Thursday, June 03, 2004

Playing to a dead audience

After seeing my kids tonight I went to the pub. I was parched. I was going to have just the one pint then come home. Andy was sitting at the other bar as usual all by himself staring dead ahead and occasionally rolling himself a fag. He's there everynight, never speaks to anyone. I usually say "hello", just to be friendly. he grunts at best, but usually ignores me. One night last week I slapped him on the back and said "Hey Andy! Great to see you how's it going?"
He ignored me. Sraaring dead ahead and not moving. One hand on his usual pint of kronenberg 1664.
later that same evening we happened to be at the free standing urinals together.
"What's the matter Andy? Would you rather I didn't speak to you?"
He said nothing. So I got pissed off with him.
"Look I'm trying my best to be friendly. I don't want to swap spit or anything. So why are you such a miserable bastard?"
"I keep myself to myself. All you have to do is say hello and I'll nod. I don't need any more than that."
"Ok Andy. We'll just nod to each other then."
"And don't hit me on the back again. I'm not a fucking baby who wants burping."
Well that told me.

Sandra wants me to tell you all about her and her beloved in this blog. God! I hate that word. I'm a writer, not a blogger. The other night she said to me "tell the world about me and Franco"."Write a story about the two of us. Make it up if you want."
But I aint one to make up stories. I write it as it is. So tonight I'm not going to say anything more. Just to tease her. I might write about them another day. When I am inspired. It's almost a teenage love affair. Even though they are not teenagers anymore. So I'll bide my time. Chrikey have I contradicted myself?

Today a woman came into the shop. She said "are you the guy in the band?"
I said "Yes. But which band?"
"I saw you new years eve."
"that will be Ad Hock then."
"yes can you play at my wedding?"
"I'll phone Tony and find out."
I phoned Tony. We're clear for the 3rd July.

Last night I went to Geneva's to check out the scene. No one turned up, just Mike Fowler with the PA. he'd already played by himselkf for three quarters of an hour. So we sat and had a few beers chatting. he said "are you playing tonight?"
I said "No I haven't brought my guitar."
"You can borrow mine."
"I've had a few beers. I can't play."
Now I have this rule I don't play if I'd had a few beers. but then when I've had a few beers I don't care so I play. Badly. But I stuck to my guns and said no. That's the sensible me. So I had another beer. And Mike went up on stage and did a few more. Then out of desperation to get someone to play something. anything. he got this girl Trina to play tin whistle. So she did a few Irish numbers and came off stage.
"ladies and Gentlemen. Mike da hat is going to play!"
What could I do? He'd announced me. I couldn't say no.
So I played Elton John's "Your song" and "Rocket man" followed by cat stevens "Wild world". NO audience response at all. No reaction whatever. So I did Louden wainwrights "Rufus is a tit man" very risqué" still no response. So to take the piss out of the audience I sang "How sweet to be an idiot." I came off stage and people came up to me saying "brilliant"
"So why didn't you clap?"
"no one else was, so I couldn't be arsed."
OK the honest answers are the best. It's tough being a musician sometimes. You thrive on audience response. When they don't respond you die. Or you take the piss. So they paid me. I played, they paid. What's the big deal? A dead crowd that's what it is. It's not the money, it's the reaction of the audience.I would play for nothing if the audience was good. I often go to see other groups play and I sit there in the audience wishing I was up there instead of them. That's the difference. I love to play for my audience. But sometimes my audience don't give a shit.

last year I played support for Gordon Giltrap. He was amazing but it turned out, for logistical reasons, he was on first. So I made a joke that he warmed up the audience for me. I think that really pissed him off because he never spoke to me again.
But that's another story for later. Make a comment if you want to read the full story.

Meanwhile I have a lovely bed that's calling me.
Rock on

May your god be with you.

Mikel

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