been such an excellent host. Hit the hay at 3 a.m. for about 3 hours, before I need to hail a taxi to get to the airport - and home!

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