Sunday, July 04, 2004

.....and I get paid to do this!

We arrived at the pub just as they were making the speeches, all dressed in our finest, except I was still wearing my hat. Before anyone could say anything I said “The hat stays.” How can I be Mike da hat without my hat? I guess it must have looked odd me dressed in my three piece suit and still wearing my brown leather hat. We got drinks and set about eating the sandwiches, vol au vonts, sausage rolls, chicken legs, quiche, cheese squares with pineapple chunks on sticks etc.
The groom was dressed in full Scottish rig complete with kilt and sporran. The bride in an ivory coloured flouncy bouncy wedding dress that competed for space in the small room. After setting up we retired to the beer garden to plan our attack.
“Thank you for the days” followed by “Brown eyed girl”, “love of the common people” and the REM medley. That’s as far as our plan went. We decided to wing from then. So that’s new. We actually planned the first four songs. Normally we haven’t a clue what we’re going to play until we play it. The groom came up to me and said “My best man Anton, he plays a bit of guitar, do you think he could do a couple sometime.” Oh God! You know my heart always sinks when someone says that or similar.
“I’m a bit of a musician myself.” They say in that God awful tone which doesn’t seem to have any accent at all except that it’s obvious they come from the land of dork.
Well to humour the people paying us we agreed straight away. “Of course Anton can play. He can open the second set.”
He opened the second set. Brilliant. He played two by himself. We were impressed so we kept him on stage for a few more, Eddie Cochran and Mustang Sally. Finally to rapturous applause he came off stage to be reunited with a large drink waiting for him at his table. By now I was in my normal stage gear, I was totally pissed off with the three piece suit motif, it’s just so not me. Back to jeans, shirt, boots and leather waistcoat. WE bounced through the rest of the night. Well I certainly did. At one point Tony just stopped and looked at me as I was bouncing around with my 12 string, he threw a nod to Del and grinned. Mikes off on one. Tony picked up the radio mike and started doing what he is best at. Working the crowd. He is brilliant at it. That leaves Del and I on stage playing guitars. So we’re playing and Tony disappears. He’s singing into his radio Mike but we can’t see him. Then he comes in through the back door, then out the front going round the pub I see him in the street through the window and he’s still singing, then in the back door again. He loves it. We played until gone midnight, working our way through loads of songs Irish folk songs Wild Rover, Fields of Athone rye (Yeah I’m not sure how to spell that OK) to 500 Miles and the beatles. Great night. I love it. Especially when you get paid to do something you’d quite happily do for nothing. But being paid is better. Thank you.

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