New Year’s Eve is always a great party, and this year was especially fun. The Dudley Manlove Quartet spent the evening performing at The Sunset Tavern in Ballard and we had a great crowd with many fine friends in attendance. Events like this are all the more fun when we look out from the stage and see familiar faces. In preparation for the show I went out and purchased a bunch of party supplies including hats, noisemakers, leis, beads and tiaras. Each member of the band had a pile of stuff to hand out to the audience, which gave us chance to fan out and individually greet / thank people for joining us. Among the dozens of bead necklaces were four all-black sets; I set those aside and wore them during the show, although I did wind up giving two away to friends. Receivers of black beads: consider yourselves awesome.
Soundcheck for this gig included a few new songs: “She’s A Lady” and “Thank You For Being A Friend”. The latter turned out to be quite an effort to perform. It has a pretty long arrangement and lots of backup vocals. I thought it went pretty well and we performed it to end the first set. This was the first show where I used my newly expanded pedalboard. The newest additions to my setup include a Keeley compressor and a Keeley-modified Crybaby wah pedal. I also used the “Pork Loin” overdrive pedal for several songs. The new setup is very good and I love the tone. The down side is that it’s a bit bigger than my previous pedalboard – only by about 6 inches – and it’s a bit heavier. Still, it’s absolutely worth the extra effort to haul this beastie and the sonic results are tasty. Although the trusty black Stratocaster is my primary guitar, I always bring a backup / alternate. For this show I decided to bring my Eastwood; it’s a Les Paul style instrument with P90 pickups. I used it for the first set and it sounded great on the new pop tunes. For the second and third sets I went with the Strat, and as always it was wonderful to play that guitar.
As we closed in on midnight, we performed “The Final Countdown” followed by a fairly traditional “Auld Lang Syne”. Another highlight of the night was seeing our good friend Heather Fenech in the audience. Heather, Stefan and I were all in 80s Invasion together. Always a pleasure to see her.
At the end of the night we were all suitably exhausted from playing and dancing. It was very nice to spend the evening this way. Performing with The Dudley Manlove Quartet is a true pleasure. We’ll be taking a few weeks off to work on new stuff and we’ll be back at it again soon! If you haven’t already visited our new web site, hop on over and have a look… and while you’re there sign up for the mailing list. Happy 2010!