Monday, July 31, 2006

Sometimes we all love a bit of recognition

The gig last night was a blast.

I arrived at the pub to find that it was one of those mean looking football supporters' pubs. It had a St George's flag, a Liverpool flag, an Arsenal flag and a few others all hanging from the roof. A clear message to all that it is a football pub, a hard pub, one with attitude. And flags. Now these sort of places are usually as friendly as anyone could wish for, providing you win the punters over.

We took our stuff in and started to set up whilst being bombarded by the usual questions that we are all used to :

"What kind of stuff do you play?"

"Do you do any....?" Choose from Elvis / Chili Peppers / Kaiser Chiefs / Anything you fancy.

It did seem to bode well that the place was fairly busy at 8 on a Saturday evening, it looked like it would get busier and it did. Over the night it filled up with old but mean looking tattooed women, groups of twenty somethings and an assortment of glamorous women who were wearing not much in the way of clothing.

We kicked off with Little Wing. The guitarist started the intro and it became apparent that, at some point between last week and this week, he had decided to try to make it sound more funky than the last time. This idea was a good one, and would have been even better if he had told me what to expect. I lost track of all time, not a great thing for a drummer to do, but at some point I decided it would be best to just start my big fill before the rest of the band came in. I did, the bassist came in and the singer started to sing.

We are a 4 piece band and with a mere 4 beats in a bar we had all managed to choose a different beat to come in on. It was pure musical comedy as I tried to listen to Phil, the singer, and finally managed to establish a groove. Then the others kicked in and we were off. Phew, it was easily my worst start to a gig and I had a lot of ground to make up. I had a teacher once who said to me

"If you make a mistake just carry on playing as if you meant if and look confident. No one will notice."

Well I tried to look confident but I'm sure it sounded like the introduction to an old Genesis song, all strange time signatures and weirdly placed cymbal crashes. The biggest irony is the fact that I also play Little Wing in my funk band so I know it better than most other songs played last night.

After that things got decidedly better. Our first set was a mixture of songs from "The Bends" to "Dancing in the moonlight" but most of them were "listening to" songs, just to get the punters warmed up for the more dancey second set. The band played well, I felt like I was playing well and gelling with the bassist nicely and I didn't have to worry about playing too loud for the residents, as was the case last week.

We had our break and then launched into the second half. By now, most of the pub was in high spirits and they were all on our side. We got funky with Superstition, we got rocky with Purple Haze, we got all 80's with China Girl and we got totally Chilied on Dani California, Give it away, Hump da bump and Tell me baby. To finish it off and leave them wanting more we got anthemic with I predict a riot.

It felt fantastic. There were pissed up happy punters everywhere, people telling us how good it was and how much they liked the set.

It's tempting to say that I enjoyed it most because we played well as a band and because I know that I played well, apart from on Little Wing of course.

Yeah bollocks to that. We did play well. I did play well. The band sounded great.

But it didn't really matter.

They loved us. They told us they loved us.

Sometimes that feels wicked!

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