Why would you want to name your band Pickled Dick? And what does it mean, anyway?
That's what I should have asked the members of the band when I met them tonight, but I'm afraid I was too busy marvelling over the guitarist's t-shirt, which said "I may look like Sideshow Bob (he did, too, with his enormous semi-dangling Afro dyed blond on one side and brown on the other), but you look like a CUNT." I wanted to take a picture for my almost 12 year old nephew, because he's a huge Simpsons fan and would have found it hilarious, but uncles have to set some sort of example, don't they? Not to mention what his parents might think.
The Dick are a very English band, which might stop them ever getting too popular in the USA, and by English, I mean a bit quirky and zany and jolly in a way that American bands, who, even if they're joke bands have to be serious about their jokiness, could never get away with (and would never want to try). That being said, they're also outstanding musicians, a fact brought home during their cover of Green Day's "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield," in which the drummer unleashed a roll that Tre Cool himself probably couldn't have managed in the Kerplunk era.
Many of their songs are very intricate and longish, to the point where I described them as "bloody rock operas," but with their three-part harmonies and stop-on-a-dime changes, they're also incredibly catchy. Pickled Dick get my vote as one of England's better pop-punk bands today, and they get extra points for their homoerotic baiting of the audience and their "I (heart) Dick" stickers.
Also met a guy who was wearing my favourite Lookout Records shirt of all time, the Patrick Hynes-penned cartoon rendering of the Lookout office circa 1991, featuring me at my desk penning diatribes about pulp mills, Chris and Pat gabbing over the coffee pot, and Thadicus shouting "I can't hear you" over the din of his electric guitar. "That's me upstairs," I pointed out to the somewhat bewildered guy, and then proceeded to tell him how Patrick, responding to complaints (possibly from the recently mentioned Janelle) that there were no girls in the drawing, added a little hair and some breast squiggles to some of the boys and said, "There are now."
The Lookout shirt wearer turned out to be a pen (erm, email) pal of Pat and Erika at Little Type, but sadly I only learned after he left that he was also a devoted Fulham fan. We could have done a little comiserating, as Fulham went down to yet another humiliating defeat today. Thank goodness it was away to Everton, or else I would have no doubt been sitting in the rain at Craven Cottage wallowing in the misery of it all. Bright and early this morning (i.e, in about six hours) we're off to the Cotswolds with the West Country Walking Society. Storms, gales and torrential downpours are predicted. Should be fun.