Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.
Date: First and last time.
Venue: Football club, minus a broken light.
Contrary to a common held belief in the DIY punk scene, not all promoters are Shitheads. Some promoters can also be Turds. There’s a difference. You see, a Shithead will do everything in their power to screw you out of money and/or time. They’ll welch on a fee. Lie about attendance. Charge you to use equipment. Whereas a Turd will just stink.
Lying in between these two extremes are myriad possibilities on a very eclectic spectrum. There are promoters who are Dickholes. Some can be an Anus. You even get Dildos. They will, respectively, piss on you, shit on you or try and fuck you.
You get Incompetent Niceguys. Conversely, you might meet a Competent Asshole. On more than one occasion, we have played shows where the promoter failed to appear. We call these the Groundhog. Imagine having so little confidence in your gig that even you fail to turn up. Would you go see that show?
Neither did anyone else.
Now if you’re a promoter reading this blog, human nature will dictate that you assume I’m talking about you. Trust me, I’m not. If you’re a promoter that has enough love for a music scene that you’re reading a Blog About A Punk Band You’ve Never Heard Of ™, then you’re off the hook. This isn’t about you. You’re awesome. Don’t ever go changing. We love promoters like you. You’re proof that there are also some shiny jewels in this bounteous sea of waste.
And also, can you give us a gig?
So the story goes like this. We are playing a show on the South Coast. The venue is a club by a football ground. We frequent one a few miles up the road, so our assumption is that this one will be just as popular with the local crowd.
Our assumption is correct. The turnout is fantastic. Furthermore, for reasons that elude me, we achieve a perfect storm of competence. Ritchie has Nicky’s intoxication levels just right, as a result the songs are the right tempo. Ritchie’s amp is on my side of the stage, so it’s not too loud. Jake remembered his bass and his tuner which is unprecedented. And I only had time for one beer before the show, so I remember all the words and keep the talk in between songs to a skeletal “hello” and “thank you”. Overall, I rate the show a B+.
At least I would do, but the Shithead promoter has other ideas. It transpires in the madness of the show that a light bulb has been broken. And not just any bulb. One of the really long ones that always flickers in any good horror movie. Shithead has also seen fit to pay for the breakage out of our agreed fee for the show. The fee, minus the breakage, leaves us with about £20 for a headline slot to a full venue.
I wish there was a punchline to the story. I wish I could say I retorted with something pithy, but I probably just sputtered and muttered under my breath and asked for another gig. I want to say that Nicky let a fire extinguisher off in this venue, but that was another time in a venue that just didn’t deserve it. I wish I could say Shithead listened to Ritchie’s excellent reasoning that perhaps docking our pay wasn’t the moral or ethical thing to do, but I think the guy just really liked his strip light. I’d hoped that Jake would explode in boundless rage, but on this occasion I’m sad to say we just got screwed. So that’s it. Tale over.
The moral of the story, to paraphrase Henry Hill, is that sometimes you just gotta take a beating. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
I’m just kidding. Nicky took a shit behind the bar.
Photo by Exile on Ontario St via Flickr.