Slightly disoriented after a week off, and mostly knackered (me ‘cos I’m old, Ben due to a draconian work shift pattern, Stuart because the previous night was the album launch party for the Real Kings Of Spain, Lou because – well, because she’s always running around like a loony), we all trundled up to the Parson’s Nose in Melksham, and tried to remember how to set up the kit. It seems that knocking your Strat off its stand is not the most helpful part of this process, but then again nor is finding your spare batteries have shorted themselves out and melted together into an ungainly heap. Still, we finally got everything working, except for my brain (which fast forwarded in one song leaving me 2 verses ahead, and wondering why it was the rest of ‘em were all screwing it up together, and managing to do it in perfect sync…)
Some fine dancing entertainment was provided by a somewhat elderly gentleman, who introduced himself as, “Well, my real name is Eric, but I prefer to be called Raven”. So that’s what we called him for the rest of the night, rather to his satisfaction.
We eventually finished playing just before 1:00 (just as well for poor Ben who had to be at work at 7:00), and scooted off into the night.
The following evening, we were in rather more coherent spirits – except for Ben, who was so knackered he was visibly incoherent – and I mean more than usual. Early on, the pub was deathly quiet, but by half -time, it had gotten rather jolly and jumpy. Lou and Stuart went outside to grab some fresh air; as a couple of blokes strolled up, one peered into the pub and remarked to his companion,
“Aww, it looks packed in there, let’s go somewhere else instead”.
“Oh no”, piped up Lou, brightly, “It’s not really that busy, it’s only a few people gathered just by the window, see?”
The bloke peers in again, “Oh, there’s a band on. Are they any good?”
“They’re awesome”, Lou informs him earnestly, “Really up together, they’re like, totally on it”.
“Hmm” says the guy, “I saw a great band the other week, they had a girl singer, doing loads of rock stuff, it was really good”.
“Well if you liked that, you’ll love this lot”, Lou tells him. “They’ll be right up your street, and they’re brilliant”.
So, the bloke and his pal go on in to the pub, oblivious to Stuart giggling helplessly at Lou’s side.
Unfortunately I didn’t catch sight of the guy’s face when we started the second set and Lou walked up to the mike, but I suspect it would have been an entertaining sight.
She’s taken to getting cheeky with the punters between songs; she holds up to the audience one of the old tins we use to carry various bits of gigging trivia, and asks, “So, who would like a…(she peers intently at the writing on the tin for a moment)… Mint cappuccino wafer biscuit?”
There are a couple of assenting nods.
“Well, you can’t have one, they’re all gone. Next song, drummer.”
Due to neighbourly noise constraints, we have to be finished by half eleven – so we are. We pack up rapidly, keen to make a quick getaway so we can get to our cosy little beds. Although Ben isn’t just falling asleep as soon as he gets in the car, he is pretty much falling asleep before he has finished unstrapping his bass.
Hopefully, though, he’ll have acquired a little kip by next weekend…
Saturday 17th – Royal Oak, Swindon Old Town
Ahh, now I actually know where this one is; I played here back in February with diva daughter, we had rather a fine time; some of the more jolly punters were running out and dragging people in off the street to hear her. That kind of thing could happen again; or, maybe, they’ll just run out into the street, and keep right on going. We shall have to see. If we get there early enough, we can send Lou round wandering the streets beforehand, recommending us to complete strangers.
How many Freudian analysts does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to change the bulb, and the other to hold the penis. LADDER. I meant ladder!