Saturday, February 25, 2006
It's friday night. Now, friday night gigs are different to thursday gigs (saturday gigs are another, whole different, kettle of fish - students of the genre are advised to seek out Mott The Hoople's seminal work on the subject, but I digress) - it's the weekend, there's no work in the morning, and on this occasion it is pay day. This all adds up to a heady cocktail, a veritable powder keg of emotion, and one which is ripe for exploitation by the savvy pub rocker. Obviously it's our weekend too, but someone's got to drive. I get myself in the mood by selecting Thin Lizzy's "Live and Dangerous" as the pre-gig driving warm up music. This has the dual effect of reminding me of both how exciting and adrenaline enhancing live bands can be and also that I'm never going to work to the solo to "Still In Love With You". Somehow, I'm still always surprised by that. As it turns out there are two pleasant surprises in store for me. Firstly, the drummer has proposed to his girlfriend, and she has accepted (however, given the weekend at a nice hotel, the provision of a personal stylist, a gift voucher at Jimmy Choo's and an evening at the ballet, one would have to be the worst kind of churl to decline such an offer - hell, I'd've married him for that little collection). The second is that, from the outset, it's clear that everyone is on fire this evening. No-one, especially not us, is this tight, are they?! It becomes apparent that this is no passing phase and we are having an absolute fucking ball - not just with the audience, but with each other. The jokes are flying in thick and fast, no-one's getting cross at the 'tween song intros, the audience, or each other and (lord knows how) the sound is hanging together beautifully. I wonder if (say) The Kaiser Chiefs ever wonder how their stuff goes down in a pub in Stowmarket when they're writing it. It's unlikely it crosses their collective minds, but we feed vicariously off their talent and lap up the resultant applause. At one point I'm windmilling mindlessly through some punk rock and notice that there is (a) a broken lampshade just above and to the left of me and (b) my hand is bleeding. It's not exactly Pete Townsend impaling himself on a whammy bar, but I'm secretly pleased....we mean it maaaan.... The drummer insists we play 'Band On The Run' and so we do. I sing some Bowie andThe Singer says (irony free) "Awesome". He tells the crowd to watch 'The Apprentice', a guy I work with tuts at "the gay stuff" (we play a Scissor Sisters number), there's condensation running down the walls. We're over time. We're done. Afterwards a guy, barely able to form coherent words, tells us how much he loved the gig. It's friday night, and the boys are back in town.