On paper, this whole day was one long catalogue of woe. So much so that when the promoter, filling in for a cancelled support act, started covering ‘Spider Pig‘, I barely batted an eyelid. But life is not lived on paper, so what really happened?
The first bit of bad news hit me the very second I woke up and discovered a tingly bacterial feeling in my throat. As the day progressed it got worse, until I had to deploy my secret weapon of last resort – the Vow Of Silence.
Like all secret weapons of last resort though, the Vow Of Silence has unwanted blast radius consequences. People can’t help but mistake it for introspection and so withdraw into introspection themselves, making for a sombre atmosphere. We had every right to be sombre I suppose – Carlisle ticket sales were abysmal, I was ill, people were fussing, the Jake Morley signature cocktail we made tasted horrible…
But hold on a minute – I was mute not sombre. Bollocks to sombre. I relish the challenge of unattended gigs – my brain starts whirring… what can we do to make this night one we cherish forever? Only 10 people there? Let’s get to know every single one. Difficult when you’re not talking much – that’s another challenge to relish.
Besides we were surrounded by good people. Luke the combined booker, promoter, bar manager, support act and sound engineer was a gem. So lovely that I almost forgave him for starting his set with the immortal line “here’s a song from the film Ice Age”. He’s a good guy trying to bring music to people. Natalie, there to serve non-existant customers with very much-existant drinks, was a gentle treasure. She and Lisa even went flyering.
By 10pm there was 10 people in a room that could hold over 100. And one of them had only come because he thought I was Eric Mongrain.
Sarah from Paper Aeroplanes came to my rescue with a texted story – she supported James Morrison at the Cardiff Barfly 3 months before his first number 1. Of the 6 people there, two had come to see her and four had come to see the other support act. I’d massively outsold James Morrison. Eat that James.
I have to say we played well because…. errr… we bloody did, and this is a blog of truth. My voice held up rather well. I asked the crowd whether they thought it would be a gig they’d tell their grandkids about, or a gig they’d forget ever happened, and the way those 10 roared told me all I needed to know.
Postcard Sent To:
Next Postcard To: Natalie
Free T-Shirt To: Chris Russell
Thanks To: Luke, Natalie, Chris, Luke’s mum, Luke’s driving instructor.