Friday, October 26, 2012
Always the Last to Know
I’d been up at five, done a stint seeing how the magic is created behind the scenes at Radio Suffolk, gone in to the day job, put in a full shift there, returned home and was looking forward to forty winks before MyWifeKellyBrook and our First-Born returned from their busy day of smearing paint over themselves and playing Hide-the-Pasta in each others’ hair. Just before turning in, I thought I’d check a couple of the social media networks to see what was happening on the mean, mean super highways of cyber space (does anyone under twenty still call it that, by the way? I doubt it).The first status update that caught my eye was that of the manager of the venue where 22-years-behind-the-distortion-pedal-and-proud-of-it evergreen hardy perennial popstrels Gods Kitchen were due to perform our annual rite of passage (if we don’t play at least one gig a year the rains won’t come, and the crops will fail. You may not believe that – hell, I may not believe it, but do you want to be the one to blink first and find out?). It seemed that the powers that be in charge of procurement had finally lost patience and pulled the plug - quite literally in this case – with immediate effect. I checked my phone. I checked my email inbox. I checked my Facebook messages folder. I dialled 1471. I even, lord help me, fired up Google+ to see if there’d been a missive of some sort in there. There hadn’t.
Fair dos to the bloke, he probably wasn’t in the best frame of mind at the time, but once I’d managed to get hold of him by the expedient method of dropping him a text, he apologised, said it was out of his hands, and got back to (presumably) drowning his sorrows somewhere - I’d guess not at the pub, as they’d already apparently declined to deliver any beer there for a couple of weeks. When a bar is being stocked courtesy of Tesco Direct, the writing’s probably on the wall. Sadly this left me with no promoter, no venue and no PA but - unusually for us - some confirmed customers. That restorative nap suddenly seemed an awfully long way away.
After a couple of calls I got through to Val, patron saint of Ipswich Musicians for many a year now, who confirmed that she had nothing planned for Sunday evening and would be delighted to host our soiree. “Give us time to get cleared up after jazz lunch” she added. “Mind you, you lot can plug in and go, can’t you? Some of these kids today need four hours to soundcheck”. Phew. Dammit! 'Plug in'! Another text frantically tapped out – it takes me longer than most ppl because I still capitalise names, put in apostrophes and insist on writing the recipient’s full postal address in the text of the message, but I managed it in fairly good time. James from Live at the Institute, purveyors of quality entertainment to the good folk of Posh North Essex said he was happy to oblige. Seconds later, That Nice David Booth, contracted to record the evening’s entertainment for posterity, responded to ask if I needed a mixing desk.In about half an hour I’d managed to relocate the show, find a PA, alert our fanbase* and thereby avert a potentially distressing dark-and-boarded up venue experience for all concerned. And some of us had already booked babysitters. Would it have been so very difficult to drop us a text in order to tell us that the gig was off in the first place?
*We refer to it as the fanbase in a very similar fashion to that of Murray from Flight of The Conchords.