Jake always plays bass. Jake sometimes remembers what notes to play. Jake never cares. Please give a warm hand to Jake. 

Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened. 

Date: A school night
Venue: A local sweat-pit
Crowd: Packed, capacity and then some.

Some gigs are golden. Everyone in the band is playing like their hearts are about to burst, the promoter is grinning like a cat in a cream factory and the audience is one huge appreciative mob. These nights are a balm that every small-time band needs, a reminder why we step out each night and put ourselves on the line.

Graham steps up to the microphone, his smile beaming out to the sweaty mass like a lighthouse on a stormy night. The sea of excited music-goers surge forward, eager for his next announcement. His patter has been amazing tonight, they’ve been putty in his hands.

“Everyone having a good time?”

The crowd roars like a hundred lions.

“Who here is drunk? Lemme hear you!”

Another roar, deafening. I let it wash over me and glance down to the set list, two songs to go and we might even earn an encore on this one. Graham holds his arms out to either side, falling easily into a classic ‘rock jesus’ pose as Nicky starts to bring us in with a simple beat. This song gets hard, fast and dirty, like a brawl in an alley. The crowd is gonna go wild.

“And who here…” the mass surges forward, ready for another chance to scream… “still has homework to do?” Everybody screams, then stops. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife called “realisation”. We’re playing to a bunch of illegally inebriated school kids. It’s a Thursday

If you’ve ever seen footage of a zeppelin go down you know how quickly something can go from touching the heavens to a flaming wreck on the floor. The promoter looks stricken, the bar staff go into a panic. We blast through our last two songs in half the time it should take while the mob in front of us stare daggers. Some gigs are golden, but sometimes it’s fool’s gold so I guess the lesson here is don’t look too hard.

Also, no encore.

Image by Mike Lowe via Flickr


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