It’s amazing how quickly things become routine – we turned up at the Apollo like it was just another day at school. Could I ever get used to this kind of gig? Surely not?
We bemoan some artists for losing the ability to relate to others normally, when their normal is so extremely perversly different to ours, and when it’s us that put them there in the first place. We scream when they sing, and with our words and actions we tell them they are more important than other people. They adapt to their new surroundings, just like evolution has taught them. I’m not making my own tea, someone else does that…
The real problem, as it tediously always is, is weakness in the face of the corruptive influence of power, status, money, and all that crap. It’s the same reason we always end up with rubbish politicians. If only people didn’t believe their own hype.
Or is the prime minister’s life worth more than mine? His decisions certainly have bigger consequences. Is it more tragic if Shakespeare dies a young man, never to write his greatest works, than some other young guy destined to make his living thatching roofs or ploughing fields? If so does that make our Bill more important? Either way he needs to be humble if he wants a roof over his head and some food to eat.
OK rant over… like I said – we turned up like it was just another day at school. Especially with the previous night going so well, this shit’s a breeze right?
We went through our routine of being amazed at the idea of a canteen at a gig, where you could just help yourself to a buffet of food and drink and a hot meal.
It didn’t feel right to repeat the same setlist though – the change up from me sitting to standing for the last two songs felt awkward. Be With Me suddenly seemed like a clumsy song to play. Plus unlike last night the audience would be all seated tonight, not standing. I wanted to stay seated too.
While I faffed with the setlist, time tick-tocked along and I swung from too relaxed to too stressed as I still hadn’t made up my mind. John warming up and chatting with Barry in the same room was intensly distracting, and totally my problem not theirs.
As I stood waiting to go on the monitor man said “you looked kinda nervous last night mate”. Ha! For one, no I wasn’t thank you very much. For another fair enough if I had been – I’m about to play the bloody Hammersmith Apollo. For one more, if I was nervous how on earth would that comment help me in any way at all?! I hadn’t totally shaken a weird feeling when I went on, as indicated by me making the sound of a dying giraffe at the beginning of Eyes instead of singing the right note. Noooo!
Needless to say everyone thought it was a better performance than last night, and I loved every minute. Haha.
There was no doubt who the real star of the show was though – Eilidth McKeller, aged 17, had been picked out off youtube by Joe Bonamassa to jam with him on stage, along with Bernie Marsden. If Mr Monitor Man wanted to see what nerves looked like before a gig he need only talk to Eilidth. It was certainly a big thing to ask of her, and she could have let the experience eat her up and spit her out.
But crap that girl talks with her fingers not her mouth – she utterly wiped the floor with those old men on stage. For every 5 notes they had she had 3 that were more dynamic, mature and interesting. I felt unexpectedly emotional, like when Kelly Holmes got her second gold medal. I watched it backstage with Jack Moore, son of blues legend Gary who seemed a cool genuine guy.
Our team dragged the night out as long as we could over good tapas food. Our first big gigs done, and done well. A big hurdle to have jumped and an experience never to forget. Next stop was the gig I was most worried about on the tour – our London headline show at The Borderline.