Yo homeys, as famous farmyard rapper Notorious P.I.G. would say…
Another weekend of giggery goodness, we kicked off with one of our favourites, the lovely Goatfest, just outside Calne. Despite earlier downpours, the rain held off for the night, so we got to thoroughly enjoy the luxury of a big stage and lights, and excellent PA superbly engineered by our pal Brian of Noizboys in Swindon.
It was hard to see too much of the crowd past the lights, but we could tell they were there by the singalong (they almost drowned Emma out during the intro to “Don’t Stop Me Now”), but also by the somewhat ribald heckling…
“I love you lot, you’re great” comes a drunken female voice from the darkness, five or six numbers into the set.
“Well, thank you very much, we love you too” replies Emma.
“I want to take you all home with me. I’ll do you all”.
Emma is a little surprised, but can’t help being rather pleased. “Lads; I think we’ve pulled”, she tells us.
I want a few more details before agreeing to anything. “Hang on”, I shout out into the night, “…Would that be all together or one at a time?”
“One at a time”, comes the reply.
“And I’ll start with the drummer.”
After this revelation, the idea somehow seems to lose some of its earlier appeal. Time for the next song…
We play on merrily, and have to call a halt when we hit the curfew, then we hurriedly pack up just in time to make to the beer tent for last orders. Marvelous fun.
Saturday night, and a private bash at a local golf club. It turns out, confusingly, that this actually a rugby club having a black tie fundraiser at a golf club. We have been asked to get there early to set up, and then, being surplus to requirements for a few hours while they all eat a big posh dinner, we bugger off to the nearest pub for beer and food – two of my favourite things.
By the time we return, the crowd are quite merry so we have them up dancing about in no time. And thus it continues; at the end of the night they are well pleased and actually pay us a bit extra.
But my biggest stroke of luck hits on the way home; when a chance encounter with an unmarked police car leaves me with a gentle admonishment from the local constabulary – instead of the eye-watering fine, and likely ban that they were in fact quite entitled to deliver to me.
Following the usual series of searching questions – who am I, where am I going, is this my van, and more importantly, was I aware how fast I was going through that roundabout, and did I know that one of my tyres was out of tread, etc, which I faithfully answer with an increasing sense of doom, he asks me how I come be driving around the ring road at such an illegal rate of knots in the wee hours of a Saturday night; I explain that I play in a band, and I’m on the way back from a gig, he pauses, and nods to himself.
“Right. Well, look, just make sure you slow down a bit the rest of the way home, all right?”
I climb back in to the van. Ben, who has been sat listening to the conversation with his head in his hands and wondering how he will get home after they cart me off to jail, turns to me in disbelief.
“You jammy, jammy bastard” he observes.
We drive home very, very, carefully indeed.
So, folks – I can’t promise it’ll work for you, but maybe, just maybe, if you should find yourself in a similar situation, you may find that telling the representatives of the local law enforcement department that you’re on a mission for Rock’n’Roll will get you out of trouble.
Of course – your results may vary.
This week, we have no gigs coming up. However, if anyone from the local constabulary would like a free benefit gig playing, I for one will be more than happy to oblige…