When your gigs have a queue round the block you get to choose which block it is, how the block feels inside and what songs are playing before you play.
With a more modest queue, expect to choose bugger all and come on stage to colourful disco lights, thumping club beats bleeding through from the main room downstairs and pissed up revellers spilling their drinks on each other.
I’ve never played a gig in Leeds before, but quite a large number of people had come out to see us play. They were easy to spot as they sat in such sharp relief against the wasted girls in greyhound skirts.
I may have spent fortunes of time and money being drunk in places like this, and I’ve had fun while I did, but man I wouldn’t normally want to make music in them.
At times like this it’s so tempting to tailor your performance to the noisy ones at the back – I like a good challenge remember? Maybe I could make them stop talking and listen…?
No no no my young padwan. An ugly ugly error. Your audience is at the front, having waited months to see you play. They are quiet and attentive. They want subtlety, dynamics and emotion, not you barking all the lyrics out to wrestle someone’s attention away from their WKD. So while our audience stood in the gloom, and we stood in stupid flashing strobe lights, we were playing Pondering On A Scenario In Which I Am The Hero in no rush at all. And I loved that.
My Vow Of Silence had reached its second day by this point. As I gargled hot salt water in Costa that morning a thought was creeping in – remember that time me and Harry visited a spa after the Isle Of Wight Festival? It was epic. We should totally do that again! Yes!
Fast forward an hour – John and I are standing in a cold community swimming pool. I’m not putting my head underwater just in case I add community swimming pool water poisoning to throat infection. Harry and Kev are watching from the gallery. Something’s not quite right.
Salvation was at hand at the Victorian Baths next door, with a steam room, sauna, hot room and plunge pool. Despite the Vow Of Silence I almost sold someone a CD, but we were late and John threw me in the van before she could get the money.
He was right – nothing is more important than the gig. That’s the reason we’re all there. It definitely went well too. I consider it an important stepping stone – my first Leeds gig. Now let’s come back again – next time maybe we’ll have a queue round the block.
Postcard sent to: Natalie
Next postcard to:
Free T-Shirt to: Andy Ketchley
Thanks to: Whiskers on the sound, The Simon Pollard Band who played with such passion and energy and put so much into the night, Miranda Verses The Crok – I’m so sorry I missed your set, you too Matthew McGurty :-(, Leeds Soundscape – keep in touch, the lady who almost bought the CD in the sauna, Rose and Rose’s mum, Greg and all his crew, anyone who came along. Thanks.