Right, well after a somewhat trying week, I was looking forward to playing a nice noisy gig on Saturday, in honour of Emma’s mate Jez’s 50th birthday.
Eagerly we loaded the gear in, I set up my rig, plugged into it, and… nothing.
Signal is getting from the guitar as far as the tuner, but no further. I ferret out a spare cable and plug directly into the amp. Still nothing. Five minutes of frenzied panic set in.
I check all the connections – they’re fine. Just as I am debating whether I have time to dash back home and pick up my spare amp head, Stuart helpfully says “Have you checked you’ve plugged all the cables in the right way round?”
“Of course I bloody have, look, this one goes in there, that one goes in there, and that one round the back… …is in the wrong socket”.
Funny, it was all in the right place when I checked a moment ago.
I feel I should point out at this juncture that you, the taxpayer, funded me for three years to get a degree in Electrical Engineering. Money well spent, eh?
Cables swapped round, guitar plugged back in, and the room is treated to the sound of a Seymour Duncan Custom ’59 humbucker majestically pushing four EL34 valves into a luscious creamy overdrive. It makes me very happy.
Ben is even happier than me though, once he discovers the size and scope of the buffet table. It appears to be large enough to expect to find herds of wildebeest roaming majestically across it – except that apparently they have already been caught, cooked, and served up on an array of plates.
Vegetablist Stuart is, on the other hand, pleased to find a large table set aside, groaning under the weight of wholesome vegetarian fare.
“No lips or arseholes for me” he gleefully pronounces.
Emma and I agree that this is indeed a sound policy for first dates. And spend the next ten minutes giggling hopelessly.
Lovely hostess Sarah is insistent that we all eat as much as possible, and take the rest home. We really do try our best.
The rest of the night goes very well, with much daft dancing around and merriment – even when ham-fisted Alan manages to snap a string mid-song, he is able to bluff his way through to the end of it, and Emma gamely distracts the audience while he digs out spare axe and bullies it into tune in time for the next number.
Finally we run out of time and have to stop, then we set about the Herculean task of loading all the equipment and spare food into the vehicles before we can shamble away homeward.
Coming up – a nice normal weekend, two gigs, nice and local. Well, local, anyway…
Friday 5th – Giant Goram, Lawrence Weston
Despite its less-than-salubrious location, this is a really jolly friendly place, the landlady (who is from “bloody Wales”) is always up for a laugh, and just as well, really…
Saturday 6th – The Crown, Staple Hill
Just literally round the corner from Ben’s new gaffe, he can actually walk to this gig. He may even be able to walk home again afterwards. Lovely pub, they likes their rocky stuff in here – and just as well, since that’s what they’re going to be getting.
And – well, that’s it for this week – I’m off to practice plugging cable in to sockets.