The Saturday Gig







Every Sat’day night somewhere in this county

Percy Williams’ van is bouncing down a track

Snakeskin boots dodge puddles in pub car parks

As his band unload the gear from the back


They’re just a little local band

Playing Rave On and Promised Land

Summer Time Blues, Blue Suede Shoes

Brown Eyed Handsome Man


Benny on the bass, on the drums its Mick – he’s a builder (by day)

They’ve held that rhythm down since 1959

That’s a '60s Strat, Percy bought it new with his first wages

Showing its age but it’s still sounding fine


They’ll play Jailhouse Rock and Thirty Days

Baby Baby What’d I Say

Knock on Wood, Johnny B Goode

And That’ll be the Day


Never hoped for the break, never dreamt of being big

Just working on the day job for the Sat’day night gig

Never needed the contract, never needed the agent’s game

Cos one night in a one horse town they had their brush with fame


It was years ago they were playing way out in some small town

When the pub went quiet and everyone turned to the door

Percy put down his guitar in the middle of Honky Tonkin

And Mick let both his sticks drop to the floor

Because Chuck Berry walked inside

With Carl Perkins at his side

And someone said ‘I knew it – the stories true,

It’s Elvis – he’s not died’


Well Carl said ‘He’s laying low

Don’t tell anyone that you know

Given the fans the slip

Just to take this trip

And he’s travelling incognito


He’d never hoped for the break, never dreamt of being so big

Just working on the day job dreaming of the Sat’day night gig

Never needed the contract, never needed the Colonel’s game

Then one night in a one horse town he had his brush with fame


Then Elvis ordered a Guinness and Percy called out Memphis

Benny hit the bass and started up the band

They really rocked that night and to this day Percy just keeps quiet

‘Bout what Elvis said at closing time

When he smiled and shook his hand


They played back in the USSR

With Carl Perkins on guitar

Elvis took the mike for That’s Alright

Chuck duckwalked round the bar


They played Boppin at the High School Hop

Staggerlee and Blue Jean Bop

Peggy Sue and Lovin’ You

Bye Bye Johnny and Let It Rock


Louie Louie and Mony Mony

20 Flight Rock and Only the Lonely

Mystery Train, His Latest Flame

Rip it Up and Bonie Moronie


An entirely true story of course - where else could Elvis return and have it remain a complete secret?

Written back in about 1980, when the Drum and Monkey was the local for the late and much missed Ronnie Lane - once of the Small Faces - who lived at Fishpool under Corndon Hill. He would sometimes be accompanied there by some of his 'heavy friends'. I'd guess the sudden mass appearance of Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Ronnie Lane and Ron Wood in the bar could put the most experienced pub band off its stroke for a few minutes at least.

A tribute too to the Saturday bands who still work the circuit of pubs, village halls, weddings and parties, never hoping for the big break, just pleased to have the chance to play.

I still don't quite know why it is, but every band I ever play in ends up sounding a bit like Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance…. I may not know the reason, but I'm grateful for it.




Newly recorded version 2014 for Guilty Secrets CD
11. Saturday Gig85.mp3
MP3 Audio File 6.8 MB