10-06-2024 – Randomness Is Not Evenly Distributed

Aye up!

Well, that was an eventful weekend.

Some of the more experienced of you may recall a government information video from – oooh, probably the early eighties – warning the public that “most accidents occur in the home”.

Under the Freedom Of Information Act, I can now tell you that this is not the case – the truth is, in fact, that “Most Accidents Happen At The Gig”.

I shall elucidate.

Friday night saw us roll up bright and early at the Cat & Wheel in advance of 7 pm, ready for the early start which has been the custom there for the past year or two.

“Ah, no,” they tell us, “We’ve switched back to a 9:00 start for bands”.

Fortunately, the extra time meant we could set up at a slow relaxed pace; until we found that our lightning rig had gone mad, and won’t listen to the controller any more, and was randomly flashing at high speed, a clear hazard to any epileptics in the neighbourhood.

“It’ll be the cable”, I pronounce knowledgeably.

We check the cable.

It isn’t.

The rig has, in fact, simply gone mad – after a bit of random button pressing we manage to persuade it into “sound to light” mode, and that gets us through the gig (which was, as expected, a very jolly evening).

Saturday’s gig at the Queen Vic in Swindon has a full lighting rig in-house, so we don’t need to worry about our insane one just yet. We do, however, have to worry about one of the PA stands, which has mysteriously lost a nut and bolt overnight, and as a result, quite literally can’t stand up for itself. A quick five-minute friggery with a screwdriver and some gaffa tape restored functionality, though, and we’re ready to start on time.

As expected, the place livens up nicely, Abby is in particularly fine form, and all is going well until my guitar suddenly cuts out. A few sharp kicks to the pedal board bring it back and having made a note not to use the offending drive pedal – that’ll be something else to fix this week – we finish up the gig, play a couple of encores, and pack down.

It’s as I’m loading the van that the real disaster strikes – the road has a moderately steep slope, and, having loaded my very heavy and rather expensive speaker cabinet into the van and turned nipped round to pick up the next lump to load in, I am horrified to see it roll out the back of the van, and plunge onto the harsh unyielding pavement with a loud crash.

After I exchange some very naughty words with the pavement, the speaker cabinet, Sir Isaac Newton, and the world in general, I pick up the stricken cab in the hope that there’s no harm done. The horrible sound of things tumbling around inside tells me that this is very much not the case.

We finish loading up, and set off for home, in my case grumbling all the way at the prospect of spending all my spare time next week trying to repair things.

Upon arriving home and reversing onto my (to be fair, very narrow) driveway, I manage to clip a fencepost in the dark and send a chunk of wing mirror housing spiralling off into the distance.

I’m too tired now to even get cross. Retrieve the stray piece of plastic to see if I’ll be able to jimmy it back on in daylight, and stumble in through the door.

Home at last, at least nothing else can go wrong tonight.

I take the batteries that we use for the wireless systems out of my pocket and drop them into the charger as usual.

…to find that the charger has decided to follow the example of our lighting rig, flashy lights and warnings all over the place – after 10 years of flawless service, it has chosen tonight to go utterly bonkers.

A stiff drink, and then straight to bed for me, in the hope that tomorrow will be accident-free*.

Hopefully, we’ll have enough functioning equipment to get us through next Saturday’s outing at Clevedon Cricket Club. It’s a private bash, so – if you’re going, we’ll see you there. If you’re not – we won’t!

Square on

*Which it nearly was – early Sunday afternoon, I received a message from Steve to tell me that he had also suffered an equipment-related accident.

Apparently, he went into a shop that morning to buy a lead for his monitor system and accidentally came out with a shiny new Fender bass…

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