In such fashion the other guitarist attempts to engage the assembled at The Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club, where we have been called in at short notice to provide the soundtrack to the climactic party of Deben Week, a seven day festival of fun, frolics and messing about in small boats.
Upon arrival T.O.G. and I are astonished to find a fully set up drum kit on stage. Astonished as this is most unlike the man we have come to refer to as Our Late Drummer, whose comfort zone for setting up is considerably shorter than, say, a good-length version of Sweet Home Chicago (whether there is actually ever such a thing as a good length version of Sweet Home Chicago is probably best left to a later discussion).
We set up around the drums, a novel experience for all of us, and await his arrival over thoughtfully-provided hot meals. For a party that promises a buffet, live band and the experience of being there or being square it does seem that a goodly number of our nautical chums have opted for the latter,, however we kick off as advertised at eight thirty and play our first party set, principally to a confused looking young girl and her friend, who is enthusiastically practising her handstands, their elders and betters mostly preferring the safety and distance of the bar.
There are a good few dancers later on, but the interval arrives without hint or happenstance of major frugging. Puzzling. Still, we're by the river on a balmy night and so a mid gig constitutional is a pleasant alternative to huddling in the car park over a marlboro light, and we listen appreciatively to T.O.G.'s party CD mix. The second half starts similarly desultorily and our habit of swapping instruments around doesn't do anything for a seamless segue of songs but gradually a few pogoers start to thrash about to the livelier ones and by three songs from the end we have a respectable melee going on.
By two songs from the end of course, they have all disappeared again, but then return en masse for the last number to bellow their appreciation and demand an encore. It's a very odd series of comings and goings, but apparently we have gone down very well in the other room, where perhaps the comfort zone afforded by the pool table and the ability to hold a conversation without damaging one's chum's eardrums have proved more conducive to a jolly night out.
It's odd though, like being the house band in a caravan park's social club (I imagine). But being terribly civilised, it is reasonably early by the time we're out and on the way home, with promises of more social functions to come - they're happy, which is the idea of the game after all, and it remains only to dodge the pavement traffic and the roadcrossers of chucking-out time as I wend my way home. It’s been an odd sort of evening. Still I guess sometimes you're the wallpaper, and sometimes you're the wall.